HR Software

ADP vs Paylocity - Pricing, Technology and Service

February 15, 2021
Brett Ungashick

ADP and Paylocity are two of the leading HRIS and payroll platforms in the mid-market. Both companies are large, public companies with global footprints. Learn more about which is the right fit for your business

If you work in HR at a mid-market company (50-500 employees), chances are you have received sales outreach from a variety of different HRIS providers.

It can be hard to distinguish one vendor from the next, especially when you already have a busy full-time job.

If you're looking for a comprehensive review of the market and recommendations on the best option for your business, reach out to OutSail and request a free vendor shortlist report.

Learn More: Get free HRIS recommendations from OutSail based on your needs, size and budget

In this series of blog posts, we're going to provide head-to-head comparisons of leading options in the market. The first comparison we will review is comparing ADP vs Paylocity, highlighting the differences in each company's pricing, user experience, integration capabilities and more.


  • Founded in 1949
  • Headquarters in Roseland, NJ
  • ~810,000 customers
  • ~58,000 employees


  • Founded in 1997
  • Headquarters in Schaumburg, IL
  • ~20,000 customers
  • ~3,100 employees

Best Front-End Interface

Paylocity. In early 2020, Paylocity went through an entire brand overhaul. Not only did they update their logo and website, but they gave their entire HRIS a face lift. Users have reported that the simplified user interface is easier to navigate, more straightforward and provides a more 'modern' feel that employees have grown accustomed to in their private apps.

Best for Managed Services

ADP. One of ADP's biggest differentiators in the marketplace is their ability to provide outsourced services to businesses that don't want to be trapped managing back office, lower value tasks. ADP's Comprehensive Services model provides outsourced payroll processing, benefits enrollment and compliance management options to businesses

Best for Integrations

Paylocity. Both companies have invested in their 3rd party ecosystem lately, but Paylocity narrowly edges out ADP. While ADP has a robust partner marketplace, there are still some underlying challenges with their product architecture which limits the types of integrations they can build. Paylocity has strong open APIs and is capable of building bespoke integrations with a variety of technologies.

Blog: The Software Buyer's Guide to Integrations

Best for Core HR

ADP. Both companies started off as payroll companies and have a strong historical strength there. Both also rely on 3rd party modules when their in-house tools aren't up to the task (Paylocity for benefits and ADP for time). However, the tie breaker goes to ADP for their advanced compensation module and their ability to benchmark companies against peers in their reporting

Most Cost-Effective

Paylocity. ADP often is priced in the mid-to-high range of HRIS options. A full suite system can typically run businesses around $20-28 PEPM. Paylocity is often closer to the middle of the market with their full suites costing between $17-23 PEPM. Both are relatively comparable on the implementation side and both have additional fees crop up throughout the partnership

Best for Global Companies

ADP. Both companies can serve global organizations. Paylocity has a close relationship with Blue Marble, the leading global payroll provider, and can offer their HR tools across the globe. However, ADP owns their own payroll aggregator (Celergo) and has offices around the globe.

Blog: The Pros and Cons of Your 4 Global Payroll Options

Best for Scalability

ADP. ADP's average customer size is between 100-1000 employees and the system has a number of workflow builders and configurability options that allow businesses to scale up their processes. Paylocity is typically more effective down market (50-350 employees) and doesn't offer the same ability to manage complexity

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Brett Ungashick
Brett is the founder of OutSail. He spent the early part of his career selling HR software before switching sides and going to work for the people buying the software.

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