When it comes to choosing a payroll provider in Canada, there are really only two options: big corporations with a long business history and newer startups that recently entered the payroll space. Though both types of companies offer payroll services, each comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. For business owners, this can make the process of choosing a new payroll provider not only confusing, but also time-consuming.

To simplify things, we’ve conducted a head-to-head payroll software comparison of one of the biggest players in the industry, ADP, and the payroll startup, Knit. To find out how they compare, we’ll look at Knit vs ADP Workforce Now on the basis of software, payroll features, HR and benefits, customer service, and cost.

 

Looking for more options? Download our free 2020 Guide to the Best Payroll Software Solutions in Canada.

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However, it is important to note that ADP offers two different payroll options: ADP TeamPay, which is designed for small businesses with less than 50 employees, and ADP Workforce Now, which is designed for mid-size to enterprise companies. In this article, we look at how Knit stacks up against ADP Workforce Now. To see how Knit compares to ADP TeamPay, click here.

 

Note: You might have noticed we’re writing about the difference between our service and someone else’s. We’ve done our best to give them a fair shake because we want you to make an informed decision. That said, we think we offer the best payroll service in Canada. Want to give Knit a try? Find out how to get started here.

Knit vs ADP Workforce Now: An Overview

  Knit ADP Workforce Now
Cost Starting at $39 + $4/employee per month Pricing varies
Custom Excel Exportable Reports
Document Repository
Printable Paystubs & T4s
Customizable Department Payroll Codes
Accessible on Any Web Browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer)
Complimentary ROEs and T4s (No Additional Cost)
Stat Holiday Pay Calculations (Automated)

Multiple Pay Groups ✔ 
Unlimited Off-Cycle Pay Runs (No Additional Cost) ✘ 
Multiple Bank Accounts
Can Process Union Dues ✔ 
Can Pay Contractors ✔ (T5018s yes, T4As no)
Accountant/Bookkeeper Dashboard ✔ 
Self-Serve Employee Portal  ✔  ✔
The Provider Automatically Remits to CRA  ✔  ✔
Garnishment Administration  ✔
WSIB Remittance
HR Modules ✔ (add-on)
Performance Modules ✔ (add-on)
Recruitment Modules ✔ (add-on)
Benefits Management ✔ (add-on)
Time-Tracking ✔ (TSheets) ✔ (add-on)
Mobile App


Software

Whether you consider yourself tech-savvy or a payroll newbie, there are some basic software functions that you’ll want from a payroll provider, such as ease of access and security.

 

Both Knit and ADP Workforce Now are cloud-based programs. This means that instead of storing information on a single computer, information is stored over the Internet—much like online banking. This is a great feature for business owners of any size because it means their data is accessible from virtually anywhere, at any time, as long as there is an Internet connection.

 

Knit and ADP Workforce Now also both offer the protection of 256-bit SSL security. This means that your data is just as safe with either of these two payroll providers as it is with any major bank. However, it is important to note that Knit hosts its data here in Canada (in Montreal), while ADP does not host its information in Canada—something that may be important to some business owners.

Payroll Features

Both Knit and ADP Workforce Now are more than capable when it comes to basic payroll tasks. Both of the platforms are designed to automatically calculate, deduct, and remit payroll taxes to the CRA, saving you time and keeping you compliant. 

 

Where the platforms begin to differ is when it comes to more complicated payroll features. Knit offers a comprehensive payroll platform that can be tailored to both small and medium-sized companies. Unlike some of the more no-frills payroll providers, Knit offers extra features such as multiple pay groups, unlimited off-cycle pay runs, WSIB remittance, and the ability to pay third-party payees such as RRSP management companies. Knit also offers some “nice to have” payroll features like email reminders to process payroll and complimentary ROEs and T4s.

 

On the other hand, ADP’s Workforce Now platform is one of the most robust payroll platforms on the market—though it comes at a cost. ADP Workforce Now is specifically designed for large to enterprise-sized companies with hundreds to thousands of employees. As a result, the platform includes some less common payroll features such as garnishment administration, automated stat holiday pay calculations, and the ability to process union dues. Though most businesses will not need all of these features, for enterprise companies, it is important to have a platform that can handle everything from small to very complex payrolls.

HR & Benefits

While some companies are simply looking for a payroll provider, others prefer having their HR and benefits integrated on the same platform. Knit bills itself as a united platform for all three processes, while ADP Workforce Now offers a more a la carte option. 

 

ADP offers both an HR module and HR outsourcing for an additional fee. While this customizable pricing option gives companies the flexibility to pick and choose what’s most important to them, it does mean an added cost for companies that require HR.

 

Beyond the cost, ADP’s comprehensive HR module allows businesses to maximize their HR processes across payroll, compliance, talent management and other HCM practices with guidance from ADP. Some of ADPs standout HR features include an employee directory, flow charts, and employee onboarding.

 

In contrast, Knit’s HR features are included in the monthly fee for the platform, making it a more affordable option for smaller companies looking for integrated HR. This means that all payroll and HR information is united across the platform for easy management. Some of Knit’s standout HR features include an employee database, e-signature documents, employee performance reviews, employee onboarding, and vacation tracking.

Customer Service

While great customer service is important when it comes to any product or service, it is particularly crucial when it comes to time-sensitive processes such as payroll. For instance, if you make a mistake while running payroll, it could impact your company’s finances, your employee’s wages, and even put you at risk of a call from the CRA.

 

Both Knit and ADP are well aware of the importance of addressing payroll concerns as soon as possible. Both companies employ customer support teams of trained payroll specialists, who are equipped to handle virtually any issues. 

 

Of course, as a much smaller company, Knit’s customer support team is far smaller than ADPs. As a result, response times can sometimes be a little longer. However, the trade-off is that Knit’s smaller support team means you’ll receive more personalized support from someone who is already familiar with your account.

Cost

ADP does not make its pricing available publicly, however, Workforce Now is the more expensive of the company’s offerings as it is tailored to mid-size to enterprise businesses with 50 to 1,000+ employees. 

 

On the other hand, Knit makes its pricing publicly available on its website. Knit’s payroll and a lite version of its HR platform are available for $39/month + $4/employee. For payroll and the full HR suite, the price is $39/month + $6/employee. These prices include unlimited pay runs, which mean companies that run frequent payrolls or often find themselves running off-cycle pay runs won’t incur any additional fees.

The Bottom Line

Both Knit and ADP Workforce Now are more than capable of handling most business payrolls. However, ADP Workforce Now is first and foremost an enterprise solution, while Knit is tailored to the needs of small businesses with 100 employees or less.