Best Gusto Alternatives 2022

Gusto is a full-service payroll platform geared toward small businesses. Organizations can pay their employees and contractors, manage their benefits plans and keep track of their workforce costs. There’s a unique mobile app, Gusto Wallet, for employees to track their finances, and Gusto has recently added new Human Resources (HR) features, such as hiring/onboarding and performance management.

If you’re a small business owner that’s looking to compare Gusto with similar payroll software solutions, here are six alternatives to consider.

Best Gusto Alternatives

About Gusto

Gusto is an online core payroll system that also includes benefits management and compliance. It provides unique benefits for small businesses, such as:

  • No need to use phones, fax or mail, as payroll is online
  • Accessible from any device, including mobile devices
  • Ability to set up payroll automatically via Payroll on AutoPilot feature
  • Handles tax filings and payments so businesses don’t need to worry about being compliant
  • Employee self-onboarding (can fill out payroll and benefits forms online themselves)
  • No manual data entry, as data from each platform are synced together
  • Supports payroll in all 50 states
  • Integration with over 100 third-party software solutions

Pros

Scalable subscription plans, ability to handle contractors and off-cycle payroll, employee self-onboarding.

Cons

Not intended for large businesses, benefit features only available in 38 states but plans to provide them to additional states are in the pipeline.

Bottom Line

Small business solution that integrates payroll, benefits, and workers’ compensation and compliance in one package.

Pricing

Gusto has three pricing tiers.

  • Simple – The Simple plan has a base rate of $40 per month, plus $6 per employee, per month. It includes full-service payroll in all 50 states, employee self-service, paid time-off policies, two-day direct deposit, standard employee onboarding, integration with accounting and time-tracking software, health insurance administration, Payroll on Autopilot, Gusto Wallet, employee offer templates, document management features and basic support (e.g., 24/7 help center, phone, email or chat support during regular business hours).
  • Plus – The Plus plan has a base rate of $80 per month, plus $12 per employee, per month. It adds on multi-state payroll, next-day direct deposit, custom paid holidays, time-off requests, project tracking, expense management, job postings, applicant tracking system, email provisioning/deprovisioning, customizable employee onboarding features, workforce cost reports, custom reports and full support (e.g., extended live support hours).
  • Premium – The Premium plan is intended for larger teams that want advanced features and services. Additional features include an HR resource center, advice from certified HR experts, compliance alerts, performance management, personalized priority support (e.g., access to a dedicated customer success manager, direct phone and email with expedited responses), full-service payroll migration, integration with an existing health insurance broker and employee surveys and insights. Prospects are encouraged to contact Gusto for pricing.

There’s a Contractor plan for companies that want to pay their 1099 contractors. It costs $6 per contractor (no base price) and includes unlimited contractor payments, four-day direct deposit, contractor self-service, and 1099 form creation and filings.

Gusto offers additional options for employee benefit and insurance.

  • 529 college savings plan – There are also no set up fees required, but there’s a $18 a month minimum, plus $6 a month per participant.
  • Health savings accounts – HSAs costs $2.50 per participant, per month (there’s no minimum fees)
  • Flexible spending accounts – FSAs costs $20 per month minimum, plus $4 per participant, per month.
  • Dependent care flexible spending accounts – This benefit also costs $20 per month minimum, plus $4 per participant, per month.
  • Commuter benefits – This benefit allows employers to help their employees cover commuting costs. It’s priced at $20 per month minimum, plus $4 per participant, per month.
  • Broker integration (for Plus plan users) – This feature costs $6 per month per eligible employee.

Gusto Alternative #1: QuickBooks Payroll

QuickBooks is a business accounting software that streamlines all the tasks associated with keeping financial accounts in order, especially for business owners with little or no accounting knowledge. Its payroll solution includes features such as automatic payroll, same-day direct deposit, automatic tax payment and filings, tax payment protection, time tracking and 1099 e-filing and payment.

Pros

QuickBooks offers an online version as well as an on-premise version of its software, so businesses can choose the version that works best for their operations.

Cons

Because of its amount of features, users lacking accounting knowledge can find QuickBooks confusing to navigate. Also, QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online cannot be synced.

Bottom Line

QuickBooks is a business accounting software that simplifies and organizes all tasks associated with financial bookkeeping, taxes and more.

Pricing

There are three online pricing plans: Core, Premium and Elite:

  • Core – The Core plan costs $45 per month ($22.50 for the first three months), plus $4 per employee, per month. This plan includes full-service payroll, unlimited payroll runs, calculating paychecks and taxes, next-day direct deposit, employee self-service, health benefits, 401(k) plans, expert product support and availability in all 50 states.
  • Premium – The Premium version is $75 per month ($37.50 for the first three months), plus $8 per employee, per month. It adds same-day direct deposit, mobile time tracking, onboarding expert review, workers compensation administration and a HR support center.
  • Elite – The Elite Plan costs $125 per month ($62.50 for the first three months), plus $10 per employee, per month. This plan includes white-glove customized setup, mobile time and project tracking, 24/7 expert product support, tax penalty protection and support from a certified HR expert.

Intuit also offers two pricing plans for Payroll for Quickbooks Desktop:

  • Enhanced – The Enhanced plan costs $50 per month (40% discount for the first three months), plus $2 per employee, per month. It includes many features, such as direct deposit, the ability to pay W-2 and 1099 workers, and payroll tax forms.
  • Assisted – The Assisted plan is $109 per month (70% discount for the first six months), plus $2 per employee, per payroll. It adds on next-day direct deposit, 24/7 premium support, and a payroll expert sets up the software and files company taxes each year.

Gusto Alternative #2: SurePayroll

SurePayroll is a full-service online payroll solution that’s targeted toward small businesses.

Payroll is completed in a three-step process where users can simply enter employees’ hours and approve the payroll amount. The pay then is directly deposited in employees’ bank accounts. Businesses don’t have to worry about calculating withholding amounts and deductions, as that’s done automatically. Users can also process payroll at any time from a PC or a mobile device.

Pros

Mobile payroll via apps, a variety of customer-service options, helps businesses adhere to tax compliance by providing full tax services.

Cons

Not intended for larger businesses.

Bottom Line

Full-service online payroll that allows small businesses to process payroll in minutes.

Pricing

SurePayroll doesn’t publicly release their pricing information. Contact the vendor directly for a quote.

Gusto Alternative #3: Patriot Software

Patriot is a web-based payroll system for small businesses. It’s easy to use, secure and affordable. Patriot offers two payroll options to choose from, Basic and Full Service Payroll. Some features of the Basic plan include:

  • Ability to run payroll at the user’s convenience as often as necessary with no additional cost
  • Ability to print checks and/or direct deposit for free
  • Printable W-2s
  • No tax tables to download
  • Employee portal for access to current and past paystubs and updating W-4 information
  • Reports (e.g., payroll register, check/deposit payment detail, time-off management, assigned deductions/deductions history, assigned contributions/contributions history)
  • Ability to pay contractors within same payroll runs as employees
  • Optional 1099 e-filing

The Full Service Payroll plan includes all of the features of the Basic plan, but it also offers tax filing service. With the Full Service Payroll option, Patriot collects, remits and files federal, state and local taxes on the company’s behalf. This plan also allows for filing of W-2 and W-3 forms, as well as guaranteed on-time tax filings.

Pros

Affordable for small businesses, good for companies that don’t want the headaches of payroll tax calculations, scalable.

Cons

Not intended for businesses with more than 100 employees.

Bottom Line

Intended for small businesses that need an affordable and easy-to-use payroll solution.

Pricing

The base price for the Basic plan is $17 per month, plus $4 per employee or contractor. The base price for Full Service Payroll is $37 per month, plus $4 per employee or contractor.

Patriot Software has two additional products with HR and time and attendance features. They are:

HR Software – This product costs $6 per month plus $2 per employee. It includes HR functionality, such as document management, employee information tracking and the ability to designate managers or assign direct reports.

Time and Attendance – This product costs $6 per month plus $2 per employee. It includes time  and attendance features, such as custom overtime rules, clock-in/clock-out and time-off management.

Gusto Alternative #4: Rippling

Rippling Payroll is a module within Rippling’s HR platform that provides flexible features for quick payroll processing. Because it syncs with Rippling’s other modules and third-party applications, there’s no need to manually enter employee time data. Rippling Payroll also integrates to SMB- and enterprise-oriented accounting solutions (e.g., QuickBooks, Xero, NetSuite, Sage Intacct), so expense data flows straight to those systems.

Rippling also has a mobile app, allowing employees to get push notifications about their paychecks, manage their leave balance and request time off directly from their phones.

Pros

Ability to pay employees and contractors regardless of location, mobile app for viewing paychecks and requesting time off, accommodates companies with multiple employer identification numbers (EINs).

Cons

Phone support isn’t offered.

Bottom Line

Robust and flexible module that helps administrators process payroll quickly.

Pricing

Rippling is priced at $8 per employee, per month.

Gusto Alternative #5: OnPay

OnPay is a payroll software solution that helps small businesses streamline their HR tasks. Administrators can process unlimited payroll runs in a few clicks, while their employees can access their paystubs and request time off. OnPay includes automated tax management functionality, so employers won’t need to handle manual payroll taxes.

Pros

Streamlined payroll tasks, all-inclusive pricing, custom integration with time-tracking and accounting solutions.

Cons

While software is optimized for mobile responsive web browsers, a dedicated app isn’t offered.

Bottom Line

Cloud-based software with robust payroll and HR features for small businesses.

Pricing

Once the 30-day free trial ends, OnPay has an all-inclusive pricing plan (e.g., features, onboarding, support) that costs $36 per month, plus $4 per person. Note that the client is billed for only the employees paid in a particular month.

Gusto Alternative #6: Paychex Flex

Paychex Flex is cloud-based payroll software that helps small and medium-sized businesses streamline their payroll processes. Administrators can run payroll in two clicks, even while on the go. Employees can see their paystubs and make changes to their personnel info without HR’s involvement.

Paychex Flex integrates with Paychex Flex Time, a time and attendance software, which eliminates manual data entry.

Pros

Streamlined processes, dedicated support experts to help businesses navigate complex issues, flexible paycheck options.

Cons

Some users have experienced a steep learning curve and have mentioned the interface is outdated.

Bottom Line

Cloud-based software that empowers small and medium-sized companies to improve their productivity and grow their business.

Pricing

The software has three packages clients can choose from based on their needs:

  • Paychex Flex Essentials – Paychex Flex Essentials costs $39 per month, plus $5 per employee, per month and is intended for small businesses. It includes features such as online payroll, tax administration, direct deposit, check printing, a mobile app, integrated time and attendance, new-hire reporting, a general ledger, employee self service, standard reporting and analytics templates, automatic W-2 and 1099 forms, HR and business forms, a labor compliance poster kit and workers compensation insurance. Companies can opt for these features at no additional cost: prepaid paycards, a financial wellness program, tax credit services and an employee assistance program (EAP).
  • Paychex Flex Select – Paychex Flex Select includes all of the features of the Paychex Flex Essentials package, plus check signing, a check logo service, a dedicated payroll specialist and a learning management system.
  • Paychex Flex Enterprise – Paychex Flex Enterprise includes all of the features of the Paychex Flex Select package, plus garnishment payment services, integration with accounting software, state unemployment insurance services, new-hire onboarding, background checks and an employee handbook builder.

Pricing for Paychex Flex Select and Pro packages aren’t publicly available. Contact the vendor directly for a quote.

Conclusion

Gusto provides robust payroll features in four pricing tiers and has a dedicated plan for contractors. Both the Gusto Core plan and the Paychex Flex Essentials package have the same base price, but the Paychex Flex per-employee, per-month cost is slightly lower than Gusto’s. However, both vendors are cheaper compared to QuickBooks Payroll Online’s Core plan, which has a $45 base price. Also note that Patriot’s Full Service Payroll plan has a less expensive base price at $30 per month.

For organizations looking for more all-inclusive pricing, OnPay’s costs cover everything, and Rippling only uses the per-employee, per-month strategy.

Unfortunately, SurePayroll doesn’t offer pricing upfront, instead relying on providing a custom quote.

Bottom line: All seven software solutions are worth considering based on an organization’s pricing requirements and other needs.