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ADP TotalSource Review: Is It The Right PEO or HR Provider for Your Business?

Updated: Apr 14

ADP TotalSource is a leading provider of PEO services in the U.S., but is it still a reliable option today? Are you currently looking for a trustworthy PEO company to manage your HR needs, but not sure if ADP TotalSource is the right option for you? We've tested ADP TotalSource, and we have the answers you're looking for. 

As a leading PEO broker partnering with several top PEO companies, we evaluated the core services and features offered by ADP and compared them with other top options in the PEO and HR outsourcing industry. 

While ADP is still a good option, there are some areas, such as its lack of transparent pricing, complex setup process, and subpar customer support, that we think the provider needs to improve. Check out our comprehensive review below to see if ADP is the right choice for your business.

What is ADP TotalSource?

ADP TotalSource is a co-employment model PEO service from Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP), an American provider of human resources management software and services. ADP TotalSource helps businesses with their paperwork and administrative tasks, allowing them to concentrate on their core activities. They have been in operation for over 70 years.

The company acts as a one-stop solution for businesses, especially small and mid-sized ones, needing comprehensive HR support. Essentially, it serves as the dedicated HR team for companies without a fully-equipped internal HR team, or supplements the efforts of existing in-house HR teams.

ADP TotalSource also assigns a dedicated team of experts who specialize in different areas of HR and the client company's specific area of business. This ensures that businesses receive tailored and specialized support to address their unique HR needs effectively.

Pros and Cons of ADP TotalSource
Pros and Cons of ADP TotalSource


  1. Competitive Benefits: TotalSource Offers employees Fortune 500-caliber benefits and a strong 401(k) plan.

  2. Time Savings: Users report significant time savings that can be redirected to drive sales and other business activities.

  3. Cost-Effective: The integrated service model is often seen as more affordable than sourcing various solutions separately.

  4. Expert Support: Users praise the knowledgeability and responsiveness of ADP representatives.

  5. All-in-one Functionality: ADP TotalSource provides fully integrated software across all HR functions, complemented by expert guidance and ongoing employee support.


  1. Cost Concerns: For some small businesses, the cost might be higher compared to handling HR in-house, especially if they don't fully utilize all the services offered.

  2. Complexity: The breadth of services offered can be overwhelming, and it may take time to learn how to effectively use all the available tools and features.

  3. Slow Customer Support: The response times to clients' enquiries could be improved. Some users have experienced delays in getting answers to queries or issues.

Keep in mind that each business's experience may vary, and what might be a con for one could be a pro for another, depending on the company's size, industry, and specific needs.

What Does ADP TotalSource Offer?

The ADP TotalSource software offers a bundled service package that includes human resources, payroll, compliance, training, risk, and benefits administration services. There are optional add-on services available for an extra cost, such as workforce and performance management, 401(k) administration, and worker's compensation management.

1. Human Resource Management

ADP TotalSource manages your HR needs, including onboarding, offboarding, ACA document management, recruiting, and HR-compliance training. They keep track of changing labor laws and help your organization comply with them.

TotalSource also manages your employee records, including personal information, employment history, tax forms, and performance evaluations. For your organization, this means a comprehensive HR solution that manages payroll and HR tasks efficiently, lowered risk by ensuring compliance with laws and regulations, and expert HR support when you need it.

2. Payroll and Tax

ADP TotalSource offers payroll administration, ensuring that your employees are paid properly and on time. Such services may use direct deposit and payroll card, as well as traditional checks, modeled after most top payroll software alternatives.

As a part of your agreement with ADP TotalSource, you will have a personal payroll specialist who can assist you in setting up payroll and tax obligations. They can administer your payroll, from processing, audit, and settlement to deductions/garnishments and unemployment insurance.

In addition, ADP TotalSource calculates and recollects payroll benefits for you, the Internal Revenue Service, and your home or local administrations.

3. Risk and Compliance

ADP TotalSource provides risk and compliance services to keep your business updated with OSHA reporting, insurance requirements, and health and safety training. The ADP SmartCompliance suite integrates with third-party applications to manage various services seamlessly. Incorporating this platform into your organization's operations can lead to improved efficiency, reduced errors, and a more streamlined approach to compliance.

4. Benefits Administration

ADP TotalSource offers a wide range of benefits, including healthcare, retirement plans, 401(k) plans, and insurance options. Its ability to provide comprehensive and cost-effective benefits makes it highly rated among PEO companies. This means that you get access to benefits that rival those offered by Fortune 500 companies, helping you attract and keep top talent. 

TotalSource also takes care of employee discounts for retail, restaurants, travel, and entertainment. How this works is that they collaborate with you to figure out the best benefits package for your company and your team—all while sticking to your budget.

5. Integration With 3rd-Party Accounting

ADP TotalSource integrates with various third-party service providers such as Sage, SAP, QuickBooks, Oracle, Infor, Workday, Xero, and FinancialForce for HCM, accounting, and ERP needs. It also integrates with time management and recruiting platforms like Jobvite, TSheets, MakeShift, and TempWorks.

Customers' Reviews

There are plenty of reviews for ADP TotalSource online since it's widely used and has been around for a long time. On TrustRadius, it holds an overall rating of 6.0 out of 10. 

On the positive side, users appreciate the ease of use for certain features such as payroll processing and time tracking. Managing team members' requests for time off and customizing reports for specific periods are also highlighted as convenient aspects of the system.

However, customers have mentioned several recurring issues. One common complaint is the slow response times from the support staff, leading to inefficiencies in resolving queries and issues. Some users also express frustration with the implementation process, feeling that they were left unsupported after the initial setup.

Some other users criticize the outdated software interface, describing it as not being user-friendly. Additionally, there are concerns about the high cost of the service, lack of transparency in quotes and fee structures, and difficulty navigating the online platform.

Is ADP TotalSource Right for Your Business?

Determining if ADP TotalSource is the right fit for your business depends on various factors such as your company size, HR needs, and budget. ADP TotalSource caters to businesses of all sizes, but it may be especially beneficial for small to mid-sized companies that lack a dedicated HR department. Larger enterprises may also find value in its comprehensive HR solutions.

Another factor to consider is compatibility. If your business already uses specific HR software or has existing processes in place, confirm that it is compatible with ADP TotalSource's systems and integration capabilities.

Ultimately, determining whether a PEO is right for your business depends on how well it aligns with your company's unique needs, goals, and preferences. If you decide to switch PEOs, it's important to handle the transition thoughtfully to avoid complications.

ADP TotalSource Alternatives

There are various alternatives to ADP TotalSource, ranging from budget-friendly options tailored for small businesses to similarly priced offerings from larger corporate providers. While ADP TotalSource offers comprehensive HR solutions, it's essential to explore alternatives to ensure you find the best fit for your business.

Some good alternatives to consider include Trinet, Vensure HR, and Insperity, amongst others. Learn about their individual offerings and how they compare to ADP TotalSource.

FAQs About ADP TotalSource

Is ADP TotalSource a certified PEO?

Yes, ADP TotalSource has met all the rigorous background, financial, and reporting requirements set by the IRS. This certification ensures financial protections and tax benefits to TotalSource clients that users of non-certified PEOs do not necessarily receive.

Which platforms does ADP TotalSource integrate with?

TotalSource has pre-built, secure integrations and data connectors with over 300 business software applications like QuickBooks, Sage, SAP, Oracle, etc. ADP can also create a custom API (or integration) if you need data integration with a system they don’t already integrate with.

What is involved in migrating to ADP TotalSource?

After signing up, ADP will schedule an organizational development consultation to assess your business needs and devise a migration strategy. Once the plan is finalized, ADP will proceed with staff integration and complete the required employee processes. The migration process typically spans 2 to 6 months, depending on the size of your business.

How Mission HR Can Help

Choosing a PEO can be overwhelming, but you don't have to go through it alone. At Mission HR, we specialize in guiding businesses like yours through the process of selecting the right PEO partner. Our years of experience and deep insight ensure that we address all your HR and outsourcing concerns comprehensively. Feel free to contact us if you have any further questions about PEO.


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