Gusto Payroll Review

Gusto Payroll Review

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For small businesses that are soon to have or already have their own employees it’s important to find the best payroll software that can make the process seamless. Long gone are the days of paper pay stubs and now we can welcome direct deposit payday for all, in addition. Whether it’s a new hire/new employee, contractor, or recurring employee, establishing a consistent online payroll system will make payroll processing helpful for small business owners and reduce the numerous tax forms that come with building and scaling your business.

What is Gusto?

Gusto is a self-service payroll system that was created for small businesses and offers services for 1099 and W-2 employees, direct deposit, salaried employees, tax filings, unlimited payroll runs and more. It was designed to make the human resources process more concise with less paperwork and more updated HR tools. It is also a cloud-based platform that can be used with integrations such as Quickbooks and Xero. 

Who is Gusto best for?

Identifying if your small business falls under the bucket that’s best to use Gusto’s service is just as important as the service itself. Nav recommends Gusto for:

  • Businesses that work with contractors: The contractor-only option waives the $39 monthly fee and only costs $6 per contractor. It also prepares 1099’s.
  • Local “mom and pop” businesses: This is most efficient for local shops that need to process payroll. The “Core” option is very affordable and doesn’t break the bank.
  • Bigger businesses with over 50 full-time employees: Although Gusto is great for smaller, small businesses it’s also exceptional for one’s who have employees that get a W2. 
  • Self-employed: For entrepreneurs that need to pay themselves, Gusto provides a plan for just one employee. This includes sole proprietors.

Small Business Online Payroll by Gusto

Gusto is modern online payroll software built for small businesses. By automating the complexity of Learn More

Features of Gusto Payroll

Being a small business owner with contracted-hired professionals, employees, or both, means that you need a payroll system that offers a variety of features for the different stages of your growing business. As a full-service payroll system, Gusto has a plethora of features for small businesses. Many entrepreneurs use Gusto because of the specific features.

You may want to use Gusto if you’re interested in:

  • Automated payroll
  • New-hire reporting
  • Paperless employee onboarding
  • Calendar sync
  • Local, state, and federal taxes calculated and filed automatically
  • And more.

Gusto Payroll Pricing and Plans

Gusto pricing offers four tiers for small business owners with an additional that is strictly for businesses with only contractors. This payroll solution is very affordable at any stage of your small business. 

Set up for small businesses with basic salary, wage, and pay schedules.
$39/month$6/month per personFull-service payroll including W-2s and 1099sEmployee profiles and self-serviceEmployee health and financial benefitsIntegrations for accounting, time tracking, and moreGusto-brokered health insurance administration
For businesses with more complex hiring, payroll, and team management needs.
$39/month$12/month per personIncludes the Core plan and:Next-day direct depositTime tracking and PTO managementHiring and onboarding toolsProject tracking and workforce cost reportsTeam management tools
For businesses with more sophisticated HR, policy, and compliance needs.
$149/month$12/month per personIncludes Core, Complete, and:Certified HR professionalsHR resource centerDedicated HR support teamCompliance alerts
For growing businesses that have a minimum of 25 employees and who need premium tools and dedicated support. 
You must contact the sales department to get a specific quote for your business.This plan is for fast growing businesses. It includes all above features including:Full-service payroll migrationHealth insurance broker integrationDirect access to a dedicated customer success managerExclusive pricing with waived fees
Contractor Only
For businesses that have yet to hire W2 employees
$6/month per person4-day direct depositUnlimited contractor payments across all 50 states1099-NECs at the end of the yearNew hire reporting (if required in your state)

Pros and Cons of Gusto Payroll

If you’re considering Gusto to help run payroll for your small business, here’s what users are saying about it:


The most celebrated plus with using Gusto is that it is absolutely user-friendly. Many small business owners that use it are pleased with its functionality. 

Gusto is a great service to utilize for navigating employee benefits.

The platform offers small business owners straightforward services that help with payroll taxes. In comparison to other payroll providers.

All documents in Gusto are available to employees even after they leave the company. It makes it easier for them to get ahold of any tax documents without needing additional permissions.

The pricing offered is comparable to other payroll services and is worth the investment.


Gusto does not offer a mobile app as an add-on for businesses. There is only a Gusto wallet (app) for employees to track their pay.

Customer support is not based on East Coast hours and you may not be able to get a hold of someone in the time you need. Response time could be better.

Many users have felt that the customer service doesn’t fully understand payroll and would like for them to be more expansive in their knowledge to help with in-depth questions and concerns.

Gusto vs. Competitors

It’s always good to compare and contrast software so that you know if it is best to meet your needs. Below you will find comparisons between other payroll software including Online Payroll by Intuit, Paychex Payroll, and Square Payroll.

Online Payroll by Intuit

GustoOnline Payroll by Intuit
There’s no free trialThere are over 5 plan optionsPrice point is higher, overallBetter for small businesses with over 50 employeesOffers more employee benefits such as HSAs and FSAs, 529 college savings plan, and commuter benefitsIntuit offers a free 30-day trialThey only offer 3 plan optionsPrice point is cheaperMost plans are same-day direct depositWorkers comp comes with most plansRun payroll from the mobile app24/7 customer support

Overall Gusto and Intuit are neck-and-neck and really comes down to the size of your company and the people you have employed and/or contracted there.

Online Payroll by Intuit

Intuit Payroll is trusted more than any other payroll provider. Easily pay your employees in Learn More

Paychex Payroll

Another payroll service that is similar to Gusto is Paychex Payroll. While there are similarities between the two, there are also a few differences. Identifying the ways in which you need to get the most of your payroll software will help to decide which is best for your business.

Gusto Paychex
Most packages have the price availableDesigned specifically for small businessesCancel services without any early cancellation feesAll packages are quote-based and are not readily availableBuilt for all sizes of businessesOffers human account managers


Square is a fintech company many small business owners have become accustomed to. In addition to offering businesses financial services, it has also created payroll software.

GustoSquare Payroll
More health benefit optionsHas 20 more integrations than SquareBenefits administration at no extra costEasy-to-manage interfaceOffers a mobile appExcellent customer supportGreat reviewsFree trialPricing slightly cheaper

This article was originally written on March 25, 2022 and updated on April 4, 2022.

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