Friday, August 13, 2021

ADP Review

With over 860,000 clients across the globe, ADP software works with organizations of every size to simplify HR and payroll. 

ADP offers an all-in-one solution for all things HR, from payroll and talent to outsourcing options and benefits packages. 

It doesn’t matter if you have 10 employees or 1,000 employees—ADP makes sure all your HR problems have a seamless solution. 

But despite earning the 2021 Customer’ Choice for Cloud HCM Suites, is ADP as helpful as it seems? 

We researched that question for you, and by the end of this review you will know all the advantages and disadvantages of using ADP as your online payroll service. 

ADP Pros and Cons 


  • Affordable, starting at $10 per month 
  • Software scales to business size 
  • Extensive app integrations 
  • Excellent benefits packages 


  • Poor customer support 
  • Numerous additional fees 
  • Uses outdated browsers 
  • Too many ad pop-ups 
Compare The Best Online Payroll Services
We reviewed dozens of online payroll services and narrowed them down to the best options.
See Top Picks

How ADP Compares to Top Online Payroll Services

Compared to some of the top online payroll services on the market, ADP is excellent for its comprehensiveness and all-in-one HR solution. ADP is our top pick for its app integrations, which give employees and HR departments perks, like product discounts.

However, despite ADP being such comprehensive payroll software, it offers some outdated methods of service. For example, it still utilizes Internet Explorer as its primary browser—which feels downright ancient for many users.  

After reviewing dozens of online payroll services, we narrowed it down to the top seven. We looked at each option to see who it’s best for, what features to consider, and how to find the best one. 

Other payroll services on our top list like PayChex and OnPay are excellent alternatives. If you are looking for more advanced payroll cycles or features that cater to remote teams, these options are your best bet. 

ADP’s Management and Employee Self-Service 

ADP is an employee-friendly software that offers a self-service portal for both managers and employees. Self-service allows employees to update and view their payroll details without the help of their employer.

Because the ADP self-service portal has such an intuitive interface, as an employee, you can easily use your client ID, user ID, and password to securely log in to get access to all your files. Once logged in, you will find all your information under My Details and Work Details

The ADP self-service portal has individual tabs and menus for easy navigation. For example, under the Reports tab, you’re able to retrieve your pay advice, reports and payment summaries, and W2 information. 

Not only can you view your details, but you can update them too. Under My Details, you can change your address, phone number, and email address. 

You can also change your banking details without the hassle of going through a third party and sending through countless forms to management. The ADP self-service portal benefits both the employer and employee by taking out the guesswork. 

On the other side, employers can also view and update details on their end. They can also analyze employee finances, adjust working hours, and submit payslips, all in one click.

The ADP self-service portal offers a few other helpful features to consider. These actions include: 

  • Change password 
  • Create secret security questions 
  • Resolve password issues 
  • Change benefits information
  • Change W4 tax information 
  • Manage your 401k account

The self-service portal is available with all ADP pricing plans. You can access the portal via desktop and the ADP mobile app. 

ADP’s Multi-State Tax Filings 

Tax filing is an additional feature of payroll services that helps mitigate and monitor payroll tax risk. Fortunately, ADP offers multi-state tax filings with SmartCompliance, which works with almost any payroll system. 

ADP’s SmartCompliance keeps your company compliant with payroll tax laws by reducing the many time-consuming tasks, like manually preparing returns, without compromising visibility. 

It can be difficult to keep up with different state tax laws, especially for remote teams. But ADP SmartCompliance takes away the difficulty by offering hassle-free compliance that aligns with today’s employment tax-related requirements. 

Hassle-free compliance means access to deposit filing methods and media for each jurisdiction, persistent tracking and response to evolving laws, and timely responses to agency notices. 

With $450 billion worth of tax deposits processed annually, ADP SmartCompliance lets you accurately and quickly set up automated filings, issue quarterly and annual reconciliation statements, and identify errors on tax statements. 

Another significant aspect of ADP’s SmartCompliance feature is its timely reporting. You receive 24/7 online access to its online portal, which helps you prioritize taxes at any time throughout the year. 

However, although ADP offers substantial tax filing features at face value, review sites are full of complaints and negative experiences directly related to its tax filing system. 

Filing taxes is one of the most crucial business tasks, and it’s essential you find payroll software that you can trust with such data. Unfortunately, many user reviews explain that ADP has incorrectly filed taxes or filed them too late, resulting in hefty tax penalties for its customers. 

Despite these reviews, ADP states that if they make a tax filing mistake, they will pay the resulting fines or penalties imposed by the taxing authority, so it’s not all bad. But this drawback can be a major deal-breaker for some users, and rightfully so—tax returns need to be submitted correctly. 

Favorably, ADP doesn’t charge additional fees for their tax filing feature, unlike many other payroll services. However, if you have a large, distributed team and you’re looking for an affordable multi-state tax filing system, OnPay is an excellent option. 

OnPay also gives you multi-state payroll services at no extra cost, but it’s an overall more affordable software for larger teams. 

ADP’s Specialized Payroll Solutions 

It doesn’t matter what industry you work in, as ADP covers a wide range of industries and offers specialized payroll solutions for each one. From hospitality and construction to retail and health care, ADP has got you covered. 

By utilizing industry insights and real-world experience, ADP offers industry-related payroll solutions to satisfy even the most complex industries. 

For example, industries like construction, manufacturing, and health care require more advanced and up-to-date payroll systems because they usually take on a large number of employees and equipment. 

With ADP, you can feel confident in your payroll and HR solutions. You can track and pay employees across multiple jobs and pay employees who don’t have a bank account, while still managing everything from your workplace location. 

Not only does ADP serve regular businesses, but it also offers complex payroll solutions to nonprofit organizations and social services. Finding staff and resources to help manage these organizations can be difficult, but ADP takes on this challenge with ease. 

Instead of spending unpaid hours trying to track the data for grants and fundraising, ADP creates a payroll solution that meets the needs of the nonprofit environment and includes actions, like: 

  • Simple, detailed employee and volunteer hours tracking 
  • Up-to-date records of employees and volunteers credentials and certifications
  • Powerful talent management solutions 
  • Onboarding training 

ADP offers custom pricing plans for each specific industry. 

ADP’s Pay Cycle Frequency 

Pay cycle frequency determines how often you want to run payroll. Luckily, ADP offers flexible options for different pay cycles. 

A lot of online payroll services can restrict you to weekly or biweekly payment cycles. This restriction isn’t helpful because many businesses and nonprofit organizations often use more than two pay cycle options.

Fortunately, ADP offers the four most common types of payment schedules, including: 

  • Weekly 
  • Biweekly
  • Semi-monthly
  • Monthly 

Although most employees would love to get paid more often, it’s important to consider the higher the pay frequency, the more expenses and accounting oversight you will incur. The best part about ADP’s pay cycle frequency is that it offers flexible features to help combat additional transaction costs. 

For example, businesses on a weekly pay cycle can add a Wisely Paycard program (which we will talk about soon) to their account to trim payment costs. 

However, if you need more payment cycle options for your business, we would recommend Gusto, as it offers unlimited payroll each month. 

ADP’s All-in-One Benefits 

Not every payroll service offers built-in options that let you manage and monitor your employee benefits. But ADP does, and it presents an extensive set of benefits packages for every need.

Some of the employee benefits and business insurance solutions that ADP offer include: 

  • 401k plans 
  • 403b plans 
  • SIMPLE IRA plans 
  • SEP IRA plans
  • Group medical, vision, and dental insurance 
  • Workers’ compensation insurance  

As you can see, ADP offers an extensive range of all-in-one benefits for its users by working with leading insurance and retirement companies.

And that’s not even the best part about ADP’s benefits packages. It also offers a benefits administration portal to manage everything in one integrated platform—available on either desktop or mobile. 

You can simplify the benefits experience through the use of ADP’s benefits administration portal. With its intuitive interface, you can connect to systems you already use with technology integration and use powerful analytical tools to see where engagement opportunities exist. 

However, similar to ADP’s tax filing system, there have been several complaints regarding incorrect insurance filing reports. One user said they ended up paying an additional fee for dental insurance because of ADP’s incorrect filing. 

Even though we only found a small handful of complaints in this specific area, it’s still quite disappointing. 

You can only access the benefits administration features if you are a business with more than 50 employees. But you do receive benefits as an add-on for any size business. 

ADP Offerings 

ADP offers a few products related to payroll and HR services that cater to all business sizes. Here’s an in-depth look at two popular products from ADP: 

ADP DataCloud 

ADP DataCloud is an extensive analytics portal that lets you view all your data in one place, with the industry’s largest dataset. 

You don’t have to be an analytics expert to utilize ADP’s DataCloud portal, as it does all the hard work for you. ADP DataCloud simplifies the sophisticated data, so you have access to tailored analytics that are easy to set up, use, and distribute.

You can identify workforce patterns and trends by using the HR metrics feature paired with ADP DataCloud’s streamlined and configurable dashboard. Identify potential issues in key areas, like overtime, compensation, and annual turnover. 

ADP DataCloud gives you access to dozens of industry-standard metrics for categories, such as benefits, time and attendance, payroll, and recruitment. 

With ADP DataCloud, you can answer key workforce questions by looking at reliable data through a story-driven approach. This data can help HR managers make better decisions, especially by utilizing its storyboards, which include: 

  • Pay equity: Evaluate pay gaps by gender, race, and ethnicity and estimate the costs to close them. 
  • Turnover cost: Understand turnover-related expenses, such as severance, productivity loss, and new employee training. 
  • Top performers: Identify and retain the top performers within your organization. 

You can expand on the ADP DataCloud dashboard by creating inclusion initiatives to provide visibility into the composition of your workplace. You get to figure out how diverse your workplace is, which areas are not as diverse as others, and what termination reasons affect the diversity in your workplace the most. 

ADP DataCloud gives you the tools to create a more inclusive, equitable, and diverse workplace for all of your employees. 

On top of all this, the best part about ADP DataCloud is that you can enhance insights to keep your organization moving forward. Model-driven insights allow you to compare your business to peers to grow and improve your system. 

You get access to enhanced insights, like: 

  • Benchmarking 
  • Data mashups 
  • Data explorers 
  • Executive and manager insights 

In terms of pricing, you will have to call the ADP sales team for custom pricing. However, ADP DataCloud can be purchased through the HR Plus, Hiring Advantage, and Performance Plus pricing tiers as an add-on for 50+ employees. 

Wisely By ADP 

If you’re looking for a quick and cost-effective way to pay your employees, then Wisely by ADP is an excellent suite to expand your payroll system. 

Wisely by ADP consists of powerful solutions for diverse payment needs. It lets you attract, engage, and retain top talent through the convenience of an employee-focused payment offering. 

As a 100% electronic payment system, Wisely by ADP’s innovative technologies will streamline your payment workflow and reduce costs by tenfold. With an easy-to-use administration portal, it delivers convenience and financial wellness all in one platform. 

The Wisely by ADP suite offers three different needs that will better support money management. These needs include: 

Wisely Pay 

The Wisely Pay paycard is a flexible and cost-effective payment method that lets your organization move closer towards paperless pay. The reloadable paycards give you the freedom and convenience of electronic payments. 

Wisely Pay works outside of the payroll system, and workers can use it to shop and pay bills, get cash, grow their savings, and manage their money. 

Wisely Direct 

Wisely Direct is an alternative banking solution without high transactional fees. Wisely exclusively offers reloadable accounts to ADP users, so there’s nothing for you to manage or implement. 

With Wisely Direct, you can skip the hassle of paper paychecks and create a seamless payment experience for those using the ADP software. 


MyWisely is a mobile app that will help your employees manage their money, plan for the future, and stay informed about all the deals and promotions for Wisely cardholders. 

The app is just a more convenient and flexible way for ADP users to track their earnings and payroll duties. 

Wisely by ADP offers a few other features, including: 

  • Compliant, on-demand pay for termination and off-cycle wages 
  • Easy administration 
  • Efficient interface to coordinate with departments 

In terms of pricing, you will have to contact the ADP sales team for custom pricing. However, Wisely by ADP is offered under all of its payment plans for business sizes of 1 to 49 employees. 

Compare The Best Online Payroll Services
We reviewed dozens of online payroll services and narrowed them down to the best options.
See Top Picks


Overall, ADP is an online payroll service that caters to any size business or nonprofit organization, and it definitely offers the tools to do so. 

We would recommend ADP for its app integrations alone, but especially for the use of payroll, industry analytics, and specialized payroll solutions. 

However, it’s a little different when it comes to tax filing and benefits packages. We think that ADP offers extensive services in these areas, but based on current reviews, it can be hit or miss. 

from Quick Sprout