Benefits and Insights

Why use ADP RUN?

Key differentiators & advantages of ADP RUN

  • Ensure Compliance: Ensure Compliance: ADP provides services that handle filing and paying your company’s taxes. And users can stay on top of overtime by managing schedules and checking worker classifications. The system also comes with support for state unemployment insurance and garnishments.
  • Save Time: The platform automates a number of processes, including payroll and onboarding admin tasks.
  • Create an Employee Handbook: With built-in tools for creating and maintaining an employee handbook, you can keep employees informed about compliance issues and company standards. 
  • Go Digital: A document vault removes the need for physical paperwork and provides digital storage for company and employee documents. It also includes a library of templates with best practices. 
  • Provide Retirement Planning for Employees: With this add-on, ADP works with your company to create retirement plans — 401(k) and SIMPLE IRA — you can offer to employees.. 
  • Offer Employee Self-Service: ADP RUN allows employees to access their information, such as benefits, retirement details and pay stubs. 
  • Receive HR Support: ADP RUN can seamlessly integrate with ADP’s HR solution to provide you with support from experts, toolkits and training, checkups, and legal assistance. You can access resources related to healthcare compliance, HR documents, state and federal forms, and pages for tracking employee information. You can also offer training courses on topics such as sales and sexual harassment. 

Industry Expertise

ADP RUN is suitable for small businesses across many fields, such as hospitality and restaurant, healthcare, retail, financial services, and manufacturing. It currently has a client base of over 500,000 customers.

Key Features

  • Payroll: The software streamlines payroll activities. You can review employee hours, edit information like rates and bonuses, and preview the payroll to see how much the current pay period will cost. This module has a general ledger as well, and you can export entries into popular accounting apps like Xero and QuickBooks. 
  • ADP Insurance Agency: Through this add-on, ADP offers a team of licensed professionals that aid you in choosing the types of insurance your company needs. Options include workers’ comp, auto insurance, business owner’s policy (BOP), liability insurance, group health insurance and more. The service also provides integration between workers’ comp and payroll. This facilitates a premium pay program and provides access to certificates of insurance. 
  • Mobile Solutions: Apps for ADP RUN are available for iOS and Android devices, giving users secure access from anywhere. The apps support clock and clock out via mobile timecards as well as the ability to process payroll. 
  • Hiring and Onboarding: The platform connects with ZipRecruiter to facilitate posting jobs to more than 100 job boards, and a wizard enables you to build job descriptions. ADP RUN supports the onboarding process with background check functionality. The New Hire Onboarding module allows employees to complete paperwork and set up their account details like direct deposit before starting their first day of work. 
  • Reporting: This feature consists of custom reports related to profiles, payroll, PTO and deductions. Drag-and-drop functionality lets you easily arrange the fields in the report, and filters allow you to choose only the data you need. You can export reports in CSV, PDF or Excel formats. 

In-Depth Review

The right technology makes the difference between a successful company and a struggling one. Good payroll software is fundamental for any business, so finding the right one is imperative. That’s why we’ve compiled the mother of all ADP RUN reviews so you can analyze if it meets your business needs.

Why does financial technology matter so much? Well, according to the Small Business Taxation Survey by the NSBA, one in three small businesses takes over 80 hours—two weeks of work—to sort through taxes. While there are several options on the market, a comprehensive solution requires a vendor with the experience and resources to accommodate complex needs.

That’s why we’re breaking down RUN Powered by ADP. So what is ADP RUN? Is ADP RUN easy to use? Is it the best choice for your company? Read on for more.

What This Review Covers

What is ADP?

Automatic Data Processing, founded in 1949, first became a major industry player in the 1950s to 1970s and is now one of the largest providers of HR solutions with more than 500,000 customers and 24 million employees.

The company offers a wide range of compensation and HR products for small, mid-sized and large businesses. Besides its proprietary software, the company also partners up with other vendors to provide accounting, private equity and other services.

Even though new providers pop up every year, ADP maintains its status as an important figure in the financial market.

Why Use RUN Powered by ADP

RUN Powered by ADP fits businesses with fewer than 50 employees. Many larger companies have the personnel to sort out IRS issues and fill out forms, but that’s not always an option for small businesses. Luckily, with the help of providers like RUN, it’s easy to automate and save time.

Industry Expertise

RUN tries to make payroll processing straightforward, so businesses can focus on their day-to-day operations. It meets many of the key requirements that payroll solutions need to be effective.

What makes the platform a popular option is how it makes paying workers and tax compliance simpler and more efficient.

It serves multiple industries including:
  • Construction
  • Education
  • Financial Market
  • Government
  • Health Care
  • Hospitality
  • Manufacturing
  • Nonprofit
  • Professional Services
  • Restaurants
  • Retail
  • Social Services
  • Technical Services

Key Features Review

While RUN comes with a hefty price tag, the robust functions and intuitive interface make it a worthwhile choice if you can afford it. But does it have what your organization is looking for?

Below we go through the most critical components of this payroll software and why they matter to your business.

1. Payroll Processing

RUN’s delivery is simple and gets payments out on time. Multiple payment options allow companies to pay workers with prepaid Visa cards, direct deposit or ADP check.

The application also supports check signing. Checks can get signed by a company representative or an ADP officer through TotalPay. It has 10 fraud protection features. The general ledger interface can export journal entries from the system into integrations such as Creative Solutions, QuickBooks, Xero, Wave and more.

2. Taxes

About 30 million people-—21 percent of U.S. taxpayers likely owed the IRS in 2019, according to the Government Accountability Office. Making accurate payments a matter of financial life or death.

That’s why it’s convenient that the system automatically calculates and withdraws taxes from paychecks. This ensures that payroll, benefits, retirement, taxes and deductions get deposited, filed and reconciled automatically.

It handles federal, state and local tax filing, helps reduce mistakes and follow regulations. The software also creates and sends both W-2 and 1099 forms so they’re filled out on time.

If errors occur, ADP pays any fines or penalties and responds to agency questions. In addition, it monitors worker classification to create/manage schedules and alert supervisors when people are close to overtime.

3. User Interface

Many say the interface is easy to navigate. Through the employee access function, users can sign in, view payment history and see as much as three years of tax documents, W-2s and 1099s. It displays administrators’ tasks, in order of priority, on the home page. People can also manage retirement accounts and enroll in paperless statements.

4. Compatibility

RUN works on a variety of systems and devices. It’s officially supported on Windows and Mac and also works on Linux. As for other devices, it works across mobile—iOS and Android—tablets, desktops and laptops.

5. Reporting

Users get quick access to this section, where they can make packets of info regarding their payroll, HR, new hires and other custom options. HR professionals can view, assess, customize and print reports.

6. Cloud-Based

Since the tech is a cloud-based or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution, small businesses reap many benefits without the extensive costs of an on-premise implementation. Administrators have the option of subscribing to the service and starting without IT infrastructure or a long-term commitment.

Data is accessible from anywhere over many devices. However, self-hosting is not an option. Users can see paycheck details, 401(k) data and much more. It’s good for when you need control over every aspect of your money at a moment’s notice.

7. HR Management

It comes with built-in HR tools. It doesn’t matter that your business is small, companies still can quickly access and analyze data and generate custom reports. It also improves the efficiency of HR processes by transferring all data to the cloud, allowing them to go paperless.

It keeps track of compliance issues, creates handbooks, offers a centralized, searchable library of company documents and more. The document library provides a place to access important HR forms, checklists, policy collateral and best-practice documents.

Employee handbooks provide a guide to a company’s expectations of its employees. HR tracking includes overviews of employee development and performance, deep understanding of the business and assigned property. ADP also has a full suite of HR solutions for companies looking for robust HR management software.

8. Hiring

SMBs face many challenges when hiring, especially considering how difficult it can be to find a qualified candidate. This could be very stressful for the entire organization, so it’s essential to use every available tool to streamline the process as much as possible. The built-in HR services help manage the team.

It integrates with the ZipRecruiter job hunting tool, which allows users to find candidates without leaving the dashboard. The integration creates a smarter way to find top talent by posting job listings to hundreds of prominent job boards. It scans millions of active resumes, finds the best fit and reaches out to them.

9. Onboarding

The system’s onboarding capabilities remove the pain of filing the paperwork when a new worker—whether full-time, part-time or contractor—joins the team. By getting it completed before the start date, prospective employees don’t have to waste time sorting through papers. It takes care of the whole process, complying with federal and state requirements, access finances and HR and completing common tax forms like W-2s and 1099s.

10. Time and Attendance

ADP’s time and attendance feature — an add-on that integrates with RUN — offers accounting and other payroll service providers an easy way to ensure compliance and make recording hours simpler. The reporting functionality combined with the ability to store accurately reduces the risk of wage and hour disparities.

The interface allows people to clock in and out online, at a time clock or with mobile time cards, which can be a huge timesaver. As a web-based application, it also simplifies time off requests by removing manual labor, increasing efficiency and reducing errors.

11. Integrations

ADP programs integrate with many other human resource products, including popular accounting software such as Xero, Wave and QuickBooks. Because of the integration options, exporting and sharing data between systems is much more straightforward. Check with ADP to ensure these products are compatible with your systems.

Here is a list of some programs that integrate with ADP:
  • Benefits Administration: BerniePortal, Employee Navigator, Flock and PlanSource
  • Employee Benefits: Core ID, LifeMart, LoanGifting, MeYou Health, PayActiv, and SmartDollar
  • ERP: FinancialForce, Infor, Oracle, SAP SuccessFactors and Workday
  • LMS: Cornerstone, Grovo, SAP Litmos and Mastery Training Services
  • POS: Aloha, Clover, MICROS, POSiTouch, other ADP programs, Revel, Toast and Upserve
  • Productivity and Collaboration: Docufree, Microsoft Teams, Miller Heiman Group, OrgChart Now, Pingboard, Slack and Workplace by Facebook
  • Recruiting/Onboarding: Avionté, ClearCompany, iCIMS, Jobvite, talentReef, TempWorks, TextRecruit and ZipRecruiter
  • Time and Attendance: ClockShark, Deputy, Dolce, Homebase, MakeShift and TSheets

12. Setup Wizards

RUN has several setup wizards. This includes the Company Setup Wizard, the New Hire Wizard, the Prior Payroll Amounts Wizard and the Employee Handbook Wizard.

The Company Setup Wizard walks HR pros through entering company information and setting up necessary pages. The Prior Payroll Amounts Wizard adds previous payroll information. Users will lose access if they don’t complete this before processing the first payroll.

The New Hire Wizard creates employees and contractors in the system. The Employee Handbook Wizard creates professional worker handbooks following federal laws. Many users find the various wizards to be unwieldy. Skip to the pros and cons section to learn more.

13. Other Features

Other features of RUN Powered by ADP include:
  • Background Checks: Administrators can conduct background checks in the current country of the applicant. It includes a criminal background check, SSN validation and more.
  • Benefits: The tech handles health insurance, workers’ compensation, retirement planning, 401(k), IRAs and other benefits.
  • Discounts: Employees get discounts for local and national brands/retailers.
  • State Unemployment Insurance: It handles state unemployment insurance by reviewing the account for errors and auditing the SUI experience rate (tax rate). They’ll also communicate with agencies in any state where users pay unemployment insurance.
  • Security: RUN follows ISO 9001:2015 and ISO/IEC 27001:2013 standards. This means it follows statutory & global regulatory requirements and has processes in place to keep data confidential and safe.

Pricing Packages

RUN offers four main pricing packages with different functionalities. It’s priced by payroll run rather than per user. The platform offers a three-month free trial to businesses that meet terms and conditions. Before users buy, it’s important to check which add-ons are essential and how that affects the price.

Essential: Payroll

This pricing package is best for small companies, startups and anyone who needs their basic financial bases covered. Scroll up for more information about them.

Note: This version does not have ZipRecruiter.

  • Employee Access
  • Devices (Mobile, Tablet, PC and Other)
  • Direct Deposit
  • Discounts for Employees
  • Federal and State Reports
  • General Ledger Interface
  • New Hire Reports
  • Onboarding
  • HR Reports
  • Payroll Delivery/Functionality
  • Reporting
  • Tax Filing
  • W-2s and 1099s

Enhanced: Payroll

The enhanced package has more advanced capabilities for small businesses that need more flexibility in payroll and HR operations. Refer back to the previous section for more information.

Features include:
  • Background Checks
  • Check Security
  • Check Signing
  • State Unemployment Insurance (SUI)
  • ZipRecruiter

Complete: Payroll & HR Plus

The Complete package offers compensation, advanced HR management and previous functionality. It's good for companies with larger budgets that need more flexibility and HR capabilities in their software.

Features include:
  • Employee Handbook Wizard: It builds an employee handbook so workers understand their roles better.
  • HR HelpDesk: Allows access via phone and email to a support team of HR pros.
  • HR Forms and Document: Administrators can create best practices documents, checklists, other HR forms and policies.
  • HR Tracking: Lets users track worker info like performance, assigned property and other reporting options.
  • HR Training and Toolkits: It helps companies with HR duties like hiring and termination. Provides comprehensive guidelines, forms, documents, best practices and policies.

HR Pro: Payroll & HR

Besides everything else, it has additional assets for finances and HR tasks along with additional company perks.

Features include:
  • Employer and Employee Trainings: It has courses about HR, keeping records, sales and sexual/workplace harassment.
  • Enhanced Employee Handbook Support: Users get extra help to create a company handbook.
  • Enhanced HR HelpDesk Support: Users can connect with HR professionals who can answer questions or schedule a lengthier check-in.
  • Legal Assistance from LegalShield: LegalShield, a third-party service, gives users access to legal services. This includes advice on debt, employment and reviewing contracts.
  • Sexual Harassment Prevention Training: Training and policies designed with legislative requirements in mind regarding sexual harassment.

Pros and Cons

Now that we’ve gone through the main aspects of RUN, let’s recall the main benefits and drawbacks of the software.


  • 24/7 Customer Service: RUN offers phone and online support to ensure the speedy resolution of issues. In reviews, users say customer service is polite, knowledgeable and effective.
  • Automated Tax Filing: Companies can leave all their taxes to RUN. They don’t have to worry about filing on time. Instead, they can trust experienced professionals to handle it.
  • Easy to Use: The platform is easy to navigate and use. 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 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.


  • Add-Ons Get Expensive: Not all functionalities are available in the main application. Add-ons for extra capabilities can get expensive fast.
  • Costly Upgrades: It’s relatively expensive and upgrading from one tier to the next isn’t always seamless. It’s not the most affordable for companies with many pay cycles per month. Other payroll options offer similar functions and cost less.
  • Difficult/Limited Functionality: Some issues include:
    • Users can’t edit payroll after submission
    • No feature for escalating to supervisors
    • Hard to remove workers hired to cover during vacations
    • No unlimited payroll runs
    • No option to create multiple paychecks for one person during the pay cycle.
  • Difficult Password Reset: When employees forget their password, the administrator needs to call ADP. This could mean not seeing a pay stub for several days if the error happens near the weekend.
  • Implementation Woes: The platform can be hard to set up because customer service has flaws. Some reviewers have reported poor communication when working through implementation issues. However, some say that after setup, it’s easy to use and potential hurdles are worth the trouble.
  • Slow or Non-Responsive Customer Service: Customer service is ultimately helpful, but many users get frustrated by long wait times. After all, any issue regarding money may be a serious one.
  • Reporting Isn’t Sophisticated Enough: As mentioned before, customization is lacking. Most would expect more versatility to match other reporting options available today.

The Bottom Line

Overall, RUN is a solid choice for small businesses that want an efficient and versatile solution. It handles basic payroll management, seamlessly integrates with other applications and is easy to use after implementation. The automation of payroll, taxes, benefits and more is a huge help to small businesses.

While there are drawbacks—such as the mediocre customer support, problematic implementation and features that lack functionality—RUN’s solid track record still puts it ahead of many alternatives.

As long as you remember that some add-ons are expensive, create a strategy and implementation plan for your company’s finances, and make sure it fulfills all requirements, RUN Powered by ADP could be an appropriate system for your organization.

RUN Powered by ADP Suite Support

ADP’s product support is split into two categories — one for administrators and one for employees. Each section contains FAQs with short answers to common problems. Examples include 1099 and W-2 errors, password resets, technical issues and more. Administrators communicate with the small business client support staff given at the time of subscription.
Users can also access additional resources like a salary and retirement calculator, earning CPE credits at their webinars and events and other compliance resources. The support staff addresses questions about finances, benefits and other HR administration info and errors or access problems with W-2s and 1099s.

mail_outlineEmail: In lieu of email support, ADP offers live chat on the website’s customer service page.
phonePhone: The main customer service support number is +1 (844) 227-5237. Assistance is available for employees by choosing option 1. Administrator support is available by choosing option 2.
schoolTraining: Training topics come in three formats: e-learning, webinars and classroom. On-site training availability varies from region and country, so users should check to see if there are courses in their area. It also offers general online courses for HR record keeping, salespeople and sexual harassment.
schoolTickets and Live Chat: It’s unclear if there is a ticketing system used in support. There is a live chat on the website’s customer service page.

ADP RUN Reviews

Average customer reviews & user sentiment summary:

1158 reviews


of users would recommend this product

Synopsis of User Ratings and Reviews

Based on an aggregate of reviews taken from the sources above, the following pros & cons have been curated by a SelectHub Market Analyst.


  • Easy to Use: A whopping 80% of reviewers found the system very easy to use, learn and implement.
  • Excellent Customer Service: Users found the customer service to be friendly, helpful and polite in just under 50% of the reviews.
  • Adequate Features: Reviewers were satisfied with the features in just under 40% of the posts and especially enjoyed the reporting, tax calculation and submission and the time and attendance features.
  • Efficient Payroll Processing: Between 30% and 40% of reviewers specifically discussed the accuracy and speed of the payroll processes.
  • Fair Price: In around 30% of the reviews, users felt that the price was fair for the functionality they received.


  • Some Lacking Features: While most were satisfied with the features, over 20% noted problems with integrations among other complaints.
  • Slow Turnaround for Support: Though most found the customer service helpful, about 20% said they took a long time to respond to tickets.
  • Set Up and Onboarding: Setting up the software and onboarding new employees is confusing and difficult, according to 58% of users who mentioned that the process left a lot to be desired.
  • Hidden Fees: Many liked the base price but about 20% of reviews complained about unexpected fees.
  • Communication Issues: Over 10% reported having issues communicating with the company itself.

Researcher's Summary:

RUN Powered by ADP is a common solution used by many in the payroll industry. Most users like it because it’s easy to use, makes payroll an automated process and helps tax calculation and submission. As an ADP product, it’s also scalable and can be scaled up into larger enterprise solutions as the need arises. It has most of the features users are looking for including tax forms, direct deposit, reporting and integrations with recruiting apps. However, this has been noted by several to be best for small businesses, as larger ones will need more complex functionality. Look out for things that aren’t included in the base price. This could be a good choice for smaller organizations looking to automate their payroll for the first time or switch from a faulty product.

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