Paylocity vs. ADP Workforce Now: Compare Core HRMS Capabilities and More

Note: ADP sells a variety of payroll and HR solutions targeted to company sizes: ADP RUN (for small businesses), ADP Workforce Now (for mid-sized and large businesses) and ADP Vantage (for large, multinational U.S.-based companies). This comparison post will focus on ADP Workforce Now.

Paylocity and ADP Workforce Now are two cloud-based human capital management (HCM) software solutions that help HR staff focus on more strategic tasks. They both include robust features that companies can scale up or down as needed.

Here, we compare Paylocity and ADP Workforce Now on several factors.

What is the Difference between Paylocity and ADP Workforce Now?

  • Paylocity supports all company sizes. However, ADP Workforce Now is intended for midsize and large organizations.
  • Paylocity has built-in expense management and on-demand payment features, while those features on ADP Workforce Now require integration with third-party applications.
  • Although both vendors prefer to provide custom quotes, ADP Workforce Now has detailed information on its pricing tiers on its site.

Product Overviews

The following excerpts from our Paylocity and ADP Workforce Now reviews summarize each software:

Paylocity

Paylocity is a cloud-based human capital management (HCM) solution that streamlines tasks, allowing HR administrators to focus more on strategic activities, such as improving employee engagement. The software includes features for managing the entire employee lifecycle, from recruiting to succession planning.

ADP Workforce Now

ADP Workforce Now is a human capital management (HCM) system that’s specifically designed for mid-sized and large companies. As it’s a unified platform, administrators won’t need to worry about manual data entry, which allows them to focus on critical parts of their job. Workforce Now is also customizable to an organization’s specific needs.

One additional benefit of Workforce Now is that it has error-detection features and notifies the user of errors, ensuring data is accurate. It also integrates with many third-party applications.

Features Comparisons

Recruiting/Onboarding

Paylocity

With the recruiting features in Paylocity’s Talent Management module, recruiters can send job postings to Indeed or social media sites, create customized job applications, reach out to candidates via email or text and communicate with the hiring team. They can also promote inclusivity by offering candidates the choice of using their preferred name and asking optional identity questions in an application. Other recruiting features include Paylocity’s Premium Video for video interviews and integration with Checkr for background checks.

Onboarding features include a portal that collects new hire data that is then automatically sent to the Payroll module. Administrators can customize the portal to include a welcome message and company information. In addition, administrators can stay on track of changing compliance requirements with the Compliance Dashboard that stores data on I-9 work authorization, Affordable Care Act, Equal Employment Opportunity and other relevant metrics.

ADP Workforce Now

Companies can set up a custom career website that includes job postings, messages and relevant company information for internal and external applicants. ADP Workforce Now has built-in integration with ZipRecruiter, so recruiters can easily find an unlimited number of candidates. ZipRecruiter’s matching technology identifies the best candidates for a specific job and encourages them to apply. Recruiters can post jobs to social media networks, too.

Additional talent acquisition features include mobile and text communications, job requisitions, candidates talent communities, interview scheduling and offer management. Finally, ADP Workforce Now has a separate onboarding feature that includes new hire workflows, I-9 processing, dashboards, reminders and an office map.

Bottom Line

Both software solutions have similar recruiting and onboarding functionality. But Paylocity builds its own features, while ADP Workforce Now integrates with ZipRecruiter.

Payroll

Paylocity

The Payroll module includes new hire and quick edit templates, custom checklists and a preprocess register for verifying payroll data before it’s finalized. The Compliance Dashboard tracks data that’s related to labor laws and informs administrators of any changes. Paylocity also has an on-demand pay feature that lets employees request a portion of their paycheck before their next payday if they need a boost in their cash flow.

For companies wanting to outsource tax filing tasks, Paylocity’s staff can prepare and file unemployment returns, state and local tax withholding forms, and W-2, 1095 and 1099-M forms. In addition, companies can also outsource wage garnishment tasks as Paylocity’s Garnishment Managed Services team handles the disbursement and any complex legal requirements on their behalf.

Finally, Paylocity has a built-in expense management feature that automatically pulls approved expense reimbursement amounts into the payroll software and then added to the employee’s paycheck. Employees can use a mobile app to upload receipts, submit them for approval and track the reimbursement process.

ADP Workforce Now

The Payroll & Tax modules include many features, such as payroll processing, tax filing, new-hire reporting, error detection alerts, a general ledger interface, employee self-service and online standard reports. ADP offers a wage garnishment processing service that deducts garnishments from employees’ paychecks and tracks any legal changes. Companies with global payroll needs can integrate ADP Workforce Now with the ADP Celergo payroll solution.

Bottom Line

Paylocity has on-demand payment and expense management features built into the software, However, ADP Workforce Now requires companies purchase an integration with a third-party tool (e.g., DailyPay and TripLog for on-demand pay and expense management, respectively) if they desire those features.

Benefits

Paylocity

Employees can enroll in benefits plans and update information, such as life events, contributions and beneficiaries. Administrators can configure various plan types (e.g., health, retirement) and send data files to various benefits carriers electronically. They can monitor open enrollment status, plan contributions and other metrics using Paylocity’s reporting and analytics tools. Finally, companies can manage flexible benefits offerings within the software, such as flexible spending accounts (FSA), health savings accounts (HSA) and COBRA.

ADP Workforce Now

The Benefits Administration add-on feature includes a benefits plan creation wizard, online enrollment management, automated COBRA notifications, Affordable Care Act (ACA) reporting and employee self-service. Workforce Now also lets a company’s accountant or insurance broker access the module. Companies can optionally add on automated file sharing with insurance carriers, retirement services and property insurance.

Bottom Line

Both vendors provide robust benefits administration features. But ADP offers direct access to group health insurance, retirement plans and business insurance through its affiliate partner, Automatic Data Processing Insurance Agency, Inc, while Paylocity works with third-party insurance companies.

Time and Attendance

Paylocity

Web Time, Paylocity’s time and labor module, can capture time data from any employee, regardless of type (e.g., hourly, salaried, remote). Managers can create, edit and track shift schedules, run reports via the Supervisor Dashboard, and assign points for absenteeism and tardiness. The module also has mobile features, such as clock-in/clock-out via mobile devices, geo-fencing and time off requests.

ADP Workforce Now

With the ADP mobile app, employees can record their time, see their schedules and submit time-off requests. ADP Workforce Now’s Workforce Management solution integrates with Outlook, so time-collection data syncs between the two solutions. Users can also set up automated workflows, such as alerts, exceptions, overtime calculations and time-off approvals. Additional features include local and country-specific requirements, custom team dashboards and predictive analytics for workforce staffing plans.

Bottom Line

While both solutions have similar workforce management features, Paylocity clients with international offices can integrate with its recently-acquired partner, Blue Marble Payroll, while ADP Workforce Now has built-in country-specific features.

Reporting and Analytics

Paylocity

With the Data Insights module, administrators can get real-time insights into their HR data with Paylocity’s custom dashboards and reports. They can analyze various metrics, such as headcount, demographics, position management, turnover and labor costs. There’s also the Modern Workforce Index feature that lets administrators measure employee engagement and the usage of Paylocity’s modules.

ADP Workforce Now

Most of the Workforce Now solutions include built-in reporting (e.g., payroll reports), but we want to specifically note the add-on Insights solution with advanced analytics features. Insights includes standard reporting templates, but users can also build their own report with a drag-and-drop interface. In addition, Insights uses artificial intelligence to search through data and then sends analyses to users via email or the ADP mobile app. Finally, the solution has optional benchmarking features for comparing a company’s performance against the market on a variety of workforce metrics (e.g., demographics, compensation, turnover). Users can also set up their retention strategy with the Turnover Probability Explorer and identify pay gaps with the Pay Equity Explorer.

Bottom Line

Both software solutions have robust analytics features. But Paylocity users can additionally measure their software usage, while ADP Workforce Now users can also measure pay equity and retention with Pay Equity Explorer and Turnover Probability Explorer.

Download Vendor Comparison Guide

Pricing

Paylocity

Paylocity doesn’t publicly display its pricing information, so prospects will need to contact the vendor directly for a custom quote.

ADP Workforce Now

ADP Workforce Now has four pricing tiers:

  • Payroll Essentials – The Payroll Essentials tier includes payroll and tax management features.
  • HR Plus – The HR Plus tier includes payroll and tax management, plus onboarding, digital record keeping and other advanced HR features (e.g., compliance reporting, guided new hire and termination workflows, employee self-service).
  • HIring Advantage – The Hiring Advantage tier includes all of the features of the HR Plus tier, plus recruiting functionality.
  • Performance Plus – The Performance Plus tier includes all of the features of the other three tiers, plus performance management and compensation management features.

ADP offers workforce management, the HR Assist tool and the StandOut, Powered by ADP (coaching and engagement features) tool as add-ons for all four tiers. In addition, it provides optional learning management, benefits administration and advanced analytics features for the HR Plus, Hiring Advantage and Performance Plus tiers. ADP doesn’t display prices for each tier, so prospects will have to contact the vendor for a quote.

Bottom Line

Neither vendor publicly displays their pricing. Instead, prospective clients will need to get a custom quote. It’s also important to keep in mind that additional costs, such as implementation, may need to be factored into the price quote.

Customer Support

Paylocity

Clients work with an assigned Account Manager, who will be the point of contact should any issues arise. They can also contact Paylocity by phone and email support during normal business hours and access the self-help knowledge base anytime. Paylocity has an FAQ bank for employees, but otherwise employees are urged to contact their employer.

Paylocity provides unlimited online training courses on its various modules and features, and there’s an annual user group conference for clients to learn about new features and to network with other users.

ADP Workforce Now

ADP offers different support sites for employees and client administrators. The employee support site has several resources, including answers to common questions, guides on troubleshooting year-end form issues, and phone numbers and links for issues related to payroll or benefits. The client administrator support site has similar content, but specifically targets administrative issues.

Clients can also work with the Professional Services team on implementation, integration and optimization services. Some of those services include a tailored implementation plan, cloud migration, API integration, temporary payroll support, best practices on benefits enrollment and other events, and HR change management initiatives (e.g., parental leave, new leadership).

Bottom Line

Both vendors have similar support offerings, especially specific resources aimed at employees. However, Paylocity prefers that employees contact their employer, while ADP has phone numbers and links for employees to address specific payroll issues.

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