8 Best ADP Competitors & Alternatives for Startups in 2024

Man standing in his office.

Starting a business can be as thrilling as it is daunting. One factor often overlooked by startups, however, is payroll services. Payroll is often the “nerve center” of your operation, and an efficient payroll system ensures your employees are well taken care of and that all tax and regulatory requirements are met.

You’ve likely heard of ADP, which is a titan in the HR and payroll services industry and known for its comprehensive solutions designed for businesses of all sizes. From their intuitive platform to their knowledgeable support team, they’re consistently named one of the world’s most admired companies.

But ADP isn’t the only player in the game – there are several ADP alternatives out there that may be better for your startup’s unique needs. In this guide, we’ll cover the best ADP alternatives designed to meet the needs of growing businesses like yours.

Best ADP Alternative: Gusto

Don’t let administrative tasks distract you from meaningful work – Gusto makes payroll, benefits, and HR simple for startups.

Learn More

Top Alternatives to ADP

Searching the market for the best payroll service can be overwhelming for any entrepreneur or business owner. Yet, finding an HR solution that suits your startup is a must for boosting efficiency and streamlining your business functions. 

This guide is designed to help you in this search, offering an immediate and comprehensive list of top ADP competitors. Let’s go ahead and walk through the guide below to discover some potential platforms that could revolutionize your business operations.

1. Gusto

Gusto is a significant challenger to ADP, offering a robust platform designed to streamline essential business tasks. This people-focused software allows businesses to hire, pay, and manage their employees all in one place – features that are undeniably a great asset to have in today’s business landscape. 

With Gusto, the once burdensome task of payroll and HR management is automated, giving business owners the opportunity to focus on other important aspects of their venture. An added advantage is customers have reported completing their payroll in less time than they did before, with some recording savings of over 80 hours annually.

Not only does Gusto simplify operations, but it also provides health insurance administration without added costs, setting it apart from many competitors. Businesses can pick from a variety of insurance plans and additional features, making Gusto a highly flexible tool designed with the user in mind. 

Reviews indicate that a large percentage of Gusto’s customers are satisfied with the software, making it a viable and enjoyable alternative to ADP.

Learn more by reading our full Gusto review.

2. OnPay

OnPay steps into the roster of top ADP alternatives as well by offering intuitive online payroll services. Its mission to make payroll management easy frees up business owners to concentrate on their core operation areas. Built upon three decades of solid experience in payroll processing, OnPay combines time-tested knowledge with cutting-edge technology to deliver dependable service.

Being mobile-friendly, OnPay’s software goes wherever your business takes you – offering seamless integration with numerous popular business apps. The goal is to simplify the small business management process, and this objective shines through its easy-to-use platform. 

With the way that it simplifies managing payroll and HR tasks, there’s no question that OnPay is a very viable alternative to companies like ADP.

Learn more by reading our full OnPay review.

3. QuickBooks

QuickBooks competes head to head with ADP by offering holistic solutions to help businesses in tracking finances, managing inventory, paying bills and employees and producing insightful reports. It comes with different pricing tiers catering to a range of business scales – from basic accounting tasks for small businesses to managing larger, more complex ventures. QuickBooks also provides adjustable reporting features ranging from standard reports to custom-made dashboards and performance metrics.

Further building up the QuickBooks suite are its comprehensive payroll and HR services. Depending on the plan you select, these services can cover everything from employee payment, tax handling, and compliance assurance to setup assistance, troubleshooting help, and expert reviews. 

Time-tracking features that record employee location and send reminders can greatly simplify expenses and efficiency, and all these offerings combined together make QuickBooks a well-rounded alternative to ADP.

4. Paychex

Paychex has also found its footing when it comes to ADP alternatives by providing comprehensive solutions to help businesses hire, pay, manage, and retain employees. Used by over 740,000 businesses, Paychex’s industry-leading all-in-one HR, payroll, and benefits platform offers a unified source to manage business requirements.

What sets Paychex apart is its ability to tailor solutions based on business size. This helps ensure small-, medium-, and large-sized companies get service that suits their specific needs. The platform offers time-saving solutions that streamline payroll, HR, and benefits administration, making employee hiring, payment, facilitating retention, and benefits management more efficient and straightforward. 

As a unified platform that simplifies HR and payroll administration, Paychex confidently supports entrepreneurs looking to streamline these critical operations.

5. Wave

The Wave payroll and bookkeeping application is one of the best ADP alternatives for startups. Its appeal lies not only in its free access to core features but also in its user-friendly design specifically tailored for small business owners and freelancers. 

Wave allows business owners to generate customized invoices, automate reminders for overdue payments, and accommodate online payments for a quicker transaction process. It stands out as a cost-efficient, easy-to-use application that empowers entrepreneurs by taking the accounting hustle off their hands and allowing them to focus on their core business.

Wave also offers a comprehensive suite of services, including in-house coaching from a team of bookkeeping, accounting, and payroll experts. It caters to a wide range of professionals such as contractors, consultants, and self-employed individuals, giving them helpful tools and reliable customer support. The data of users is securely stored, providing an additional sense of security and trust in the platform.

6. Zenefits (Now TriNet HR)

Now rebranded as the TriNet HR platform, Zenefits offers an all-in-one solution that rivals ADP in its comprehensive capabilities for payroll processing, benefits administration, performance reviews, record keeping, time tracking, and much more. It simplifies these processes with its three-click payroll system and a single dashboard for employees to enroll in benefits plans. This streamlines HR management tasks and offers significant time savings, potentially reducing onboarding new hires by up to one week per year.

In comparison to ADP’s wide-ranging services, Zenefits offers a level of simplicity and usability that startups might find more amenable. With added modules for recruiting, people analytics, 401(k) plans, and integrations with other tools, along with annual discounts on plans paid upfront and availability of outsourced HR support options, Zenefits shows flexibility in terms of plan options and scalability as a startup grows.

7. BambooHR

For startups looking for a complete HR platform, BambooHR is an attractive alternative to ADP with its suite of features and global reach. Not only does it facilitate employee, payroll, time, and benefits information in one place for increased accuracy and security, but it also provides in-house support, ensuring the best possible customer service.

BambooHR also offers its own payroll solution, which seamlessly integrates HR and payroll data, reducing errors and streamlining the payroll process. Data privacy is a high priority for BambooHR. With data centers meeting multiple regional laws and requirements and a zero-trust approach to data security, BambooHR ensures stringent measures are in place to prevent data leaks and unauthorized access.

8. Rippling

Often ranked as the top workforce platform, Rippling is another great alternative to ADP. It is an all-encompassing workforce management system capable of handling every facet related to managing employees, making it a suitable choice for startups that require comprehensive HR, IT, and finance solutions.

With its built-in automation features for many HR functions and its ability to centralize all employee data and operations, Rippling excels in creating efficiency and reducing workloads across the board. This makes it an excellent choice for businesses that are trying to scale from a handful of employees to thousands. 

Offering live and on-demand demos of its system, Rippling gives a convincing case for itself as a comprehensive workforce management solution.