Do the complicated details involved in payroll make you sweat? When you're paying employees, you have to take into account wages, overtime, salary, bonuses, and benefits. You have to withhold the correct tax amounts and benefit account amounts from each paycheck. Doing so incorrectly can get you in serious trouble.
This is why payroll management software was invented. These systems use technology to automate your weekly payroll, tax reporting, and quarterly tax filing. Many also allow your employees to log in and view their payment history and a breakdown of their paychecks.
Two popular options for small business owners are Paychex and ADP. Both of these have pricing structures based around the available features and number of employees involved. Since the systems get more expensive with additional employees, they're best for people with just a handful of workers being paid.
There are some differences between the two systems in terms of ease of use, third party integrations, and available plans. I've taken a look at the options to give you an idea of what to expect.
Overview of Paychex and ADP
Unique Paychex Features
Unique ADP Features
Paychex has solutions that are available to use through your web browser or through a mobile app. Solutions can be downloaded for both iOS and Android. The company specializes in payroll services, but it also provides software for the following:
If you get a full suite that uses all of these software options, you'll have an integrated system that allows you to manage every aspect of your small business from employees to income to future planning.
You can browse specific solutions by the size of your business:
Solutions can also be browsed by industry or company role:
ADP's resources are typically geared toward mobile users. Though they also tend to focus mostly on payroll services, they too have a wide range of available solutions. Some of the available categories include:
There's also a list of third party integrations that work with the software alongside an app marketplace to let you further customize your solutions.
You can browse solutions by business size or industry. There are no self-employed solutions. However, there are options for:
The industries served include:
Paychex comes out ahead because the available solutions can be integrated into a full business management system. There are also self-employed solutions. Also ideal are the solutions specifically made for different financial professionals. If you want solutions optimized for a specific industry, though, ADP has you covered.
These plan options are related to the payroll services alone, rather than breaking down every single available program. The pricing structure for other solutions tends to be similar.
You'll be given an exact pricing quote for small business payroll services based on your business needs and the number of employees you have.
There are two main plans for small business owners.
The first is a standard package. This comes with all the basics of automatic payment processing. You can choose from three different options for pay entry, and there's a gridded view that allows fast data entry. Also included is automatic tax payment and filing along with 24/7 support service.
With a premium option for small businesses, you can add services including:
Paychex small business solutions are geared toward businesses with one to nine employees.
Their other payroll packages are rolled into solutions for midsized to enterprise businesses. This means anywhere from ten to 5,000 employees. Like small businesses, these solutions have both standard and premium options.
ADP generates exact pricing quotes for payroll software based on your location, number of employees, and company itself. You'll be emailed a specific price.
Small business payroll plans include:
➦ Essential is optimized for established businesses and startups that only need payroll automation basics. With Essential, you can give wage garnishment payments and have labor law posters printed.
➦ Complete has integrated HR features including an HR Help Desk, background checks, and employee handbooks.
➦ HR Pro comes with even more HR-related options and employee perks including employee discount programs, training seminars, work-life employee assistance programs, and legal assistance.
ADP also offers midsized to enterprise solutions bundled into one system. The main one is full service payroll, which can be integrated with other ADP products.
ADP has more variety in the available plans, which makes it good for those who want to purchase only what they need without any of the unnecessary extras.
Pros and Cons of Paychex
Pros and Cons of ADP
Final Thoughts: Which Is Better?
Both of these are good payroll options that can work for small and medium business owners. They offer assistance with taxes, automatically withhold necessary amounts, allow you to set up employee benefits, send out employee paychecks, and store important information regarding each employee's earnings.
ADP is best for people who have previous experience using payroll software. It's designed to integrate with a number of different employee management and HR software systems. The pricing varies widely depending on the features you want and the number of employees you have.
Paychex is a better choice for people who want the easiest and most convenient available option. The interface is much easier for beginners to use, and the import and export options have been streamlined. In addition, the reporting options tend to be more customizable and easier to use.