HR & Payroll

ADP vs Paychex (2023)

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For businesses looking to grow or simply free up resources in the organization, payroll software can come in handy, and two of the leading providers in the industry are ADP and Paychex.

On one hand, ADP is targeted at businesses of all sizes, and on top of that, it offers ADP Run that’s specifically designed for start-ups and small businesses with 49 or less employees. On the other hand, Paychex is geared toward small and medium businesses.

Both provide the standard services and tools you’d expect from a payroll software provider. Particularly, they automate payrolls and tax filing, streamlining the entire process. However, each one has a different approach to how they handle things, and needless to say, they offer unique features that set them apart from each other.

ADP vs Paychex Comparison Chart

Product NameADPPaychex
ADP vs PaychexADP vs Paychex
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Starting PriceQuote-based$39 a month + $5 a month per employee
Free TrialNoNo
Direct DepositYesYes
Tax AutomationYesYes
Benefits AdministrationYesNo
Employee Self-ServiceYesYes

ADP Overview

ADP vs Paychex

ADP is a multinational company that provides human capital management (HCM) and payroll solutions for businesses of every size. Founded in 1949 and headquartered in Roseland, New Jersey, it has become a trusted partner for companies seeking to simplify their HR, payroll, benefits administration, talent management and workforce management processes.

Its suite of cloud-based software and services enables organizations to enhance their efficiency, compliance and employee engagement. With a client base spanning various industries worldwide, it serves over 1 million businesses, including small and medium-sized enterprises, multinational corporations and public entities.

Paychex Overview

ADP vs Paychex

Paychex is a well-known provider of integrated human capital management (HCM) and payroll solutions for businesses in the United States. It was founded in 1971 and is headquartered in Rochester, New York. It has become a trusted partner for organizations seeking efficient, reliable and compliant payroll services.

It offers a comprehensive suite of cloud-based solutions tailored to meet the needs of small and medium businesses. These solutions focus on simplifying payroll processing, tax administration and time and attendance tracking.

Payroll Features

Both payroll services provide plenty of payment options. First off, ADP offers direct deposit and check delivery. In a similar vein, Paychex does direct deposit, as well as in-house check printing and delivery.

In addition, ADP automates tax filing and reporting. That means it does all the necessary calculations and such, following guidelines to comply with federal, state and local tax laws. Meanwhile, Paychex offers what it calls Taxpay. Basically, it’s an optional add-on to calculate, pay and file taxes automatically.

Also, both have employee self-service, and each of their platforms are available via desktop or mobile. ADP’s take on this gives workers access to their pay stubs and Forms W2 and 1099 and allows them to monitor their hours. Paychex offers the same tools as well, and it includes a chat service that lets managers and employees talk to each other.

HR Tools

ADP offers benefits administration services, particularly health benefits, workers’ compensation and retirement plans. The list of add-ons available include health savings account (HSA), flexible savings account (FSA), health reimbursement arrangement (HRA), commuter and life and disability benefits and 401(k) retirement.

In contrast, Paychex doesn’t provide a similar service. Instead, its retirement and health benefits are delegated to third-party integrations.

Speaking of, ADP is compatible with QuickBooks, Xero and Wave, arguably three of the most commonly used accounting apps. On the time-tracking side of things, it supports 7Shifts and When I Work, two of which are among the most popular of their kind.

Paychex also supports dozens of third-party apps, such as QuickBooks, Xero, 7Shifts, When I Work and BambooHR. It goes without saying that there are way too many of them to list here, but for a clearer picture of what the company has in store, its categories include Hiring and HR; Time and Attendance; Retirement and Health Benefits; Finance, Accounting and Compensation; Point of Sale System; Flock, Benefits Administration; and Flex, Benefits Administration.

Pricing and Plans

ADP has a wide variety of plans to accommodate various business sizes and their specific needs. For starters, organizations with employees that range from one to 49 have four options: Essential, Enhanced, Complete and HR Pro (which are marketed as ADP Run subscriptions). For larger enterprises, there’s Select, Plus and Premium.

Put simply, the entry-level plan is for basic payroll services, and the higher-tiered counterparts add more comprehensive features such as posting jobs via ZipRecruiter, background checks and HR support and perks. However, the company doesn’t explicitly state how much their plans cost, which may make planning ahead a bit more difficult.

In comparison, Paychex is transparent in its pricing for its basic tier. Called Paychex Flex Essentials, it stays true to its name in that it only comes with the core features you’d need from a payroll software, and as such, it only costs $39 a month plus $5 per employee. When it comes to the higher-tiered Select and Pro, it’s the same story with ADP, though. In short, you’ll have to get a quote to get an idea of how much they’ll cost.

Customer Support

Both ADP and Paychex provide 24/7 customer support. However, the former only has live assistance available from Mondays to Fridays between 7:30 a.m. and 10 p.m. ET. Just to be clear, the latter lets you get in touch with a real person anytime.

Benefits of Using Payroll Software

Time Efficiency: Payroll software automates the payroll process, saving valuable time for HR and finance teams. Manual calculations and data entry are minimized, leading to faster and more accurate payroll processing.

Reduced Errors: Automated calculations significantly reduce the risk of human errors in payroll processing, ensuring accurate and error-free paychecks for employees.

Compliance and Accuracy: Payroll software helps maintain compliance with tax laws, labor regulations and government reporting requirements, reducing the risk of costly penalties or audits.

Cost Savings: While there is an initial investment in the software, it can lead to long-term cost savings by streamlining processes and reducing the need for extensive manual labor.

Data Security: Payroll systems offer secure data storage, protecting sensitive employee information from unauthorized access and potential data breaches.

Employee Self-Service: Many payroll software solutions provide self-service portals, enabling employees to access their pay stubs, tax documents and update personal information without HR intervention.

Direct Deposit: Payroll software often facilitates direct deposit, allowing employees to receive their wages directly into their bank accounts, promoting convenience and reducing reliance on paper checks.

Analytics and Reporting: Advanced payroll software provides insightful analytics and reporting features, helping businesses gain valuable insights into labor costs and budgeting.

Integration with HR Systems: Integration with other HR and timekeeping systems ensures seamless data flow across various departments, minimizing data duplication and enhancing overall efficiency.

Mobile Accessibility: Many payroll software platforms offer mobile apps, enabling access to payroll information on-the-go and making it convenient for remote or traveling employees.

Scalability: Payroll software can accommodate business growth and changing payroll needs, ensuring it remains relevant as the company expands.

Auditing Capabilities: Comprehensive audit trails allow businesses to track changes made to payroll data, enhancing transparency and accountability.


All in all, ADP and Paychex are pretty much on par with each other in terms of payroll features, though the former sets itself apart with employee benefits administration. Moreover, both are more or less equal in integration support. The gist of it is you can’t go wrong with either one of them, and the deciding factor for most folks will likely be the price.

As noted, ADP doesn’t state outright how much its subscriptions will cost. While that offers some degree of flexibility since prices are essentially tailored to the needs and size of a business, that also makes it harder to plan things out. Paychex also requires you to get in touch with them first for their higher-tiered plans, but at the very least, its entry-level plan has a set price. 

To sum things up, ADP tends to be more expensive in most cases, but its services are more extensive, making them better suited for growing and large organizations. For small and medium-sized businesses, Paychex is a more cost-effective solution.