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ADP RUN Payroll Review

Written by:

Natalie is a writer with experience in operations, HR, and training & development within the software, healthcare, and financial services sectors.

Reviewed by:

Daniel Eisner is a payroll specialist with over a decade of practical experience in senior accounting positions.

ADP RUN Payroll Review

ADP RUN Payroll Review

If you’re starting a business and hiring employees, mastering payroll is likely to be one of your first major hurdles. Dealing with payroll is often quite complex and time-consuming, which is why many entrepreneurs turn to a professional payroll service. 

Payroll providers can handle the entire payroll process for you, making it nearly seamless and automated while offering additional services so that you can focus on building a successful business. 

One of the top options is ADP RUN. But is it the best service? And is it the right choice for you? This review takes a closer look — putting ourselves in the shoes of an entrepreneur — to help you determine whether this is the right payroll service for your business. 


Breadth of Services

Help and Support

Customer Satisfaction

Ease of Use

Overall Score: 4/5

The RUN Powered by ADP® is a great tool for processing payroll for small businesses. It is easy to use and offers many additional features.
Visit ADP Run Payroll

What to Expect from ADP RUN

Automatic Data Processing, more commonly known as ADP, is one of the biggest names in payroll processing and counts many Fortune 500 firms among its clients. While its main platform serves those larger businesses, ADP’s RUN service is tailored for startups and businesses with 50 or fewer employees. 

ADP’s RUN suite of payroll solutions includes automatic tax filing and optional benefits administration via an advanced online platform with access to payroll experts. 

office desk with a calculator

Features and Services

ADP offers several service levels. We explored all of the options, as detailed below. 

Note: All plans are priced by quote only.  

ADP RUN Essential PayrollADP RUN Enhanced PayrollADP RUN Complete Payroll & HR PlusADP RUN HR Pro
Payroll: Online, Phone, Mobilexxxx
24/7 Customer Servicexxxx
Tax Filingxxxx
Electronic Reportsxxxx
Employee Access Portalxxxx
New Hire Reportingxxxx
Payroll Deliveryxxxx
General Ledger Interfacexxxx
RUN & Done Automatic Recurring Payrollxxxx
Direct Depositxxxx
Wisely Direct Debit Cardxxxx
Multi-Jurisdiction Payrollxxxx
ADP Checkxxx
Poster Compliancexxx
SUI Managementxxx
Wage Garnishment Payment Servicexxx
Check Signing & Stuffingxxx
HR Newsletter & Tip of the Weekxxxx
State & Federal Resourcesxxxx
Employment Verificationxxxx
New Hire Paperworkxxxx
New Hire Self-Onboardingxxxx
Employee Discount & Wellness Programsxxxx
ADP Marketplacexxxx
Google Adsxxxx
Background Checksxxx
HR HelpDesk Live Supportxx
Employee Handbook Wizardxx
Salary Benchmarksxx
HR Toolkitsxx
Compliance Database & Updatesxx
Job Description Wizardxx
HR Forms & Documentsxx
HR Trackingxx
Alerts & Notificationsxx
Document Vaultxx
Proactive HR Support Teamx
Employee Assistance Programx
Employee & Employer HR Trainingx
Business/Marketing Tools and Live Advicex
Upnetic Legal Servicesx

Services overview

Essential Plan

For call-out box 

The ADP RUN Essential plan is made for startups and established companies looking for a simple, yet comprehensive payroll solution. It provides basic payroll processing, including payroll tax filing and reporting. 

The ADP RUN Essential plan is perfect for startups or established businesses looking for a basic payroll processing solution. The Essential plan includes a robust suite of payroll services, including access to an online portal and mobile app, 24/7 customer support, and payroll tax filing. 

You’ll also be able to run electronic reports and access a new hire reporting feature.

The Essential plan also includes payroll delivery and integrations with leading accounting software programs. You’ll have the ability to set recurring payrolls that process automatically.  

All ADP plans come with direct deposit capabilities and a direct debit card option from Wisely. 

Enhanced Plan

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The ADP RUN Enhanced plan includes everything from the Essential plan plus ZipRecruiter, state unemployment insurance assistance, and background checks. It also includes poster compliance and wage garnishment services.

The Enhanced payroll plan from ADP includes everything from the Essential plan plus background checks, access to services from ZipRecruiter, and state unemployment insurance filings. You’ll also get poster compliance services to ensure the latest state and federal guidelines are always prominently displayed at your workplace. 

The Enhanced plan also includes wage garnishment services and check signing and stuffing. 

Complete Plan

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The ADP RUN Complete plan includes everything in the first two plans plus additional HR support. Customers get access to an HR HelpDesk with live support, an employee handbook wizard, salary benchmarks, and access to a compliance database.

The ADP RUN Complete plan contains all the benefits detailed above plus a variety of HR support services and features. Customers receive access to an HR HelpDesk with live support and an employee handbook wizard. 

Another key feature of the Complete plan is access to salary benchmarks so you can stay up to date on the latest compensation data. This plan also includes access to a regularly updated compliance database and an HR forms and documents repository.

HR Pro Plan

For call out box 

RUN Pro is the top tier payroll plan. In addition to all the features detailed above, the Pro plan includes enhanced help desk and employee handbook support. Customers also receive additional support around training, marketing, and legal matters.

The HR Pro plan is the most exclusive payroll service plan ADP RUN has to offer. It includes everything from the other three plans, plus an enhanced version of HR HelpDesk Support and enhanced employee handbook support. 

It also includes access to ADP’s proactive HR support team, an employee assistance program, employee and employer HR training, business marketing tools, and legal services.

Payroll Service

ADP’s payroll solutions aim to allow businesses to process payroll in minutes, either through an online portal or a secure mobile app. Payroll taxes will be calculated, deducted and paid automatically for you, along with quarterly and annual payroll reporting. 

Forms W-2 and 1099 will be created and automatically sent to your employees and contractors. You can also integrate time tracking and manage your state unemployment insurance and claims. ADP will also handle any IRS inquiries on your behalf. 

Hiring and Onboarding Tools

All ADP RUN payroll plans come with the New Hire Onboarding feature, enabling employees to complete their own new hire paperwork before their first day so you can spend more time on training. Each plan also comes with employee discount programs through ADP’s partnerships with nationally-recognized retailers. 

At the Enhanced plan level and above, customers get access to services with the recruitment platform ZipRecruiter, as well as access to background check services. 

At the Complete plan level and above, employers get HR HelpDesk Live Support, an employee handbook wizard, access to salary benchmarks, HR toolkits, and compliance database & updates. The HR Pro plan includes all of the above, plus additional employee and employer training tools.

Benefits Administration

ADP offers a variety of employee benefits administration and business insurance solutions to customers, integrating with top carriers like Aetna, Lincoln, and Aflac. 

This sharply reduces the need for manual data entry and allows your HR team to easily keep everything up to date across multiple platforms. ADP works with more than 700 insurance carriers, financial institutions and other organizations. 

Website Interface and Navigation

The ADP website is very user-friendly. Each of the four plans’ features are easy to locate and review and each feature is thoroughly explained. 

How’s the signup process navigation?

ADP requires potential customers to request a quote before purchasing services, so we tested the online quote process instead. First, we clicked on the blue Start Quote button at the top of the ADP homepage.

We then clicked on the No button under “Are you a current ADP client?”. 

Next, we were given the option to be contacted or to schedule a call. We chose the Contact me option. 

The next step prompted us to provide our zip code, number of employees, company name, and email address. 

The last prompt asked for a full name and phone number. After clicking Get Pricing, we received a popup message that a representative would be in touch.

How’s the mobile experience?

ADP’s mobile solutions give employees access to their payroll information and benefits on their smartphone. Employees can complete a variety of tasks, such as view their pay stubs, manage their time and attendance, and enter time-off requests. Employers can also access their account online through a safe and secure app and run payroll from anywhere.

Quick and easy cancellation?

It was extremely difficult to find information related to ADP RUN’s cancellation policy on the website. We did some additional research outside of the ADP official website and found several reviews that say cancellation requires contacting ADP by phone or email.  

In Summary

The ADP web experience is very user-friendly and the quote process took just a few minutes to complete. Each ADP RUN payroll plan was clearly outlined and it was very easy to find detailed information on each plan feature. 

However, it was rather difficult to find live customer assistance, as the chatbot is heavily automated and there’s no email feature for prospective customers. If you’re interested in speaking with a representative as you’re exploring the various plan options, calling customer service is your best bet.

Customer Support

We tested all three forms of ADP customer support, as detailed below.  

Chat support

The ADP chat feature is heavily automated. When we tried to engage the chat for support with questions as a potential customer, we were directed to a customer support page, which seemed like it was for existing customers only. 

We decided to go through email and phone to get our questions answered. We learned that if you are an existing customer, live chat agents are available M-F 7:30am–10pm EST.

Phone support

We called the ADP customer service number and reached a live representative within about two minutes. We asked if we could get a ballpark estimate on pricing for each of the plans. The representative was very polite and cordial and said that pricing needs to be provided by the sales team. 

They asked if we’d like to be transferred to get a quote started, but we declined and said we would try completing one online instead. The call ended after we thanked the representative, who was not pushy and did not try to upsell or convince us to stay on the line.

Email support

While there is email support available for ADP RUN customers, we were unable to locate an email support feature for prospective clients. However, we did receive an automated email once we completed our online quote:

Pros and Cons

Overall, ADP RUN offers advantages and drawbacks, as detailed below. 


  • Four plans to choose from
  • Established reputation of ADP
  • Easy to request a quote
  • User-friendly website
  • Robust HR support


  • Pricing available by quote only
  • Many unhappy customers
  • Complaints about the pay card product

Company Background

Headquartered in Roseland, New Jersey, ADP is a top provider of payroll and HR management software and services. The company was founded in 1949 by Henry Taub. The current CEO is Carlos A. Rodriguez. 

ADP ranked 227th on the 2020 Fortune 500 list and has been among Fortune’s “World’s Most Admired Companies” for 14 consecutive years. ADP has some 58,000 employees and its 2020 revenues totaled nearly $15 billion.

Alternatives to ADP RUN

Paychex Flex

Paychex Flex payroll services are also priced by quote only and seem to be on par with ADP RUN. Paychex is also an established industry veteran with an A+ rating with the BBB and low customer review score. 


Gusto has three plans, and its base plan is comparable to the ADP RUN Essential plan. However, ADP’s plans include significantly more features, especially when it comes to HR support. Gusto has an F rating with the BBB. 


The OnPay plan is comparable in features to the ADP RUN Essential plan. However, ADP has 24/7 customer support for their clients, while OnPay only has customer support during business hours. OnPay has solid ratings with Trustpilot and BBB, but mixed customer reviews.

Our Approach

We take our responsibilities seriously. We understand that countless entrepreneurs, and business owners, rely on our judgments and insights, particularly when it comes to creating their business.

As a result, our writers do their utmost to gain a comprehensive understanding of the services offered and the actual customer experience. In this case, we:

  • Examined every page of the ADP website
  • Reviewed all of their offerings
  • Put ourselves in the customer’s shoes, creating an account
  • Communicated with customer service via chat, email and phone
  • Gained a full understanding of the customer experience and service value

Thanks to this full immersion in the actual customer experience, our reviewer and team are able to provide the most complete and insightful review of ADP RUN payroll services.

Human Resource’s Verdict

Overall, we were pleased with our ADP experience. The site is easy to use, information is readily available, and it’s very easy to request a quote. Their four service plans offer a wide variety of features, catering to an array of smaller businesses.

Customer service is a little lacking, as ADP RUN has no live chat support and doesn’t provide email support unless you’re an existing customer. However, reaching customer service by phone was very easy and the representative we spoke to was prompt and polite.

ADP is one of the most popular payroll service providers, handling processing for many major corporations with its main platform and building an outstanding reputation. ADP RUN has been developed specifically for startups and small businesses. 

Although many clients have faced service issues with ADP Run, we still highly recommend the RUN suite of offerings for your payroll and HR support needs.