We take a closer look at this popular full-service payroll platform for small businesses.
We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!
Gusto is a full-service payroll platform that helps small business owners pay their staff and manage a range of HR tasks.
In this guide, we'll take a closer look at the features, pricing, and pros and cons of Gusto to help you decide whether it's the right fit for your business.
Established in 2012 as ZenPayroll, Gusto is a payroll platform that serves more than 100,000 businesses throughout the United States. In addition to providing automated payroll services, Gusto can also help you onboard new employees, provide employee benefits and offer specialist HR support.
However, it's worth noting that Gusto does not offer international payroll services — it can only process payroll for employees in the US.
How does Gusto work?
Gusto is an online platform for payroll management and HR services. You can sign up for these services by visiting the Gusto homepage and clicking the "Get started" link.
This opens a wizard that walks you through the account creation process step by step. You'll need to provide details about your existing payroll arrangements, the type of workers you need to pay, and whether you want to offer health benefits to your team. You can then sign up for an account by providing your name, contact details and company information.
What features does Gusto offer?
Gusto offers the following features for small businesses:
- Onboarding services. Gusto offers a range of tools to help you hire and onboard new staff. These include customised offer letters, onboarding checklists and setting up software accounts for new employees.
- Payroll management. You can use Gusto to automate your payroll and file your US payroll taxes. Other features include storing employee forms online, payroll reports, and accounting integrations with providers like QuickBooks and Xero.
- Gusto Cashout. This feature is incorporated into Gusto's payroll services and allows employees to access money between paydays to cover unexpected bills.
- Employee benefits. After setting up payroll with Gusto, you can use the platform to manage health insurance benefits for your employees, including medical insurance and disability insurance.
- Time tracking tools. The platform's time tracking tools allow you to automatically sync the hours your staff members work, leave days and holidays with your payroll.
- HR services. If you sign up for a top-of-the-line Concierge plan, Gusto provides you with personalised HR support. This includes phone and email support, law alerts and guides on how to deal with key HR issues.
- Workers' compensation. You can also use Gusto to set up workers' compensation cover for your staff.
- 401(k) and college savings plans. Plans to help your workers save for their retirement or save for their kids' college education expenses are also available and can sync with Gusto payroll.
However, please note that the type and level of services you can access will vary depending on the plan you choose.
How much does Gusto cost?
Gusto offers a tiered pricing scheme. The cheapest is Gusto Contractor, which helps you pay your contractors for a price of US$6 per person each month.
After that there are four main account plans, as outlined below.
- Basic. US$19 / month plus US$6 / month per person.
- Core. US$39 / month plus US$6 / month per person.
- Complete. US$39 / month plus US$12 / month per person.
- Concierge. US$149 / month plus US$12 / month per person.
There's no free trial version available, but you can check out an interactive demo version of Gusto by providing your name, company information and contact details.
Pros and cons
- No long-term contracts — pay by the month
- Easy-to-use platform and intuitive user interface
- Also helps you manage employee benefits and provides a range of HR services
- Simple sign-up process
- No international payroll — Gusto can only process payroll for employees in the US
- Prices in USD
- No free trial version available
Is Gusto right for me?
If you're looking for a service that offers international payroll, Gusto isn't for you. But if you need to pay employees in the USA, maintain tax compliance and manage things like employee benefits, it's certainly worth a closer look.
To get a better idea of how the platform works and the services on offer, it's a good idea to try out a demo version of Gusto online. This should help you decide whether you'd like to register for a paid subscription.
Other payroll software to consider
Gusto offers an easy-to-use platform and plenty of useful features for small business owners. However, it does have a few key drawbacks, so make sure to compare it with a range of other payroll platforms before deciding whether it's right for your business.
More guides on Finder
PayActiv Earned Wage Access
Learn more about how PayActiv's Earned Wage Access service can help you access up to $500 of your paycheque for a $5 fee charged fortnightly (only if you access your wage before payday).
Learn about the key features of Workful, a payroll software that's tailored to meet the needs of small and growing enterprises.
Apple vs Tesla shares
We compare the price performance, dividends and business models behind two of the biggest companies in the world.
Employment Hero InstaPay
InstaPay is a pay-on-demand service offered by Employment Hero that allows employees to access salary advances of up to $250 per week for a flat fee starting from just $2.
CommSec vs SelfWealth
We rate the fees and features of both online brokers.
How to start a wallpaper business
Equip yourself with the right know-how to open your own wallpaper business.
How to start an eBook writing business
Start your own eBook writing business with our guide to the skills, equipment and legal documents you’ll need.
How to start a rubbish removal business
From your business structure to pricing, here's what you need to know about starting a rubbish removal business.
How to start an entertainment business
Here's everything you need to know to set up and grow your entertainment business.
How to start an accounting business
Find out what you need to know before starting an accounting business.
Ask an Expert