Gusto Payroll Review & Features

Gusto was specifically designed for small businesses, and it’s among our top picks for both payroll and HR software. It’s an exceptionally user-friendly, versatile platform that’s easy to integrate with the other tools you use to run your business. To help you determine if it’s the right solution for your business, we’ve reviewed Gusto’s features, user experience, and pricing.

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Gusto features

Gusto’s versatility is among its greatest advantages, so it makes sense that it calls itself an HR operating system. The software offers all of the features you need to manage your business’s HR needs, including payroll, benefit administration, hiring and onboarding, and more.

Payroll features

Gusto started as a payroll software, which is why its payroll features are a cornerstone of its platform. You can use the platform to make an unlimited number of payroll runs with support for multi-state payroll and contractor payments in more than 80 countries. It also makes managing payroll taxes easy with automatic tax calculations and filing—a feature that incurs an extra cost with other vendors. 

Compliance is another key component of payroll that Gusto simplifies. The mobile time tracking features with geolocation help ensure all of your employees are working at the right times and places while also taking the right number of breaks throughout the day. Gusto will alert you if anyone is at risk of clocking in overtime. It also keeps track of all the tax requirements for all of the states where your employees work and automatically updates your tax schedules accordingly. 

Screenshot of Gusto's payroll dashboard.
Image: Screenshot of Gusto’s payroll dashboard.

Compare Gusto with other top payroll solutions on our list of the Best Payroll Software for Small Businesses.

HR features

Gusto also offers a wide range of features to help you manage your business’s HR functions more broadly. You can compare benefit packages for medical, dental, life, and vision insurance and manage them directly from the Gusto platform. Gusto also offers a few unique financial benefits. These include 529 college savings plans for each employee and Gusto Wallet, a free app for employee banking and savings.

Gusto’s time tools are great for tracking compliance as mentioned above, but the benefits don’t stop there. From an HR perspective, they help you stay on top of your scheduling and project requirements so you always have the right number of employees on hand and can budget accordingly. Gusto also has features for managing your company’s PTO policies and employees’ time off requests.

Screenshot of Gusto's time tracking tools.
Image: Screenshot of Gusto’s time tracking tools.

Beyond benefit administration and time tools, Gusto has features for hiring, onboarding, and talent management. You and your recruiting team will enjoy the streamlined applicant tracking system, offer letter templates, and customizable onboarding checklists. Once your new hires have successfully joined your team, you can use Gusto’s performance review templates and competitive compensation tools to retain the top talent you worked so hard to recruit. 

Screenshot of Gusto's hiring and onboarding dashboard.
Image: Screenshot of Gusto’s hiring and onboarding dashboard.

Compare Gusto with other top HR solutions on our list of the Best HR Software for Small Businesses.


As is important for most small business software, Gusto’s integration capabilities are vast. You can connect Gusto to a long list of popular apps, like 15Five, Asana, Expensify, Clover, Quickbooks Online, Google Workspace, and Zoom. All of these integrations augment Gusto’s features and help all of your business tools work together more cohesively. Plus, Gusto offers APIs for businesses that want to add payroll functionality to a custom-built application.

Gusto user experience

Gusto is highly regarded among its customers for its user experience. It’s very intuitive and easy to navigate, but there’s more to Gusto’s user experience than just the platform itself. The company places a specific focus on helping new businesses hit the ground running with an all-in-one HR solution. There are zero setup fees, which is a benefit for businesses that are just starting out.

Gusto also makes the process of switching from another payroll or HR platform as painless as possible. The step-by-step guided onboarding process helps make sure all of the right boxes are checked during the transition phase. Alternatively, Gusto customers who opt for the Select plan can take advantage of full-service payroll migration for a minimal-effort experience.

One drawback to note is that dedicated customer support is reserved for Gusto’s Concierge and Select customers only. There’s a robust library of self-service support documentation, but you should be expected to pay more for higher priority support. 

Gusto pricing

Gusto is available in four different editions:

Core$39/month + $6/person
Complete$39/month + $12/person
Concierge$149/month + $12/person
SelectContact sales

Should you choose Gusto?

After reviewing Gusto’s features, user experience, and pricing, you might still be questioning whether you should choose Gusto as your HR and payroll solution. 

If you have employees in multiple states, rely heavily on contractors, or want an all-in-one HR and payroll platform, Gusto might be a perfect fit. However, if you’re looking to spend as little as possible on your business tools or are concerned that you will need to rely on technical support a lot, an alternative payroll or HR solution might be more suitable. 

Still not sure whether Gusto is right for you? Consider test driving the software for yourself by signing up for a free Gusto demo.

Read next: Gusto vs. Paychex: Which Payroll Software is Better?

Kaiti Norton
Kaiti Norton
Kaiti Norton is the editor of Small Business Computing. She is passionate about creating relatable, research-based content that helps small businesses thrive.

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