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Human Resources & Payroll

2013 Review of RUN Powered by ADP Payroll for Partners


RUN Powered by ADP Payroll for Partners is a wholesale payroll platform designed for accounting professionals. The RUN platform is designed exclusively for Internet-based payroll processing and can 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: 5 Stars

RUN Powered by ADP Payroll for Partners is part of ADP’s Internet-based payroll service platform designed for businesses with 100 or fewer employees. The service is web-based, and ADP secures client data through the latest encryption techniques in ADP’s secure data centers. The RUN user interface was updated in 2013 to make it easier to use on both computers and touch screen devices such as tablets.

User login controls can restrict 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 handles all tax compliance responsibilities, including filing returns and remittance 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. Employees without bank accounts can also be given a debit card which provides instant access to their earnings.

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 Partners and each report is grouped across four categories. Reports are produced in real-time immediately following payroll processing. 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.

RUN does not have a traditional report writer for creating special reports. All standard reports, however, may be exported to a Microsoft Excel file format for further filtering or formatting and customization. Firms striving for a paperless office can use ADP’s optional service which prints and mails reports to clients for a small fee.

Integration/Import/Export: 4.75 Stars

RUN Powered by ADP Payroll for Partners 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 (workers’ compensation, retirement plans, and the ezLaborManager time and attendance tool). A general ledger export file is provided for the QuickBooks and Xero accounting systems which imports all appropriate payroll related items.

Direct payroll integration is offered for QuickBooks (Online, Pro, Premier, and Enterprise), Thomson Reuters Accounting CS, and Xero. Other accounting products may be able to import data from RUN using Microsoft Excel and CSV file formats.

Help/Support: 5 Stars

The RUN Powered by ADP Payroll for Partners website has an excellent online help site. In addition, phone and e-mail support is provided by the ADP payroll team assigned to the accounting professional’s account. Service center hours are extended during peak periods to support accounting professionals working outside of normal business hours.

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.

Client Self-Service Features: 5 Stars

RUN Powered by ADP Payroll for Partners 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 with the employer’s logo. W-2s may be viewed at the client level for printing and review, but these are not delivered directly to individual employee portals. Additionally, the client has three levels of access that include ability to make employee changes, view reports and W2s and enter employee time.

Summary & Pricing

RUN Powered by ADP Payroll for Partners 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.

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


  • Web-based payroll with comprehensive support for all jurisdictions
  • 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 payment is included with the service
  • Scalable to meet the growing demands of client needs
  • Included HR suite (HR411) provides basic compliance tools to end users

Potential Limitations

  • Employee self-service portal is not as fully-featured as competitors
  • Add-on services may be needed to achieve full HR and employee management functions

2013 Overall Rating: 4.75 Stars