What Is ADP? Breaking Down the Vendor's Many Solutions

By: Rhiân Davies on August 15, 2019

ADP, or Automatic Data Processing, is one of the biggest providers of human resources (HR) software solutions and outsourced services in the world.

Ranked #239 in 2019’s Fortune 500, an estimated one out of every six employees in the U.S. gets their paycheck through ADP.

If you’re in the process of researching HR solutions for your business, you’ve undoubtedly come across ADP. But with so many offerings to choose from, it can be hard to determine which one is exactly right for your needs.

To help you make sense of all ADP’s solutions, Software Advice has created this helpful guide.

First, watch the video below to get up to speed in under three minutes:

ADP Solutions for Small Businesses (1-49 Employees)

Starting a new business—or running one without dedicated HR support—can be challenging. The ADP offerings in this first category are designed to help small-business owners handle (or outsource) HR needs such as payroll, taxes, recruiting, and training.

RUN Powered by ADP


Overview in Run Powered by ADP (Source)

RUN Powered by ADP is a cloud-based payroll and HR platform that comes in four different packages:

Essential Payroll

Includes such capabilities as:

✔Basic payroll processing

✔Direct deposit functionality

✔New-hire reporting

✔Tax filing

Enhanced Payroll

Offers more advanced payroll options, including:

✔ Check signing and stuffing

✔ Reloadable, prepaid debit cards

✔ ADP-managed unemployment insurance and wage garnishments

✔ Poster compliance

Complete Payroll

Handles all of the above plus:

✔ Job description wizard HR compliance

✔ Health care compliance

✔ Dedicated support team of HR professionals

HR Pro

The most advanced package, offering all of the above, plus access to prepaid legal services from ADP partner, LegalShield.

All packages include access to the following add-ons:

  • ADP’s own insurance agency, ADPIA, allows you to choose mandatory workers’ compensation insurance, business insurance, and health insurance.

  • Assistance with building a retirement plan for your employees.

With each package, you’ll get access to additional ADP resources such as HR newsletters and tips of the week.

The bottom line: RUN Powered by ADP is ideal for new business owners wanting in-house control.

ADP TotalSource


Recruiting dashboard in ADP TotalSource (Source)

ADP TotalSource is the vendor’s professional employment organization (PEO) offering for small businesses. With TotalSource, ADP will serve as your company’s PEO, using a co-employment model.

What does a co-employment model look like?

A co-employment model allows small businesses to outsource HR and payroll functions to a PEO, giving them time and resources to focus on growing their business.

With ADP TotalSource, your responsibilities will look like:

  • Day-to-day control over employment management.

  • Administrators access TotalSource via the My TotalSource Web portal to perform data entry, and employees meet their own self-service needs.

In turn, ADP will:

  • Become the employer on record for tax purposes

  • Handle recruiting, payroll, benefits, training, compliance, and more

  • Assume legal risk, should anything go wrong

The bottom line: ADP TotalSource is ideal for small businesses wanting to fully outsource their HR operations and mitigate risk.

ADP Solutions for Midsize Businesses (50-999 Employees)

Your business is growing, and you need help with administration, compliance, recruiting—the whole nine yards. The ADP offerings in this category are designed to help those in finance, accounting and HR better handle employee needs at their midsize business.

ADP Workforce Now


Dashboards in ADP Workforce Now (Source)

ADP Workforce Now is a cloud-based, all-in-one HR platform for payroll, time and attendance tracking, and benefits. The platform offers the following modules which can be added at any time:

  • Payroll and tax

  • HR management

  • Time and labor

  • Talent management

  • Benefits

In its benefits module, ADP Workforce Now also covers Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliance, including a specialized dashboard to ensure your business meets all eligibility requirements.

Workforce Now also includes a number of add-ons that can be integrated á la carte, including:

  • Absence management

  • Employee scheduling

  • Custom reporting

  • Retirement services

The bottom line: ADP Workforce Now is ideal for midsize businesses that want a full-featured suite for in-house HR.

ADP TotalSource


Benefits enrollment in ADP TotalSource (Source)

ADP TotalSource is a professional employer organization (PEO) offering, in which you enter a co-employment relationship with ADP to outsource your HR needs.

With TotalSource, your business:

  • Retains day-to-day control over managing employees

  • Can make necessary changes and provide employees access to needed information through the My TotalSource Web portal

In turn, ADP:

  • Becomes the employer on record for tax purposes

  • Assumes legal risk, should anything go wrong

  • Handles payroll and taxes, recruiting and employee benefits

  • Oversees ACA compliance, employee training, and termination paperwork

The bottom line: ADP TotalSource is ideal for midsize businesses wanting to completely outsource their HR needs.

ADP SmartCompliance


Compliance tasks in ADP Smart Compliance (Source)

Maybe you already have a payroll, HR, or financial system in place, but are worried about potential compliance gaps that your team can’t fully cover. In that case, ADP SmartCompliance may be right for you.

ADP SmartCompliance is a modular offering that integrates with your current HCM platform to help you better meet tax, employment, and payroll compliance needs. SmartCompliance provides a suite of the following eight modules:

  • Employment tax

  • Wage garnishments

  • Tax credits

  • Wage payments

  • Employment verification

  • Health compliance

  • Unemployment claims

  • W-2 management

SmartCompliance is able to:

  • Integrate with popular HCM systems, such as SuccessFactors, Workday, and ADP’s own platforms.

  • Check and make sure you are compliant with the latest regulations to ensure your unemployment claims, wage garnishments, employment taxes and more are not only compliant, but as efficiently managed as possible.

  • Help you take advantage of applicable tax credits.

The bottom line: ADP SmartCompliance is ideal for midsize companies that already have an HCM system in place, but want to automate compliance gap management.

ADP Solutions for Large Businesses (1,000+ Employees)

With multiple offices and thousands of employees spread out among them, making sure HR is in order can be quite a task. The ADP offerings in this category are designed to help large businesses handle all of their talent management needs and strategic objectives.

ADP Vantage HCM


Pay breakdown in ADP Vantage HCM (Source)

ADP Vantage HCM is the vendor’s cloud-based HCM software offering for large businesses. The following applications allow users to scale and manage their workforce:

  • Talent

  • Benefits and ACA compliance

  • Time and attendance

  • Payroll

Vantage HCM also includes more advanced functionality, such as:

  • Succession planning

  • Workforce analytics

  • ADP’s Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) service to help organizations improve their time to hire and quality of hire.

The bottom line: ADP Vantage HCM is ideal for large businesses wanting a comprehensive, in-house HCM software solution.

ADP SmartCompliance


Dashboard in ADP SmartCompliance (Source)

ADP SmartCompliance is a modular offering that integrates with a pre-existing HCM solution to automate compliance gap management.

SmartCompliance can integrate with HR systems from vendors such as Kronos, SAP, Infor or even ADP itself. This can help large businesses meet tax, employment and payroll compliance needs.

Using up-to-date regulations, SmartCompliance can make sure the following areas are both compliant and efficiently managed:

  • Employment tax

  • Wage garnishments

  • Tax credits

  • Wage payments

  • Employment verification

  • Health compliance

  • Unemployment claims

  • W-2 management

The bottom line: ADP SmartCompliance is ideal for large businesses with an existing HCM platform that want an integrated solution to automate compliance gap management.

ADP Solutions for Multinational Businesses (of any size)

Multinational businesses have to mitigate such challenges as large distances between offices, different currencies and languages and ever-changing regulations. The ADP offerings in this category are designed to help companies, regardless of size, with employees all over the globe.

ADP GlobalView HCM


Pay by period in ADP GlobalView HCM (Source)

ADP GlobalView HCM is ADP’s cloud-based HCM solution for businesses operating in multiple countries.

The platform is uniquely designed to address the challenges of a global workforce, including functionality for:

  • Managing payroll and benefits in multiple currencies.

  • Accessing local payroll expertise in more than 140 countries.

  • Time and attendance management and compliance (including FLSA, FMLA, EU Working Time Directive).

  • Recruiting and talent management.

  • Performance management.

  • Advanced HCM analytics, which provides better visibility into global workforce trends.

The bottom line: ADP GlobalView is ideal for multinational companies wanting a comprehensive software platform to handle HR in-house.

ADP Streamline Payroll


Benefits management in ADP Streamline Payroll (Source)

ADP Streamline Payroll is an end-to-end advanced payroll system that provides a centralized database to manage multi-country operations.

The platform can either integrate with your HR or ERP solution, or can be purchased as a stand-alone offering.

Streamline is a cloud-based platform that leverages ADP’s network of in-country payroll experts. Not only can it help you remain compliant, it can also provide more data and visibility into payroll workflows.

Steamline offers the following built-in functionality:

  • Reporting and analytical tools that provide insight into head count, turnover, and compensation data.

  • Access to experts to help organizations comply with local legislative changes.

  • Centralized, country-specific payroll dashboards and reports.

The bottom line: ADP Streamline Payroll is ideal for international companies wanting more valuable insight into their global payroll operations.

Additional Products

Besides what is listed above, ADP has other offerings in its bundle of premier products. Some of these are meant to boost the effectiveness of your current system—they either offer more niche functionality, or are only available as an add-on to one of the above ADP solutions. Others don’t fit perfectly into the categories above.

ADP Mobile Solutions



Benefits and clock-in in ADP Mobile Solutions (Source)

Don’t be confused when you see ADP Mobile Solutions listed as a product on the vendor’s website. This simply refers to ADP’s free, dedicated mobile app that users can download to access ADP systems while on the go.

ADP Mobile Solutions allows managers and employees alike to track and print pay stubs, request time off, view benefits information and more from the convenience of their mobile device. It’s available for iOS, Android, Amazon, and Windows devices.

If you already have a User ID and password for any of the following ADP products, you can activate your ADP Mobile Solutions account by logging in using the same info.

Once you have a User ID and password, you can use ADP Mobile Solutions to access the following solutions:

  • ADP TotalSource

  • ADP Vantage HCM

  • ADP Workforce Now

  • RUN Powered by ADP

The bottom line: ADP Mobile Solutions is ideal for companies that want users to be able to access systems when outside the office.

ADP Health Compliance


Multi-device access in ADP Health Compliance (Source)

The ADP SmartCompliance Health Compliance module is a cloud-based platform that integrates with your existing HCM system, and is specifically designed to help your business with Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliance.

Health Compliance aggregates data from your HR, benefits, and payroll platforms to calculate benefits eligibility based on ACA criteria. It serves as a “control center” to help you detect vulnerabilities by using algorithms, and also offers a team of professionals who help you track new legislation to ensure your organization stays ACA compliant.

The bottom line: ADP Health Compliance is for businesses that need an integrated offering to help them remain ACA-compliant.

ADP WorkMarket


Dashboards in ADP WorkMarket (Source)

ADP WorkMarket is a platform dedicated to managing freelancers and independent contractors. The solution manages onboarding, compliance, and reporting, and integrates into your HCM system.

Freelancers and contract workers often span many different localities. The platform helps you ensure you’re compliant, and compiles a single source database—also known as “labor clouds”—of workers’ rates, skill sets, and locations.

Dashboards and automated reporting helps you monitor and track how much you’re spending on freelance and contracted services, workforce performance, and 1099 forms.

The bottom line: ADP WorkMarket is for businesses who are managing a significant number of freelancers and independent contractors, and who want to manage them from a unified interface.

Want to know more about ADP or other HR software?

Though ADP is a major vendor in the HR space, there are also plenty of other software options to explore. You can start by:

If you’re looking for more personalized guidance on HR software, give our HR software advisors a call at (844) 675-2849. They’ll give you a free 15-minute consultation to review your business needs, and then provide you with a shortlist of products that suit your business.