I received a lot of emails from other companies thinking about PayForce after I wrote this humble opinion. Since questions were mostly around specific issues, I decided to elaborate more on this topic and provide some facts. So, here is what I came up with…
ADP will try to sell PayForce to you because:
- “PayForce is a web-based hosted solution and this is the future of all applications”. Don’t ever believe that web-based hosted solutions are the future. Maybe for small companies and mom-and-pop shops it is, but that’s about it. Always have your data available, sitting right next to you, especially if you want to interface it with another application or create custom reports via external tools.
- “PayForce’s availability is 99+%”. Yeah right. If I counted the number of times PayForce was down, you would be surprised. We’ve had occurrences when PayForce services were down on the day of payroll!
- “PayForce is robust and access time is very fast”. Another sales pitch. It is slow, because PayForce databases are on a “shared” hosting. This means your database resides together with a lot of other companies. How slow is it you might ask? I’ve had cases when a single transaction took more than 10 minutes to execute.
- “You can access your data at any time through our advanced database tools”. The “advanced database tools” ADP provides is a web-based Crystal front-end (called ePortfolio) with stripped out functionality. You can only export your data to Excel (no CSV support) and you know what happens to Excel when you have more than 65 thousand rows… Oh yeah, if the query pulls more than 150 rows, expect Crystal to time out and die. And the Crystal front-end is even slower than PayForce.
- “You own your data and we can provide it to you at any time”. When we were ready to finally say goodbye to PayForce, our account rep told us that we needed to extract everything through Crystal. Come again?! Extract data from 1000 tables via custom SQL queries? You gotta be kidding me! All I’m asking for is a database dump. Any SQL database can do it. No, I do not need your PLSQL code – all I care about is my data. Guess what – ADP will not give you a database dump. This means that you have to handpick the data you need and extract it one by one. And expect ADP to delete your database once you part ways. They don’t have a “luxury” of keeping unnecessary data. Of course they offered to write custom queries in Crystal and extract everything we need, but at a “not-so-affordable” price. I had to fight my way through and requested to talk to their DB admin group. ADP ended up connecting me to someone who works at the data center and the lady told me that they do not extract data for customers and she was clueless about a database dump. So much for owning your data… The only option is to pay ADP a monthly fee to access your data in “read-only” mode.
- “PayForce has excellent reporting”. Pretty much all of the reports had to be custom-built for us because PayForce doesn’t have the ones we needed. Did I mention that they charge for each one separately? And it’s not cheap either.
- “Our payroll services are outstanding and very accurate”. Hmm…everything from incorrect state/local taxes all the way to payroll services sending checks to wrong locations. And ADP will not take any legal/financial responsibility when they screw up. When they screw up – it’s your fault, end of story.
- “PayForce is very user-friendly and you can access your data directly through the front-end”. PayForce has the most ridiculous infrastructure. Apparently the data on the front-end is not 100% accurate – the accurate data resides on their “mainframe”. User-friendly? Give me a break!
- “PayForce runs on industry-standard Java, which is robust and efficient”. Do you know what a memory leak is? It’s OK for PayForce to eat up to 512 MB of RAM and crash IE. You simply ignore those and add more memory. And by the way, ADP loves rolling out new versions of Java (forced install), so it’s OK when you see 5 different versions of Java installed on a client’s machine.
- “Administering users and groups in PayForce is very easy”. Ask our Director of HR and I’m sure she would love to share the pain. Oh yeah, I forgot about system upgrades when you have to go back and redo the security for all users. This one cracks me up – you must provide BOTH login and password in caps (uppercase). Long live caps lock!
- “Data is consistent and accurate throughout the database”. Love this one. It’s OK for one person to share the same ID with another. It’s OK that vital data is missing – ADP just works.
There is a lot more to this, but I’m not going to waste more time writing about PayForce. I’m glad we are moving away from this software.
If ADP is trying to sell PayForce to your company – run while you can!
P.S. Typing “payforce review”, “adp payforce review” and “adp is evil” in google returns my page as the first result