ADP as Payroll Provider

I know we have been talking about payroll providers recently.  My President has set up a meeting with ADP (friend of a friend).  Wanted to get the good and the bad before the meeting.  Do they file payroll taxes?  Anyone using them to put money in HSA accounts for employee contributions?

TXHRGuy - I am still looking at Ceridan as an option, but since President set up this meeting need to get info!!


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  • It is my understanding that yes, ADP will file payroll taxes, however they will not do it for any period where they were not the provider for the whole period. So it is best to convert at the beginning of a year or quarter.

     I have worked for a consulting firm that got data from ADP for many clients. They were (at the time) one of the worst to deal with.  Data often was wrong and we had to get multiple feeds of the same data.  My firm finally decided to give me a special project where I wrote a computer program to compare one ADP file to the next before the data was fed into our systems, because it was often blank (and over wrote our data) or wrong (format/fields), etc.

    They might have gotten better.  Often their reputation depends on what part of the country you are in.  Unfortunately if your President is behind it, you might not have a choice. If I had a choice, I would check out both Ceridian and PayChex.

  • HRforME is absolutely right about it depending on your area.  I have worked in one city where Paychex was far superior to ADP, and in another where I left Paychex for ADP and was happy with the result.
  • I am in MD.  Anyone have ADP in MD or one of the Mid-Atlantic states?

    One of the biggest issues with our current provider, other than they can't get the accruals correct and we have had issues with employees mysteriously dropping off the payroll from one period to the next, is customer service.  We have a rep who has told us to do things one way, then we started having issues, so we went up the ladder. Come to find out the issues are because we were told to do things wrong.  It has been a big mess!

  • I've had a horrible time with ADP.  We're a small bank in Idaho and Wyoming, and I've had nothing but trouble with them.  Wait time on the helpdesk hotline is unbelievable (I usually put them on speakerphone for up to an hour until I get a real person on the line), and on more than one occasion, we've received another company's paychecks.  In addition, our regional rep has contacted me once in two years.  The only reason we are still with ADP is the fear of switching payroll companies. 
  • When I was in training for Ceridian, 2 of the 8 companies represented there were changing from ADP because ADP made serious errors in their 401(k) administration.

    ADP presented a higher bid than Ceridian each time we went to them over 4 years of looking into outsourcing payroll.

    In my opinion, Ceridian's payroll process and reporting tools are superior.
  • I know that many companies are stronger in certain areas.  Im currently in Arizona and I have to say that the majorty of the people that I talk with are interested in leaving ADP for two common reasons.

    1. Mistakes- I met with a company that had 2 full time people spending about 2-4 hours per week cleaning up ADP discrepencies. 

    2. Service- someone mentioned it earlier but with the turnover in the processor department, clients felt they were having to "re-train" their processor on the details of their account every other month or so.


    My advice is talk to other companies in your industry and city/state and find who the best performers are.

  • I've recently changed companies and we use ADP where I am now.

    Terrible reporting power.  Very inefficient to use with layer upon layer of screens and menus that don't seem necessary.  Ceridian isn't great in this regard but ADP is worse.

  • Definitely depends on where you are at.  We are in NJ and even within our state there are ADP providers that are better than others.  Unfortunately, we don't have one of the good ones.  The customer service is dreadful and it can be fairly obvious when you are dealing with a rep that doesn't know what they are talking about.  Also, over the last year we implemented HRB and eTIME through ADP and I swear our work has doubled rather than lightened up.  I agree with TXHRGuy that the reporting is awful.  We were hoping that when the billing system was revamped senior management would contemplate a new time entry system other than eTIME.  No such luck.  Hopefully your president isn't too buddy-buddy with the ADP salesperson.  Good luck!
  • Funny thing...during the sales pitch from ADP the two things that the sales rep talked about were how awesome the reporting features are with lots of options and also that it doesn't take you ten steps to do one thing you need to do.  We specifically talked about this because our current system has awful reporting and also takes you through too many screens and menus just to make one change.

    Got to love sales reps and their sales pitches!! (I can say that and laugh because my brother is a very successful sales rep! I am always teasing him!!)

  • Our salesperson (at least for eTIME) swore the application could do x,y and z.  AFTER implementation with our pilot group we found out that was not the case.  At least not with the current version!  We ended up manipulating the system to fit our needs as best we could but had to spend money in order to create a custom report.  As for HRB, that application can run multiple reports rather easily but we can't run certain reports that would seem so basic.  And the information is already in the system.  We need to do a lot of 'cleaning up' to make the reports easy to read.  Plus, we need to archive terminated employees rather quickly after they have left so we aren't paying full price for them.  This makes it difficult to run historical data because they need to be un-archived and there is no mass way to un-archive them.  I know IT HR was specifically asking for payroll opinions, which I'm not really involved with.  I can, however, say that my co-worker in payroll is usually steaming mad after ending a phone call with ADP.   
  • We currently use ADP and are based in MD.  The customer service tends to be really spotty - we have in place a "3 call rule"- any ADP issue, question or concern, call the 800# 3 times, speak to 3 different people (that is not hard) and see if any of the answers match.  I don't think there are that many solutions to the same issue.  You never seem to get a staight answer.

    We just recently made the decision to leave ADP for a Kelly Services due in part to a cost savings and a system integration.  ADP has a lot of features, but it's hard to turn them on if you don't do so when you first set up. 

    It's horrible with accurals and even harder to change what you've set up.  Every year we send the first two months completing manually updates, because our rollovers never work right.  NIGHTMARE.

    Best advice - compare, list pros and cons and make an educated decision.  It might not be your decision, but at least you'll have looked at it from all angles.

  • Thanks for the information! 

    Are you using the Owings Mills service center for ADP?  This is the service center they said we would be using.  We just got our quote back and it is quite a bit more than we are currently are paying. 

    Are you talking Kelly Services (which I thought was a staffing firm) or KAIG (Kelly & Associates Insurance Group)?


  • ADP does have multiple applications depending on country and
    employee count.  I agree that HRB lacks
    in many areas and their associated customer service line is below par, IMO.  However, their Enterprise system is much different
    and has far more functionality.     

  • We've used ADP for several years but will be switching to another provider (Dominion Payroll Services here in Virginia) in January. The customer service (or lack of correct answers), cost and lack of good communications are major factors.
  • I would like to know if anyone has requested to have a single contact person for ADP issues.  Our payroll gals have similar issues to others posting here in that they can call 3 people and get 3 different answers.
  • Our payroll coordinator has not been through the ADP training but is getting along well on her computer knowledge and payroll experience with other systems. She needed to remove an insurance deduction from someone's payroll. It took her 5 calls, including escalation, to get someone to tell her how/where to do this. Simply ridiculous.
  • See this is why you do your homework and ask your HR friends about a system before you go sign up with a new vendor!! 

    TXHRGuy - I sent an email to your Ceridan contact with no response.  [:(]  Anyone else I should contact?

  • We currently use ADP (friend of the CFO) not go there.  They do file taxes, but as mentioned previously, only if they have a full year of data which they did not mention when signing up with them.  Multiple errors, you can never reach the same customer service twice, even if they've given you a case number, etc.  As a one person HR department, using them was to decrease my workload......need I say more?
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