69 years of insight,
service and expertise


Our History

What began as an idea in 1949 grew to ignite an entire industry of outsourcing services, and changed the way companies do business. This is our story, which began nearly seven decades ago and continues today, fueled by insight, innovation, and service. In 2018, ADP celebrated 69 years in business, served about 700,000 clients in more than 140 countries, and counted 19 years of serving clients with cloud-based software.


Henry Taub Sees an Opportunity

Like all great enterprises, ADP began with an idea. One day, 21-year-old Henry Taub visited a company where a key employee had become ill. The payroll wasn't done, and workers weren't being paid on time. Where others saw a problem, Henry saw opportunity. Automatic Payrolls, Inc, a manual payroll processing service, was born from his insight.





First Headquarters: Office space above Grinker's Ice Cream Parlor on Church Street in Paterson, New Jersey


State-of-the-Art Bookkeeping

Initial equipment was unpretentious, but innovative for its day.

Automatic Payrolls’ initial equipment was unpretentious, yet innovative for its day. It included an Underwood bookkeeping machine, a few Friden calculators to handle numerical extensions, and an Addressograph to print checks. Several years later, the company would invest in comptometers, a next-generation bookkeeping machine.

Comptometers, the next generation of bookkeeping machines

The company doubled its office space, moving from the space above Grinker's ice cream parlor into the basement of Carroll Plaza on Market Street in Paterson, NJ.

Equipment included an Underwood bookkeeping machine, Friden calculators, and an Addressograph to print checks.


ADP's Sales Organization is Born

Joe Taub, Henry Taub, and Frank Lautenberg.

My first selling job was to sell Henry on the fact that I could go out and sell his service.

Frank Lautenberg, CEO, 1975-1982

By 1952, Henry Taub and Joe Taub were two of Paterson's busiest entrepreneurs. One day a salesman from the Prudential Insurance Company, which also had offices in the hotel, dropped by to sell them insurance. That salesman was Frank Lautenberg.

Frank, Henry and Joe became good friends. They shared a kinship. All had grown up in Paterson. Over time, Frank learned about payroll processing from Henry and Joe.

  • In 1954, Frank left Prudential and became Automatic Payrolls' first full-time salesman.


Selling the Idea of Outsourcing

In the early years, every sale actually required two sales: Before anyone would buy the service, they first had to buy the concept. Bookkeepers and business owners found it hard to imagine how payroll could suddenly take up less of their time – and how it could be done outside the company, requiring granting access to critical company files.

Eventually, more and more businesses in northern New Jersey and New York City tried the service – and found it helpful. A number of them became strong referral sources, and Automatic Payrolls continued to grow at an accelerated rate.

Before Henry Taub, the idea of outsourcing business services, a common practice in today's world, did not exist.

In the 1950's, payroll was delivered by van.

The concept of outsourcing was still foreign to most businesses back then. We had to stick it out, add clients as we could, and hopefully reach a point where our reputation would begin to work for us in the marketplace.

Henry Taub, Founder


Taking the Business to the Next Level

A former supermarket building provided a larger headquarters.

In addition to serving clients, Automatic Tabulating also handled computation of bowling scores for most of the local leagues.

By 1956, the company had grown to serve more than 200 clients, and needed a larger headquarters. They found one at a former supermarket building located on Route 46 in Clifton, NJ, right next door to Paterson.

That year, Henry started a second business called Automatic Tabulating. It generated additional revenue from performing a wide range of calculations for area clients.

Original Offices


Moving from Manual to Automated Processing

By 1957, the growing amount of processing required a new way to deliver services: Automation. The plan was to convert all operations from manual bookkeeping machines to automated punch card accounting, a forerunner of the mainframe computer.

At the time, this type of conversion was incredibly innovative, yet unproven. The process was the first of many innovative technology decisions by the firm, and Automatic Payrolls emerged with knowledge that would prepare it for its next challenge: Converting its business to use mainframe computers.

Converting from manual bookkeeping to automated machines was incredibly forward thinking.

I really think we bet the company when we made the move from a manual to an automated environment.

Henry Taub, Founder


A New Name to Reflect a New World of Computing

The new name required a new logo.

In 1958, Henry, Joe and Frank made a key decision that had far-reaching impact on the business. With the coming of the computer age, they decided to merge their two businesses, Automatic Payrolls and Automatic Tabulating, into a single company.

Of course, they realized that the new company needed a new name, one that would reflect how data was processed. No one at the time could have imagined the long-term impact of the new name that was selected to usher the business into the next decade.

A synonym for "computing," it would become the generic term that described the process by which data was collected, sorted and distributed by computerized businesses everywhere: Automatic Data Processing.


ADP Goes Public

On September 12, 1961, ADP took the most important step in its early history by becoming a publicly held corporation. The initial public offering of 100,000 shares, priced at $3 each, was fully subscribed, and Henry Taub was elected ADP's first chief executive officer.

Going public gave us an excellent opportunity to raise cash and get some money into the company to buy new equipment and do other things.

Frank Lautenberg, CEO, 1975-1982

ADP employees at the end of its first public year


Expanding Services, Expanding Geography

In the 1960s, ADP began acquiring other payroll services companies, and added payroll processing centers in Boston, Miami, Philadelphia, Baltimore and the West Coast. The firm also expanded into a new market: back office accounting for Wall Street brokerages.

Daily Trading
ADP processed 300 trades a night for Wall Street firms

Innovative Technology

In 1961, ADP leased its first computer, an IBM 1401, to handle payroll operations. Based on the success of this deployment, ADP upgraded to an IBM 360, which became the backbone of ADP's computing power at the time.

The IBM 1401, one of ADP's first computers.


A New Cutting-Edge Facility

In 1968, ADP completed construction on its first stand-alone building, in Clifton, NJ.

By the end of the 1960s, rapid expansion of the payroll business demanded more workspace. ADP completed construction of its first stand-alone building in Clifton, NJ, which became the main processing center for the New York area and showcased the company's operational expertise and success.


Recruiting New Executive Talent

As ADP continued to grow, new leaders were required to manage the organization. Frank Lautenberg found and hired Josh Weston, an executive at the J. Crew Company who oversaw the use of an IBM 360 computer to process thousands of orders a day. Josh was a perfect fit for ADP's growing focus on meeting client needs through deployment of technology.

Josh Weston introduced the term "associates" for ADP employees, which is still used today.

Frank Lautenberg and Josh Weston.


Extending Services to a New Industry

In 1972, ADP began offering computerized inventory and accounting services to auto dealers.

In 1972, ADP enters another industry-specific market, offering computerized inventory and accounting services to auto dealers. This was the origin of the ADP Dealer Services business, which would grow to support over 26,000 dealerships in more than 100 countries by 2014.

The opportunity was clearly there. It could grow into something big, it offered recurring revenue, and we had the chance to be number one in the industry if we deserved it.

Josh Weston , CEO, 1982-1996


Growing a Global Practice

In 1974, ADP extended its geographical reach across the Atlantic, when it acquired a small payroll service bureau in The Netherlands.

It was time for us to take our service to all markets in which we thought we could succeed.

Frank Lautenberg , CEO, 1975-1982

In 1974, Henry Taub stepped down as CEO to pursue his philanthropic interests. He remained the Chairman of the Board of Directors.

In 1974, ADP acquired a payroll service in The Netherlands.


A New Logo to Signal Success

A new ADP logo projected a confident and more modern image.

In 1975, Frank Lautenberg commissioned a new logo for the company, one that projected a confident and more modern image. That same logo today marks ADP's presence in markets around the world.


ADP Meets Payroll Tax Filing

In 1977, when ADP acquired the payroll base of United California Bank (UCB), the deal carried a unique requirement: For ADP to close the deal, it had to take over an existing "payroll tax filing service" as part of the acquisition. The successful tax filing service used by virtually all payroll clients today had begun.

Nobody at ADP even knew what a tax filing service was. We figured we'd put it into a cocoon and that would be that. But somewhere along the line we figured out that this small tax service had possibilities.

Josh Weston , CEO, 1982-1996


A New Business Unit Focused on Claims

In 1977, when ADP acquired the payroll base of United California Bank (UCB), the deal carried a unique requirement. For ADP to close the deal, it had to take over an existing "payroll tax filing service" as part of the acquisition. The successful tax filing service used by virtually all payroll clients today had begun.

ADP signed papers for the new business at 8:30 in the evening on December 31, 1979.


CEO to U.S. Senator

In 1982, CEO Frank Lautenberg decided to run for the U.S. Senate. When he won and was sworn in as a U.S. Senator from the State of New Jersey, beginning a long and successful political career that lasted until 2013, Josh Weston succeeded him and became ADP's third CEO.

Frank Lautenberg was the last serving veteran of World War II in the United States Senate.

Frank Lautenberg, U.S. Senator from NJ.


More Space for A Growing Organization

The ribbon-cutting ceremony in Roseland, NJ.

As the company grew and more associates joined, space became a challenge. In 1983, ADP moved its headquarters from its landmark building in Clifton to Roseland in suburban Essex County, New Jersey.

In 1983, Frank Lautenberg attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new headquarters as a visitor, not an employee.


Putting the PC to Work...For ADP

The arrival of powerful desktop computers placed processing power in the hands of every business. Instead of seeing this as a threat, ADP saw an opportunity to use these computers as a platform for its payroll software.

We concluded that PCs were going to be in a lot of companies. So our aim was to become a partner with their PCs, instead of an enemy of their PCs. From that starting point, all of our businesses from payroll to claims began to develop ways we could deliver our products and services using the clients' PCs.

Josh Weston, CEO, 1982-1996

ADP saw an opportunity to use computers as a platform for its payroll software.


Breaking the Billion Dollar Mark

ADP continued its strong financial performance. By 1981, ADP’s total annual revenues had soared to more than $500 million, and then doubled just four years later, when they surpassed $1 billion.


Inventing a New Business

The 40th Anniversary cake.

In 1989, ADP began to build a business focused on efficiently providing shareholder communications to investors. Called Investor Communications Services, it grew rapidly, and delivered communications including proxy ballots and annual reports to the majority of investors in the United States.

Within 10 years ADP handled 90% of the communications for street-name securities in the U.S.


A Thriving Business

After 40 years in business, ADP began the 1990s with more than 200,000 clients, nearly 20,000 associates, and annual revenue of $2 billion. In addition to payroll services, ADP was the leading provider of processing services to the retail auto and truck industry, and processed claims for most major casualty insurance companies.

  • The company was now processing paychecks for one out of ten U.S. workers.
  • ADP was handling 15 percent of the stock equity transactions in the North American market.


The Rise of Outsourcing

The outsourcing trend ADP began in the 1950s gained widespread acceptance in the early 1990s. At the top of the list of outsourced functions were items such as payroll, human resource administration, and transaction processing services, all of which played to ADP's strengths.

ADP continued to gain from the outsourcing trend not simply because we were here, but because we're here with services that offer incremental value.

Art Weinbach, CEO, 1996-2006


Growth Through Global Acquisitions

Art Weinbach, CEO, 1996-2006

In 1995, ADP acquired the largest payroll and human resources services company in Europe – GSI, headquartered in Paris, France. The acquisition demonstrated that ADP could succeed globally, and led to the company becoming a powerful player in the global market.

I think it's one of the most strategic acquisitions we've made because it made us the biggest player in Europe. It also helped prove that we can take the ADP model -- how our businesses make money -- to Europe and other geographies in the future.

Art Weinbach, CEO, 1996-2006


First Cloud-Based Service

Before Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) or "cloud" had taken hold in business language, ADP introduced EasyPayNet, a service that allowed companies to upload payroll information to ADP over the Internet and access that information from any computer.

ADP launched its first web site on the Internet in 1998.

Leveraging the Power of the Internet

As ADP increased its global focus, technology and early adoption of the Internet helped the company serve clients virtually anywhere in the world.

In 1998, ADP.com launched, and provided clients and prospects with access to ADP's services and expertise online.

Y2K-Ready Ahead of the Industry

As the millennium approached, and the Y2K computer glitch threatened, ADP was once again ahead of the curve. In 1998, ADP became the first company in its industry to successfully test its payroll process, end-to-end, with real clients and financial institutions in a Y2K environment.


ADP Enters the Professional Employer Organization (PEO) Industry

In the late 1990s, ADP pursued a new business opportunity with small businesses, the Professional Employer Organization (PEO) model. A PEO provides an outsourcing solution that delivers human resources expertise and superior benefits packages, which most smaller businesses normally could not obtain by themselves. Today, ADP is a Certified PEO as determined by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, providing confidence to small business clients.

In 1999, ADP celebrated its 50th year in business.

Celebrating 50 Years of Success Serving Clients

In 1999, ADP completed its 50th year in business in record-breaking style, with 37,000 associates, 450,000 clients around the globe, and annual revenues in excess of $5 billion.

As a company, we've had a knack of making a friend out of change, turning its uncertainty into opportunity. That's a relationship I hope we're able to renew for a very long time to come.

Henry Taub, Founder


International Payroll and HR

In 2000, ADP became one of the first providers of multi-country payroll and HR on a single platform.


The ADP National Employment Report is Born

The ADP National Employment Report

ADP launched the ADP National Employment Report, which provides a monthly snapshot of current U.S. employment trends based on actual payroll data. It remains a key economic indicator for the United States economy and is followed by economists and investors around the world.


RUN Payroll Goes Mobile

To meet the needs of a more mobile workforce, ADP introduced its RUN Powered by ADP® mobile app, to provide access to its small business payroll platform from mobile devices.

ADP introduced its RUN powered ADP mobile app in 2009


ADP Named Among 100 Best Companies
for Working Mothers

ADP, one of the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers by Working Mother® magazine.

In 2010, Working Mother® magazine recognized ADP as one of the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers.


ADP Makes Social Impact

In 2011, ADP had attracted 10,000 followers on Twitter. By 2014, ADP had over 159,000 followers on Linkedin.

ADP's Twitter page.


Leading the World in Innovation

Forbes magazine named ADP one of the world's most innovative companies.

In 2012, Forbes magazine named ADP one of the world's most innovative companies.


ADP Launches the ADP Research Institute

The ADP Research Institute provides insights to leaders in both the private and public sectors on current and emerging issues in human capital management (HCM), employment and workforce trends. It also houses the ADP National Employment Report, ADP Small Business Report, and ADP National Franchise Report.

ADP launched the ADP Research Institute on ADP.com.

No other company can match the breadth and depth of our aggregate data and analytics. ADP Research Institute studies and insights are valuable to a businesses looking for help optimizing the most important investments they make: Their investments in people.

Ahu Yildirmaz, Ph.D and co-head of the ADP Research Institute


World’s Most Admired Company

ADP named one of The World's Most Admired Companies by FORTUNE® magazine.

In 2013, ADP ranked the top company in Financial Data Services in FORTUNE® magazine's The World's Most Admired Companies.

Innovating for the New World of Work

ADP announced a second ADP Innovation Lab dedicated to technology development, located in New York City. At the ADP Innovation Lab, data scientists, anthropologists, economists and HR specialists work on search tools, mobile, social media, user experience and data analytics to explore and define the future of the workplace.

  • ADP spent $600 million on Research & Development.
  • ADP Mobile Solutions App became one of the most popular business apps in the Apple App Store.

The ADP Innovation Lab is dedicated to technology development.


Continuing to Grow, Fueled by Insight, innovation, and a Commitment to Client Service

In 2014, ADP celebrated 65 years in business, served 620,000 customers in 125 countries, and counted 15 years of having cloud-based software.