QuickBooks Online Payroll VS ADP: Which Is Better?
|Pricing Start Point||$45/mo.+||Undisclosed|
|Ease of Use||Good||Excellent|
|Reviews & Complaints||Fair||Good|
|Hardware & Software Requirements||Excellent||Excellent|
|Best For||Mid-sized businesses and existing QuickBooks users||Mid-sized and growing smaller businesses|
|Next Steps||Visit Site
|Get A Quote
Payroll and HR software can save precious time for small business owners, but searching through a laundry list of payroll products and features may be hard to squeeze into an already busy schedule.
To help get you started, we’ll take an in-depth look at two premier payroll software apps: QuickBooks Online Payroll and payroll with ADP. We’ll break down key differences in features, pricing, customer support, as well as reviews from real small business clients for each.
Read on to find out which payroll software best fits your business needs and budget.
Table of Contents
QuickBooks Payroll VS ADP
By comparing Intuit Online Payroll vs ADP, we will highlight situations when either option may be more beneficial for small businesses. Both have solid payroll functions, but there are key differences in pricing and features to consider when evaluating ADP vs Intuit Online Payroll.
Before we examine the finer details of Intuit Online Payroll and ADP, let’s start with a general overview of each, including pros and cons.
Intuit Online Payroll Overview
QuickBooks is well-known in the small business sphere for its accounting software. When it comes to payroll, QuickBooks offers two payroll platforms — QuickBooks Intuit Online Payroll and QuickBooks Desktop Payroll — in conjunction with their corresponding accounting products.
True to its name, Intuit Online is paired with QuickBooks Online. In fact, customers must have or purchase a QuickBooks Online account to utilize Intuit Online payroll.
Overall, Intuit Online Payroll is user-friendly, especially for customers who are experienced with QuickBooks accounting services. Within the payroll software market, Intuit Online Payroll has a solid repertoire of features and several integrations. Smaller small businesses may not have need of some of the higher-level features, so it’s worth exploring the differences in QuickBooks’s three plans: Core, Premium, and Elite.
Taken in combination with QuickBooks Online, Intuit Online Payroll can streamline small business operations. Though most users express satisfaction with the platform itself, others have expressed frustration with customer support when problems arise.
- Seamless integration with QuickBooks Online
- Unlimited payroll runs at any time
- More straightforward pricing than ADP
- Reports of inexperienced customer support representatives
- Extra HR features can be costly
What is ADP payroll, anyway? Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP for short), is a leader in workplace management for companies around the world. ADP has been helping businesses run payroll since the 1940s. The global firm helps deliver payroll and HR solutions to small businesses and major corporations alike.
For that reason, the company offers multiple ADP pricing plans catering to diverse business needs. ADP Run, which is structured for companies with 1-49 employees, is the most suitable ADP package for small businesses. ADP Run has four tiers to choose from. From most basic to elaborate, they are as follows:
- Essential Plan
- Enhanced Plan
- Complete Plan
- HR Pro Plan
Across all four plans, ADP Run handles core payroll functions, including payroll processing, direct deposit, tax filing, and new hire reporting. Each plan also comes with useful HR applications, namely PTO tracking and approvals, time tracking, and assistance with workers’ compensation, retirement, and health care. An employee portal (My ADP) connects workers with these HR functions, while also giving access to their pay stub and tax information.
As a major global firm, ADP has made a name for itself in customer support on top of its cutting-edge technology. Though reviews tout how intuitive the platform is, ADP staff are on hand 24/7 for phone and live chat support. Customer service also includes user tutorials and getting started with the software.
- Easy to customize payroll between four different plans.
- 24/7 customer service
- More favorable customer reviews than Intuit Online
- Pricing is not disclosed online
- Additional fees can add up quickly
|Benefits Administration||✔︎||Complete & HR Plus plans|
|New Hire Reporting||✔︎|
|Reports||16 & option for customization||50+|
|Next Steps||Visit Site
|Get A Quote
ADP has an extensive selection of included and add-on features for its small business clients. Once the software is installed, users can quickly access all of their payroll and HR tools on the admin portal with just a couple of clicks. All four of ADP Run’s plans come with tax filing, new hire reporting, direct deposit, and thorough reporting capabilities.
Intuit Online covers all the basic functions of payroll across its three plans. The admin portal is straightforward and intuitive, aided by the fact that there are separate tabs for employees, contractors, and benefits. Similar to ADP, reporting, direct deposit, and automated tax forms are available on every plan.
With the exception of new hire reporting, Intuit Online and ADP payroll services tout a comparable selection of features. However, there are some differences in pricing and depth to be aware of before committing to either payroll starter. Let’s take a closer look at the features with the most significant disparities.
It’s important to find a payroll service that aligns with how you run your business. How and when you plan to process payroll will have different implications when it comes to choosing between ADP vs Intuit Online Payroll.
With Intuit Online Payroll, you can take advantage of unlimited payroll runs for contractors and employees. To streamline the process, users can schedule pay dates according to set pay scales and employee timesheets or hours. Alternatively, payroll can be run on the fly online or via mobile app if needed. Processing takes just a matter of minutes, and if you choose to pay by direct deposit, it’ll clear in less than 24 hours.
On the other hand, ADP charges a fee every time you run payroll. For small businesses running multiple or frequent payroll schedules, this cost can rise quickly. It’s not all bad news though — ADP makes it easy to set up individual pay rates and enroll employees to automate payroll runs. Also, ADP lets users run payroll online, by phone call, and a mobile payroll app.
Intuit Online customers can manage health benefits and 401(k) contributions for their employees on any of its three plans. However, integrating payroll services with companies besides SimplyInsured may require extra work in terms of record keeping.
ADP’s two highest tiered plans — Complete and HR Plus — automatically come with benefits administration. Small businesses with the Essential or Enhanced plan must pay additional fees for this service. Customization is a major perk with ADP, and this extends to benefits administration too. Besides retirement and health care, ADP can support more niche offerings, such as financial wellness services, tuition reimbursement, and tuition reimbursement.
In addition to taking care of basic payroll functions, both software apps integrate some level of HR tools.
Intuit Online’s most basic Core Plan does not have HR functions beyond benefits administration. However, the Premium Plan can help small businesses ensure they’re in compliance with state and federal labor laws. Their HR support center also provides resources on best practices for hiring, measuring performance, and onboarding employees. Upgrading to the Intuit Online Elite Plan grants access to a certified HR advisor through Mammoth.
Meanwhile, ADP Run has HR features available on three of its four plans. Moving up a step from the Essential Plan to the Enhanced Plan delivers a ZipRecruiter subscription and background check capabilities. ADP’s Complete and HR Pro Plans tack on even more features and resources, including training and access to a designated team of advisors through its HR HelpDesk.
Intuit Online Payroll’s transparent pricing lets small businesses easily compare the cost of all three plans. Intuit Payroll’s pricing structure of a set monthly rate plus a flat fee per employee also makes it easy to project a long-term budget. Here’s how the pricing breaks out per plan:
- Core Payroll Plan: $45/month + $4/month per employee
- Premium Payroll Plan: $75/month + $8/month per employee
- Elite Payroll: $125/month + $10/month per employee.
Intuit Payroll contracts operate on a month-to-month, and customers can end their plan at any time without paying early termination fees. Also, keep an eye out for promotional deals to give Intuit Payroll a test run before doling out your hard-earned cash. As of January 2021, QuickBooks was offering a free 30-day trial and a 50% discount off the first three months.
Although Intuit Online Payroll packs a fair number of features in each of its plans, there are additional tools and services that businesses may opt to pay extra for. Some notable examples include worker’s compensation insurance, labor law poster subscription service, and health insurance. If you pay contractors, QuickBooks can help file 1099 forms at an added cost. Also, small businesses with employees in more than one state will have to pay a multi-state processing fee.
As previously mentioned, ADP does not have set pricing for each of its plans. Instead, interested customers receive a quote based on their business, desired features, and number of employees. On ADP’s website, getting pricing for any of the ADP Run plans requires entering your business’s name, zip code, number of employees, and a contact email.
Research by the team at Merchant Maverick reports that there is generally a $20-$50 per month increase in pricing between each tier of ADP Run. Although pricing does not give ADP a competitive edge, an offer for three free months of ADP Run upon sign-up could lower the cost barrier to give it a test run.
Ease Of Use
As a time-saving tool, finding payroll software that you feel comfortable using is an important consideration too. Fortunately, both Intuit Online Payroll and ADP are well-organized and intuitive for employers and employees. However, the two payroll software apps differ in getting small businesses set up and ready to run payroll.
If you’re already experienced with QuickBooks accounting products, Intuit Online’s user interface will feel very familiar. Customers with the Core Plan can speak with a QuickBooks representative to get Intuit Online up and running. Meanwhile, designated advisors and experts can take a more hands-on approach to getting small businesses situated if they have a Premium or Elite Plan.
In the case of ADP, customers may work with a company representative to work through the payroll set-up process. This support also comes with tutorials and informational resources to guide customers through utilizing ADP Run’s various features.
Customer Service & Support
On paper, Intuit Online Payroll has comprehensive customer service and support. While working on payroll, small business customers can access forums and resources within the software itself. If that doesn’t do the trick, Intuit Online customer service representatives can be reached via email, online chat, and social media. For long-term support, there’s a Help Center with articles and guides for staying on top of payroll and HR. Despite all these avenues for assistance, customer feedback suggests that QuickBooks’ outsourced customer service is lacking in the knowledge and response time.
Over the past six decades, ADP has built its reputation on attentive and quality customer service and support. ADP customers can reach a company representative 24/7 by phone and live chat. Community forums, email, and social media are other options for advice and help too. Visual learners will appreciate the fact that ADP has its own YouTube channel with tutorials and resources to help customers make the most of their payroll processing and HR management features.
Reviews & Complaints
Intuit Online Payroll’s overall reviews are mixed. Most verge on positive as demonstrated by a 4-star review on Capterra. Specifically, small business customers have highlighted the software’s user-friendliness and onboarding assistance as major perks. Also, some reviews have applauded Intuit Online’s willingness to make upgrades to their products on a regular basis, which occur automatically on the cloud-based platform. But there are some notable trends in the negative reviews worth mentioning. For starters, small businesses have expressed dissatisfaction with QuickBooks’ customer service representatives. Other reviews describe instances involving undisclosed fees and costs for add-on features.
As a veteran provider, ADP Run has worked out many bugs and internalized customer feedback over the years. This experience has been praised in some customer reviews. Users also appreciate the round-the-clock support, multitude of features, and easy-to-use interface. On the other hand, customer complaints mention frustration with hidden fees and undisclosed pricing for its various plans. Some customers have taken issue with difficulties terminating their contract and having to request a demo from a sales representative to do a test run of the software’s interface.
When evaluating ADP vs Intuit Online Payroll for your small business, it can be helpful to consider how each software app integrates with other products you use for sales, accounting, and more.
The Intuit Online Payroll service can be integrated with more than 400 other business applications. Examples include point of sale (POS) products like Square and PayPal, as well as TSheets for time tracking and Expensify for managing expenses.
ADP can be combined with many major accounting programs, such as QuickBooks and Wave, as well as many attendance and enterprise resource applications. Since small businesses negotiate custom deals with ADP, they have been known to be accommodating with integration requests from their customers.
The Key Differences Between Intuit Online Payroll & ADP
Between features, pricing, ease of use, customer support, reviews, and integrations, there’s a lot to think about when deciding between ADP vs Intuit Online Payroll. Let’s review some of the main distinctions between these payroll software apps.
- Customer Service & Support: ADP has a dedicated team of customer support specialists across the country who can answer questions by phone or chat 24/7. While it’s possible to get a hold of an Intuit Online customer service representative around the clock, they do not have a specific payroll extension line nor a reputation for expert assistance.
- Human Resources: Both ADP and Intuit Online offer HR features on all but their most basic plans. ADP includes a ZipRecruiter membership and background checks with its Enhanced Plan, as well as a dedicated team of HR advisors with the Complete and HR Pro plans. Intuit Online has an HR support center with informational resources for its top two plans, though only the Elite Plan provides the assistance of an HR advisor.
- Payroll Processing: Both payroll apps cover basic payroll functions like direct deposit and tax filing. The main difference is that Intuit Online supports unlimited, same-day payroll runs, whereas ADP charges each time you do payroll.
- Pricing Structure: Pricing for all three Intuit Online plans is straightforward. You’ll pay a set rate for each plan plus a flat fee for every employee on the payroll. Conversely, ADP does not advertise their pricing. Instead, prospective customers must reach out for a quote and negotiate their own contract.
Which Is Best For My Business Needs: ADP Or QuickBooks Online Payroll?
Both payroll platforms have helped millions of small business customers. Yet, not every small business has the same payroll and HR needs or budget. Let’s look into some cases when each software could be a better solution for small businesses.
Choose Intuit Online Payroll If…
- You have a mid-size business
- You already use QuickBooks accounting products, particularly QuickBooks Online, and would like to use QuickBooks Payroll online as well
- You want to run payroll frequently for your employees.
Choose ADP If…
- You have a mid-size or growing small business
- You want a customized payroll and HR package that can integrate with other apps and software.
- You need the help of more experienced HR advisors
QuickBooks Payroll VS ADP Comparison: The Final Verdict
Intuit Online gives small businesses options to customize any of its three plans to their needs with add-on features and plentiful integrations. Other benefits include unlimited payroll runs and recent upgrades to benefits administration. The requirement to purchase a QuickBooks Online subscription may be a make-or-break scenario depending on your preference for accounting software. Compared to ADP, Intuit Online has received more negative reviews, especially regarding customer service. Smaller businesses looking for a more streamlined payroll solution may prefer the pricing and stripped-down nature of Gusto or Square.
ADP Run is easily customized and integrated with other software on any of its four plans. Beyond its full-service payroll processing, ADP stands out for its reporting and analytics, HR support, and customer service. ADP’s main drawback is undisclosed pricing for any of its plans or add-on features. Some businesses may not have much use for high-level HR features, making it hard to justify the anticipated higher. Also, the uncertainty of negotiating a price — plus hidden fees — may make this payroll solution a bad fit for smaller businesses