Top Recommended ADP Alternatives for Payroll Management

by:
on January 17, 2019

Selecting the right payroll software for your small business can be daunting, as you not only have to prevent errors in tax calculations, but also comply with federal regulations. There can be serious consequences (such as heavy fines) if the tool doesn’t have the latest federal updates and employment regulations.

That’s why small business HR managers should regularly re-evaluate their payroll software. If not, they may fail to comply with new federal regulations and see more errors in their calculations, which can result in heavy losses.

That said, many small businesses use Run Powered by ADP (ADP RUN), a web-based and mobile app payroll software, to automate the process of managing financial records such as salaries, bonuses and tax payments. The software helps you comply with federal and state rules and regulations.

Software Advice users rate ADP RUN a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Despite the high rating, some ADP RUN users think it’s not the right tool for them. They want alternatives that offer different, or more specific, payroll features. You may be facing the same situation as well. That’s why we created this report, which compares the top five most recommended ADP RUN alternatives by Software Advice users.

Here are the five top recommended alternatives to ADP RUN:


Ceridian Dayforce
Patriot Payroll
Paychex Flex
Paycor Perform
Square Payroll

Ceridian Dayforce

Ceridian Dayforce (or Dayforce) is a cloud-based human capital management (HCM) solution that offers payroll features such as tax management, employee self-service, reporting and executive dashboards.

Dayforce provides real-time updates on regulatory requirements, which helps businesses comply with federal and state compliance regulations.

It integrates time management and payroll features to let HR managers view, access and audit payroll data in real time. This way, it automatically calculates employees’ net pay based on the changes made in time, benefits or HR records. You should consider Dayforce if your small business needs this integrated timekeeping feature.

Dayforce also offers employee management, benefits management and talent management for small and midsize businesses. On the other hand, ADP RUN targets only small businesses. However, both solutions offer web and mobile-based platforms for direct deposits, tax management, W-2/1099 preparation etc.

Below is a graphic that lists what users like about Ceridian Dayforce and what they think would make it a better system.

ceridian alternatives adp run

Patriot Payroll

Patriot Payroll is cloud-based payroll management software that helps small businesses manage payroll payments and tax submissions.

Patriot Payroll lets you generate payroll reports, issue payroll through direct bank deposits or electronic check and submit state and federal taxes.

Its self-service portal lets employees access their payroll information such as salary slips and tax deduction reports. They can generate their year-end reports and print W-2 forms for tax reporting. Also, Patriot Payroll integrates with other Patriot software, such as Patriot TIME (time and attendance) and Patriot HR (personnel tracking).

However, while ADP RUN provides all these features in web and mobile platforms, Patriot Payroll doesn’t offer a mobile version.

Below is a graphic that lists what our users like about Patriot Payroll and what they think needs to be improved.

patriot alternatives adp run

Paychex Flex

Paychex Flex is a cloud-based payroll management solution that offers automatic payroll tax calculation, payment and filling as well as reporting and analytics features. The solution processes multiple payment types, including checks and debit cards, as well as direct deposits and paycards.

Its mobile app lets employees view their profiles and review pay stubs, tax documents, retirement contributions, time-off balances and other benefits.

Small businesses that want to integrate time and attendance tracking as well as benefits administration with payroll in a single HR tool should consider Paychex Flex.

Paychex Flex offers almost all the features that ADP RUN does, including managing employee bank accounts, tracking balances (e.g., 401(k)) and mobile access to pay stubs. In addition, Paychex has pre-employment background screening and an employee handbook builder. Paychex Flex has an open API that lets software developers integrate payroll data into their business’s proprietary software.

Below is a graphic that lists what our users like about Paychex Flex and some improvements they’d like to see.

paychex alternatives adp run

Paycor Perform

Paycor Perform is cloud-based payroll management software that helps small businesses create recurring employee schedules as well as control labor distribution and costs.

A standout feature of Paycor is its interface, which has widgets for frequently used functions such as sending reminders and direct deposits.

Paycor lets employees view/update their contact, tax and direct deposit details. It allows payroll administrators to manage any kind of exceptions in the payroll process such as unapproved time cards and overtime alerts. In addition, it provides onboarding, benefits, and time and attendance management features in its full suite.

Like ADP RUN, Paycor lets you manage tax calculations and filing, 401 (k) data, workers’ compensation, pay stubs, W-2s, 1099s and electronic payments. However, ADP RUN is a small business payroll solution. Paycor provides other essential HR features such as benefits and administration, learning management and time and attendance management for small and midsize businesses.

Small businesses that want a solution that can scale with additional HR services as the business grows, should consider Paycor Perform.

Below is a graphic that shows why some users like Paycor Perform and a few things that can be improved in the solution.

paycor alternatives adp run

Square Payroll

Square Payroll is also a cloud-based payroll solution that automates paychecks, direct deposits, new hire reporting, W-2 forms, compliance management and tax filings. The solution calculates employee wages from working hours based on the clock-in and clock-out time of employees.

Square is designed for businesses that pay employees on an hourly basis.

It lets employees access and update their personal information such as tax withholdings, bank details and bonus payments. You manage contractors (and employees) by creating separate online accounts for them and managing their direct deposit payments. Also, contractors can update their personal information and access Form 1099-MISC.

Square integrates with Paychex Flex, Intuit and ADP; this lets businesses import employee payroll data from their previous organization into Square Payroll. However, unlike ADP RUN, Square doesn’t offer additional payroll features such as multicountry payroll, reporting and analytics and a self-service portal.

Below is a graphic that lists what our users like about Square Payroll and what they think can be improved.

square alternatives adp run

Next Steps

This article aims to offer payroll management software buyers a glimpse of the top alternatives of RUN powered by ADP. To read more product reviews and view screenshots for a better understanding of each product’s features, click the links below to visit the profile pages of these alternative solutions.

In addition to these top alternatives, there are many more payroll management systems on Software Advice that could be a good fit for your small business. We recommend checking out our buyer’s guide on payroll management solutions to compare the features of similar products.

Further, call our software advisors for free and no-obligation advice at (844) 847-3290. They can guide you better on the pricing and explain the capabilities of various payroll management systems after gauging your unique needs and budget.

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