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
- Pricing not listed on website
- Some users report higher prices than competitors
Paycards, direct deposit, checks
As small companies generate more business, they inevitably need to bring on more employees, which in turn leads to more payroll processing, tax filing, benefits administration, and other HR tasks. Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) like ADP TotalSource shoulder these burdens, so that clients do not have to develop 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 employe’, 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, and offers a number of packages to businesses of every size. These range from basic payroll administration to global PEO services for multinational organizations.
ADP TotalSource is designed with growing, mid-sized businesses in mind. In this review, we’ll discuss the key features of the service, its pros and cons, and help business owners make an informed decision as to whether ADP TotalSource is right for them.
ADP TotalSource provides many popular PEO features such as payroll and benefits administration, HR Services, compliance assurance and monitoring, and workers’ compensation insurance. ADP TotalSource pairs those popular PEO features with other services designed to assist growing businesses. Perhaps 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 that 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 provides 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 helps owners 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-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 platform was rated in the Top 100 for Best Software and Highest Guest Satisfaction by the Best Software awards 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 that it meets IRS requirements for reporting, and internal finance, 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 goes a step further, though, by offering safety and training advice, and continued consultation on compliance issues.
1. Recruitment and Onboarding
ADP TotalSource endeavors to be a one-stop shop when it comes to 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 clients can manage and grow their workforce from anywhere.
2. Benefits administration
Access to competitive benefits packages is a major reason businesses choose to 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, and 401(k) plans, as well as 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 offerings from 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 come up with custom benefits packages that best suit their needs and those of their employees. Plans are available throughout the US and are administered completely by ADP TotalSource. ADP also handles all Affordable Care Act (ACA) reporting and filing.
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 own plans and claims.
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 any 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.
Employers can manage not only wages, but adds, commissions, and bonuses as well through one platform.
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 large, experienced ADP capabilities behind them helps too; 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 the capabilities of a large company is what makes ADP TotalSource stand out.
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.
The ADP TotalSource platform is a premier PEO platform, available on the web and as a mobile app, with portals for both employers and employees. It aims to be a full-service HR Information System (HRIS) with all of the tools owners and HR specialists need to track their teams no matter where they are based.
Payroll, commissions, and bonuses can be processed for large 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 is helpful for growing 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.
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 gone through hundreds of online reviews on reputable third-party review sites to find out what actual 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.
- 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 strong internal HR departments, the HRBP helps to develop an overall strategy.
- All-in-one Platform — Business owners who reviewed the service appreciate the amount of information that is 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 specifically 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.
- 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 the transition to ADP TotalSource.
- Pricing — ADP does not list pricing for any products on its website, which makes it difficult for users to quickly compare the platform with other products. While some users report higher than average pricing, others report that this is offset by savings and/or greater coverage on benefits packages.
- 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 choices of benefits packages available. ADP TotalSource bundles these with an HRIS, payroll administration, onboarding, and dedicated HR consultants to provide a complete package aimed at enabling business expansion.
For these reasons, RemotePad ranked ADP TotalSource the best PEO company in 2023.
RemotePad Score for ADP TotalSource
4.8/5 Our expert score for ADP TotalSource
Our team came to this score by considering the following components in the following weightings:
For each component, ADP TotalSource received the following score:
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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 being able to track onboarding progress and have easy access to employee information from the website and the app. As companies grow and start hiring employees in multiple jurisdictions, they will appreciate the wealth of compliance information available and the consultation provided by their HRBP.
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.