Finding the right human capital management (HCM) solution for your business is essential to streamlining processes, ensuring employee satisfaction and finding the right candidates for each job. Paycom and ADP are two of the most popular HCM solutions — but which one is right for you?
While Paycom and ADP are two powerhouses in the HCM software field, they serve different audiences: Paycom is geared mainly toward large businesses and enterprises while ADP’s software, specifically ADP Workforce Now, targets small, midsize and large businesses. Below we delve into each provider’s plans, pricing, pros and cons so you can find the ideal HCM for your business.
If neither Paycom nor ADP appeal to you, Paycor is our recommended HCM alternative for both brands. Learn more by reading our Paycor review.
Paycom vs. ADP: Comparison table
|Starting price||Custom quotes only||Custom quotes only|
|Free trial||None||4 months|
|Benefits administration||Yes||With some plans|
|Built-in time tracking||Yes||With priciest plan|
|Try Paycom||Try ADP|
Paycom pricing and plans
Paycom’s cloud-based, all-in-one HCM solution includes essential hiring, onboarding, time tracking, payroll, offboarding and performance management tools. Its scalable, fully customizable software is ideal for larger enterprises with hundreds of employees.
As is typical of most HCMs, Paycom doesn’t list its prices upfront or online. You’ll need to contact Paycom directly to request a quote and schedule a customized demo.
Unlike payroll and HR software for smaller businesses, Paycom doesn’t offer multiple plans with different service tiers. Instead, businesses build their own individual Paycom packages with custom pricing based on their business needs and workforce requirements.
Learn more by reading our more detailed Paycom review.
ADP Workforce Now pricing and plans
ADP is an HR and payroll software service provider with plans and products that suit a variety of businesses, from microbusinesses with one or two employees to multinational enterprises running global payroll.
One of ADP’s most popular products, ADP Workforce Now, is an HCM service for midsize and large businesses, though some of its features (if not its higher pricing) might work well for small businesses as well. While ADP doesn’t list pricing online, it does lay out its three ADP Workforce Now plans, which offer different features for different business sizes.
Workforce Now Select
Workforce Now Select is ADP’s cheapest HCM plan. Its primary focus is on payroll and payroll tax features, but it does include a fair number of human resource tools that support businesses with dozens to hundreds of employees:
- Easy-access employee self-service portals.
- Well-reviewed payroll apps for employees and managers.
- Customizable survey templates.
- Employee career tracking.
If you’re part of an international company, the Select plan also includes ADP’s global HR employer of record service. Other add-on services include compensation management tools, advanced analytics and reporting, learning management system access, job board access and employee self evaluations.
Workforce Now Plus
ADP Workforce Now Plus adds benefits management to the Select plan’s payroll, HR and personnel management tools. With the Plus plan, employees can use the app to enroll in benefits. Employers can also choose to find benefits — including healthcare and 401(k) plans — through ADP’s benefits provider connections.
Workforce Now Premium
ADP’s top-tier Workforce Now plan is the only one to offer built-in time and attendance tools, which includes the following key features:
- Mobile time clocks.
- Time-off accruals, requests and approvals.
- PTO policies.
- Employee shift scheduling tools.
Other ADP products
If ADP Workforce Now doesn’t offer the features you need, ADP has plenty of other payroll and HR software solutions tailored toward different industries and different business sizes:
- ADP Roll, a chat-based payroll app for microbusinesses.
- RUN Powered by ADP, a payroll and HR solution for small and midsize businesses.
- ADP Global Payroll, an international payroll service.
- ADP TotalSource, a PEO solution for small businesses.
Learn more by reading our more detailed ADP Workforce Now review.
Paycom and ADP offer fairly similar payroll software features, including comprehensive tax administration with end-of-year tax form distribution and filing. Both providers also include unlimited monthly payroll runs, which ensures employers won’t be charged for off-cycle runs (including bonus payments).
ADP’s employee self-service feature includes employee notifications for potential payroll errors. Paycom takes the same feature a step further by offering a unique employee service called Beti, an app that puts more responsibility for payroll directly in employees’ hands. Using Beti, employees get payroll alerts and approve their own time cards.
Giving employees responsibility for handling their own payroll errors decreases employer liability and can help some employees feel more empowered when it comes to getting paid correctly and on time. However, some employees may feel overwhelmed by the extra step, so it’s worth weighing the pros and cons (as well as your workforce’s unique needs) when deciding whether Paycom’s Beti program is right for your company.
All ADP Workforce Now plans include a global employer of record service, which multinational entities can use to pay employees in countries where they don’t have a physical location. ADP also offers international payroll through its ADP Global Payroll service. International businesses can add Global Payroll to their Workforce Now plan and pay employees in 140+ countries.
Paycom also offers a global payroll service called Global HCM. It includes employee self-service time-clock access and manager approval permissions in 180+ countries.
Benefits add-ons and administration
Both Paycom and the two most expensive ADP Workforce Now plans include benefits administration. Customers can use either software program to enable employee benefits signups and generate key benefits reports.
However, with Paycom, businesses must find employee benefits on their own, then integrate those benefits with Paycom’s platforms. With ADP, businesses can either integrate their pre-existing benefits or work with ADP’s partners to find competitive insurance and retirement plan programs for their employees.
Time and attendance
All three ADP Workforce Now plans let businesses sync with third-party time-tracking apps like WorkJam, but only the priciest Workforce Now plan comes with built-in time and attendance tools.
In contrast, Paycom’s time and attendance feature includes mobile time clock access for employees, optional physical time kiosks, biometric time-clock options, geofencing, PTO tracking and more.
Paycom and ADP Workforce Now offer similar talent management tools, such as employee self-evaluation forms, compensation management and employee surveys. However, with ADP, many talent management tools are offered as individual add-ons that aren’t automatically bundled with ADP Workforce Now’s core services.
In contrast, Paycom offers a centralized system for the entire employee journey, from applicant tracking to onboarding. Plus, Paycom’s talent management features include more automations and optional customizations, which will work better for large enterprises that want to save time compared to ADP’s slightly more templatized solution.
ADP integrates with hundreds of third-party business apps, including a variety of time-tracking, accounting, HR, benefits and compensation software products. Paycom, in contrast, integrates with next to no third-party tools. In theory, Paycom offers enough tools that it doesn’t necessarily need integrations. In practice, however, some customers might prefer a different solution than Paycom’s for just one aspect of the overall software. The lack of third-party integrations could make Paycom less appealing for customers who want a more diverse spread of tools.
- User-friendly dashboard and employee self-service portal.
- Comprehensive performance management tools.
- All-in-one software solution.
- Dedicated account manager for each client.
- No transparent online pricing.
- Potentially expensive setup costs.
- Limited third-party integrations.
ADP pros and cons
- Extensive third-party integrations.
- 24-hour customer service.
- Multiple plans and products that accommodate diverse business types.
- Four-month free trial.
- No transparent online pricing.
- Advanced HR tools limited to higher-tier packages.
- Fewer enterprise-specific tools than competitors like Paycom.
To compare Paycom and ADP, we evaluated each brand in terms of pricing, plans, HR features, payroll features, personnel management tools, customer service, overall reputation, ease of use, mobile accessibility, automations, integrations and more. To write our reviews, we test software ourselves whenever possible, view demos, speak with sales representatives and explore product specs so we can gather information about and accurately assess the products we review.
We also read verified customer reviews to consider multiple perspectives, not just our own, to write a well-rounded review. Visit our methodology page for more details on how we calculate star ratings.
Should your organization use Paycom or ADP?
If your large enterprise requires payroll and HR software with a high level of customization, Paycom is likely a better HCM solution for you than ADP.
However, if you want a more affordable HR and payroll software solution with tools that support small and large businesses alike, try ADP instead.
SEE: Hiring kit: Human resources specialist (TechRepublic Premium)
Top alternatives to ADP and Paycom
Looking for solutions comparable to ADP and Paycom? We recommend starting with one of these three payroll and HCM products.
Paycor: Top HCM alternative
- Requires a custom quote.
- Industry-specific HCM plans.
- HR, payroll, expense management, time tracking, performance management and more.
Read our Paycor review to learn more.
Paychex Flex: Top payroll software alternative
- Starts at $39/month + $5/employee.
- Payroll and HR software for midsize businesses.
- HR library, full-service payroll, hiring, onboarding and more.
Read our Paychex Flex review to learn more.
Justworks: Top PEO alternative
- Starts at $59/employee.
- Fully outsourced PEO solution for small businesses.
- Employee benefits, benefits administration, full-service payroll, time tracking (add-on feature) and more.
Read our Justworks review to learn more.
Read next: The Best Payroll Software for Your Small Business (TechRepublic)