Gusto is one of the more well-known payroll software packages out there, and you’re probably interested in assessing it for your company. Gusto has a lot of good features for small businesses, and it also has a great mobile application, unlike the competition.

Check out our Gusto payroll reviews to see if it’s the right choice for your business.

What Is Gusto?

Gusto payroll software

Gusto is a software platform for small businesses to manage their payroll and basic HR functionalities. With Gusto, your company will have an easier time with legal compliance, employee pay, and sending out tax forms.

For businesses that are just getting started, Gusto is a great solution because it’s quick and easy to deploy, costs less than the competition, and is very intuitive for employees and employers alike.

If you’re willing to pay a bit more than the basic payroll functionality, Gusto can offer a lot more.

Gusto’s benefits setup functionality also helps you to pick packages for your employees, and then let your employees figure out the details of what level of coverage or participation they would like.

Given that benefits selection can be very complicated, Gusto offers a huge potential for small businesses to offer the packages typically only seen in medium or large businesses.

With Gusto, your employees can also set up their 401k deposits, insurances, and various forms of savings. Once again, these features are great for small businesses which might not have the resources to offer these benefits otherwise.

What Does Gusto Do Best?

Our impression of other Gusto payroll reviews is that reviewers find the software favorable for small businesses with employees who are constantly on the move. Gusto is a lightweight solution, and it doesn’t sprawl very much outside of payroll without requiring an additional fee.

For this reason, Gusto’s main strength is that it lets employees alter their payroll settings in a way which doesn’t require talking to a real person at your company. It’s much more efficient for your HR department — or you — as a result.


  • Tax withholding
  • Payroll
  • Direct deposit
  • Basic tax document prep


  • Sending physical checks without a printer
  • Printable legal compliance posters
  • 24/7 customer support
  • BasicFlex benefits optionality tax document prep

While the software claims to have some HR functionalities, it isn’t exactly the best software for managing your company’s personnel unless you’re willing to pay extra.

It can technically keep track of benefits without much extra payment, and it might even do so effectively for a small company.

Importantly for small companies, Gusto can issue 1099 and W-2 forms at the end of the year. This is a nice feature which will save a lot of time that would otherwise be devoted to arranging paperwork.

In this sense, Gusto can offer a measure of HR automation to your company, which is excellent.

But once your company grows beyond a few people, you might need something built for the purpose.

If you think these features are necessary for your organization, you should probably opt for something less nimble than Gusto.

How Much Does Gusto Cost?

The starting package for Gusto Payroll will cost you $45 per month. This means that at the starting rate, Gusto payroll will cost you $540 per year. The rate may change depending on which additional features you opt into.

business charts

In contrast to Gusto’s major competitors like Paychex, you won’t have to pay a starting fee for your first month. This means that it’s easy to trial Gusto without risking a lot of capital.

You’ll get one free month of service before having to pay, but this isn’t as big of an advantage as you might think at first glance.

After all, imagine having to change up your payroll system after one month — it’d be a mess. Instead, you should find the free interactive demo on Gusto’s site because it’s a much better way of assessing the product.

How Does Gusto Compare To Other Software?

Regarding mobile app access, Gusto is hard to beat. ADP and Paychex are both very clunky in comparison. The same goes for their web interfaces. These two competitors are also much more expensive than Gusto payroll’s default package.

The other side of the comparison is that these other packages offer far more advanced and full feature sets than Gusto does. If you’re willing to pay extra, Gusto can easily reach the capacities of these other software’s.

It can probably offer a better user experience while doing so, too. But even then, it won’t have the full spectrum of options that your company might want as it scales.

man with headset

In comparison to legacy software like Oracle’s PeopleSoft, Gusto once again comes off as a very user-friendly and streamlined piece of software which is much less expensive and is much easier to set up. Especially as these packages age, Gusto will be a more appealing opportunity.

A notable drawback of Gusto that its competitors don’t share is the inability to print off compliance posters. These compliance posters are often legally mandated to be posted in a workplace. Most HR software packages give people the chance to print them to be in compliance.

While the only real difference is that you’ll have to visit the government website and print off a copy of the posters for yourself, this is still an added level of friction with Gusto’s competitors do not have.

Our Final Thoughts

In our view, Gusto payroll is the perfect software package for entrepreneurs who need to provide payroll and limited HR services to companies smaller than 10 people.

Especially for companies that might not have enough money to hire a full-time HR person, Gusto can bridge the gap very easily and very affordably. Additionally, the Gusto customer service team, while only reachable during normal work hours, has won praise everywhere.

You’ll appreciate the value of excellent customer service if there’s ever a mishap with your payroll processing. Likewise, your employees can reach out to Gusto on their own if there’s a problem that they’re experiencing, but nobody else is having.

This is important because especially in a small company, people are too busy to be addressing arcane logistical issues such as those with occur during payroll processing.

People might not have the expertise to handle the issue themselves, which emphasizes the value of calling someone else.

As Gusto approaches the critical 10-person mark, its flaws become progressively more difficult to work around without paying additional fees. Nonetheless, if your company is small and plans on staying small, Gusto is a great option which is less than half as expensive as the competition.

Furthermore, Gusto payroll is great when your company simply doesn’t have any difficult payroll or HR situations to work around as a larger company might. You don’t need the extra functionality when you’re small, but you miss it when you’re large.

Hopefully, our Gusto payroll reviews have helped you decide whether this slim software package is the best for your company’s needs. Try out the monthly trial if you dare and think about what your organization expects to need in the future regarding its payroll and HR functionalities.