Paycom vs. ADP: Which Is Best for Your Business?

Paycom is a good all-in-one option for large companies, and ADP works well for small- and medium-size businesses.
Lisa Anthony
Randa Kriss
By Randa Kriss and  Lisa Anthony 
Edited by Sally Lauckner

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Paycom and ADP Workforce Now are both widely used payroll platforms that offer similar features. Paycom is an enterprise-level solution, designed to work with larger businesses that have advanced payroll and HR needs. In contrast, ADP is much more approachable for small- to medium-size businesses that want to streamline their payroll and HR processes.

ADP Workforce Now

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on ADP's website


Quote-based pricing.

Quote-based pricing.


All-in-one, single software plan.

Four package options.

Notable features

  • Single software platform that automatically syncs data across the system.

  • An automatic employee-driven payroll process.

  • Direct Data Exchange tool to manage use of the HR system.

  • Customizable packages with enhanced HR and performance options and add-on features.

  • Advanced HR, recruiting, analytics and reporting tools.

  • Additional ADP products plus third-party integrations.


A few add-on services through the Paycom system, such as an ACA-specific tool.

Variety of third-party integrations available across multiple product categories.

Mobile app

Self-service app available for iOS and Android.

Self-service app available for iOS and Android.

Customer support

Dedicated specialist assigned to answer questions.

24/7 online and phone support.

Best for

Larger businesses that have more advanced payroll and HR needs.

Small- to medium-size businesses that want to streamline their processes.

Paycom features

Paycom’s features are extensive so we’ll focus on some of the top highlights, especially as they compare to ADP.

Paycom accommodates payroll and HR processes in a single system and offers one version of its service, although certain add-ons are available based on your business’s needs.

Features are grouped into five categories: payroll, time and labor management, HR management, talent acquisition and talent management.

To summarize these features:

  • Payroll processing from initial setup to payment of employees.

  • Payroll tax management: calculation, filing and payment of payroll taxes.

  • Employee access to pay stubs, earnings, deductions and time tracking with self-service app.

  • Management of additional payroll tasks including expense reimbursements, reporting and mileage tracking.

  • Employees can manage and sync submitted time, plus customize time tracking for holidays, shifts and more.

  • Scheduling software that allows employees to view their schedules and swap shifts.

  • Management of employees’ time off.

  • Labor allocation reports and job cost data by location or roll.

  • Employee benefits setup and administration plus self-service app for benefits enrollment.

  • HR documents and checklists for streamlined onboarding.

  • Manager portal to review employee requests, conduct performance reviews, as well as search job applicants and schedule interviews.

  • Employee satisfaction surveys to receive feedback and track results.

  • Automatically post and manage open positions across online job boards.

  • Applicant tracking system.

  • Background checks on candidates and employment verification for new hires.

  • Self-onboarding of new hires including checklists and critical compliance forms.

  • Performance self-reviews.

  • Compensation budgeting to ensure fair merit increases.

  • Employee training programs that can be completed through the self-service app.

  • Self-service app for employee questions and management’s answers.

On the whole, Paycom offers detailed and customizable tools, all of which sync together and reduce the need for manual data entry or initiated transfers. You can access the entire platform through one login and generate reports across the system — incorporating data from multiple years, EINs and locations within the software.

One of the most notable Paycom features, the employee self-service app, is available for both iOS and Android devices and gives your employees the ability to manage all of their necessary tasks including onboarding, benefits and performance reviews.

Paycom’s enterprise-level payroll and HR software allows you to manage multiple processes at once, and also offers significant automation, customization and advanced tools.

ADP Workforce Now features

How does ADP Workforce Now stack up against Paycom in terms of features? While Paycom’s capabilities are bundled into a single software solution, ADP breaks its platform into four package options: Payroll Essentials, HR Plus, Hiring Advantage and Performance Plus.

The specific features you receive will depend on which package you choose, but all packages include payroll and tax. Higher-level plans offer enhanced HR features, onboarding functions, recruiting and performance management.

The Payroll Essentials plan includes some of the core tools you need to automate payroll and tax filing:

  • Real-time payroll processing with customizable hours, earnings, deductions and adjustments.

  • Tax filing and payment services.

  • Built-in reports and custom report builder.

  • General ledger interface.

The HR Plus plan includes the features from the Payroll Essentials plan, plus HR tools:

  • Compliance management tools and reporting.

  • HR recordkeeping and policy acknowledgments.

  • Employee development tracking.

  • Customizable portal with self-service tools for employees.

  • New hire onboarding experience with fillable forms, digital I-9 processing and electronic signature capabilities.

  • Digital record-keeping that includes unlimited cloud-based storage, employee records and single or batch upload of data.

Hiring Advantage is the most popular of the four plans. It includes all of the features of HR Plus along with recruiting and hiring process features:

  • Access to online job boards and job posting technology.

  • Talent communication, interview scheduling and offer letter management.

  • Mobile career site and talent communities for candidates.

  • Requisition process and reporting.

  • Insights into key metrics including sourcing costs, efficiency and time to hire.

Performance Plus includes all of the capabilities of Hiring Advantage, as well as performance and compensation management features:

  • Customized performance goal assignment and tracking, plus review templates.

  • Support for employee self-evaluations.

  • Performance and compensation tracking along with merit and budget guidelines.

  • Progress, trends and budgetary dashboards.

Based on the package you select, you can purchase add-ons that can further customize your plan:

  • Workforce Management offers time and attendance tracking, employee scheduling capabilities, PTO accruals, analytics, reporting and payroll integration.

  • HR Assist includes regulatory expertise, federal and state compliance reporting, assistance from HR professionals and other enhanced HR tools.

  • StandOut, Powered by ADP has engagement tools, strength assessments, coaching content and custom surveys.

  • Learning Management offers custom training, compliance and development courses along with tracking dashboards and reporting capabilities.

  • Benefits Administration includes plan management, mobile employee enrollment, benefits reports, invoice auditing and ACA services.

  • Enhanced Analytics has key HR metrics and trends, insights on turnover and overtime, customizable reports and tools to align and monitor performance.

ADP Workforce Now, like Paycom, includes an employee self-service mobile app for iOS and Android devices in all its plans. Employees can manage their time, benefits and pay while managers have the ability to approve requests, view analytics, access employee information and communicate with their team.

ADP also offers a number of options for integrations with third-party tools, something that Paycom does not offer. You can connect to accounting software systems like QuickBooks and Xero with ADP, as well as platforms for enterprise resource planning, time and attendance tools, recruiting and onboarding apps, point-of-sale systems and employee benefits integrations.

ADP provides a similar level of functionality to Paycom with the Workforce Now Performance Plus package and add-ons, and it also offers customizable options for businesses that don’t need the full range of HR features that Paycom includes. However, ADP’s highly functional platform doesn’t reach the same degree of advanced automation and enterprise-level tools that Paycom offers.

Paycom vs. ADP: Pricing

It’s very difficult to evaluate Paycom versus ADP Workforce Now in terms of pricing because both are quote-based services, meaning you have to work with a company representative to determine the cost for your business.

Although you might assume that Paycom’s enterprise-level platform is more expensive than ADP Workforce Now, you won’t know definitively until you receive a customized quote. Also, because neither service offers transparent pricing, it’s worth asking about setup fees, tax form fees, cancellation fees and similar charges that can add to the cost of the service.

Paycom vs. ADP: Reviews

When comparing two business solutions, it’s always helpful to consult user reviews to get a better sense of how other business owners feel about their experience with each platform.

Paycom user reviews

  • 4.2 out of 5 stars on G2 Crowd.

  • 7.5 out of 10 stars on TrustRadius.

Reviewers of Paycom generally found the platform easy to use and accurate, and also commented on the range of features and user-friendly interface. However, issues with the bulk approval process, retirement plan integration and inadequate customer support were mentioned.

ADP Workforce Now user reviews

  • 4.1 out of 5 stars on G2 Crowd.

  • 8 out of 10 stars on TrustRadius.

Reviewers of Workforce Now frequently comment on ease of use and provide positive feedback on the payroll, time clock and PTO features. Some reviewers felt the quarterly tax calculations and customized fields could use some improvement while others found the folder layout challenging.

Overall, both ADP Workforce Now and Paycom reviewers had positive comments resulting in product ratings at the higher end of the scale.

A version of this article was first published on Fundera, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.