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Human Resources & Payroll

2012 Review of RUN Powered by ADP Payroll for Accountants

ADP, Inc. — RUN Powered by ADP Payroll for Accountants

From the October 2012 review of professional payroll systems.

Best Firm Fit: Accounting professionals looking to provide full service payroll options to small businesses with 100 or fewer employees and prefer a web-based interface


  • Internet-based to achieve anytime, anywhere payroll processing
  • Integrates with most accounting software currently used by small businesses
  • Phone and e-mail support is provided and on-demand help is accessible from virtually every screen
  • Fully outsourced compliance filing and tax payments
  • Scalable to meet the growing demands of client needs
  • Enables accounting professionals a solution that helps their clients to comply with payroll and HR rules and regulations

Potential Limitations

  • Employee self-service portal is not as fully-featured as competitors
  • Add-on modules required to achieve full HR and employee management functions

RUN Powered by ADP Payroll for Accountants is a wholesale platform designed specifically for accounting professionals. The RUN platform is designed exclusively for Internet-based payroll processing and may be implemented across a wide range of industries. Backed by ADP, one of the premiere online payroll vendors, extensive marketing materials are provided to aid accounting professionals in generating a payroll service revenue stream.

Basic System Functions: 4.5 Stars

RUN Powered by ADP Payroll for Accountants is part of an Internet-based payroll service platform designed for businesses with 100 or fewer employees. Since the service is wholly web-based, ADP secures client data through the latest encryption techniques as well as being mirrored and backed up in duplicate sites

User login controls may be tightly controlled to only allow access to certain clients or tasks. Upon login, users are presented a client listing, which may be searched and filtered to select client data files. Navigation through the system is generally intuitive and is provided through a series of category tabs at the top of the screen with category specific tasks presented on the left part of the screen. The system is multi-user capable and users can access client data concurrently, but editing of information is limited to one user at a time.

Payroll processing is accomplished in two easy steps. The first step involves time entry which is accomplished by manual data entry by the client or accounting professional. The second step allows the accounting professional to preview the payroll for validation before finalizing the payroll. After that, ADP takes care of all tax compliance reports and payments of all federal, state and local liabilities.

Direct deposit is included with the full service payroll offering and ADP will process this on behalf of the client. Each employee may have up to four separate bank accounts setup for direct deposit. ADP checks or direct deposit may be available on the next business day as long as the payroll is submitted to ADP on the day prior by 3pm local time.

Pay cards are available instead of direct deposit, but a small charge will apply to the cardholder for each employee payroll card. In addition to the full-tax filing service, accounting professionals can use the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) service, and help their clients remain compliant by submitting the tax payments, filings and pay data themselves. The DIY platform offers electronic payment and filing of tax forms for both federal and state jurisdictions.

ADP offers several optional add-ons to further enhance RUN Powered by ADP Payroll for Accountants. One of the more popular add-on modules is HR411, which offers a live HR help desk and serves as a self-service human resource management function.. Additionally a host of information is provided to employers regarding various support, administration and compliance aspects.

One feature unique to HR411 is the ability to generate employee handbooks by answering a series of predetermined questions. Based on answers to these questions, HR411 generates a custom handbook based on federal employment law that is fully editable in Microsoft Word format. A variety of other checklists and predetermined letters are also included, such as rejection letter notices and job application formats.

Reporting & Monitoring: 4.5 Stars

A wide variety of reports are included with RUN Powered by ADP Payroll for Accountants and each report is grouped across four categories. Reports are real-time and immediately following payroll processing, all report data reflects the most recent information. Reports are simple to use and can be filtered by date ranges and employees, are limited in their filtering and are limited to general filters like date and employee specific information.

Currently no module is available to create fully custom payroll reports. All reports, however, may be exported to PDF or Microsoft Excel file format for further filtering or formatting and customization. All reports are available for printing by ADP, and can be mailed to either the client or the accounting professional for a small fee.

Integration/Import/Export: 4 Stars

RUN Powered by ADP Payroll for Accountants offers a variety of integration points. A suite of payroll add-on services are available and the RUN platform integrates tightly with each of these offerings. A general ledger export file is provided for the QuickBooks and Xero accounting systems and imports all appropriate payroll related items.

Other accounting products may integrate through Microsoft Excel and CSV file formats as exported from RUN. Direct payroll integration is offered for QuickBooks Online Essential and Plus editions. Newly added is direct integration with Xero, a web-based accounting solution and coming in the fall of 2012 is direct integration with Creative Solution accounting products.

Help/Support: 4.75 Stars

Since RUN Powered by ADP Payroll for Accountants is a web-based solution, most help and support options are web-based as well. In addition, phone and e-mail support is offered and is provided by the ADP payroll team assigned to the accounting professional’s account. Service center hours are extended to further support accounting professionals during peak season.

On nearly every data entry screen throughout the system, online help is available through a help question mark icon located at the top of the data entry areas. When users click on this icon, a list of frequently asked questions related to the current screen along with appropriate answers are displayed. In the dedicated support area of the service solution, users have access to a variety of general help topics through a hyperlinked help screen.

A getting started guide along with instructions associated with quarterly and year-end tasks is also provided. Updates to the system are automatic and generally do not require any user intervention. Upon each update users are provided with an updated guide that shows all changes and enhancements made to the system.

Client Self-Service Features: 4.5 Stars

RUN Powered by ADP Payroll for Accountants is designed as an web-based payroll processing solution for accounting professionals, but also provides a basic portal for employees to view and print their historical and current pay stub information. Employee access may be controlled by the accounting professional and each portal may also be branded as appropriate. W-2s may be viewed at the client level for printing and review, but these are not pushed to the respective employee portals. Additionally, the client has three levels of access that include ability to make employee changes, view reports and W2s and enter their employee’s time.

Summary & Pricing

RUN Powered by ADP Payroll for Accountants is designed for accounting professionals looking to provide full service payroll options to small business clients with 100 or fewer employees who prefer a web-based payroll solution. Built-on the RUN platform offered by ADP to small businesses, this service is modified to allow accounting professionals to turn payroll service offerings into a revenue stream, quickly and efficiently.

All payroll compliance is processed through the RUN platform and is handled by ADP which relieves the compliance burdens from the accounting professional. Standard pricing for the full service offerings is $60 per client, per month plus a nominal per check processing fee.

Scaled back service offerings are available and are priced at $22 per client, per month, for unlimited payrolls. The HR411 add-on module to manage employees and benefits is offered in payroll service bundles and is generally priced around $40 per month, per client.

2012 Overall Rating: 4.5 Stars



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