ADP vs Paylocity - Pricing, Technology and Service

Explore the key differences between ADP and Paylocity to make an informed choice for your payroll and HR needs. Uncover features, pricing, and user experiences in this comprehensive ADP vs Paylocity comparison

Brett Ungashick
OutSail HRIS Advisor
July 4, 2023
user comparing HRIS systems

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 to work with our team.

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.

ADP Workforce Now

  • 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

Paylocity vs ADP Workforce Now

Paylocity vs ADP Workforce Now is a common decision for many HR leaders. Both are popular payroll and human resources management software systems. Both are cloud-based, meaning that they can be accessed from any device with an internet connection, and they offer a wide range of features and capabilities to help businesses manage their payroll, taxes, and human resources.

Most User Friendly

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.

Paylocity is designed to be user-friendly and easy to navigate, with a modern, clean interface. It offers a wide range of self-service options for employees, allowing them to view and manage their own payroll and benefits information.

ADP Workforce Now is also user-friendly and has enhanced their employee mobile app considerably in 2022, but the system has a more complex interface with a lot of information to navigate through, which can hurt their user-friendly scores.

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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 Workforce Now 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.

Both Paylocity and ADP Workforce Now integrate with a wide range of other software systems, such as accounting software, time and attendance systems, and benefits administration platforms. Paylocity has a more extensive list of pre-built integrations as compared to ADP Workforce Now.

Best Core HR & Payroll System

ADP. Both companies started off as payroll companies and have a strong historical strength in this area and all of the expected functionality - direct deposit, custom reports, tax filing support.

Both companies, ADP Workforce Now and Paylocity, also offer native benefits administration functionality and those benefits admin tools can integrate health insurance costs into payroll deductions.

Both systems also rely on 3rd party modules, at times, when their in-house tools aren't up to the task. Paylocity will leverage 3rd party benefits administration tools and ADP Workforce Now will do the same for time & attendance.

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 Workforce Now 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 Human Resources tools across the globe. However, ADP owns their own payroll aggregator (Celergo) and has offices around the globe.

Best for Talent Management

Paylocity offers a range of talent management features including Performance management, Learning management, Recruiting and Onboarding. ADP Workforce Now is also well rounded when it comes to Talent management with Performance management, Learning management, Recruiting, Onboarding and Succession planning. The ADP Workforce Now’s Talent Management Suite is more robust and offers more features than Paylocity.

Performance Management:

Both systems include performance management features, allowing businesses to set performance goals, provide feedback, and track employee performance. However, ADP Workforce Now is more advanced and customizable when it comes to Performance management. It allows managers to track employee performance across different departments, set development plans, and set performance expectations. Paylocity also has performance management features, but it is less robust compared to ADP Workforce Now

Learning Management:

Both systems include Learning management features, allowing businesses to create and manage training and development programs. Paylocity's learning management system is user-friendly, but it is less customizable compared to ADP Workforce Now. ADP Workforce Now’s Learning management system allows businesses to create and assign training programs, track employee progress, and provide certifications.

Best for Scalability

ADP. ADP Workforce Now'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 for small business needs (average customer size is ~50-350 employees) and doesn't offer the same ability to manage complexity.

Both Paylocity and ADP Workforce Now are designed to be scalable, so they can grow with the business. But Paylocity might be a better option for small to medium-sized business while ADP Workforce Now is a better option for larger enterprises and companies that have an HR specialist that can manage the system.

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Meet the Author

Brett Ungashick
OutSail HRIS Advisor
Brett Ungashick, the friendly face behind OutSail, started his career at LinkedIn, selling HR software. This experience sparked an idea, leading him to create OutSail in 2018. Based in Denver, OutSail simplifies the HR software selection process, and Brett's hands-on approach has already helped over 1,000 companies, including SalesLoft, Hudl and DoorDash. He's a go-to guy for all things HR Tech, supporting companies in every industry and across 20+ countries. When he's not demystifying HR tech, you'll find Brett enjoying a round of golf or skiing down Colorado's slopes, always happy to chat about work or play.

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