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6 min read

Gusto Review: Features, Pricing, and Payroll Alternatives

Gusto logo

Our verdict

Our verdict

Gusto is a payroll software that is also an HRIS, offers benefits packages and administration, and assists with compliance and onboarding.

  • Large number of features accessible through an award-winning HRIS software
  • Extensive integrations

bad handCons

  • Plus or Premium membership needed for some features
  • Not a full PEO or EOR platform
Gusto Logo Visit Gusto

Score 9.4 out of 10

How is this calculated?

We calculate the Overall Rating by combining the ratings of several testing categories.

Learn more by reading our testing and review methodology.


US only

Monthly fees

Simple Plan $40/month + $6/month/employee; Plus Plan $80/month + $12/month/employee; Premium Plan pricing is available by request.

Payment Options

Direct Debit, Pay Debit, Gusto Wallet

Gusto is a comprehensive payroll platform that offers many services typically only available through a Professional Employer Organization (PEO): tax filing and other compliance assistance, an HR management platform, new employee onboarding, employee health and benefits sign-up and administration, and international contractor payments.

These features will make Gusto attractive to businesses looking for an all-around HR platform.


Gusto has won best-in-class payroll processing service and software platform awards from Business.org, TechRadar, PC Mag, TechRepublic, SoftwareReviews, US News & World Report, NerdWallet, and Business.com. Join us as we take an in-depth look at the key features, pros and cons, Gusto’s unique selling points, and our final verdict.

Its recent collaboration with Remote, ‘Gusto Global, powered by Remote,‘ combines all the features of a leading HR and payroll platform with a global Employer of Record. Gusto is an excellent choice for companies that want one platform for managing their international workforce.

Key Features


With Gusto, business owners can run payroll as many times per month as desired with no extra fees. Payroll can also be set up to run automatically with the AutoPilot feature.

The service supports salaried workers, hourly workers (with optional time-tracking through the Gusto Wallet app), and even international contractors in over 120 countries. Other features include automatic child-support and garnishments, hew hire reporting, tip credit minimum wage adjustments, bonuses, off-cycle payroll, multiple pay rates, net-to-gross calculations, reimbursements, contractor payments, multiple pay schedules, and expense integration.

Employees may be paid via direct deposit or the Gusto Wallet. The wallet app connects to a Visa Pay debit card and is compatible with Apple Pay and Google Pay. Employees can split their paychecks into different bank accounts, view their transactions, paycheck history, and W2 forms, and access simple budgeting tools via the app. Gusto also offers employees options for 401(k) retirement and college savings.


The Gusto platform is an HRIS (Human Resources Information System) aimed at streamlining routing HR admin tasks. 300,000 businesses currently use Gusto’s HR platform. Moreover, 90% of small businesses report that the Gusto platform is easy to switch to and set up.

All subscribers can access onboarding workflows, including a self-onboarding portal for new employees. Plus Plan subscribers are also provided with job posting services and software tools to create employee directories and organizational charts. Premium Plan subscribers access automated workflows for performance reviews, with tools for self-evaluations, career development, and reviews by management.

Gusto provides a complete HR resource center for Premium Plan subscribers and as an add-on to its Plus plan. The resource center contains documents to support the creation of employee handbooks and a thorough compliance library. The resource center also includes access to HR experts who can help solve more complex questions. 


Gusto offers more than 9000 health plans from over 30 providers. Many plans provide flexible add-ons such as Health Savings Accounts, Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), life insurance, disability insurance, and dependent care FSAs. Gusto acts as an insurance broker for these plans. When businesses sign up for a plan through the platform, Gusto provides insurance administration services at no additional cost and optional COBRA administration. Existing plans can be moved over to Gusto, upgraded, or changed at any time. Employees can also enroll in their packages through the portal.

Companies already working with an insurance broker can register their broker with Gusto so that they can manage employee plans through the platform as well.

At the time of writing, health benefits were available in 37 states, so if you are considering a switch to Gusto for the benefits options, be sure to check that all of your employees are covered.


Gusto offers several features to help businesses stay compliant, even when managing employees in many states. All I-9, W-2, and 1099 forms are saved and organized by the platform, and it also allows employees to be registered in all 50 states. Taxes are calculated automatically, and local, state, and federal tax filing is included with the Gusto payroll service.  When changes to pertinent tax laws are made, business owners receive an alert.

As an added benefit, Gusto provides workers’ compensation insurance through its partnership with NEXT Insurance. The coverage requires no down payment, and premium payments are spread throughout the year.

Gusto compliance in action: What's the difference between and employee and a contractor?


Gusto has been recognized as the best payroll software by US News & World Report, the best payroll and HR platform for small businesses by NerdWallet, and the best HR software for businesses concerned with payroll processing by Business.com.

Gusto promotes its platform as easy to use and time-saving. According to a survey of over 450 customers, 88% found the platform easier to use than their previous system, with all clients saving an average of 5 hours per month on payroll and HR admin tasks.

The platform can integrate with other apps and services, such as QuickBooks, TSheets, Tranquil, Clover, and Xero. Benefits plans purchased through Gusto or ported to the platform may be administered alongside other HR tasks.

Through the Gusto platform, customers also have access to Remote’s global Employer of Record solution: This means Gusto users can easily hire and pay employees all over the world, through the simplicity and functionality of the Gusto payroll solution. Read more about this collaboration between Gusto and Remote in our 2023 Remote review. 

Plans & Pricing

  • Contractors Only
    $35/month (waived for first 6 months) + $6/month/contractor
  • Simple Plan
    $40/month + $6/month/employee
  • Plus Plan
    $80/month + $12/month/employee
  • Premium Plan
    Pricing is available by request.

What do customers think?

We reviewed customer feedback on Gusto, revealing the following scores: 

  • G2 – 4/5 from 723 reviews 
  • TrustPilot – 3.5/5 from 1859 reviews

Pros and Cons


Benefits of engaging Gusto as your payroll platform include: 

  • One center for benefits, payroll, HRIS, compliance, time tracking, taxes, and onboarding.
  • Extensive Integrations — Gusto integrates many other popular business tools, including Freshbooks, Quickbooks, Xero, Asana, and Xoom. 
  • Comprehensive payroll and benefits features without PEO fees or commitments. 


  • Upgrade to Plus Plan needed to access some features. 
  • No outsourcing options for companies that seek a partner for PEO or EOR services. 

Unique selling point

Gusto provides a comprehensive offering encompassing HR admin, payroll, tax filing and payments, benefits administration, onboarding, and even job posting. This is brought together in an award-winning, efficient, and well-loved platform.

RemotePad Score for Gusto


9.4/10 Our expert score for Gusto

Our team came to this score by considering the following components in the following weightings:

Payroll features25%
Benefits features10%
HR features10%
Compliance features10%
Platform features10%
User reviews15%

For each component, Gusto received the following score:

Payroll features 23/25
Benefits features 9/10
HR features 10/10
Compliance features 10/10
Platform features 10/10
Pricing 19/20
User reviews 15/15

Top alternatives (competitors)

Companies interested in a more comprehensive HR outsourcing solution should consider the benefits of using a global PEO or Employer of Record platform.

Some of the leading contenders are listed below.

Horizons vs Gusto

Top provider for:
Global EOR

Read Horizons Review

Monthly fee per employee
From $299

Remote vs Gusto

Top provider for:
Direct EOR solutions

Read Remote Review

Monthly fee per employee
From $599

Deel vs Gusto

Top provider for:

Read Deel Review

Monthly fee per employee
From $599

Our take

Small and growing businesses looking for a comprehensive HR service offering more than a typical HRIS but requiring less commitment than a PEO partnership may find that Gusto fits their needs perfectly.

Companies with established in-house HR departments may find HRIS software to be more economical. Large employers that wish to outsource their HR completely may find that a full-service PEO better fits their needs. In many situations, however, Gusto may be the perfect balance between affordability and comprehensive HR outsourcing. 


Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming are not covered as of May 2023.

This may only be an issue if the company headquarters are in one of those states that is not covered; if your company is established in a state that is covered, Gusto can generally also cover employees in states that are not typically covered.

All plans include unlimited payroll, international contractors, tax registration and filing, standard payroll features, onboarding, Gusto Wallet, access to benefits plans, and basic customer support.

Plus and Premium plans also include multi-state payroll, next day direct deposit, custom paid holidays, time off requests and approvals, expenses and reimbursements, job postings, insurance broker integration, org charts and directories, and priority customer support.

The Premium package adds support for anonymous surveys, performance reviews, and a dedicated customer success manager.

Gusto has gone through numerous funding rounds since 2015, raising $746.1 million in total. It its latest funding round (series E) in 2022 it raised $55 million. 

Gusto is headquartered in San Francisco, but has offices throughout the US, including in New York, Colorado and Arizona. 

In the 12 months ending in April 2023, Gusto reported annual revenue of more than $500 million. 

When Gusto last publicly released its valuation in 2021, it was for $9.5 billion. This puts Gusto in the top ranks within the HR and payroll space alongside companies such as Rippling, Deel and Papaya Global. 

Travis is a global business development advisor. He has spent the last 14 years supporting business establishment and development in North America, Southeast Asia, and throughout the world. With multiple degrees from the University of Oregon, Travis currently splits his time between the US, and Bali, Indonesia. At RemotePad, Travis writes about remote work, hiring internationally and PEO/EOR business models.