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Both ADP RUN and QuickBooks Payroll help with salary payments, wage garnishment, tax compliance and new hire reporting. They also provide self-service employee portals, ledger reports and more features to make payroll easy for you. Now, let’s see how they differ.


One significant difference between these top payroll service providers is that you get unlimited payroll runs on all QuickBooks Payroll plans, while ADP RUN charges users according to how many payrolls they run. QuickBooks also gives you same-day and next-day direct deposits, while ADP guarantees two-day direct deposits. Other QuickBooks features that ADP RUN lacks are multicurrency support for international payroll and vacation tracking.

Benefits Administration

ADP’s higher-tiered plans come with benefits administration, such as retirement, workers’ compensation and health insurance. Lower plan users can only access benefit administration features by paying for the add-on. However, all QuickBooks Payroll users can administer benefits, such as health insurance and 401(k) tracking via Intuit’s partner, SimplyInsured.

Taxes and Compliance

Both ADP RUN and QuickBooks automatically file and pay payroll taxes for you, but for ADP RUN, filing W-2s and delivering tax forms to employees costs extra. However, users love that ADP RUN updates you about tax codes, minimum wage and other tax and payroll compliance regulations.

QuickBooks Payroll calculates, files and pays all federal and state payroll taxes for your employees and contractors, and there’s free tax filing for one state. You’ll need to pay $12 for each additional state, except on the QuickBooks Payroll Elite plan, which includes free multitax state and federal tax filing. Also, if, as a QuickBooks Payroll Elite user, you receive a local, state or federal payroll tax penalty from QuickBooks’ error, the Payroll service resolves it for you and reimburses all penalties and interests, up to $25,000.

Time Tracking

Time tracking tools allow you to schedule employee shifts and monitor their hours. Intuit has QuickBooks Time, a time-tracking app included in QuickBooks Payroll Premium and Elite plans, and it allows other users to integrate with Facebook’s Time Meter and other time tracking apps. However, time tracking is only available for ADP RUN users as an add-on.

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