ADP Run vs Paychex Flex

When you’re busy running a business, payroll and HR duties shouldn’t keep you from doing what’s most important. Choosing the right provider should help you pay everyone on time, automate taxes accurately, and take good care of your team.


ADP and Paychex are both household names when it comes to payroll software. We’ve pulled together everything you need to know to compare the two ⁠— and to know what to expect from all of the fine print when it comes to cost.

When you’re busy running a business, payroll and HR duties shouldn’t keep you from doing what’s most important. Choosing the right provider should help you pay everyone on time, automate taxes accurately, and take good care of your team.

Jump to compare ADP and Paychex by:

Ratings and Reviews | Pricing and Features | Support

Compare ratings and reviews

Ratings from other small business owners and finance experts can help you learn a lot more when you compare ADP and Paychex payroll services. Interestingly, the top marks in the category (from both users and experts) actually went to a different provider.


See who's the top-rated provider
Customer ratings Expert reviews

Run by ADP

Paychex Flex

Ease of Setup

89%
84%

Ease of Admin

92%
87%

Quality of Support

91%
86%

Performance

93%
88%

Reliability

94%
89%

Customization

89%
77%

Reporting

90%
86%

Based on G2Crowd ratings

Run by ADP

Ease of Setup

89%

Ease of Admin

92%

Quality of Support

91%

Performance

93%

Reliability

94%

Customization

89%

Reporting

90%

Paychex Flex

Ease of Setup

84%

Ease of Admin

87%

Quality of Support

86%

Performance

88%

Reliability

89%

Customization

77%

Reporting

86%

Compare features and pricing

A great payroll provider will give you everything you need, without any hidden fees. See the breakdown of payroll costs you can expect from Run by ADP vs Paychex Flex to get a clearer picture of which features are included ⁠— and what comes at an extra cost.

Run by ADP Paychex Flex
Pricing
Base price No published price. Negotiate with sales. Price is per pay run, not monthly. No published price. Negotiate with sales. Price is per pay run, not monthly.
Per worker cost No published price. Negotiate with sales. Price is per pay run, not monthly. No published price. Negotiate with sales. Price is per pay run, not monthly.
Full-service payroll
Automated federal, state, and local tax filings and payments Included Included
Unlimited pay runs Additional fees Additional fees
Multi-state payroll Additional fees Additional fees
Edit or cancel a pay run Additional fees Additional fees
Multiple pay rates and schedules Included Included
Garnishments Included Included
Accounting and time tracking integrations Included Time tracking integration: Included

Accounting integration: Additional fees for some providers
New hire reporting Additional fees Included
Year-end filings, W-2s, and 1099s Additional fees Additional fees
Onboarding and Employee Self-Service
Employee self-onboarding Included Additional fees
Employee self-service portal Included Included
Document e-sign for I-9s and W-4s Included Additional fees
Send and sign offer letters electronically Additional fees Not available
Employee lifetime account access Not available Not available
HR and Team Management
Manage and track time off Additional fees Included
Org charts Additional fees Additional fees
Document storage and audits Additional fees Additional fees
Custom onboarding workflows Not available Additional fees
Benefits and Compliance
Medical, dental, and vision plans Additional fees Additional fees
Integrated workers’ comp plans Additional fees Additional fees
Integrated 401(k) plan Additional fees Additional fees
Reporting and Usability
Payroll and employee reports Included Included
Real-time reporting filters Not available Not available
Custom report designer Not available Additional fees

Compare support

Your payroll provider’s software should be backed by a reliable, easy-to-reach team of experts. We break down the level of support you can expect from ADP and Paychex.

Run by ADP Paychex Flex
Setup and data migration Additional fees Additional fees
Expert phone support Included Included
Chat support Not available Included
Accuracy guarantee Not available Not available

Decide what payroll features you need

Bottom line, payroll and HR software should simplify your business operations so you can focus on what you do best. Every business has unique needs, so choosing the right provider will make all the difference in how much time ⁠— and money ⁠— you can save. As you’re considering ADP and Paychex, here are a few areas to explore to make sure you get everything you need.


Full-service payroll: Any good payroll provider should handle the essentials, like automating payroll taxes and letting you pay workers by direct deposit or check. A great service will go even further by giving you unlimited monthly pay runs, multi-state payroll, and year-end filings, W-2s, and 1099s ⁠— at no additional cost.


Depending on how often you’re running payroll, Paychex and ADP can rack up additional costs with fees for each pay run. They will also charge additional fees for handling some year-end tax forms, whereas some providers include W-2s and 1099s at no extra cost.



HR and compliance: Your payroll provider should help you simplify hiring and people management with employee self-service and onboarding, e-signing of documents like the W-4, and by taking care of state new hire reporting on your behalf. They should also be able to handle integrated workers’ comp to help you stay compliant with local regulations.


ADP Run and Paychex Flex can support most of these requirements, but it will come at a premium. With some other providers, all of this is included at no additional cost.



In-app reporting: Check to see if available payroll reports will give you easy visibility into all of the details of your employment expenses. Dynamic in-app reporting ⁠(with no exports required) can really help speed things up ⁠— but not all payroll services offer this.


Providers like ADP and Paychex offer payroll reports, but the functionality is limited. To really see information your way, you’ll have to spend extra time exporting the data. There are some providers that offer built-in report designers that let you customize and filter the data in real time, right in the app.



Data migration and support: If you’ve paid workers before, you likely have some employee and prior wage data that you’ll need moved over when you switch payroll providers. See if the provider you’re considering will simplify the process by taking care of data migration for you. You should also be able to reach a real expert if you ever have questions or need help.


Both Paychex Flex and ADP Run will charge an additional fee if you want them to handle the setup for you ⁠— whereas some providers take care of this for no extra cost. You also may have to pay extra if you want extended support hours.



Compare more providers

ADP Run and Paychex Flex offer similar feature sets and pricing. They also offer other payroll products for larger small businesses and enterprises. But another provider stood out for better ratings, its ability to grow with a business over time, and being a better value. Take a look to see who else you should consider:


See who's the top-rated provider

Or compare ADP Run and Paychex Flex head-to-head with the other top payroll companies:

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