Paycom and ADP Run are two popular HR payroll software solutions. They both provide more than basic payroll and HR services and include onboarding, recruiting, benefits, and background check options. Both market to small, medium, and large businesses but shine brightest for companies that can take advantage of their robust features, either now or in the near future. Although you’ll find similarities between the two, there are some differences in features that may make one a better option for you.
- Paycom: Best for new businesses with >50 employees that want to set up multiple HR services under one system
- ADP Run: Best for scaling companies that can benefit from flexible pricing plans and a PEO option
If you don’t need all the bells and whistles that Paycom and ADP Run offer and are more focused on cost and basic payroll and HR features, consider an alternative provider that caters more to small businesses.
- Gusto: Best for small businesses with less than 100 employees that need an affordable, quick way to run payroll and onboard employees
The Why Behind Our Recommendations for Paycom vs ADP Run
We recommend Paycom for new businesses because you don’t get the system’s full value unless you’re actually using the different features it has integrated. Established businesses tend to already be using different systems (time tracking, recruiting, payroll, etc.) and are more reluctant to shift providers. That means that third-party integrations would be important, an area that Paycom isn’t strongest in.
Paycom Pros and Cons
|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||Does not integrate well with third-party software|
ADP Run Pros and Cons
We recommend ADP Run for growing businesses because it offers transparent product plans that grow in features and tools, which means 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.
|Multiple product plan options||HR tools are available for premium plans|
|Unlimited payroll runs and 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|
How We Evaluated Paycom vs ADP Run
To compare ADP Run and Paycom, we assessed the payroll solutions and services that they offer to determine the types of employers that 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, Capterra, and Software Advice 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.
Paycom vs ADP Run Overview
Quoted at approx. $10 per employee per payroll (specifically, $148 base fee/payroll + $4.54 per employee/payroll)
($261 biweekly for 25 employees paid every two weeks)*
Starts at $59 per month + $4 per employee
($159 per month for 25 employees)
Initial setup fee
Direct deposit and paycheck
Direct deposit, paycheck, paycard
Self-service portal for managers and employees
Available for iOS and Android
Available for iOS and Android
Payroll tax management
Local, state, and federal taxes and year-end reports (extra cost)
Local, state, and federal taxes and year-end reports (extra cost)
Time and Labor management
Job posting, applicant tracking, e-verify, and tax credits
Job posting, single-country background checks, employment, education, personal/professional and credential verifications
State new hire reporting, employee directory, and surveys, ACA and HR advisers
State new hire reporting, HR tracking, employee handbook wizard, HR forms and documents, HR helpdesk support
Limited and not recommended
Intuit QuickBooks, Xero, Wave, ClockShark, TSheets, Homebase, Sage Intacct, Deputy, Aloha, Toast, etc.
Good overall; Dedicated specialist included
Good overall; Complaints about being passed to multiple reps and delays
If you’re considering changing payroll providers, check out our guide to switching payroll solutions for some expert tips before you do.
Common Features of Paycom and ADP Run
- 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 set up and accounts
- Manage deductions and garnishments
- Talent acquisition (job posting and background checks) and talent management (training) tools
- Reports and analytics
Takeaway: If you have a growing company that you know will have changing HR and payroll needs in the near future, ADP is the payroll solution for you. You get robust HR support, employee benefit options, international payroll plus PEO options, and multiple third-party integration partners.
If you are a new company or are willing 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.
Paycom vs ADP Run Pricing
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, that you run in-house—on your own—for $59 per month + $4 per employee.
In order to get the 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 25 employees): Base Fee $148, Delivery Fee $4.54 plus $10.71 per employee monthly or $317.98 per month. It also has an initial setup fee of $1,128.53 and additional costs for other features like filing W-2s.
- ADP Run pricing (for 25 employees): Essential Payroll: $59 per month plus $4 per employee or $103 per month. For more premium plans, there is an initial setup fee, but the rep waived it in our quote; total cost per biweekly payroll was $155. 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, even if you add the initial setup fee. 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 U.S. 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.
Both ADP Run and Paycom have similar payroll and tax management features. They even have a self-service portal to let employees view their pay stubs, deductions, pay history, and other documents. However, ADP has more payroll services to offer overall.
ADP Run Payroll Features
Aside from running payroll online or on a mobile application, ADP allows processing it 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, which 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.
Aside from processing your payroll taxes, ADP
- Withholds and pays union dues from construction employees’ wages
- Documents tipped wages for taxation purposes
- Files Form 8027
- Checks for potential tax savings with work opportunity tax credit (WOTC)
- Runs reports such as tip allocation for restaurants
- Handles state unemployment insurance (SUI)
- Deducts unique court-ordered wage garnishments
Paycom’s Payroll Features
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.
HR Features and Employee Benefits
With Paycom and ADP Run, you can take advantage of new hire reporting and online onboarding for new employees. Both providers also offer access to expert professionals for any HR or payroll compliance advice.
However, despite offering similar HR functionalities, Paycom exceeds ADP in some areas since its core processes involve recruitment, employee, and HR management.
Paycom HR and Benefit Features
Talent acquisition features that are specific to Paycom include:
- Applicant tracking
- Enhanced background checking
- Employee verification (E-Verify)
- 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 conscious 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.
ADP Run HR and Employee Benefits Features
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 become its partner as a professional employer organization (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 for you. 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.
Ease of Use, Customer Support, and Integrations
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 medium-sized 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.
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, ERPs, 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 and ADP Run User Reviews
- Paycom: Users on third-party review sites G2 and Capterra rated it 4.2 and 4.4 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.
- ADP Run: Reviews published on G2 and Capterra show that ADP has 4.1 and 4.4 stars, respectively. Users find ADP Run easy to set up and navigate. Some like that it tracks time accurately and that 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.
For insight on our other top recommendations, check out our buyers’ guide to the best payroll services.
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’re focused on hiring and retaining the best talent while making sure that you are compliant with federal tax and employment laws and regulations, 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 its partner as a PEO to enjoy more benefits while taking care of the more profitable aspects of your business.