Paylocity and ADP are viable payroll applications, but that doesn’t mean both products will work for you. Paylocity is best for enterprises that are in need of an all-in-one solution. The payroll software can also include workforce management, employee benefits, talent recruiting and more. ADP, meanwhile, focuses on quality payroll and HR tools.

SEE: We’ve got all rivals, and here’s a look at ADP’s competitors.

Knowing the details of the products can help you understand which option is best for your enterprise.

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Paylocity vs ADP

Payroll software is an essential component of a successful business. Unfortunately, payroll solutions can be complicated or unhelpful for employees, which leads to other workplace issues. For that reason — and many others — it’s important to know which payroll applications are best. As noted above, Paylocity and ADP are both great payroll options, but one might be better for you. This article compares both payroll apps to help you determine which product is right for your team.

Paylocity vs ADP: Comparison table

Global payrollYesYes
Tax compliance toolsYesYes
Direct depositYesYes
Mobile applicationYesYes
HR toolsYesYes

Paylocity and ADP pricing

Neither Paylocity nor ADP display public pricing. In order to receive an accurate quote for your business, you’ll have to give your information to the payroll applications. General pricing, however, is a little bit easier to discern. ADP offers different packages depending on the size of a business. Small businesses can access four different payroll packages, while larger organizations have three options to choose from. The most common ADP package starts at roughly $79 per month plus $4 per employee.

Paylocity starts at $2 per employee. It is important to note with both services, however, that prices can rise quickly. Paylocity and ADP support global payroll, meaning large teams can result in high spending for your organization.

Feature comparison: Paylocity vs. ADP


Paylocity and ADP both offer automation tools for you to use. Paylocity boasts that its automated capabilities will reduce reporting errors and allow employees to get paid faster. The software will also calculate certain figures automatically, a feature that ADP also supports. ADP’s automated tools are also good, though they are better for larger organizations. These enterprises have access to fully-automated data syncing, which is not available for smaller companies.

SEE: Small businesses looking for the right payroll software, will find a handy guide available.

While it is hard to say that one payroll platform features better automation than the other, ADP includes more quality-of-life functions than its competitor. Even small businesses have the ability to automate messaging, calculations, payments and more. By contrast, Paylocity only allows automated tools with certain manual tasks.  The service offers a few default automation configurations and only lets users customize things like retroactive payments and automatic calculations for prorated workers. This offers slightly less flexibility.

Global payroll

Paylocity and ADP also offer global payroll. Comparing Paylocity vs ADP, it must be argued that the former is better for global payroll solutions. This is not because ADP’s tools are bad; in some ways, they are better than Paylocity’s. ADP supports global payroll in 140 countries, which is more than Paylocity, but it also lacks flexibility. The service is primarily aimed at HR professionals. Additionally, ADP states that its global solutions are for businesses of 1,000+ individuals.

Alternatively, Paylocity supports payroll in over 100 countries. But Paylocity features live reporting and global employee management. It is easier for your enterprise to organize payments around the world.

Tax compliance tools

The tax compliance tools offered by Paylocity and ADP are similar, though ADP has more benefits. Paylocity is an IRS Registered Reporting Agent, which means that taxes in the U.S. will be easily kept up-to-date. If your organization operates globally, however, ADP offers compliance tools that can be applied to countries around the world. ADP’s SmartCompliance software can even be used with other payroll applications should you decide not to use ADP.

Direct deposit

ADP and Paylocity allow employees to receive their payments directly. While ADP features classic direct deposit tools, Paylocity offers on-demand pay, which allows employees to access payments early. If your organization is looking to be flexible with payments, Paylocity may be the right choice.

Mobile application

Both Paylocity and ADP offer mobile applications through which you can manage employees, communicate with teams, initiate payments and more. Of the two apps, ADP is the more popular tool.

Paylocity pros and cons

Pros of Paylocity

  • Great global payroll tools.
  • Easy customization.
  • Great for small and mid-sized organizations.

Cons of Paylocity

  • Limited automation.
  • Pricing information is not public.
  • Lacking or unexplained features.
A screenshot showing Paylocity's features and user interface
Paylocity is an IRS Registered Reporting Agent, meaning that taxes in the U.S. are kept up-to-date. Image: Paylocity

ADP pros and cons

Pros of ADP

  • Easy scalability.
  • Excellent HR tools.
  • Flexible payment plans.

Cons of ADP

  • Inflexible global payroll.
  • Pricing information is not public.
With ADP, users can manage their accounts using various devices.
With ADP, users can manage their accounts using various devices. Image: ADP


This review features information compiled from multiple relevant sources. The above information about payroll platforms Paylocity and ADP was collected from users, the vendors themselves as well as reputable third-party organizations.

Should your organization use Paylocity or ADP?

Hopefully, this guide has helped you better understand Paylocity and ADP, though you might still be wondering how you’re supposed to choose between them. Quite simply, you’ll need to consider your specific business needs. Think about your team, your operations and your current payroll solutions. What are you looking for?

Businesses that are looking to scale, and are interested in automation and strong HR tools, should consider using ADP. Paylocity may be more attractive for smaller enterprises, especially those that are global. It can also be easier to customize the service if that’s something that appeals to you. And remember, neither option is bad. It’s simply a matter of choosing what you think will benefit your team the most. If you keep that in mind, it’s difficult to go wrong.