Homebase vs. ADP (2023)

Your business is booming, and your small team needs to grow. That’s good news, but it presents a dilemma. You’re ready to upgrade to software that simplifies employee payroll and human resources, but not all platforms are suitable for small businesses like yours. Meaning:

  • They’re not quick to set up or easy to learn
  • They may not offer the free or low-cost options you need
  • They might have complicated pricing schemes
  • They can get expensive as you scale your business

But here’s more good news — there are several easy-to-navigate payroll platforms out there that can make your life much simpler. And we’ll keep that top of mind while comparing Homebase and ADP**, two of the most popular payroll and HR solutions on the market. With an at-a-glance comparison chart and detailed breakdowns of the features, we’ll ensure you have all the information you need to make the right decision for your small business.

Why choose Homebase over ADP in 2023?

With free tools for employee scheduling, time tracking, hiring, and team messaging — and a free account that only takes a couple of minutes to set up — Homebase is, overall, a much more intuitive, cost-effective platform than ADP for small business owners with hourly teams.

Although users have to upgrade to access HR and payroll services, Homebase offers transparent pricing and affordable paid plans. On the other hand, prospective ADP customers have to contact the sales team for a custom quote based on their business size.

And while ADP has 70 years of experience providing companies worldwide with HR and payroll services, RUN Powered by ADP — ADP’s small business solution — is actually better for mid-sized companies with larger budgets, more resources, and previous experience with similar platforms. Homebase is the better option for small business teams who need a versatile yet user-friendly platform with an accessible learning curve.

Comparison chart: Homebase vs. ADP at a glance

HR tools
Labor compliance
Employee scheduling
Time tracking
Team messaging
Talent management
Hiring and onboarding tools
Mobile app
Early pay access for employees
Customer service — phone, chat, and email — phone, chat, and email
Pricing Plans range from free to $100 per location per month

Homebase Payroll costs $39/month base fee and $6/month per active employee

Pricing is not readily available on ADP’s website, but payroll-only users say the Essentials plan starts at $59/month plus $4 per employee
Cost for most comprehensive plan for a business with one location with 20 employees $80/monthly (billed annually)

$99/monthly (billed monthly)

Contact ADP for custom pricing

How Homebase and ADP stack up against each other

Unlike Homebase, ADP offers two different versions of its product. RUN Powered by ADP caters to small businesses of between one and 50 people. Customers say it works best for companies without HR departments that need payroll and benefits features to simplify their administrative tasks.

On the other hand, ADP Workforce Now focuses on mid-sized to large businesses that have in-house HR professionals and/or departments. This product’s users typically need a full range of human resources tools that bigger organizations need, like performance management, learning and development, and regulatory monitoring.

Both Homebase and RUN ADP offer features for payroll, HR and compliance, hiring and onboarding, time tracking, and scheduling. And it’s true that RUN ADP tailors its services to time-pressed small business owners. But it doesn’t offer the ease of use, transparent upgrade pricing, or comprehensive free plan Homebase does.

An in-depth breakdown of Homebase’s fees and features

Source: https://app.joinhomebase.com/dashboard/location
Caption: Track employee time and generate automatic timesheets for free with Homebase.


Homebase automatically updates employee timesheets when staff members clock in and out of their shifts. And even if you have a free Homebase plan, you can download and export timesheets to Gusto or Quickbooks to run payroll, which you can’t do for free with ADP. But if you upgrade to Homebase payroll, you can process it directly within Homebase’s timesheets tool.

Homebase will notify you of any time tracking errors or missing breaks in your timesheets, and once you fix them, you can either pay staff via direct deposit or paper check. And you won’t have to worry about employee deductions or state and federal tax payments— Homebase can take care of that for you. Our platform also stores your previous payroll data and sends employees their paystubs instantly.

HR and compliance tools

Homebase has the everyday compliance tools you need. That means you can store employee tax forms and essential paperwork, receive labor law updates, track overtime hours and breaks, and get a customized employee handbook.

RUN ADP requires you to create your own employee handbook using the Employee Handbook Wizard tool, but Homebase goes the extra mile and creates one for you. Just set up a 30-minute call with an HR professional to discuss your business needs, and we’ll send your customized handbook within five business days.

It’s worth noting that while Homebase doesn’t offer benefits and insurance administration features like ADP, our platform provides other services like cash out and employee happiness tools to help staff with unforeseen expenses and celebrate team member achievements.

Hiring and onboarding

Source: https://app.joinhomebase.com/hiring/dashboard
Caption: Use pre-written job description templates or create your own with Homebase’s free hiring tool.

Homebase’s free plan gives you access to hiring tools you don’t get with RUN ADP. Our platform also has a couple of different options for finding new hires. You can:

  • Use Homebase to fill in a job description template.
  • Choose from Homebase’s wide range of pre-written descriptions for roles like cook, barista, bartender, assistant manager, and cashier.

Then, our hiring tool can instantly post your available jobs to platforms like ZipRecruiter, Indeed, and Google Jobs to get the most eyes on your openings.

And if you upgrade to our All-In-One plan to access additional onboarding features, you can send welcome packets to new hires and ask them to pre-onboard as soon as they accept the job. That way, they’ll be able to read their paperwork and e-sign essential documents before their first day.


Source: https://app.joinhomebase.com/schedule_builder
Caption: Building, publishing, and adjusting employee schedules is intuitive with a free Homebase plan.

Homebase’s free plan can create and publish schedules for one business location and unlimited employees — no upgrades needed. And once you fill, assign, and post your team members’ shifts, they’ll receive notifications about their new schedules on the Homebase app or via SMS.

Homebase also lets you turn your schedules into templates you can reuse every week. That way, you won’t need to start from scratch each time you have to plan employee shifts. It’s also easy to fix scheduling errors — just make the necessary corrections and hit “publish” again so team members see the most recent updates.

Time tracking

Homebase time tracking lets employees punch in and out of their shifts from their phones with individualized PINs. The tool also sends team members reminders before their shifts start or when they forget to clock out, keeping no-shows and timesheet errors to a minimum. Managers can also set up geofences and create rules to avoid staff signing into their shifts before they actually arrive at work.

The RUN ADP app also lets users run payroll and manage employee documentation. But it doesn’t offer all of the same features we mentioned, even with the paid plans. And while ADP created the ADP Mobile Solutions app for staff to track their time and access all the ADP Workforce Now tools, the mobile app doesn’t have the same breadth of options as the ADP Mobile Solutions app.

Team messaging

Unlike RUN ADP, which doesn’t offer team communication features, Homebase has free team messaging tools that make keeping in contact with employees easy. You can send messages to individual people or specific groups and send upcoming shift workers essential information before they arrive.

This feature alone makes Homebase a more practical solution for business owners who aren’t always at the work premises, as well as those who have traveling or remote team members.

Mobile app

Source: https://joinhomebase.com/time-clock/
Caption: Employees can use the Homebase app to clock in and out of their shifts on almost any smart device.

With a 4.4-star rating on Google Play and a 4.8-star rating on the App Store as of January 2023, the Homebase app gives users access to most Homebase features. And they also don’t need to upgrade their plan to use it. Managers can use the mobile app to create schedules, view team availability and time off requests, edit timesheets, message team members, and receive alerts when people are late or reach overtime.

Employees can clock in and out of shifts, view their schedules, receive updates, swap shifts or request changes, message their coworkers, ask for time off, and receive notifications about future shifts.

Homebase pricing

Homebase’s free plan has no time limit and includes unlimited employees, although you’ll have to upgrade to add more than one business location.

You can also add Homebase payroll to any plan, including the free plan. So, if you opt for the Basic plan with payroll, your monthly fee would start at $39 per month and $6 per active employee per month.

Homebase offers straightforward, tiered pricing options in addition to the free plan, making it more transparent than ADP:

  • The Essentials plan starts at $24.95 per location per month and provides more features for team announcements and employee performance tracking.
  • The Plus plan costs $59.95 per location per month and gives you more tools to track labor costs, budgeting, and employee PTO.
  • The All-In-One plan comes in at $99.95 per month and offers customers access to new hire onboarding, employee document storage, and more robust HR and compliance features, including access to live HR experts.

An in-depth breakdown of ADP’s fees and features

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8E9uFKHo8bQ
Caption: ADP integrates timesheets with payroll, so you can start the payroll process inside your dashboard — no need to chase employees down for time cards.


Similar to Homebase, RUN ADP brings tools for time tracking and payroll together in the same platform. That means that when it’s time to run payroll, small business owners and managers don’t have to worry about gathering employee timesheets and doing manual calculations. ADP can create timesheets for you, so you can process payroll right inside your administrator dashboard.

And, just like Homebase, RUN ADP can automatically prompt you to review employee timesheets. That way, you can make changes and fix errors before issuing paychecks for direct deposit, along with ADP paystubs. And don’t worry about your payroll taxes — similar to Homebase, RUN ADP can file and submit those for you.

RUN ADP also has a RUN and Done feature that allows you to schedule your payroll cycle in advance if you enter the same pay data every week or month. While this tool probably wouldn’t work for businesses like restaurants, retail stores, or salons with unpredictable schedules and staff earnings, it could be handy for small accounting, legal, or consulting firms with salaried employees.

HR and compliance tools

As platforms designed for small businesses without HR departments, both RUN ADP and Homebase help onboard new employees, store new hire documents, and stay compliant with labor law updates. You can use their Employee Handbook Wizard to help you build your employee handbook — although Homebase HR experts will actually customize and create one for you!

Unlike Homebase, however, ADP integrates with over 700 insurance carriers, so their customers can easily offer employees health and retirement benefits. But keep in mind ADP only offers benefits and insurance administration as an add-on and not as part of their paid packages, which means they’ll cost you an additional monthly charge on top of your plan.

Hiring and onboarding

RUN ADP offers a variety of features for recruiting, onboarding, and screening candidates. Like Homebase, you can create and post a job to ZipRecruiter via RUN ADP’s platform, which means your job description will also get published to over a hundred of the internet’s most popular job boards. You can also use RUN ADP to run applicant background checks and provide sexual harassment training to new staff members.

Still, you can only access most of RUN ADP’s robust hiring features with their Enhanced, Complete, or HR Pro plans. Homebase’s hiring and onboarding, on the other hand, includes recruiting and hiring features for free, making our platform a much more cost-effective option when it comes to bringing new staff on board.

Employee scheduling

Homebase is on par with RUN ADP when it comes to scheduling tools. Both platforms let you create and publish employee schedules and assign employee hours. Team members can also use Homebase and RUN ADP to request changes to their schedules or swap shifts with their coworkers.

But just like with ADP’s insurance and benefits features, users have to add time and attendance onto their paid plans to do things like scheduling and time tracking. That’s not the case with Homebase, which offers time management tools for free.

Employee time tracking

ADP offers a new and unique time tracking feature called ADP Time Kiosk. That means employers can set up places where employees can use facial recognition or a unique PIN to punch in and out of their shifts with an iPad, tablet, or other dedicated device. But, just like with Homebase, staff can also punch in and out of work with the ADP Mobile Solutions app, which syncs with ADP Workforce Now.

It’s worth noting that these features don’t come as part of the RUN ADP plans or on the regular mobile app — you’ll have to add them on or switch to an ADP Workforce plan.

The fact is that ADP and Homebase both offer convenient time tracking tools that automatically convert into timesheets, making payroll prep much faster. But you don’t need to pay for any add-ons to use them with Homebase. Instead, you can create them for free. You don’t have that option with RUN ADP.

Mobile app

Source: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/adp-run/id388928133
Caption: The ADP RUN app lets managers process payroll, manage tax documents and employee forms, and upload new hire information.

The ADP RUN app — which, as of January 2023, has a 4.9-star rating on the App Store and a 4.7-star rating on Google Play lets users run payroll, manage tax documents and employee forms, and add new hire information. However, it doesn’t have as many options as the Homebase app, which lets you run payroll, create and publish employee schedules, track time, hire and onboard team members, and communicate with team members. That makes the ADP RUN mobile app less flexible than Homebase’s.

ADP pricing

As of January 2023, RUN ADP offers three months of free access to their paid plans. However, you have to contact the sales team directly to get a custom quote for pricing after your free trial ends. Users have reported that they pay $59 per month and $4 per user per month for an Essential plan.

Homebase vs. ADP’s integrations compared

Lightspeed Retail
Lightspeed Restaurant
Restaurant 365
When I Work
Quickbooks Online

Homebase vs. ADP’s scalability

While RUN ADP and Homebase both provide solutions for payroll, HR and compliance, and hiring, Homebase offers small business owners more flexibility to grow. With our wide variety of free tools for time tracking, scheduling, messaging, and hiring, Homebase makes it easy for new business owners to start small and grow gradually, while you’d have to pay to use the same tools with RUN ADP.

And although Homebase’s payroll add-on starts at $39 per month and $6 per person for a Basic plan, it’s more affordable than the reported $59 per month and $4 per person you might pay for RUN ADP’s Essential plan. It also comes with a more comprehensive range of features for managing your team.

And with a more versatile mobile app than RUN ADP, Homebase makes it simple to coordinate and grow your business — even away from your desk. Don’t let the fact that ADP has spent more time on the market and offers more integrations than Homebase fool you. Homebase is the more scalable solution for small business owners who employ hourly teams on the go.

**The information above is based on our research on Homebase vs. ADP. All user feedback referenced in the text has been sourced from independent software review platforms, such as G2 and Capterra, in February 2023.

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