In our experience, far too many entrepreneurs overlook payroll software until they desperately need it, at which point it can take some time and effort to set up. It’s best to set up your payroll system early and then add employees and contractors to it as your business expands.

By the time you have even one or two contractors and/or employees working for your business, payroll software can dramatically simplify your financial operations. Beyond that, it’s a necessity.

Gusto is our favorite payroll service for growing businesses looking for a tool that can scale and evolve with them. But is this the right payroll software provider for your company’s unique needs?


A Brief Overview of Payroll Software

Old-school methods for payroll tracking were incredibly time-consuming. Even small businesses needed to invest way too much time into things like calculating payroll manually, tracking hours, writing checks, and calculating taxes. Thankfully, technology has simplified this process significantly.

Today, entrepreneurs can instead pay a reasonable monthly fee to one of many payroll software services and receive automated assistance with these and other related tasks. Gusto is one of the best payroll software providers available, so let’s find out if it’s the ideal option for you.


Gusto Payroll Software Review

Gusto is an outstanding payroll software solution for any growing small-to-midsize business with evolving needs. Let’s take a look at some of its pros and cons before we dig into the details.


  • Tiered service for expanding businesses
  • Direct deposit payments included
  • Full-service automated payroll


  • Time-tracking app costs extra
  • Pricing is pretty high in general

The Details of Gusto Payroll Software

Gusto’s Core payroll software costs $39 per month, plus an additional $6/month per person. While this is a slightly higher price point than the industry average, we’re impressed by Gusto’s full-service automated payroll and direct deposit functionality. In addition, its Complete package adds some valuable features for growing companies.

Overall Pricing and Value:

Gusto Core is a great option for small businesses, as it’s a complete software solution with a ton of valuable features. This package is priced a bit higher than some competing products, but Gusto’s fully automated, unlimited payroll runs and direct deposit support are strong features at any price point.

If you upgrade to the Gusto Complete package for an extra $6/month per person (totaling $39/month + $12/person), Gusto throws in a suite of HR and team management tools. These include time-tracking and PTO management features, along with next-day direct deposits and a variety of financial reports and reviews.

Gusto also offers a contractor payment platform with no subscription fee and $6/person per month fees, which is $1/person higher than Square’s similar offering.

Track Record:

Gusto has been around since 2012, and currently has more than 200,000 active business clients around the world. In addition to its payroll software, Gusto offers assistance with employee benefits and PPP loan services.

We found more than 5,000 customer reviews of Gusto’s services, which we found to be of mixed quality. On GetApp, Gusto receives an excellent 4.7/5 average score in roughly 3,200 reviews. However, on Trustpilot, the company has a less impressive 2.4/5 average rating in 1,300+ reviews.

Customer Support:

We have always received consistent, informative support from Gusto’s customer service team. They typically have short response times as well. However, we’re a bit disappointed by how short their hours of availability are.

With Gusto, phone support is only available from 10 am to 7 pm ET on weekdays. Some competitors offer 12 hours of availability per day, and Paychex Flex actually has 24/7 support, so nine hours per day isn’t great.

Ease of Use:

There wouldn’t be much point in using a payroll software service if it didn’t make the process of running and tracking payroll significantly simpler. Thankfully, Gusto does just that, with an easy-to-use interface and plenty of intuitive features.

Gusto has an advanced mobile app and plenty of online bells and whistles, and its user experience feels modern and refined.


What Are Customers Saying About Gusto Payroll Software?

We found nearly 5,200 unique customer reviews for Gusto. This company receives many more positive reviews than negative reviews, although there is more critical feedback mixed in than you’ll find with some competitors.

There are plenty of reviews out there discussing Gusto’s incredible ease of use, as well as how much time the software saves customers. That said, there are also some customers who seem frustrated by what they perceive to be hit-or-miss customer support with short hours of availability, as we discussed earlier.


Our Final Thoughts

Gusto is our favorite payroll software service for small-to-midsize businesses looking for a payroll platform that can scale and grow with them. We also enjoy this company’s full-service automated payroll runs and excellent user interface.

We’re big fans of what Gusto has to offer for payroll services, and we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this company to our families and friends. That said, we understand that this might not be the right company for everyone.

If you’d like to take a look at your other options for payroll software services, take a look at our guide to the best companies in the industry.

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