This article is part of a larger series on Payroll Services.
ADP TotalSource is a full-featured professional employer organization (PEO) that’s good for small and midsize businesses (SMBs) with fewer than 1,000 employees. It offers hire-to-retire HR services, compliance assistance, and complete payroll administration. Certified by the IRS and the Employer Services Assurance Corporation (ESAC), it’s a solid PEO with a strong reputation.
What We Recommend ADP TotalSource For
Whenever we research PEO services and payroll solutions, ADP’s products often make it to our list of recommended solutions—such as best PEO companies and leading Paychex competitors. With over seven decades of experience in HR and payroll, ADP offers an excellent range of services, has a generally helpful and knowledgeable staff, and provides a comprehensive set of HR functions. And for those needing expert assistance in handling day-to-day HR tasks, its ADP TotalSource solution has all the tools. It also offers compliance support and access to competitive benefits packages that Fortune 500 companies typically offer to their employees.
In short, ADP TotalSource is best for:
- Businesses with special industry-specific HR needs: ADP works with a wide variety of companies and thus has expertise in rules and compliances for specific industries such as construction, education, hospitality (restaurants), and financial services.
- Companies already using an ADP product: If you use ADP Run or ADP Workforce and are looking to move to a PEO, this is a natural progression and can save you time, money, and hassle on data migration and implementation.
- Businesses that expect to grow: ADP works with large businesses, including international companies. If your company expects to expand, ADP not only provides strategic advice for successful growth but also has a comprehensive solution suite with flexible plans that can accommodate your HR and payroll needs.
- Small businesses in high profit margin industries: ADP TotalSource targets SMBs with fewer than 1,000 employees. While it can be costly for those with little cash flow, small businesses in industries with notably high profit margins—like software and tech companies—usually benefit most. This is because they can afford to use ADP (as they don’t have thousands of employees that would drive the cost up), save money overall from not hiring in-house HR personnel, and offer quality benefits to remain competitive with bigger companies.
When ADP TotalSource Would Not Be a Good Fit
- Cost-conscious businesses needing transparent pricing to make a decision: ADP pricing depends on many factors, including your location. You’ll have to reach out to a representative, get assigned a local contact, and schedule a demo to get a good quote. We recommend Justworks if you want a product with straightforward pricing to help you rank your options quicker. Note that most other PEO options don’t have transparent pricing.
- Companies wanting simple HR and/or payroll: ADP TotalSource’s full-featured solution suite may be too much for those looking for an online solution for basic HR or to pay employees. For more suitable options, check out our HR payroll software and best payroll services guides.
- HR managers who are not tech-savvy: ADP’s software is feature-heavy and not always user-friendly. For a PEO with software that provides a better user experience, consider Rippling.
ADP TotalSource Overview
|Highly experienced PEO that’s IRS and ESAC certified||Pricing isn’t transparent|
|Excellent range of features||Time tracking and employee scheduling are paid add-ons|
|Access to Fortune 500-level benefits||Software can be difficult to navigate|
|Dedicated support specialists||Customer support isn’t always easy to contact|
ADP TotalSource Pricing
ADP TotalSource’s pricing information isn’t published on its website—and this is typical of most PEO services. It offers custom pricing, wherein ADP considers your geographic location and the features selected when determining the price. The representative we spoke to said its monthly fees start at around $85 per employee.
ADP TotalSource Features
ADP TotalSource is an all-inclusive package of payroll and HR solutions, which means you get a lot for your money. Here are some of its essential features.
ADP TotalSource takes on many of the standard HR tasks like ensuring workplace compliances, employee scheduling and auditing, administering unemployment claims, and managing paid time off (PTO). If you are expanding your business, you can consult with specialists on workforce optimization and get merger and acquisition support. It even provides business expansion tax registration services.
In addition, ADP TotalSource comes with new hire onboarding, background checks, skills assessments, and online document management solutions. You can run compensation analyses and employee engagement surveys. Leadership programs and assimilation training for new managers and online safety awareness courses for employees are available. Further, it offers performance reviews, compensation management, time tracking, and hiring tools with access to a Talent Specialist if you need expert assistance—although these are paid add-ons.
ADP TotalSource offers complete payroll administration, including audit and reconciliation services. Employees are paid either by direct deposit, pay card, or checks (ADP even offers check signing and stuffing services). It tracks PTO and handles all deductions and garnishments. Aside from keeping you compliant with changing rules and regulations, it manages all aspects of taxes—from filing tax forms to year-end reporting (W-2s/1099s) and remitting tax payments to applicable government agencies.
With 500,000+ client employees under its PEO, ADP can negotiate with major health insurance carriers for enterprise-level benefits—the kind of benefits most small businesses cannot afford. Some of its benefits options include the following:
- Medical, dental, and vision plans
- Flexible spending account (FSA)
- Health savings account (HSA)
- Section 125 POP accounts
- Commuter benefits
- Life and accident insurance plans
- Short- and long-term disability plans
- Health advocacy services
- Employee assistance programs
- Employee discounts
- 401(k) plans
- COBRA administration
- Group legal plan
- Funeral planning services
ADP takes care of all your employee benefits needs. It administers the programs, deducts the costs from payroll, and ensures compliance. It also evaluates your benefits each year against your competitors and recommends changes to keep your benefits program attractive to employees and potential hires.
ADP TotalSource is certified by both the IRS and ESAC, which evaluates PEOs on strict criteria for business practices and financial reliability. According to ESAC, only around 9% of PEOs are ESAC-certified as of this writing.
As part of ADP’s PEO services, you get a dedicated team of HR experts that can advise you on HR, payroll, benefits, and compliance issues. This includes providing best practices on HR processes, workplace safety consultations, an investigation team for harassment and discrimination claims, and premium support for your employees via the “ADP MyLife” advisors.
Employees can use the ADP online portal and mobile app (for iOS and Android devices) to view pay, W-2 statements, and benefits. They can also request PTO, track time and attendance, clock in and out, and contact co-workers through the app.
ADP TotalSource Ease of Use
- Full-service implementation
- Dedicated support representative
- 24/7 support
- Online how-to guides
- Proactive compliance help through articles and emails
- Generally easy to use but with a learning curve
For new users, ADP TotalSource will handle moving you to its system and assign a dedicated representative you can contact with questions or concerns. Aside from providing you access to HR specialists, it sends emails and alerts to keep you up-to-date on legislative changes. It even helps you track your employees’ COVID-19 vaccinations and test results.
The software is generally easy to use, although it has a slightly steep learning curve mainly because of its many features. Its interface also looks a bit dated, and some features are hard to find or difficult to navigate to.
And while ADP TotalSource offers a lot of support options that include online how-to guides, some can be hit and miss. For example, to get help with an employee login issue, we had to answer multiple questions and go to several links, and then were told to talk to our company’s HR support.
What Users Think About ADP TotalSource
Users Don’t Like
Great benefits packages
Overall interface looks dated and some features are hard to find
Helpful account specialists
Difficult-to-use reports section
Occasional long wait times when contacting support
Many users who left positive ADP TotalSource reviews online appreciate its reliable customer support, adding that the account specialists assigned to them have been very helpful. Several also like that they have access to a wide range of solutions, from employee onboarding and payroll to employee benefits and compliance tracking.
However, some reviewers said that while its support team generally provides good service, contacting a representative can be difficult at times (or that they keep getting moved to a new rep). Others mentioned that the software can be overwhelming given its many features and that some can be challenging to use, like its reporting tool.
At the time of publication, ADP TotalSource earned the following scores on popular user review sites:
Top ADP TotalSource Alternatives
Best for: Small businesses looking for low-cost, high-functioning PEO services
Best for: Businesses needing HR and IT tools with robust integrations
Best for: Companies needing diverse benefit options
Base monthly fee from: $49 per employee
Base monthly fee from: Custom-priced
Base monthly fee from: Custom-priced
If you’re not sure ADP TotalSource is right for you, see how it compares with our other top PEO services.
ADP TotalSource serves SMBs employing fewer than 1,000 people and needing full-service HR and payroll support. While its pricing isn’t transparent and the software has a steeper learning curve than similar PEO solutions, its dedicated support staff can help you with individual employee issues and strategic concerns for the growth of your company. Sign up for an ADP TotalSource demo today.