This article is part of a larger series on Payroll Services.
Paycom and ADP Run are two popular software solutions that go beyond basic payroll and HR services to include onboarding, recruiting, benefits, and background check options, among other features. ADP Run boasts scalable plans and add-on features that grow with your business, while Paycom has a wide range of features in one system, allowing you to streamline and automate your HR functions. Although you’ll find similarities between the two, some differences may make one a better option for you.
- Paycom: Best for midsize and large businesses that want to set up multiple HR services under one system
- ADP Run: Best for smaller businesses and companies planning to scale their number of employees (including internationally); provides plan options to adapt as business needs change
If you find neither Paycom nor ADP Run suitable for your needs and want a platform that also has IT solutions, we recommend the following:
- Rippling: Best for small and midsize businesses needing a strong employee management system and IT management tools, especially those with remote employees or international contractors
Paycom vs ADP Run Quick Comparison
Medium to large businesses that need a wide range of HR services in one platform
Smaller and expanding businesses (including internationally) needing scalable HR tools and support
Base fee (custom) + $4–$6 per employee/paycheck**
From $40–$75 per pay run + $3 per employee**
Initial setup fee
Direct deposit and paper check
Direct deposit, paper check, pay card
Self-service portal for managers and employees
iOS and Android
iOS and Android
Payroll tax management
Time and attendance
Available as add-on
Available as add-on
QuickBooks, Xero, Wave, ClockShark, TSheets, Homebase, Sage Intacct, Deputy, Aloha, Toast, etc.
Live online and phone support (M–F: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.); Dedicated specialist included
24/7 phone and online support
G2: 4.2 out of 5 from 930+ reviews
Capterra: 4.3 out of 5 from 630+ reviews
G2: 4.6 out of 5 from 780+ reviews on G2
Capterra: 4.5 out of 5 from ~700 reviews
*Based on quotes we received.
**Pricing can vary depending on the payroll frequency—the more often you pay employees, the greater is the base cost fee.
Takeaway: We find ADP Run to be an excellent solution for small businesses needing only payroll because of its robust features. Also, if you have a growing company that you know will have changing HR and payroll needs in the near future, ADP is the solution for you. You get access to robust HR support, employee benefit options, international payroll plus professional employer organization (PEO) options, and multiple third-party integration partners.
For medium and large businesses—those with more than 50 employees—or those wanting to house all HR and payroll services under one system, Paycom is the right choice. It has a full suite of integrated tools that make the service worth the money. You also get a dedicated specialist to make setting up and managing each feature easy.
Both providers have the following features:
- Full-service payroll
- Files and pays federal, state, and local taxes
- Year-end tax reports (W-2s and 1099s)
- Direct deposit and manual check capabilities
- PTO management
- Benefits management, including health insurance
- New hire reporting
- Online employee setup and accounts
- Manage deductions and garnishments
- Talent acquisition (job posting and background checks) and talent management (training) tools
- Reports and analytics
If you’re considering changing payroll providers, check out our guide to switching payroll solutions for some expert tips before you do.
Why Paycom Is Best for Medium to Large Businesses
|All HR services are integrated||Pricing is not transparent|
|Automated payroll and tax filing with an extensive line of HR tools||No free trial|
|Dedicated support specialist for all customers||Does not integrate well with third-party software|
We recommend Paycom for medium to large businesses because you don’t get the system’s full value unless you’re actually using the different features it has integrated. With Paycom, you get payroll, HR management, time and labor management, talent acquisition and management in one software.
Why ADP Run Is Best for Smaller & Growing Businesses
|Multiple product plan options||HR tools are only available for premium plans|
|Comes with a free trial||Setup fee is required|
|Seamless integration with third-party solutions||Time and attendance and benefit plans (workers’ compensation, retirement) are add-ons|
We recommend ADP Run for smaller and growing businesses because it offers product plans that scale in features and tools, meaning it’ll be easy to upgrade when you’re ready. It also offers a PEO—which Paycom doesn’t—that allows you to outsource many of your HR duties, qualify for large-group employee benefits, and keep you in line with laws and regulations. This is a great option when you’re growing significantly but aren’t yet ready, financially or otherwise, to bring HR completely in-house.
Best Pricing: ADP Run
*Based on a quote we received.
Paycom’s pricing isn’t readily available, and ADP Run’s comparable plans aren’t either. However, you can get ADP’s basic solution, Essential Payroll for $40–$75 per week + $3 per employee depending on the number of pay runs you do on the platform.
To get pricing for Paycom, you have to request a demo to discuss your needs. You will then receive a custom quote fit for your requirements. And since it does not have tiered plans, it is difficult to gauge the specific features in its most affordable package.
Meanwhile, ADP Run offers tiered packages based on company size and requirements—Essential Payroll, Enhanced, Complete, and HR Pro (all customized). The features and tools available with each plan are transparent, so even if you don’t know the pricing right away, you can determine which product will be best for you.
Since we need to establish which option is best for small business owners, we compared the two:
- Paycom pricing (for 15 employees): We received a quote of $500 for 15 employees and $1,200 for 40 employees for setup, training, and implementation. Pay runs cost $4–$6 per employee, per pay check, and additional costs for other features like filing W-2s. Paycom’s other solutions and services, like time and attendance, also incur extra fees.
- ADP Run pricing (for 15 employees): Essential Payroll: $40–$75 per pay run + $3 per employee. Base fee pricing depends on how often you do payroll. For weekly, it’s $40, $65 for biweekly, and $75 for monthly payroll. For 15 employees, this means $205/month for weekly pay runs, $175/month for biweekly, and $120/month for monthly. For more premium plans, there is an initial setup fee, but the rep waived it in our quote. There are additional costs for add-ons like time and attendance.
Based on the quotes presented, ADP is cheaper than Paycom for the same number of employees. In addition, you get access to consulting services like the small business marketing toolkit under the Essential and Enhanced plans, and legal assistance, whenever necessary.
If you have plans to expand your business not only in the US but in multiple countries, ADP Workforce Now is a solution for your growing payroll and advanced HR requirements. You may choose from four plan options: Payroll Essentials, HR Plus, Hiring Advantage, and Performance Plus. Moreover, since ADP has a strong presence in 140 countries, it will be able to provide you with localized international expertise if needed.
Best Payroll Features: ADP Run
Both ADP Run and Paycom have similar payroll and tax management features. They even have self-service portals to let employees view their pay stubs, deductions, pay history, and other documents. However, ADP has more payroll services to offer overall.
Mobile app and phone; enables employees to run own payroll
Mobile app and phone
Employee self-service portal
Direct deposit, checks via Paycom’s bank account
Direct deposit, checks, Wisely® Pay card
Automatic filing and payment
Automatic filing and payment
W-2/1099 year-end reporting
Other payroll services
Aside from running payroll online or on a mobile application, ADP allows processing by phone. Employees can also opt to be paid via Wisely® Pay, a pay card. In addition, it has paycheck fraud protection in place and supports multiple jobs, pay rates, and pay schedules that are well-suited for different industries like education, nonprofit, and construction.
ADP supports several key tracking functions such as recording billable hours for professional services, monitoring paid or volunteer tasks, and resources against specific grants. This is especially beneficial for budget forecasting in educational institutions. It also allows restaurant, manufacturing, retail, and healthcare managers to create and control shift schedule allocations to prevent staffing gaps. A restaurant or retail store’s POS system can also connect with ADP to capture time worked and process restaurant tips accurately.
With Paycom’s Grid tool, you can fully customize your payroll layout. It also boasts of a single-database solution that automatically syncs system-wide, eliminating re-entry and errors. Aside from that, it offers Paycom Pay, which allows you to issue live checks using a Paycom bank account to help you lower bank charges and reduce general ledger transactions. For expense management, the provider makes it possible to upload or email photos of receipts for reimbursement and automatic expense parsing. You can also customize your expense accounts, categories, and policies to fit your organization’s needs.
If you’re primarily looking for help with payroll and want to consider providers other than ADP or Paycom, check out the other top payroll services we recommend.
Best HR Features & Employee Benefits: ADP Run
With both Paycom and ADP Run, you can take advantage of new hire reporting and online onboarding for new employees. The providers also offer access to expert professionals for any HR or payroll compliance advice. However, despite offering similar HR functionalities, ADP Run has an edge over Paycom due to its PEO services offering.
ADP Run has different HR management tools that can be purchased individually or included in more expensive plans. It even provides PEO services if you need to completely outsource your business’ HR tasks. Also, ADP Run’s benefits administration tools allow you to connect with other tools you’re already using like payroll or HR software.
Meanwhile, Paycom’s HR tools are more focused around process automation and document management. It has self-service benefits tools, where employees can access their plans anytime and calculate take-home pay after deductions. Paycom also has helpful features including manager self-service portals, COBRA benefits administration, 401(k) reporting, and surveys.
ADP Run helps your company gain access to small group health insurance, pay-as-you-go workers’ compensation plans, and retirement plans as an add-on for its premium plans. Your employees can also access discounts from brand-name products and retailers. If you are interested in focusing on your company’s business expansion and gaining more support, then you might want to look at ADP’s HR outsourcing services or partner with its PEO.
If you choose to use its outsourcing PEO services, ADP will be an extension of your HR staff and handle hiring, engagement, employee issues, payroll, benefits, compensation, talent, compliance, and more. Additionally, as a PEO, your company can gain better benefit options (health, dental, vision, life insurance, retirement plans). It also can significantly reduce employer risks and legal liability and improve business processes due to sound professional advice on how to handle payroll, HR, benefits, and compliance.
To learn more about ADP’s PEO, check out our review of ADP TotalSource.
Paycom has some advanced HR features similar to what ADP offers, like background checking and tools designed to retain top talent while controlling employee compensation, like performance and position management and compensation budgeting.
Paycom’s learning management system (LMS) customizes training based on your company’s needs and performance goals. It allows HR managers to assign any number of employees to complete mobile-friendly training and development opportunities, including certifications that are useful to workers in different industries, like education.
For time and attendance, Paycom has its own calendar and time management program. Managers can view their staff calendars, control and forecast labor, and stop time theft and “buddy punching” with Paycom’s geotracking, biometric time clocks, and secure, online timecards. These features are especially useful for those working in the healthcare, manufacturing, and restaurant industries.
Paycom is very conscientious when it comes to federal and state employment laws compliance. Hence, to reduce the risk of audit and penalties, it runs a database with complete and accurate employee information and monitors legislation changes. Moreover, it offers compliance reports consistent with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Affordable Care Act (ACA), and more.
Best for Integrations: ADP Run
For third-party software integrations, ADP has a more robust selection than Paycom. Unlike Paycom—which only has in-house time-tracking, benefits, and HR management programs—ADP can integrate with third-party accounting, time tracking, POS, ERP, learning, recruiting, and onboarding solutions.
- ADP integrations: Wave, Xero, QuickBooks, Workday, Sage Intacct, Oracle, TSheets, Homebase, ZipRecruiter, Jobvite, Grovo, Litmos, Flock, Employee Navigator, PayActiv, LifeMart, Slack, MS Teams, Clover, Revel, Toast, and more.
- Paycom: It offers limited integration with third-party apps. However, based on its features, you may not need to integrate with other tools.
Best for Ease of Use & Customer Support: Paycom
For ease of use and customer support, Paycom wins due to its free on-site training and minimal client support complaints.
Most ADP Run and Paycom users mentioned that both systems are easy to use and navigate. Paycom provides phone support and a dedicated payroll specialist for its clients. A no-cost on-site training for you and your employees is also available for midsize and enterprise clients. ADP, on the other hand, provides 24/7 phone and email support for both payroll and HR services. It supports you with a team of capable payroll and tax professionals for your troubleshooting or advisory needs.
- Paycom: Users on third-party review sites G2 and Capterra rated it 4.2 and 4.3 stars, respectively. Reviewers highlighted ease of use, intuitive interface, and hands-on customer support as Paycom’s top features. Meanwhile, some experienced login problems and occasional software glitches. Others added that it is more expensive than other providers. Paycom’s mobile app has 4.7 out of 5 stars in the Apple Store from ~671k reviews and 4.6 out of 5 stars on Google Play from 50k+ reviews.
- ADP Run: Reviews published on G2 and Capterra show that ADP has 4.6 and 4.5 stars, respectively. Users find ADP Run easy to set up and navigate. Some like that it tracks time accurately and its mobile application allows them to view their pay stubs without any glitch. On the other hand, there are mixed reviews about its customer support—wherein some users noted that its support team isn’t responsive enough, while others said that they received good service. On the Apple Store, it received 2.2 out of 5 stars and 2.9 out of 5 stars on Google Play.
For insight on our other top recommendations, check out our buyers’ guide to the best payroll services.
How We Evaluated Paycom vs ADP Run
To compare ADP Run and Paycom, we assessed the payroll solutions and services they offer to determine the types of employers they work best with. In short, we considered:
- Pricing: We love pricing transparency so that you can make decisions beforehand, but premium services and plans usually require you to schedule a demo for pricing details. Setup fees are common with HR Payroll providers like these two, so we anticipated that.
- Payroll features: Automatic payroll runs, payroll tax filing, 1099 form preparation, manual check capabilities, two-day direct deposits, and employee and contractor payroll services—including a penalty-free guarantee—are preferred.
- Ease of use: A provider should be user-friendly and intuitive, with a customizable platform. It’s also helpful if it seamlessly integrates with common third-party systems (like QuickBooks, Homebase, When I Work, and TSheets). Free setup, how-to guides, live phone support, and quick resolution of client issues are also appreciated.
- HR features: A provider should give users access to an expert for any advice on compliance issues. A platform should also offer new hire state reporting, online onboarding, and a self-service portal. Employee benefits, such as health insurance and workers’ compensation, are also important for businesses needing HR support.
- Popularity: We looked at the reviews that real users left on popular third-party sites like G2 and Capterra and tallied the ratings. The provider with an average of 4+ stars and 1,000+ reviews is rated more favorably here.
- Reporting: Apart from basic reports, providers with customizable options and those built within its payroll system get extra points.
Choosing the right payroll solution is not easy since you have so many options to choose from. As you’re deciding between Paycom and ADP Run, you should assess how many employees you have (and plan to have in the future) and the additional features that you will need for recruitment, talent management, HR support, and benefits management.
If you have a midsize to large business and are focused on hiring and retaining the best talent, then consider Paycom.
However, if you are planning to expand your business—not only in the US but overseas—ADP Run is the option for you. Not only does it offer tiered plans, but you can also choose to outsource its payroll and HR services or become a PEO partner to enjoy more benefits while taking care of the more profitable aspects of your business.