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Streamlining Success: SMB Solutions with Gusto

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Streamlining Success: SMB Solutions with Gusto

Updated: January 17th 2023

Gusto is a transformative solution for small and midsize businesses (SMBs), simplifying payroll, tax, and HR processes. Gusto's cloud-based platform is characterized by their automated features, adaptable payroll, and user-friendly interface. With nationwide reach, seamless integrations, and transparent pricing, Gusto stands out as a versatile solution.
This review aims to provide a concise exploration of Gusto's features, pricing, and drawbacks, aiding you in making informed decisions for efficient payroll management.


Nationwide reach
Seamless integrations
Interactive demo
Effortless garnishment management


Not suitable for large businesses
Direct deposit exclusion
Higher costs compared to competitors


Quick Stats

Free Trial
Pricing Option
Per-employee/ Per-payroll
Transparent Pricing
Customer Experience
$40 plus $6 per user
Trustpilot Score
BBB Rating


Established in 2011, Gusto is an online payroll and HR platform headquartered in San Francisco, California. Tailoring their services to various industries, including technology, healthcare, retail, and professional services, Gusto specifically caters to the needs of small and medium-sized businesses. The platform seamlessly integrates automated payroll processing, HR tools, and employee benefits management, simplifying and streamlining these essential business processes. 

The company strongly emphasizes security, offering features such as data encryption, secure access, and regular security audits to protect sensitive information. The platform has received several awards, ranking #1 in Small Business Payroll Satisfaction and HR Implementation in Fall 2023.

Software Features

Gusto's cutting-edge payroll software is tailored to simplify and streamline benefits, HR, and payroll processes for small businesses. Their array of features encompass:

Automated payroll, taxes, and filings: Gusto takes the hassle out of payroll processing by utilizing automation in calculations, new hire reporting, tax computations, and the filing of tax forms.
Flexible payroll options: Providing versatility, Gusto offers flexible payroll features, including the Gusto debit card and the capability to run unlimited bonus and off-cycle payrolls, allowing businesses to adapt to various payment scenarios.

Comprehensive HR platform: Gusto's software also serves as a comprehensive HR platform. It covers a spectrum of functionalities, including benefits administration, time tracking, tax compliance, onboarding, analytics and reporting, and employee self-service. It offers an all-in-one HR and payroll solution for small businesses.

Cloud-based & user-friendly: Operating on a cloud-based platform, The software manifests as modern and user-friendly. This ensures businesses can efficiently manage payroll, benefits, and HR tasks through a secure dashboard accessible from anywhere.

Other Features

Payroll processing: Gusto's intuitive platform effortlessly provides unlimited payroll runs, automated tax filings, and flexible scheduling, all tailored to meet your company's unique needs with adaptability at the forefront.

Tax filing & compliance: Gusto seamlessly handles payroll taxes and ensures adherence to state regulations, delivering a reliable and stress-free tax compliance system.

Employee self-service tools: Gusto's self-onboarding feature empowers your workforce with easy access to personal information management and streamlines HR processes, saving valuable time.

Integration capabilities: Gusto streamlines processes by connecting with third-party apps like Workforce, Performance Management, and Teamtailor, enabling seamless data sync for efficient tasks such as employee import and self-evaluations. The process is made simpler through a concise questionnaire for setting up connections with various business systems.

Reporting and analytics: Gusto's platform provides users with valuable customization options for reporting. However, it's worth noting that the current array of templates and dashboards is somewhat limited, leaving room for potential expansion and diversification.

Security and data protection: Gusto prioritizes security, ensuring robust protection for sensitive data. Their product development aims to empower customers to maintain control. Additionally, their HAPII system is a secure vault that stores, isolates, and safeguards critical information, including SSNs and bank details.

Additional features: Beyond core functionalities, Gusto provides benefits administration, time tracking, PTO management, and employee onboarding, ensuring a comprehensive solution tailored to the needs of small businesses.

Pricing & Plans

The company presents flexible payroll plans tailored to diverse business requirements. Starting with Gusto’s Simple plan, at a base price of $40 per month plus an additional fee of $6 per person. It covers essential features such as W-2s and 1099s filling, basic hiring tools, health insurance administration, time off reports, etc. The next tier is the Plus plan, which adds features like performance reviews, compliance alerts, and team management at $80 per month plus $12 per person. The Premium plan offers customized pricing for specific business needs, including exclusive access to Gusto’s HR resource center. They also provide a Contractor-Only plan at $35 per month plus $6 per contractor. All plans include unlimited payroll runs and access to benefits like employee financial administration, health insurance options, and integrations.

Advantages & Pros

Gusto's advantages lie in their transparent pricing, nationwide coverage, and seamless integrations, offering businesses user-friendly and comprehensive solutions.

Transparent pricing

Gusto's pricing model features three customizable plans tailored to meet the unique needs of businesses. This transparent pricing structure is straightforward, empowering businesses to manage costs effectively.

Nationwide reach

Gusto caters to businesses throughout the United States, supporting startups and small enterprises. their versatility is designed to adapt to various locations across states or the globe.

Seamless integrations

Gusto streamlines your business processes through effortless integrations, connecting smoothly with point-of-sale, time-tracking, expense management, accounting, and HR software. Examples of these third-party providers include Timeero for time tracking, Housecall Pro for field service management, and Drata for data management, which enhances flexibility and overall functionality, adapting to your specific needs.

Interactive demo

With their interactive demo, you can experience Gusto's intuitive payroll, benefits, and HR capabilities at your own pace. Although they don't offer a free trial, Their interactive demo will aid you in making informed decisions about its suitability for your business.

Effortless garnishment management

Gusto's user-friendly approach simplifies garnishment management, guiding users through payroll and benefits intricacies to ensure compliance and accuracy. Efficient handling of garnishments minimizes administrative burdens and reduces the risk of errors, providing a smoother operational experience.

Unique Selling Points

Gusto aims to revolutionize payroll for small and midsize businesses with automated features, flexible options, and seamless integrations, setting themselves apart with nationwide reach and transparent pricing.

Easy cancellation

The platform prioritizes user flexibility, allowing for seamless and straightforward cancellation. This commitment to simplicity aligns with Gusto's people-centric approach, ensuring users have a stress-free experience.

Gusto Wallet mobile app

While people are required to run payroll from a web browser, Gusto offers an app for personal financial use. The Gusto Wallet app empowers users to track, save, and access their money anytime. Employees are provided with a detailed payment history breakdown and savings accounts setup. Beyond payroll tracking, the app supports employees in completing onboarding paperwork and accessing pay stubs.

Added HR benefits

In addition to payroll processing, Gusto covers benefits administration, time tracking, tax compliance, onboarding, and employee self-service. This holistic approach supports the diverse needs of dynamic startups and growing small businesses, positioning the company as an indispensable partner in managing all facets of HR and payroll efficiently.

Disadvantages & Cons

Despite their strengths, Gusto has some drawbacks that warrant consideration for businesses seeking payroll and HR solutions.

Higher costs compared to competitors

Despite delivering a comprehensive payroll and HR platform, Gusto's pricing may be higher than that of other service providers. This could present a drawback for small businesses with constrained budgets, as they might find more cost-effective alternatives with similar features from competing providers.

Not suitable for large businesses

Gusto offers a reliable payroll tool with beneficial features. However, it is not ideal for large companies seeking scalability, advanced functionality, and robust support. The platform employs a flat-rate plus per-employee pricing model, lacking the flexibility of a truly custom plan. As a result, Gusto is less suitable for larger businesses' unique needs.

Direct deposit exclusion

Gusto set themselves back by including the next-day direct deposit feature in the higher-tier Plus plan. This forces clients to bear additional costs for a basic feature; in contrast, many competitors seamlessly integrate this feature into their more accessible and economical plans. Consequently, Gusto finds themselves at a disadvantage, imposing an unwarranted financial burden compared to other payroll services.

Limited health benefits availability

Gusto's health benefits are currently available in 37 states and the District of Columbia, limiting their accessibility based on geographic location. Businesses should be mindful of this constraint when considering their services, especially if they operate in states where these benefits are not yet offered.

Customer Reviews

User reviews on G2, TrustRadius, and Capterra provide diverse opinions on Gusto's payroll services, revealing both commendations for their flexibility and criticisms related to customer support and pricing transparency.

Customer sentiments toward Gusto vary across different review platforms. On G2, where they boast a 4.5 out of 5 rating, users express appreciation for the platform's ease of use and flexible payroll options. Positive feedback often praises their responsive customer support and flexibility. However, some users raise concerns, particularly about unresponsive customer service and limitations in functionality, like the inability to make changes post-payroll submission.

TrustRadius provides another perspective, with an overall rating of 7.8 out of 10. While users express satisfaction with Gusto's seamless onboarding and effective tax management, the recurring theme of discontent revolves around customer support. Many users report challenges in reaching support representatives, and even when they do, the responses are deemed unsatisfactory.

Capterra, with its 4.7 out of 5 rating, emphasizes Gusto's efficiency, especially in onboarding and tax management, which is crucial for streamlining processes. However, it's not without its flaws. One user, in particular, pointed out that Gusto's global payroll is comparatively slower than competitors like PayPal, signaling that while Gusto excels in certain areas, there is room for improvement in others. These varied viewpoints from users across different platforms showcase a deep exploration of Gusto's strengths and areas that could benefit from improvement.

Customer Support

Several convenient options are available for individuals seeking assistance or aiming to share their feedback on Gusto Payroll. If you're looking for quick answers to commonly asked questions, Gusto's Help Center presents a valuable resource to browse at your leisure, along with step-by-step guides and checklists. You can contact the sales team directly at 800 936-0383 for personalized assistance or inquiries.
Having technical trouble? Simply sign in to the Gusto website and get in touch with their technical team for a swift resolution via live support through phone or chat. If you're looking for valuable business advice to foster growth, Gusto's Talk Shop can provide valuable insights and guidance on effectively managing and expanding your business. Lastly, the company is active on various social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, offering another means of communication.


Gusto offers a user-friendly and comprehensive payroll and HR platform for small and medium-sized businesses. They cater to diverse needs with transparent pricing, nationwide coverage, and seamless integrations. The platform's advantages include easy cancellation, a dedicated mobile app, and an interactive demo, enhancing its appeal. However, perceived as more expensive than some competitors, Gusto lacks in-house solutions for critical HR tasks, and its exclusion of next-day direct deposits in basic plans may deter cost-conscious businesses. Customer reviews highlight mixed sentiments, emphasizing the importance of considering both positive and negative aspects. While Gusto provides various support channels, feedback indicates room for improvement in responsiveness. Businesses should carefully assess their needs and preferences before choosing Gusto as their payroll and HR solution.

Enhance your decision-making with our comprehensive comparison tool, crafted to uncover alternative service providers. Explore the top payroll processing companies on our curated list, ensuring informed choices that align with your business needs. Stay abreast of industry trends through insightful articles showcased on our blog.

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