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Gusto Payroll Review

Gusto Payroll
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Gusto – formerly known as ZenPayRoll offers 3 different payroll plans, and has an easy to use interface. It’s add-on benefit plans are available in certain states only. It’s payroll service is great, and beats some of the bigger brands in the business. We think it’s one of the best payroll services for small businesses of all types!

  • Affordable service plan
  • Unlimited payroll runs,
  • Benefit add-ons in certain states

In the world of payroll software, Gusto payroll is a winner. No one saw it coming, and now it’s totally crushing the business. It was previously known as ZenPayRoll, and has been around since 2011. It’s easy and quick to use, and it even rivals Quickbook’s which is amazing – since Quickbooks has been around for MANY years.

We think that Gusto is definitely the best payroll software for small businesses. Like most stealth mode candidates who come out of tin air, Gusto has its problems – but it also has many amazing features.

It has unlimited payroll runs, automatic payroll tax filing, and flexible payroll schedules, which makes it a great and affordable fit any type of small business.

Gusto Plans and Pricing 

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Gusto has great automation for payroll

Gusto works great, because it keeps your employees happy when it comes to their payroll. It provides amazing transparency when it comes to helping employees know they are being paid the correct amount – on time, in the method they prefer, and with the right amount deducted so they don’t have to make income tax payments at the end of the year. Gusto automates as much as possible to make payroll as humanly simple and PLEASANT as possible.

  • Automatic state, local, and federal payroll tax filing
  • Automatic w-2 and 1099 form filing
  • Automatic new hire reporting
  • Automatic payroll runs
  • Automatic child support garnishment

If you setup the automatic payroll you never have to worry about forgetting to make payroll on time. Gusto juggles all of the small things that make payroll a pain, and handles it for you. You can even customize payroll runs to your team’s needs. It has a REALLY clean interface, affordable pricing, and also provides tax filing assistance. Bottom line, by handling more of the nuisances and headaches, you have less to worry about when it comes to mistakes.

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  • Automatic payroll tax form filing for w-2, 1099, 940, and 941
  • Unlimited payroll runs
  • Employee benefit add-ons, including 401(k) options


  • Health benefits are limited to 26 states
  • PTO integration is only available with more expensive plans


Gusto Pros

Gusto does more for you than other plans, and has great automation. Here are a few other features from Gusto that make it a great choice.

Tax Form Filing

Gusto automatically files way more than tax forms. The company covers W-2 forms, and 1099 forms. Many companies charge extra for 1099 filing(even Quickbooks). Gusto automatically files crucial, and complicated, tax forms like:

  • Form 940 – which reports on all payments relating to the unemployment tax act
  • Form 941 – which reports on tax which is withheld and paid by the employer for medicare and social security
  • Form 8974 – which businesses have to file if they want to qualify for Federal Research and Development Tax credit
  • Other tax forms which are unique to your state

Unlimited payroll runs

Most payroll software solutions let you make unlimited payroll runs, which means you can run payroll as frequently as needed. Gusto gives you unlimited off-cycle and/or bonus payroll runs. It means if an employee earns a bonus and you want to pay it out, before the next payroll scheduled, you can do it with no financial penalties.

Employee benefits

If you want, you can work with Gusto’s insurance brokers to find medical/dental/vision plans which integrate with Gusto. Gusto also works with you if you want to offer benefits which make your company more competitive, like 401k, commuter benefits, life insurance, etc. Unfortunately, Gusto’s benefits aren’t available in every state.

Gusto Plans


No matter which software provider you choose, there is a monthly base cost and a monthly fee. Before you choose a plan, you must multiply the cost per employee by the # of employees you have. You must add this to the base monthly fee.

Core Gusto Plan Cost/Pricing

Gusto automates payroll so you can focus on your business. You get a number of features with the Core Gusto plan:

  • Support for multiple payroll schedules
  • Employee reimbursement
  • Easy user interface
  • Employee self service portal
  • PTO policy creation
  • Gusto mobile app
  • Compliance assistance
  • Easy integration with Quickbooks, etc

The core plan charges you $6 per month per employee.

Core Complete Plan Cost/Pricing

The Gusto Core plan works for any small business. If your employee roster is growing, you should probably consider the Complete plan. Even though the Complete plan base price is the same as the Core plan, the fee per employee doubles to $12 per person. For the extra money, you get features like employee onboarding, time tracking, and an employee directory. You can use Gusto send offer letters, create employee surveys, etc. It has a lot of features which help tremendously with HR.

Concierge Complete Plan Cost/Pricing

Gusto’s concierge plan is meant for medium and larger sized businesses. It’s better suited for companies that fully need HR support and have a budget. $149 base per month, and $12 per employee — the plan is not cheap.

You get thorough HR compliance help, employee handbooks, and a dedicated support team.

Frequently Asked Questions

When can I switch payroll providers? Do I have to wait until the end of the year?

No. You can switch payroll providers at any time. You can even switch health benefit providers without coverage gaps. You’ll want to check with Gusto before you switch health care providers.

Can accountants use Gusto?

Gusto was created for small business owners. It also offers special plans which allow for accountants who manage your business.


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