ADP Run Review (2023): Features, Pricing, and More
August 27, 2023
RUN Powered by ADP: Fast facts
Starting price: Custom quotes only
Three-month free trial
Robust suite of payroll and HR tools
Full-service payroll tax management
24/7 customer service
If your business is looking for software that combines payroll and HR tools into one comprehensive package, it’s hard to do better than ADP RUN. While the cost may put ADP RUN beyond some small business’s budgets, its user-friendly platform and robust suite of features can make it well worth the price for many companies.
ADP RUN plans and pricing
For the most part, ADP doesn’t list pricing for any of its plans or products online. (The one exception is Roll by ADP, a relatively new, AI-based payroll product for small businesses that starts at $29 a month + $5 per payee.) Small businesses interested in ADP RUN will need to contact ADP directly to request a quote.
Fortunately, unlike many other top-tier payroll and HR software providers, ADP offers a three-month-long free trial. New customers can — and should — take ADP RUN for a spin before committing to a plan.
Additionally, although it doesn’t list pricing online, ADP does describe RUN’s four plans in detail.
The cheapest ADP RUN plan, Essential, focuses largely on payroll with only a handful of HR features. It includes key payroll tools you should expect from any full-service payroll provider:
While ADP RUN Essential doesn’t include many HR features, it offers more than you’d get with payroll-focused providers like Patriot Payroll:
Customizable HR and payroll reports.
Automatic state new-hire reporting.
Background checks for job applicants.
The Enhanced plan adds paper checks to the list of ways to pay your employees. It also includes state unemployment insurance tax administration and wage garnishment.
Enhanced also includes a few more — though not many — HR tools than the Essential plan, such as access to labor law posters and ZipRecruiter’s job board.
ADP RUN Complete adds a slew of stand-out human resource features to the payroll tools included with Essential and Enhanced plans:
Access to a live HR support team over the phone or via email.
Pay band insights for salaried workers.
HR trainings and guidebooks that help businesses stay legally compliant.
Access to an HR library with thousands of templates, HR checklists, policies and more.
Guided employee handbook setup.
The most comprehensive ADP RUN plan includes HCM-level features that are typically available only to large businesses instead of ADP RUN’s core audience of small-business owners:
Applicant tracking system.
Learning management system.
Company legal services (provided through Legal Club).
Marketing tools and advice (provided through BizPro).
If the HR Plus plan doesn’t have enough HR features to meet your needs, ADP Workforce Now (ADP’s HCM solution for midsize and large businesses) is likely a better fit for you than ADP RUN.
ADP RUN doesn’t include time tracking with any of its four plans, so if you want to use ADP’s time and attendance tool rather than trying to integrate a third-party solution, you’ll pay an additional fee.
Companies can also use ADP’s platform to find high-quality employee benefits, including retirement plans and healthcare, as well as workers’ compensation insurance. However, in contrast to ADP competitors like Gusto, integrating benefits with ADP’s payroll software costs an extra fee.
ADP RUN key features
ADP’s top-notch, practically pain-free payroll experience ensures ADP RUN makes any list of the best small-business payroll software. RUN automates every major payroll process, from federal and state tax administration to direct deposit. Its autopilot payroll feature means you can schedule payroll runs ahead of time. For an additional fee, ADP will also mail end-of-year W-2 and 1099 forms to your employees and contractors.
ADP further simplifies payroll processes with its top-of-the-line mobile payroll app. Employees can use the self-service portal to check tax documents, view paychecks, update their direct deposit and clock in and out (if you add ADP’s time and attendance tool to your ADP RUN plan). Managers can also use the app to approve time off and schedule shifts on the go.
Whether you use the app or browser version of RUN Powered by ADP, you can look forward to an excellent, well-designed interface. From your payroll dashboard, it’s easy to run payroll, view upcoming deadlines, access alerts and see a quick overview of your company’s payroll history.
While benefits administration isn’t built into any RUN by ADP plans, companies that offer employee benefits can use ADP to find competitive insurance and retirement plan providers. For an extra fee, you can integrate those benefits with your RUN plan to automate benefits deductions and streamline the benefit sign-up process.
Crucially, though, plenty of other payroll software companies include benefits administration at no additional fee. For instance, OnPay and Gusto both have a cheaper starting price than RUN Powered by ADP and also bundle benefits integration and administration into every plan. That’s not to say you shouldn’t choose ADP to access its better-than-average benefits options, but be prepared to spend more on payroll than you would with other options.
Advanced HR features
While ADP definitely doesn’t skimp on the payroll front, its main selling point is the way it bundles full-service payroll with better-than-average HR features. While all four plans include at least some HR features, ADP RUN’s two priciest plans go heavier on HR support than nearly any other small-business payroll provider.
Only Paychex Flex can compete with ADP RUN in terms of offering a comprehensive HR library with thousands of templates, guidelines, checklists, white papers and trainings.
Perhaps most notably, ADP RUN’s highest-tier plan includes access to both an applicant tracking system and learning management system, which are more typically included with robust HCM software. Thanks to ADP, midsize businesses can access services often reserved for big businesses and enterprises without paying enterprise-level prices.
ADP is a popular enough brand to merit built-in integrations with hundreds of third-party apps, including accounting programs like QuickBooks Online, time-tracking solutions like ClockShark and onboarding tools like Workstream.
ADP RUN pros
Excellent range of plans to accommodate small and midsize businesses in any industry.
Pricing and plan details up to date as of 8/24/2023.*One-month free subscription available for TechRepublic readers only.
Paychex Flex: Best HR tools
Out of any small-business payroll provider, Paychex Flex’s payroll software is probably the most comparable to RUN by ADP. Like RUN, Paychex Flex has multiple plans that offer more or less the same payroll features but include an increasing number of HR features and support.
Even with the cheapest Paychex Flex plan, users can access Paychex’s remarkably comprehensive HR library — in contrast, Gusto limits HR library access to its most expensive plan only. And like ADP, Paychex also has a PEO solution (called Paychex PEO) that businesses can easily switch to from their in-house Paychex Flex plan.
Paychex Flex starts at $39 a month plus $5 per employee. Its low starting price and transparent pricing give it an edge over ADP, though notably, only the cheapest Paychex Flex plan’s pricing is presented upfront.
Although Paychex Flex starts out at the cheaper end of the payroll software spectrum, its monthly price can escalate quickly depending on how many add-ons you need. Like ADP, Paychex Flex charges an additional fee for time and attendance tracking and benefits integration. In contrast to most payroll providers (ADP included), Paychex also charges an extra fee for general ledger integration.
Are you more interested in building a payroll and HR plan from scratch instead of choosing from a preset package? Each company that uses Rippling can pick and choose from a series of HR, finance, IT and payroll services to build a completely unique, business-specific software plan.
Rippling doesn’t list pricing for any of its services beyond its $8 per-employee fee for payroll. Users also pay a monthly base fee to access Rippling Unity, Rippling’s proprietary platform, though the base fee isn’t listed online.
While Rippling’s system and setup may be complicated for new business owners and employers, it’s one of the easiest platforms to scale up with: It’s not hard to add more features and automations as your business grows from a startup to a global business.
Rippling is currently offering a one-month free subscription for TechRepublic readers. Visit the link below to sign up.
Gusto: Best small-business payroll alternative
Gusto is among the most popular small-business payroll services for good reason. It offers fully automated, full-service payroll on a ridiculously user-friendly platform that appeals to new and experienced employers alike. It also includes many key services in its base price that payroll providers like Paychex Flex and ADP charge extra for, including benefits administration. While Gusto’s cheapest plan doesn’t include a native time-tracking app, Gusto syncs with dozens of apps, including commonly used time-tracking products, at no additional integration fee.
Gusto’s pricing starts at $40 a month plus $6 per person paid. Its contractor-only plan has no base price for the first six months, then increases to $35 a month plus $6 per person paid from there. However, Gusto focuses far more on payroll than it does on HR, which makes it a better choice than ADP if your business doesn’t need comprehensive HR.