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6 min read

ADP TotalSource Review: Features, Pricing & PEO Alternatives

ADP Review

Our verdict

Our verdict

ADP TotalSource — ADP's Professional Employer Organization (PEO) solution — takes on payroll processing, tax filing, benefits administration, and other HR tasks on behalf of client companies. As arguably the world's first specialist payroll and PEO company, and one of the few that are publicly listed, ADP TotalSource is an excellent choice for businesses needing a trusted HR partner.

  • All-in-one, PEO, HR, payroll and recruitment
  • Maximum flexibility in employee benefits

bad handCons

  • Pricing not listed on website
  • Some users report higher prices than competitors
ADP Logo Visit ADP TotalSource
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Score 9.6 out of 10

How is this calculated?

We calculate the Overall Rating by combining the ratings of several testing categories.

Learn more by reading our testing and review methodology.

Company valuation

$92 billion

Monthly fees

not published

Payment options

Paycards, direct deposit, checks

As small companies generate more business, they inevitably need more employees, leading to more payroll services, tax filing, employee benefits administration, employee scheduling/time tracking, and other HR functions. Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) like ADP TotalSource shoulder these burdens – often with a comprehensive HR solution wrapped up in payroll software – so clients can avoid developing new backend capabilities as their business grows.

When working with a PEO, the PEO becomes the ‘co-employer,’ meaning that the PEO becomes responsible for payroll, employment tax, and HR compliance. The client business remains the ‘job site employee,’ meaning they retain all work-related decisions, including hiring, offboarding, salaries, and performance incentives.

ADP is arguably the largest payroll and PEO company in the world. It offers several packages to businesses of every size, from basic payroll administration to global PEO services for multinational organizations.

ADP TotalSource is designed with growing, mid-sized businesses in mind. This review will discuss the service’s essential features and pros and cons and help business owners decide whether ADP TotalSource is right for them.

To read about ADP’s HR software specifically, check out our detailed 2023 analysis of ADP Workforce Now

Overview

ADP TotalSource provides many popular PEO features such as payroll and benefits administration, HR Services, compliance assurance and monitoring, and workers’ compensation insurance.

screenshot of homepage for adp totalsource review

ADP TotalSource pairs those popular PEO features with other services to assist growing businesses. The most significant of these services is the ‘Human Resources Business Partner’ (HRBP), a consultant assigned to each client who can help develop a custom HR strategy, answer compliance-related questions, help problem-solve employee issues, and provide general guidance when needed. It also incorporates recruitment and onboarding into the service and the platform so employers can grow and track their teams from anywhere.

ADP TotalSource stands out for its consulting capabilities. In addition to taking over administrative tasks and providing benefits packages, it gives recommendations on market pay rates and competitive benefits packages for different positions. This can both help save money and help companies source the best talent for each job. It also allows owners to manage employee turnover, which can become costly and reduce profitability. It is worth noting that:

  • The ADP software platform is intended to act as an all-in-one Human Resources Information System (HRIS), with hiring, benefits, payroll, compliance, and risk safety management reports available 24/7. It also includes an employee self-service portal and a mobile app.
  • The Best Software Awards rated the platform in the Top 100 for Best Software and Highest Guest Satisfaction in 2022. Its customer service and contact centers were also recognized by the Stevie Awards in 2022 with Gold and Bronze awards, respectively.
  • ADP TotalSource is IRS-certified. This means it meets IRS reporting and internal finance requirements and has undergone a background check. It grants certain tax benefits and financial protections to ADP TotalSource clients not available from a non-certified PEO (read more in our guide to IRS PEO certification).

Like all PEOs, ADP Total Source takes responsibility for most work-related liabilities. It offers safety and training advice and continued consultation on compliance issues.

Key Features

1. Recruitment and Onboarding

ADP TotalSource endeavors to be a one-stop shop for bringing on new employees. It offers access to its team of full-time recruiters, applicant tracking, and background checks. Its career site is mobile-friendly, and the service includes a new hire onboarding app so that clients can manage and grow their workforce from anywhere.

2. Benefits Administration

Access to competitive benefits packages is a significant reason businesses work with a PEO. In this regard, ADP TotalSource provides an impressive service. Its options include a full range of health, dental, mental health, vision, 401(k) plans, commuter benefits, and Employee Assistance Programs (EAP).

As one of the largest PEOs, ADP also has access to a greater variety of benefits suppliers than most competitors. It includes United Healthcare, Voya Financial, VSP Vision Care, Aetna, Anthem, Helmsman Management Services, Humana, AIG, Kaiser Permanente, and LifeCare.

ADP TotalSource works with client businesses to develop custom benefits packages that best suit their and their employees’ needs. Plans are available throughout the US and are administered entirely by ADP TotalSource. ADP also handles all reporting and filing of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

On the employee side, ADP provides phone calls and ongoing communications to help enroll them in their benefits packages. It also provides a mobile app with self-service so employees can stay on top of their plans and claims.

3. Payroll

Payroll and tax are both processed by ADP’s all-in-one department. It handles all reporting, tax inquiries, payroll tax payments, deductions, exemptions, unemployment insurance, and garnishments. The TotalSource package also provides payroll specialists to help with issues and answer questions.

The system is flexible for employees as well. It allows for payments by check, direct deposit, pay card, and even early access to wages.

One platform allows Employers to manage wages, ads, commissions, and bonuses.

4. HR

At the core of ADP TotalSource is the consultation provided by the HR Business Partner (HRBP). The HRBPs are experienced across numerous industries, familiar with multiple jurisdictions, and credentialed in HR management.

The HRBP can guide clients through employee issues, overall HR strategy, regulatory compliance, and more. Having the extensive, experienced ADP capabilities behind them helps; the HRBP is backed by teams of experts who can help come up with solutions for nearly every HR issue. This combination of personalized service and a large company’s capabilities makes ADP TotalSource stand out.

5. Compliance 

Like other PEOs, ADP is responsible for maintaining compliance with federal, state, and local laws for co-employees. ADP TotalSource expands this service with a constantly updated database on compliance issues and by contacting clients whenever there is a change in regulation. The HRBP is also on hand to provide assistance and answer any questions that may come up.

6. Platform

The ADP TotalSource platform is a premier PEO platform, available on the web and as a mobile app, with portals for employers and employees. It aims to be a full-service HR Information System (HRIS)  with all the tools owners and HR specialists need to track their teams regardless of where they are based.

Payroll, commissions, and bonuses can be processed for giant teams from the platform. Benefits packages may also be viewed and modified at any time. Employers can also track the onboarding status of new employees and review tax payments.

The platform also includes a wealth of information on compliance, tax, benefits plans, and HR advice for employers. The answers to many common issues can be found in these databases, which help grow companies with small or inexperienced HR departments.

Employees can use the platform to track paystubs, review their benefits packages, submit insurance claims, and ask questions.

Read more about why ADP TotalSource provides one of the top PEO platforms in our guide to the best PEO software solutions in 2023. 

Pricing

ADP does not publish pricing information. Pricing is relative to the package chosen and the number of employees, so potential clients must contact ADP TotalSource to obtain a quotation for their business.

Pros and Cons

We’ve reviewed hundreds of online reviews on reputable third-party review sites to find out what customers think about ADP TotalSource. While everyone’s experience is unique, we’ve put together the most common pros and cons, drawing on both the experience of users and our perceptions of the solution. 

Pros 

  • Support — Most reviewers appreciate the HRBP from ADP TotalSource and their ability to provide answers to payroll and compliance questions. For businesses that have expanded quickly and have not had the time to grow solid internal HR departments, the HRBP helps to develop an overall strategy.
  • All-in-one Platform — Business owners who reviewed the service appreciate the information easily accessed via the online platform. Reviewers appreciate being able to accomplish multiple HR tasks from one central platform, such as changing benefits plans and checking the onboarding status of new employees. Owners and HR departments also appreciate the extensive databases available.
  • Quality Benefits Plans — Many clients choose ADP TotalSource to access a range of high-quality benefits plans. Most reviewers favorably rate the selection and pricing of benefits plans and note that these would otherwise not be available to businesses of their size.

Cons

  • Setup Process — Some users report a potentially long setup and integration process. This is simpler if the company has a dedicated team member responsible for transitioning to ADP TotalSource.
  • Pricing — ADP does not list pricing for any products on its website, which makes it difficult for users to compare the platform with other products quickly. While some users report higher than average pricing, others report that savings and greater coverage on benefits packages offset this.
  • Response Time for Complex Questions — Though ADP TotalSource is popular for its compliance and payroll support, some users complain of long wait times for answers to more complex questions.

Unique Selling Point

An all-in-one PEO service designed for growing businesses. As one of the largest PEOs in the world, ADP offers some of the best benefits packages available. ADP TotalSource bundles these with an HRIS, payroll administration, onboarding, and dedicated HR consultants to provide a complete package to enable business expansion.

RemotePad ranked ADP TotalSource as the best PEO company in 2024.

RemotePad Score for ADP TotalSource

winner

9.6/10 Our expert score for ADP TotalSource

Our team came to this score by considering the following components in the following weightings:

PEO features25%
Payroll features10%
HR features10%
Compliance features10%
Platform features10%
Pricing20%
User reviews15%

For each component, ADP TotalSource received the following score:

PEO features25/25
Payroll features10/10
HR features10/10
Compliance features10/10
Platform features10/10
Pricing17/20
User reviews14/15

Top competitors (alternatives)

paychex logo

Top provider for:
Customer focus 

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Trinet logo

Top provider for:
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Insperity

Top provider for:
Startups

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ADP TotalSource — Our take

Quickly growing mid-sized companies will get the most benefit from ADP TotalSource. The savings on benefits packages will offset the cost of the service, and the platform allows for simple tracking and changes to employee packages. Busy owners will appreciate tracking onboarding progress and having easy access to employee information from the website and the app. As companies grow and hire employees in multiple jurisdictions, they will appreciate the wealth of compliance information available and the consultation their HRBP provides.

FAQ

ADP is the name of ADP's Professional Employer Organization (PEO) solution in the United States. ADP also offers ADP Run (its payroll outsourcing solution), and ADP Workforce Now (ADP's HR Information Systems solution)

As of early 2023, ADP has a market capitalization of $92 billion, and an estimated enterprise value of $94 billion. It has been publicly listed since 1961 and is a mid-ranked Fortune 500 company by revenue. 

Article By
Managing Editor
Milly is an international lawyer and tech entrepreneur who has advised companies on expanding globally for over 5 years. She is an advocate of remote hiring and regularly consults on future of work matters. Milly founded RemotePad to help employers learn more about building and growing international teams.

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