Gusto Review

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Gusto is a leading HR solutions provider that simplifies your everyday HR tasks, automates repetitive processes, and helps you achieve more in less time.

With more than 300,000 customers across the US, Gusto is one of the best payroll and employee benefits management solutions for small and medium-sized businesses.

It provides an integrated platform that takes care of various HR activities, automates mundane tasks, and allows your teams to focus on their core business operations.

In this detailed Gusto review, we’ll analyze its features and pricing plans and help you decide if it’s the right HR solution for your business.

Let’s dive in.

Who Needs Gusto? 

Gusto offers powerful HR management features perfect for startups and enterprises alike. It offers multiple subscription plans designed to cover various levels of HR support for businesses of all sizes. It is a particularly valuable platform for small businesses looking for a hands-off HR solution that takes care of their payroll, benefits, taxes, and offers practical support. 

It allows you to run payroll for employees in every state, manages tax payments and filing, supports multiple pay rates and incentives for your team, and offers a host of other payroll, employee benefits, and general HR management features.

However, Gusto might not be the most cost-effective option for businesses who just want a standalone payroll service.

If all the workers you pay are in the same state, you don’t plan to offer health benefits, and you already have an HR person that knows their stuff–you can probably get away with something lighter.

You might also look for Gusto alternatives if you’re on a limited budget but need personalized HR and legal support. Because Gusto’s starter plan only offers standard product support. If you have a lot of payroll compliance issues and need that on-call expert, you’d need to go for their highest-tier plan.

The #1 Best Thing About Gusto

Gusto’s biggest strength is its intuitive platform, ease of use, and a personalized approach to payroll management. It already a wide range of features and immense value for money. But its onboarding and support make setting up your account and managing your payroll a breeze. They guide you at every step of the account creation process and ensure that you’re set up to get the maximum benefits from its features. 

This allows even the most non-technical business owners with zero knowledge of payroll processing, tax filing, employee benefits, and other legal requirement associated with HR management to use Gusto as an all-in-one HR solution.

Gusto Payroll

Gusto offers a complete payroll management platform that simplifies the payroll process for your full-time, part-time, and contractual employees. Its intuitive user interface and powerful features allow you to process employee payments with minimal hassle.

Let’s explore some of its main payroll features and benefits.

Features & Benefits 

Gusto comes with a robust payroll management platform that flies you through the payroll process without any hassle.

First of all, it gives you a central dashboard to view all your employee wages and billed hours. This gives you a single-window view of your total payroll for the month.

The dashboard calculates the wages for your full-time, part-time, and contractual employees based on their hourly rate.

On the payroll review page, you can see the complete tax calculation for your payroll. Gusto gives you a break up of what your employees earn, how much taxes they pay, and how much goes into the company’s accounts.

Gusto offers full-service payroll for all 50 states in the US. It automatically calculates your taxes based on your state and gives you a final break for your company and your employees. If you want, Gusto will even update you about any tax law changes in your state.

It takes care of all federal, state, and local payroll tax forms on behalf of your company, using e-file, e-sign, and e-fax technologies. These include Form W-2, Form 940, Form 8947, Form 1099, Form 941, plus any local state forms.

You only need to worry about paying your employees on time. And even that can be automated with recurring payroll.

You only need to review the final amount and make the payment. Gusto automatically calculates any employee benefits, files and sends your taxes, and pays your employee right into their bank accounts.

You can use the same platform for paying contractors and freelancers as well. Plus, if you need to pay via checks, Gusto can print them for you.

Here’s a list of some of the other Gusto Payroll features:

  • Automatic new hiring reporting to the govt.
  • Gusto debit card for employees
  • Unlimited bonus and off-cycle payments to employees
  • Multiple pay schedules
  • Multiple pay rates for the same employees
  • Direct deposits
  • Vacation and sick policies

Overall, Gusto offers a powerful all-in-one payroll platform that handles everything on your behalf and allows you to focus on your core business operations.


  • Gusto offers an AutoPilot feature that completely automates your recurring payroll. You simply need to set up AutoPilot once and let Gusto handle it every month (or week)
  • Gusto offers a robust mobile application for employees, allowing them to handle their funds, savings, emergency cash, and many other money management tasks.
  • Gusto offers next-day deposits, which means you can hold your payroll until your payment deadline.


  • Can’t scale. Gusto is awesome for your first 50 hires, maybe 100. But eventually, some of the things that make payroll so easy will break down as the business grows and becomes more complex.
  • Gusto doesn’t offer a mobile app for employers, making it hard to process payroll on the go. 

Pricing & Plans

Gusto offers three pricing plans for different types of businesses. However, it doesn’t offer payroll services as a separate package. Instead, various payroll features are divided into Gusto’s pricing plans according to the subscribers’ needs.

There’s also no free plan or free trial with any of the paid plans, which is a drawback for new clients looking to test the product. Its pricing model combines a basic monthly subscription fee with a monthly charge per employee.

Let’s look at the payroll features you get with its pricing plans.

The Simple plan costs a basic rate of $40 per month + $6 per month per employee. From a payroll perspective, it offers all the essential features: unlimited payroll in 50 states, tax calculations, filing and payment, tax forms, two-day deposits, and other core payroll features.

The noteworthy features you don’t get in the Simple plan are next-day deposits and Gusto’s internal time tracking tool.

You can get both these features plus all the Simple plan features in the Plus plan, which costs a base price of $80 per month + $12 per month per employee.

Gusto’s Premium plan gives you access to personalized expert consultancy for tax, payroll, and any other HR functions. This is essential if you have have any payroll compliance issues that you can’t handle in-house. For Premium pricing, contact Gusto for a custom quote.

But unless you need on-demand HR consultation or time tracking features, Gusto’s Simple plan is good enough for your payroll needs.

Gusto Hiring and Onboarding

As we’ve already mentioned, Gusto is a complete HR solution, not just a payroll processing tool. Its hiring and onboarding features are a testament to that fact. It streamlines your employee hiring and onboarding process and helps you get everything ready before a new employee joins your team. Let’s explore some of Gusto’s main onboarding features.

Features & Benefits 

Gusto offers several powerful features that allow you to seamlessly onboard new hires and make a strong impression of your company even if your team is entirely remote.

It gives you the ability to create offer letters designed for various scenarios and positions. You get a template library from where you can choose the relevant offer letter templates and customize them according to your business needs.

One of Gusto’s most impressive features is the onboarding checklist. It gives you a list of all the things you need for your company or your employee for a seamless onboarding experience. This includes all the relevant forms, documents, schedules, etc. You can also modify the onboarding checklist to add new items if you need to.

Similarly, you can send all the necessary employment documents, tax forms, legal contracts, etc., through Gusto, get them electronically signed and stored back in your Gusto account.

You can even use Gusto to set up your new employee’s accounts on all the apps your company uses (Slack, Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, etc.)

In short, Gusto helps you ensure your new hires hit the ground running from day one.


  • Gusto saves you hours of time per employee by fully automating the onboarding process.
  • Gusto allows you to create anonymous employee surveys to gauge satisfaction.
  • You can send birthday cards and greetings for various events.


  • Software provisioning and e-sign document features are only available in the higher-priced plans.

Pricing & Plans

Gusto doesn’t have a separate pricing package for its hiring and onboarding features. It offers all the core onboarding capabilities like offer letters, checklists, and document storage in the Simple plan, costing $40 per month + $6 per month per employee.

But suppose you want advanced onboarding features such as custom onboarding checklists, software provisions, e-sign documents, and anonymous employee surveys. In that case, you’ll need to switch to the Plus plan, which costs $80 per month + $12 per month per employee.

Overall, the Simple plan offers sufficient onboarding features for most businesses.

Gusto Employee Benefits

Gusto allows you to build a loyal team of professionals by going beyond regular paychecks. Let’s explore the various employee benefits you can offer with Gusto.

Features & Benefits 

Gusto helps you provide various employee benefits by linking you to the best service providers at lower rates. 

Firstly, it provides a free mobile app your employees can use to manage their money between different accounts. You also get debit cards that employees can to access their Gusto funds.

Gusto also links you with more than 30 carriers that offer 9,000+ plans. Other benefits include 401(k), dental, and vision coverage, as well as commuter benefits and cashouts.


  • Gusto seamlessly integrates all the employee benefits into your payroll calculation and allows you to manage everything from your dashboard.
  • It takes about 5 minutes for employees to enroll or waive coverage via Gusto. HR barely has to hassle people or help them through the process.


  • You cannot purchase employee benefits as a separate package because it comes only as a part of Gusto’s three premium plans.

Pricing & Plans

Gusto offers employee benefits administration with Plus and Premium plans. If you’re interested in purchasing the benefits administration for your employees, you can go for Gusto’s Simple plan.

What Do Users Think of Gusto?

Users enjoy the overall ease of use Gusto offers. In fact, this is the most common thing people have mentioned on various review sites when rating Gusto. Users have also shown appreciation for Gusto’s customer service and onboarding experience.

When users are less happy with Gusto, it tends to be that their business has grown or evolved in ways that stretch the simple payroll/HR platform past it’s limits. For startups and small business, employers and employees get a smooth, relatively problem-free experience.

How Gusto Measures Up To The Competition 

The top competitors of Gusto are ADP and Paychex. Both are complete HR solution providers like Gusto and allow you to handle your entire payroll process from a single dashboard.

ADP is among the leading HR platforms in the world and is an ideal alternative to Gusto. Its most significant strength is the wide range of integrations it supports. However, it doesn’t offer the intuitive user experience of Gusto. Plus, it doesn’t publicly list its pricing details. But user feedback from different forums and discussion sites suggests it is in the same pricing range as Gusto.

Similarly, Paychex is also a highly versatile HR solutions platform that offers everything you can find with Gusto. But like ADP, it also doesn’t publicly list its pricing. 

If you’re looking for more Gusto alternatives, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of the best payroll services that feature several other world-class payroll platforms.

Do We Recommend Gusto?

Yes, we certainly recommend Gusto because of its ease of use and value for money. It’s a perfect solution for any small business looking for an all-in-one HR solution to handle everything on its behalf.

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