Gusto Review, Pricing & Features

What is Gusto?

Gusto is a human resource software solution used by more than 100,000 businesses. Gusto started as a payroll solution, but has since added a variety of HR features including benefits and compliance support. Gusto is generally used by small businesses with less than 500 employees.

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Table of Contents

Gusto Review Summary

Gusto launched in 2012 as ZenPayroll, a payroll software system. Since then, Gusto has added several additional human resources (HR) features including benefits and compliance support. Over 100,000 businesses currently use Gusto. In general, Gusto is used by small businesses.

Gusto’s best feature is payroll. Gusto allows you to run unlimited payrolls in all 50 states for both hourly and salaried employees. Gusto takes care of deductions, and automatically files payroll taxes.

Gusto has a couple limitations that you should consider before purchasing. Its primary limitations are its lack of robust hiring and expense management tools. Additionally, Gusto does not support benefits in over 10 states and does not offer support for international employees and contractors.

Gusto offers three subscription plans that start at $6 per month per user. Subscription fees increase depending on the number of employees added to your account.

Overall, Gusto excels when it comes to payroll, but does not offer the hiring and onboarding features that alternatives do. It is ideal for businesses who are primarily interested in running unlimited payrolls for both hourly and salaried employees. Businesses in need of features that assist with compliance will also find Gusto helpful.

Gusto Pricing & Cost

Gusto pricing starts at $6 per month per user. Gusto also comes with a platform fee starting at $39 per month. Pricing increases depending on the number of employees added to your account.

Core Plan
  • $39 per month base price
  • $6 per month per person
Complete Plan
  • $39 per month base price
  • $12 per month per person
Concierge Plan
  • $149 per month base price
  • $12 per month per person

Gusto Features

Below, we'll discuss Gusto’s key features. We include product screenshots to give you a sense of this solution’s interface and usability.

Hiring and Onboarding

Gusto includes a basic set of tools that help with the hiring and onboarding process. However, Gusto is not a recruiting or talent management software solution. For example, you can’t automatically post and manage job listings. Gusto also does not include a dedicated applicant tracking system.

Gusto does allow you to quickly create and send offer letters. You can create email templates with merge fields that automatically fill in key information.


When a candidate accepts your offer, you can add them to Gusto in the Hiring Module, and track their onboarding progress. You can create customizable onboarding checklists that include tasks that your new hires must complete.



Payroll is Gusto’s strongest feature. It helps you run employee payroll and pay contractors. In the Run Payroll module, you can monitor your employees’ hours and wages. You can also track:

  • Bonuses
  • Cash tips
  • Commissions
  • Gross pay
  • Overtime hours
  • Reimbursements

Gusto automatically handles benefit deductions, calculates time off for payroll, and deposits payments directly to employee bank accounts. Also, Gusto automatically files payroll taxes. Here are the tax forms Gusto will file on your company’s behalf:

  • Form 1099
  • Form 8974
  • Form 940
  • Form 941
  • Form W-2

Gusto also allows you to automate employee payroll with its AutoPilot feature. This is an effective way to ensure employees and taxes are paid on time every pay cycle. Note that this feature is not available for contractors.

Time Tracking

Gusto includes time tracking tools that are particularly useful for businesses with hourly employees. Gusto includes a time clock that your employees can use to clock in and out. Also, Gusto also includes a time-off tracker. Managers can monitor recorded hours, and approve time-off requests in the Time Tracking module.


You can create multiple paid-time-off (PTO) policies that suit the needs of your employees, whether it's for bereavement, jury duty, or floating holidays. Gusto allows you to limit how much time employees can take off, and define PTO accrual methods.

You can also track overtime hours in Gusto. You can configure overtime rules based on the state where your employees work. You can also reference Gusto’s Help Center for state-by-state overtime laws to make sure you stay compliant.

Compliance Support

Gusto includes tools that help businesses stay compliant with state and federal policies. Gusto stores important employee forms, including I-9s and W-2s, and electronic signatures. Also, Gusto automates several compliance tasks including:

  • Filing forms to report employment taxes and payment
  • Filing new hire reports to state authorities
  • Tracking changing tax laws
  • Tracking time for lunches and breaks for hourly employees

Your compliance dashboard includes a checklist that clearly shows what actions your company still needs to take in order to stay fully compliant with state and federal laws. This is an effective way to visualize important legal steps that your company must handle.


Additionally, if you purchase Gusto’s most expensive plan, your business gains access to a certified HR representative. You can also receive alerts about changes to state and federal laws.


Gusto allows small businesses to offer affordable health care and financial benefits to their employees. Setting up benefits for your employees is easy. However, Gusto does not support benefits in certain states.

In the Benefits Dashboard, you can manage your team’s benefits, and track deduction amounts and employee & employer contributions.

Gusto includes over 3,500 health insurance plans & 100 carriers, and offers a variety of financial benefits. The table below shows the supported benefits included in Gusto.

BenefitIncluded in Gusto
Medical insuranceYes
Dental insuranceYes
Vision insuranceYes
Employer-paid life insuranceYes
Short-term disability insuranceYes
Long-term disability insuranceYes
Health flexible spending account (FSA)Yes
Dependent care flexible spending account (DCFSA)Yes
Health savings account (HSA)Yes
Commuter benefitsYes
529 college savingsYes
Roth 403(b)No
Simple IRAYes

In addition to the benefits not provided in the table above, there are several limitations of Gusto’s benefits that you should consider before making your purchase. In particular:

  • Gusto does not make invoice payments on your behalf
  • Gusto does not support international employees and contractors

While many of these limitations aren’t unique to Gusto, they could be deal breakers depending on your needs. Additionally, Gusto does not offer employee benefits for the following states:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Hawaii
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • North Dakota
  • Rhode Island
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Performance Management

Performance management in Gusto is limited. This is because you can only track employee insights and happiness. This means that Gusto will not be helpful for your business if you want to set goals or track team performance.


Insights are tracked through surveys. Surveys are premade and cannot be customized. This means that if you want to ask specific questions to your employees that Gusto does not provide, you will not be able to do so. Some of the most common survey types Gusto provides include:

  • Teamwork
  • Management
  • Recognition
  • Learning
  • Morale
  • Growth

Analytics and Reporting

Analytics and reporting in Gusto help your business gain top-level insight into your operations. This is because Gusto comes with powerful custom report building alongside a wide variety of pre-made reports.

Building reports in Gusto is both user-friendly and flexible. You can create the following reports:

EmployeeThis report features employee details and compensation information.
PayrollThis report includes payroll details like earnings, benefits, and taxes.
TrendThis report allows you to select certain variables and display the trend for those variables over time.

Once you’ve selected your report type, you can further customize your report with columns and filters. These help you organize and segment your reports to get as detailed as possible. You can also preview your report before you export it as either a CSV or PDF file.

Gusto also comes with a number of pre-made reports. The primary reports available for your business are payroll, contractor payment, and tax reconciliation history. Here are a number of additional reports that might be useful for your business:

  • Benefits report
  • Cash requirements history
  • Bank transactions
  • Time off balances
  • Agency payments


Gusto integrates over 70 third-party different platforms. Below are some of Gusto’s most popular integrations.

Customer Support

Gusto’s customer support team is helpful but not available through live chat. They are reachable through phone and email. Phone hours are between 12pm to 5pm EST, Monday through Friday. Email responses generally take a few business days.

Gusto comes with a number of helpful secondary resources. These include various business-based calculators, checklists, a help center, and a directory for finding accountants. These are all very actionable resources directly related to your company’s growth.

Customer Support ChannelsPhone, email
Other Support ResourcesCalculators, help center, accountant directory
Application Status PageYes

Gusto Alternatives & Competitors

Gusto competes with a variety of human resource management solutions that offer similar functionality. The best choice for you will depend on your budget and feature preferences.

Gusto's top competitors are:

Learn more about how Gusto stacks up against its top individual competitors:

For a full breakdown, read our analysis of Gusto Competitors.

Is Gusto Right For You?

Overall, Gusto excels when it comes to payroll but does not offer the hiring and onboarding features that alternatives do. It is ideal for businesses who are primarily interested in running unlimited and automated payrolls for both hourly and salaried employees. Businesses in need of features that assist with compliance will also find Gusto helpful.

If you're interested, you can Gusto Website.

Yousef Fatehpour

Yousef Fatehpour is a Junior Research Analyst at SoftwarePundit. He graduated from University of California, San Diego, where he studied Human Centered Design and Communications. His work at UCSD's Design Lab emphasized UX research and product management.

Yousef's primary areas of interest are software design, user journeys, and how user experience is handled across software markets. Yousef also has experience in product design and multimedia content production. You can connect with Yousef on LinkedIn.

Yousef is an expert in several software categories including:

  • SMS marketing software
  • Document management software
  • Human resource software
  • Applicant tracking software
  • Design software