Best Gusto Alternatives 2023

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 also has 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


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


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.


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, two-day and four-day direct deposit, basic hiring and onboarding, integration with third-party software, health insurance administration, employee financial benefits (e.g., Gusto Wallet), payroll and time off reports, custom admin permissions and full support (e.g., 24/7 help center, phone, email or chat support, access to extended live support).
  • 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, advanced hiring and onboarding, PTO management and policies, time tracking and project tracking, workforce costing and reports, team management tools, performance management and employees surveys and insights.
  • 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, 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 R&D tax credits and discounts. Prospects are encouraged to contact Gusto for pricing.

There’s a Contractor plan for companies that want to pay their 1099 contractors. It has a base rate of $35 per month (although that is free for the first six months) plus $6 per contractor, and it includes unlimited contractor payments, 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.

Finally, Gusto has a Time Kiosk feature that lets employees clock in/clock out from any internet-connected device. It costs $4 per employee, per month for users on the Plus plan (it’s free for users on the Premium plan).

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.


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.


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.


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 $5 per employee, per month. This plan includes full-service payroll, unlimited payroll runs, calculating paychecks and taxes, next-day direct deposit, 1099 e-file and payment, employee self-service, health benefits, 401(k) plans, workers’ compensation administration, expert product support and availability in all 50 states.
  • Premium – The Premium version is $80 per month ($40 for the first three months), plus $8 per employee, per month. It adds same-day direct deposit, mobile time tracking, 24/7 expert product support, expert payroll setup review 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 tax penalty protection, mobile time and project tracking, expert payroll setup and a personal HR advisor.

Payroll for the Quickbooks Desktop software costs $50 per month plus $5 per employee, per month – users can also choose an annual payment of $500 per year plus $5 per employee, per month.

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.


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


Not intended for larger businesses.

Bottom Line

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


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.


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


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.


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.


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).


Phone support isn’t offered.

Bottom Line

Robust and flexible module that helps administrators process payroll quickly.


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.


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


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.


Once the 30-day free trial ends, OnPay has an all-inclusive pricing plan (e.g., features, onboarding, support) that costs $40 per month, plus $6 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.


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


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.


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, new-hire reporting, employee self service, employee financial wellness tools, standard reporting and analytics templates, garnishment payment services, automatic W-2 and 1099 forms, HR and business forms, employee onboarding and a labor compliance poster kit.
  • Paychex Flex Select – Paychex Flex Select includes all of the features of the Paychex Flex Essentials package, plus a dedicated payroll specialist and a learning management system.
  • Paychex Flex Pro – Paychex Flex Pro includes all of the features of the Paychex Flex Select package, plus a general ledger service, integration with general ledgers in accounting software, state unemployment insurance services, workers’ compensation payment services, pre-employment screening and an employee handbook builder.

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


Gusto provides robust payroll features in four pricing tiers and has a dedicated plan for contractors. Both the Gusto Simple plan and the Paychex Flex Essentials package have similar base prices, 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.