ADP Run Review


There are several payroll processing options available on the market, but that payroll software solutions list gets much shorter once you start looking into full-service payroll providers. Finding the most comprehensive solutions usually requires you to look at vendors with enough experience and resources to accommodate the complex needs of today’s businesses. One vendor that meets all of these requirements is ADP Run.

ADP provides a few different payroll solutions that are tailored to businesses of differing sizes, and the ADP Run payroll processing software holds its place as one of the top solutions on the market.

ADP Run is a payroll software that brings tax and HR management solutions that are more advanced than many of its competitors. Run by ADP provides an intuitive and straightforward way to manage advanced payroll tasks while maintaining affordability.

A convenient method of managing your payroll and taxes is critical. According to the 2017 Small Business Taxation Survey by the NSBA, one in three small businesses spend more than 80 hours — more than two weeks of work — trying to sort through their federal and payroll taxes.

Many larger companies have payroll personnel that help sort out most tax issues and fill out the forms. But if you’re a small business, that’s not always an option.

Luckily, with the help of full-service payroll providers such as ADP Run, you can automate a large part of the process.

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Is ADP a Reliable Company?

Even though new payroll management solution providers pop up every year, ADP maintains its status as one of the top options available.

ADP, or Automatic Data Processing, has grown from a small payroll processing firm in the 1950s to one of the largest providers of HR solutions in the world. Ranked number 240 on the Fortune 500 list, ADP processes the payroll of one in every six US workers.

The company offers a wide range of payroll and HRMS products, tailoring unique solutions to small businesses, mid-sized businesses, large businesses and multinational corporations. In addition to ADP’s proprietary solutions, the company also partners up with other vendors to provide accounting, benefits administration and other services.

Besides offering an impressive range of payroll software solutions, ADP provides tax filing services for businesses that want to outsource the process. However, due in part to the enormous size of ADP, some companies report a poor customer service experience. The main complaint is a lack of personal contact with their clients.

While the support sites for employees have many resources, including troubleshooting guides, links to related issues and FAQs, some ADP customers report problems with the support system, such as long waiting times and billing issues.

But while it’s likely that many of the reported issues are genuine, it’s important to take them with a grain of salt. Users are always much keener on sharing negative experiences than boasting of positive ones. And when talking about a company that’s as large as ADP, it’s only natural that some customers won’t be satisfied.

In the end, as far as the reliability of ADP goes, it’s important to look beyond a few poor customer service experiences and see the bigger picture. Doing so shows ADP as one of the top players on the market with excellent projections for the future.

What is ADP Run?

The primary purpose of payroll software is to make payroll processing as seamless and straightforward as possible, so businesses can focus on their day-to-day operations instead of payroll issues.

ADP Run falls into the category of Payroll Software, as well as Tax Processing and Workforce Management. It’s specifically tailored to fit the needs of small businesses that operate with fewer than 50 employees.

What makes ADP Run such a popular option is its ability to make payroll and tax compliance simpler, allowing users to implement an efficient payroll processing system while automating much of the process.

Since ADP Run is a cloud-based solution, it allows small businesses to reap numerous benefits without the extensive costs that come with installing an on-premise solution. Users can simply subscribe to the service and start using it without the need for IT infrastructure or a long-term commitment.

An added benefit of ADP Run’s cloud-based deployment is that it’s very accessible. The data is accessible from anywhere at any time, with a mobile device. Users can instantly see paycheck details, 401k data and much more, which can be a powerful tool when you need full control over every aspect of payroll at a moment’s notice.

ADP Run also integrates with many other human resource products, including popular accounting software solutions such as Xero, Creative Solutions and QuickBooks. Because of the seamless integration options, exporting and sharing data between systems is much more straightforward.

Additionally, the software comes with some built-in HR tools. With these tools, it doesn’t matter how many employees your small business has — the company can still reap the benefits of the ability to quickly access and analyze data and generate custom reports. ADP also greatly improves the efficiency of HR processes by transferring all of a business’ data to the cloud, allowing them to go paperless.

Key Features of ADP Run

While it must be said that Run does come with a hefty price tag, the robust features and intuitive interface make it a very worthwhile choice if you can afford it. But what specific features does ADP Run bring? Well, below we go through the most critical aspects of the software solution, and why they matter to your business.

Seamless Payroll Processing

One of the biggest reasons why small businesses love ADP Run is that it’s designed specifically with small businesses in mind. That means that the functionality, as well as the usability, are catered to the needs of a small enterprise, providing clear-cut tools that don’t require a lengthy and costly implementation process.

With ADP Run, users can quickly enter employee hours worked, including information about sick days, vacations and overtime if necessary. It’s also easy to customize the frequency of paychecks according to individual preferences, allowing for weekly, biweekly or monthly payment schedules.

There are also multiple payment options so that companies can pay employees with their preferred method. ADP Run allows users to process payments through direct deposit, prepaid VISA cards or even ADPCheck.

After everything is set up, the only thing left is a quick checkup with the preview function so the payroll process can get started. ADP Run’s system immediately withdraws taxes when the payroll is processed so that they can be paid as soon as they’re due.

If you opt for the W-2 add-on (available for an additional fee), ADP Run will even send out the W-2 form at the end of the year for each employee, which helps ensure that it’s filled out on time.

ADP can handle all federal, state and local tax filings, helping users dramatically reduce the number of mistakes made when filing taxes. This can be a game changer, as filing taxes correctly is one of the most important aspects of a business running smoothly.

According to the 2013 Internal Revenue Service Data Book, the IRS issued 6.8 million penalties for the incorrect filing of payroll taxes in the year 2013, which amounted to a total of $4.5 billion. When you consider the potential cost of making errors when filing taxes, the possibility of investing in a comprehensive solution like ADP Run becomes much more appealing.

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ADP Run provides its users quick access to the report section, where they can choose from a wide range of reports about payroll, benefits, taxes and others. It’s relatively easy to generate reports such as payroll summaries, earnings records, earnings by department, timecard comparisons and tax withholding reporting options such as deduction summaries and retirement contributions.

Users can customize many of the reports, choosing date ranges or employee sorting options that present only the most relevant data. These customized reports can then be quickly exported into an Excel format, where additional customization is possible.

However, as far as reporting goes, ADP Run has some significant drawbacks. Compared to some of its main competitors, its features have fallen behind what today’s top reporting solutions can offer. According to multiple user reports, the special reports functionality is quite limited. This restricts the amount of information that you can combine into one report, which diminishes their usefulness. Some users even report that ADP Run’s entire reporting system is quite outdated and can’t offer some of the features that are necessary for comprehensive reporting tools in 2018.

Another problem with ADP Run’s reporting is its complexity. The reports wizard is quite hard to use, and thus the limited customization that’s possible can’t always be fully utilized because users have a hard time figuring it out.

Automated Time and Attendance

According to the 2012 Data Capture for Accounts Payable Report by PayStream Advisors, around 47% of accounts payable professionals consider manual processes to be their biggest challenge. An efficient way to manage and track automated time and attendance can be a complete game changer, and ADP has lengthy experience in the market. This experience results in solutions that simplify compliance, optimize labor costs and improve overall productivity.

ADP Time and Attendance — which integrates with RUN — offers accounting and other payroll service providers an easy way to ensure compliance and make the process of recording employee hours simpler. What’s more, the audit reporting functionality combined with the ability to store accurate time and attendance data greatly reduces the risk of wage and hour disparities.

In addition, ADP Run provides users with complete control over all of the important dates in the schedule. This allows them to quickly access and track employee information and develop a centralized database of employee and company documents.

The convenient interface allows your employees to either clock in and out online or use mobile time cards, which can be a huge time saver for both employees and managers. As a web-based system, it also simplifies time off requests by removing a lot of the manual labor in the process, increasing efficiency and reducing the possibility of errors.

Hiring Made Easier

SMBs face many challenges when hiring, especially considering how difficult it can be to find a qualified candidate, not to mention persuading him to join the company. This process can be very taxing and stressful for the entire organization, so it’s essential to utilize every available tool in order to streamline it as much as possible.

ADP Run integrates with the ZipRecruiter online employment marketplace, which allows users to quickly discover prospective employees without leaving ADP Run’s dashboard. This integration creates a smarter way to find and hire top talent by posting job listings to more than a hundred of the web’s most prominent job boards. Using ZipRecruiter’s smart matching technology, users can instantly scan millions of active resumes and find those that are the best fit, notifying them to apply to the job listing.

The benefits of ADP Run don’t end there. The New Hire Onboarding removes a lot of the pain of filing paperwork when a new employee joins the team. Everything can be filled out in the system before they start so that users don’t have to waste the first few days sorting through papers.

How Flexible are the Packages?

ADP Run offers three main packages, allowing businesses to choose one based on their budget and individual requirements. But what do each of these packages offer? Let’s take a look.

Essential Payroll

The first option, Essential Payroll, is the most basic of the three, offering only the core functionality of ADP Run. Here are some of the main features:

Basic Payroll Processing

Essential Payroll provides basic payroll processing, allowing users to run payroll online, by phone or even through the mobile payroll app.

Direct Deposit

There is also a direct deposit option which allows for a quick, safe and efficient way to automatically pay employees.

Time and Attendance

With the essential package, users can utilize time and attendance features that help improve the accuracy and efficiency of logging employee hours.

Tax Filing

This package also comes with the tax filing tools that make it easy to calculate, file and deposit all of the taxes related to payroll.

Enhanced Payroll

The Enhanced Payroll package comes with a few of the more advanced features that provide small businesses with more flexibility in their payroll and HR operations.

Some of the more prominent features include a check mailing option, the ability to pay employees with reloadable Visa prepaid debit cards as well as ADP-managed unemployment insurance and wage garnishments.

Complete Payroll + HR

The Complete Payroll + HR package offers all of the above functionality, as well as some robust features that make it a perfect choice for companies that want to have all the tools to make their payroll operations run smoothly.

With this package, ADP Run provides applicant tracking services, offers up to 5 single-country criminal background checks per year and enables companies to move towards a completely cloud-based document management system, eliminating the need for paper.

Companies that choose Complete Payroll + HR also get access to extensive ADP resources such as HR newsletters, which help to always stay ahead of any new developments regarding best practices and compliance needs.

Overall Advantages and Disadvantages

Now that we’ve gone through the main aspects of what ADP Run has to offer, let’s recap all of the main benefits and drawbacks of the software.


24/7 Customer Service

ADP Run offers phone support that’s available 24/7 to ensure that any questions or issues can be resolved quickly.

Automated Tax Filing

Companies can leave all of their tax filing to ADP Run. They don’t have to worry about what taxes need to be filed at what time, as they can trust that it’ll be handled by experienced professionals.

Easy to Use

For the most part, ADP Run is easy to navigate and use. Users can quickly set up things like wage garnishments and deductions or track hours, holiday pay and much more. It’s designed with small businesses in mind, so the learning curve is relatively small, as the system is intuitive and easy to navigate.

Multiple Reports

Although there are issues with report customization, the built-in reports are solid and easy to generate. They’re convenient to view online or to export as a PDF or Excel file.


Slow Customer Service

While the customer service is available at any time, numerous users have reported that it’s far from perfect. Long wait times are a problem for ADP that many users say needs to be addressed. After all, when dealing with payroll solutions, any issue may be a serious one.

Reports That are Difficult to Customize

As mentioned a couple of times before, the report customization functionality is lacking. Most users would expect more versatile functionality to match up with some of the other reporting solutions available today. The customization offered by ADP Run is quite restrictive, allowing few possibilities to combine information into a single report.

Expensive and Complex Setup

ADP Run is probably not the most affordable solution out there, especially for companies that run numerous pay cycles per month. It can also be quite hard to set up because, as we mentioned earlier its customer service isn’t as good as it could be. Some users report poor communication and even attempts at upselling when working through implementation issues. However, it must be said that once the software is correctly set up, it becomes quite easy to use. In other words, the potential implementation hurdles are almost always worth the trouble in the end.

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The Bottom Line

Overall, ADP Run is a solid choice for small businesses that want an efficient and versatile payroll solution that comes with extensive features. It seamlessly integrates with other applications and is easy to use once the implementation process is done.

And while there are drawbacks like mediocre customer support, problematic implementation and some features that have fallen behind, ADP Run’s solid track record still puts it ahead of most alternatives.

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Join the conversation
  • Monte Mahon - August 11, 2019 reply

    Does the company offer seminars utilizing software and data input?

    Zachary Totah - August 20, 2019 reply

    Hi Monte, thanks for reaching out. Just to clarify, are you asking if ADP hosts seminars where you can learn about using their software and inputting data?

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