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There are many payroll options out there for all types of business owners: small, medium, large, all of them! But for small business owners, like myself, Gusto is a valid option as a one-stop payroll and HR software. Optimized for small businesses specifically, Gusto is a cloud-based company that provides payroll, benefits, and human resource management software for businesses in the US. With its most-notable user-friendliness, it boasts some other strong features compared to its similar competitors.
What Is Gusto?
While being a modern human resource management and payroll software, Gusto prioritizes small businesses by serving over 200,000 of them, including my very own. In fact, it’s what I personally use to pay myself a salary and it certainly saves me the big bucks on taxes each year.
With all of the impressive features and services it has, here are a few worthy of highlighting:
Payroll: Automatic deductions, filings, direct deposits, W-2s, and 1099s
Employee Benefits: Medical, dental, vision and life insurance, HSA, FSA, and 401(k)s
Onboarding and Hiring: Checklists, offer letters, and more
Gusto Wallet: An employee tool to help them track their spending and save money
Time Tracking: Time-off requests, PTO policies, and simple time tracking
Is Gusto A Good Option?
With any product, there will be good features and lagging parts that need some updating as time goes on, so let’s run through the pros and cons Gusto has as a product and the services they offer to its customers..
Gusto looks to be the most affordable option on the market amongst competitors starting at just $46 per month (plus further additional rates for each employee thereafter). The signup offer is a $100 Visa gift card once your first payroll is run – not too shabby at all.
User-friendly is an understatement, and Gusto offers services for payroll, employee benefits, hiring and onboarding, and automated tax filing including withholdings, and reporting all in one place. Essentially, Gusto handles all of the repetitive HR and payroll tasks that would otherwise take hours of manual input.
I also personally appreciate their employee dashboard and they even have a simple time-tracking feature along with time-off requests and PTO policies. It’s the one-stop HR place for small business owners, even with access to other HR experts.
While the pros outweigh the cons (in my humble opinion), there are some lagging features to make note of.
There have been instances of complaints with their customer service. While I personally haven’t had any issues; even when I had to get in touch with them for moving my business from state to state, there have been some events of dissatisfaction amongst other customers. They operate on a business week so some people may prefer weekend support as well which may be a deal breaker for them. Either way, there’s been some history there.
Secondly, it’s not free. I mean, none of these payroll platforms are free and the only way for it to be is to do it all yourself manually but who wants to do that, especially as a small business owner?
However, something good to note is they don’t actually start charging you until you run your first payroll. I even recently added a business to my Gusto account and I’m waiting to run the first payroll so I don’t start getting charged prematurely. So while there are some cons, with the dozens of hours I’ve spent researching all of the numerous payroll options, the benefits of Gusto outweigh the negatives for me, personally.
Take a look at my in depth video below for more information!
How Does Gusto Stack Up Against Competitors?
Like I said previously, I have done DOZENS of hours of research on payroll options and Gusto is the one I personally landed on. But it’s worth seeing what the competitors offer too, so here we go:
Probably one of the bigger, and more well-known names is Quickbooks. Also for small businesses, they charge a bit more starting at $50 per month on the base tier or $83 per month for their 2nd tier. Important to point out, Quickbooks can eventually be cheaper if you have dozens of employees. Disappointingly, the features are quite limited as well, with many requiring further payment beyond the original subscription.
While a competitor, ADP is more prioritized for larger businesses but does actually have a small business version called RUN. As far as cost goes, it requires calling them up and getting it custom-built for your business needs so rates could vary drastically. Similar to Quickbooks, extra fees are not uncommon and can add up quickly. To add one more in here, Paychex is a similar competitor to ADP with similar features.
All in all, it came down to user experience and cost for me. Gusto takes the cake in both those arenas. However, some of its competitors may be better choices dependent on business needs, size, and headcounts.
Important Takeaways & Final Thoughts!
There’s definitely some bias on my end and I think that’s important to point out, especially since I use Gusto for my own business. I think the user experience is unmatched along with many of the useful features and the price points match what my needs are as a business owner. While there has been some hesitancy with their customer service from others, I haven’t had any negative experiences with the limited interactions I’ve had with them.
Situationally, if you’re making over $60k in profit per year, odds are you may be wanting to set up an S Corp, and to do that you’ll absolutely want a good payroll provider. And as a business owner, you value your time, as I value mine, so automating the tedious and repetitive paperwork with a software like Gusto can save hours.
So if you’re in the market, I do highly recommend Gusto as a tried and true option, and no better time than now to sign up here and get a $100 free Visa gift card in doing so.