Gusto – Payroll Solutions Tool

Small and medium-sized businesses face numerous challenges in managing payroll and HR functions, such as time-consuming administrative tasks, compliance issues, and staying up-to-date with constantly changing regulations. These tasks can be especially challenging for businesses that lack dedicated HR staff or resources. Inaccurate or inefficient payroll processing can also result in penalties, fines, and employee dissatisfaction.

Gusto provides a comprehensive solution to these challenges by offering cloud-based payroll and HR management services designed specifically for small and medium-sized businesses. Gusto’s platform is user-friendly, affordable, and scalable, and offers a wide range of features to help businesses streamline their payroll and HR processes, ensure compliance, and offer competitive benefits to their employees.

The purpose of this article is to provide a detailed overview of Gusto’s services and benefits, highlight the features that set it apart from other HR and payroll software, and offer insights into how Gusto can help small and medium-sized businesses succeed.

Overview of Gusto

Gusto, formerly known as ZenPayroll, was founded in 2011 and is headquartered in San Francisco, California. The company was started with the mission of making payroll and HR easier and more accessible for small businesses.

Gusto offers a wide range of services to help SMBs manage their payroll and HR needs. These services include:

  1. Payroll processing and tax filing: Gusto automates payroll processing, calculates payroll taxes, and handles tax filings and payments with the IRS and state agencies. Gusto also takes care of year-end tax forms like W-2s and 1099s.
  2. Employee benefits administration: Gusto offers a range of benefits for SMBs to offer their employees, including health insurance, 401(k) retirement plans, and workers’ compensation insurance. Gusto handles the enrollment process and manages ongoing benefit deductions.
  3. Time tracking and scheduling: Gusto’s time tracking tools allow employees to clock in and out, track their hours, and request time off. Employers can approve time off requests and manage employee schedules all in one place.
  4. Compliance management: Gusto provides SMBs with compliance alerts and notifications to help them stay on top of regulations and avoid penalties. Gusto also offers HR compliance resources and workers’ compensation administration.
  5. HR support and consulting: Gusto provides HR support and consulting services to help SMBs with issues such as employee relations, onboarding, and offboarding. Gusto’s team of HR experts is available to answer questions and provide guidance.

Gusto offers several advantages over other HR and payroll software, including:

  1. User-friendly interface: Gusto’s interface is easy to use and navigate, making it simple for even non-experts to manage payroll and HR functions.
  2. Robust feature set: Gusto offers a wide range of features, including payroll processing, benefits administration, time tracking, and compliance management, all in one platform.
  3. Affordable pricing: Gusto’s pricing is competitive with other payroll and HR software, and the company offers transparent pricing with no hidden fees.
  4. Dedicated support team: Gusto’s support team is available to help users with any issues or questions they may have, and the company has a reputation for providing excellent customer service.

Features of Gusto

Payroll processing and tax filing

  1. Automatic tax calculations and deductions: Gusto’s payroll processing features include automatic tax calculations and deductions, ensuring that small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are always in compliance with tax laws. Gusto keeps track of federal, state, and local taxes and deducts them from employees’ paychecks, simplifying the payroll process.
  2. Direct deposit and check printing: With Gusto, employers can pay their employees via direct deposit or check printing, making it easy to pay their employees on time. Gusto also handles the printing and mailing of physical checks to employees who prefer to receive their paychecks this way.
  3. W-2 and 1099 processing: Gusto takes care of year-end tax forms like W-2s and 1099s, simplifying the process of filing taxes. Gusto automatically generates and files these forms with the appropriate government agencies, saving SMBs time and effort.

Employee benefits administration:

  1. Health insurance, 401(k), and other benefit plans: Gusto offers a variety of employee benefit plans, including health insurance, 401(k) retirement plans, and workers’ compensation insurance. SMBs can choose from a range of plans to find the best fit for their employees.
  2. Automated enrollment and deduction tracking: Gusto streamlines the enrollment process for employee benefit plans, making it easy for SMBs to offer benefits to their employees. Gusto automatically deducts the employee portion of the premiums from their paychecks, simplifying the payroll process.
  3. COBRA administration: Gusto also handles COBRA administration, which allows employees to continue their health insurance coverage after leaving their job. Gusto ensures that employees receive the necessary information and paperwork to enroll in COBRA coverage.

Time tracking and scheduling:

  1. Employee time tracking and reporting: Time tracking and scheduling are vital for SMBs. Gusto provides employee time tracking and reporting features, making it easy for employers to keep track of their employees’ hours worked. This helps SMBs avoid compliance issues related to overtime pay.
  2. Overtime and PTO tracking: Gusto also tracks employee overtime and paid time off (PTO), making it easy for SMBs to calculate employee pay and accruals.
  3. Mobile app for clocking in and out: Gusto’s mobile app allows employees to clock in and out from their smartphones, making it easy to track time worked even when employees are on the go.

Compliance management

  1. Compliance alerts and notifications: Gusto’s compliance management feature helps businesses stay up-to-date with changing regulations and laws. Gusto provides alerts and notifications when new regulations are introduced that could impact a company’s payroll and HR practices. This feature ensures that companies are always aware of regulatory changes and can take the necessary steps to remain compliant.
  2. HR and legal compliance resources: In addition to alerts and notifications, Gusto also provides HR and legal compliance resources to help businesses stay compliant. These resources include templates for HR documents such as employee handbooks and job descriptions, as well as access to HR experts who can provide advice and guidance on HR and legal compliance issues.
  3. Workers’ compensation administration: Gusto also offers workers’ compensation administration, which allows businesses to manage claims and track premiums. This feature helps businesses ensure that they are meeting their legal obligations with regard to workers’ compensation insurance.

Mobile app for employees

  1. Access to pay stubs, time off requests, and benefit information: Gusto’s mobile app for employees allows employees to access important payroll and HR information from anywhere. Employees can view their pay stubs, request time off, and access information about their benefits all from their mobile device.
  2. Integration with fitness and wellness programs: Gusto’s mobile app also integrates with fitness and wellness programs, allowing employees to track their fitness goals and progress. This feature can help businesses promote employee wellness and engagement.
  3. Real-time notifications and alerts: Finally, Gusto’s mobile app provides real-time notifications and alerts to keep employees informed about important HR and payroll updates. Employees can receive alerts when they have a new pay stub or when their time off request has been approved, for example. This feature helps keep employees informed and engaged with their payroll and HR information.

How Gusto can benefit small and medium-sized businesses

Increased efficiency and accuracy in payroll processing and HR management: Gusto’s comprehensive suite of features can help small and medium-sized businesses save time and money by streamlining their payroll and HR management processes. With automatic tax calculations and deductions, direct deposit and check printing, and W-2 and 1099 processing, Gusto can handle all aspects of payroll processing, reducing the risk of errors and penalties.

Improved employee satisfaction and retention: Gusto’s benefits administration feature can help small and medium-sized businesses attract and retain top talent by offering competitive benefit plans. The mobile app for employees also provides easy access to important payroll and HR information, allowing employees to manage their benefits, request time off, and view their pay stubs from anywhere. This increased accessibility can help boost morale and productivity, leading to better employee retention.

Access to HR and compliance expertise: Gusto’s HR and legal compliance resources provide businesses with access to expert advice and guidance on HR and compliance issues. This can be particularly beneficial for small and medium-sized businesses that may not have the resources to hire dedicated staff or consultants to manage HR and compliance.

Ability to scale and grow: Gusto’s flexible pricing plans and scalable infrastructure make it easy for small and medium-sized businesses to grow without worrying about HR and payroll infrastructure. Gusto can easily adapt to changing business needs, providing businesses with the support they need to focus on core operations and growth. This can help small and medium-sized businesses stay competitive in their industries and achieve long-term success.

Compliance with state and federal regulations: Gusto’s compliance management feature can help small and medium-sized businesses stay compliant with state and federal regulations, reducing the risk of penalties and legal issues. Gusto can automatically generate compliance reports and alerts, helping businesses stay on top of changing regulations and avoid potential compliance issues.

Cost savings: Gusto’s affordable pricing plans can help small and medium-sized businesses save money compared to hiring dedicated HR and payroll staff or outsourcing these functions to third-party providers. Gusto’s pricing plans are transparent, with no hidden fees or charges, making it easy for businesses to budget and plan their expenses.

Integration with other software: Gusto can integrate with a variety of other software and tools, including accounting software, time tracking software, and applicant tracking systems. This integration can help streamline business processes and reduce the need for manual data entry, saving time and reducing the risk of errors.

Excellent customer support: Gusto provides dedicated support for its customers, including live chat, email support, and phone support. The support team is available 24/7, ensuring that businesses can get help when they need it. Gusto’s support team is highly trained and knowledgeable, providing expert advice and guidance to help businesses get the most out of the software.

Success stories of businesses using Gusto

Gusto has helped many small and medium-sized businesses streamline their payroll and HR processes, resulting in significant benefits for both employers and employees. Satisfied customers have provided glowing testimonials, highlighting the platform’s ease of use, affordability, and excellent customer service.

One customer, a small business owner in the healthcare industry, praised Gusto’s user-friendly platform and the time it saved her in managing payroll and benefits administration. Another customer, a startup founder in the technology industry, credited Gusto with helping him scale his business without worrying about HR and compliance infrastructure.

According to Gusto’s own statistics, customers save an average of 11 hours per month on payroll and HR management, while 72% of employees report being more engaged and satisfied with their jobs due to the benefits administration and mobile app access offered by Gusto.

Examples of businesses that have benefited from using Gusto, including industries and company sizes

Gusto’s platform has proven to be a valuable asset to businesses across a variety of industries and company sizes. From small retail stores to large tech companies, Gusto’s customizable solutions have helped businesses of all kinds save time, reduce costs, and increase employee satisfaction.

One example is a small restaurant chain in the hospitality industry, which was able to streamline its payroll processing and reduce compliance risk by using Gusto. Another example is a medium-sized marketing agency that was able to provide its employees with comprehensive benefits packages through Gusto, resulting in improved retention and productivity.

Gusto has worked with many businesses to help them achieve success through its payroll and HR solutions. Some of these businesses have shared their stories through case studies, providing details on specific features or solutions that were particularly impactful.

One case study features a small law firm that was struggling with inefficient payroll processing and compliance management. By using Gusto’s platform, the firm was able to automate its payroll and tax filings, resulting in significant time and cost savings. The firm also received HR and compliance support from Gusto’s team, ensuring that it was always in compliance with regulations.

Another case study features a growing e-commerce startup that was struggling to manage its benefits administration as it scaled. Gusto’s automated benefits enrollment and tracking solutions allowed the startup to provide its employees with comprehensive benefits packages while also reducing the administrative burden on HR staff.

These success stories demonstrate the value that Gusto’s platform can provide to businesses of all kinds, helping them save time, reduce costs, and improve employee satisfaction and retention.

Frequently asked questions

How does gusto payroll work?

Gusto payroll is a cloud-based payroll processing software that automates and streamlines payroll management for small and medium-sized businesses. Here’s how it works:

  1. Setting up an account: First, you need to sign up for an account with Gusto and provide some basic information about your company, including your company name, business type, and contact details.
  2. Adding employee information: Once your account is set up, you can add your employees’ information, including their personal details, pay rates, and tax withholding information. You can also set up employee benefits, such as health insurance and 401(k) plans, and manage their time off requests.
  3. Running payroll: To process payroll, you simply need to enter the hours worked by each employee, and Gusto automatically calculates the net pay, taxes, and deductions for each employee based on the information you provided. You can then review and approve the payroll before processing it.
  4. Tax filing and payment: Gusto automatically files and pays your federal, state, and local payroll taxes on your behalf. The software calculates the amount of taxes owed based on the information you provided and ensures that the payments are made on time and accurately.
  5. Payroll reporting: Gusto provides detailed payroll reports that can help you track your payroll expenses, taxes paid, and employee earnings. You can also download and print W-2s and 1099s at the end of the year.

Overall, Gusto offers an easy-to-use and efficient payroll management solution for small and medium-sized businesses. Its automation and integration with other HR and benefits management features make it a popular choice for business owners who want to save time and reduce the risk of errors and compliance issues.

Is gusto a bank?

No, Gusto is not a bank. Gusto is a cloud-based HR and payroll software that offers services related to payroll processing, benefits administration, compliance management, and more. While Gusto partners with financial institutions to provide services like direct deposit, it is not a bank itself.

Who is Gusto best for?

Gusto is best for small and medium-sized businesses that are looking for a comprehensive and user-friendly HR and payroll solution. It is especially well-suited for businesses that do not have a dedicated HR department, as Gusto offers a range of HR services in addition to payroll processing. Additionally, Gusto is a good fit for businesses that value affordable pricing and dedicated customer support. Finally, businesses that prioritize employee benefits and wellness may find Gusto’s benefits administration and mobile app features particularly valuable.

Gusto pricing

Gusto offers three different pricing plans to cater to the varying needs of businesses of different sizes and stages of growth. They also offer an additional plan for contractors only. Let’s look into Gusto’s pricing plans and the features included in each one.

Simple plan

The Simple plan is Gusto’s entry-level plan, aimed at businesses that need a streamlined set of payroll features and basic HR tools. The Simple plan costs $40 per month, plus $6 per month for each person added to payroll. Here are the features included in the Simple plan:

  • Full-service single-state payroll including W-2s and 1099s
  • Employee profiles and self-service
  • Basic hiring and onboarding tools
  • Gusto-brokered health insurance administration
  • Employee financial benefits
  • Payroll and time-off reports
  • Custom admin permissions
  • Integrations for accounting, time tracking, expense management, and more
  • Basic support

The Simple plan is ideal for small businesses that are just getting started and need a reliable payroll processing tool that can handle basic HR tasks. This plan is suitable for businesses with employees in only one state.

Plus plan

The Plus plan is Gusto’s most popular plan, designed for businesses that need more comprehensive payroll, benefits, and HR tools. The Plus plan costs $80 per month, plus $12 per month for each person added to payroll. Here are the features included in the Plus plan:

  • Everything in the Simple plan, plus:
  • Full-service multi-state payroll including W-2s and 1099s
  • Next-day direct deposit
  • Advanced hiring and onboarding tools
  • PTO management and policies
  • Time tracking and project tracking
  • Workforce costing and reports
  • Team management tools
  • Full support
  • Priority support

The Plus plan is suitable for growing businesses that need more advanced payroll features and HR tools. This plan is ideal for businesses that have employees in multiple states or need to manage PTO policies and time tracking.

In addition to the Plus plan, businesses can also opt for a Priority Support and HR services add-on, which costs $8 per month per person. This add-on provides businesses with access to HR experts and resources and a direct line to phone and email support for faster service.

Premium plan

The Premium plan is Gusto’s most comprehensive plan, designed for businesses with complex needs and larger teams. The Premium plan comes with exclusive pricing, and interested businesses need to contact Gusto to get more details. Here are the features included in the Premium plan:

  • Everything in the Plus plan, plus:
  • HR Resource Center
  • Compliance alerts
  • Access to certified HR experts
  • Full-service payroll migration and account setup
  • Health insurance broker integration
  • R&D tax credit discount
  • Waived fees and exclusive pricing
  • Performance reviews
  • Employee surveys and insights
  • Dedicated support

The Premium plan is suitable for businesses with complex HR needs that require dedicated support and expert HR advice. This plan is ideal for larger businesses with a significant number of employees, multiple locations, and complex HR policies.


In conclusion, Gusto is a comprehensive HR and payroll management software that offers a range of services to small and medium-sized businesses. Gusto’s payroll processing and tax filing features ensure accurate and timely payments, while its benefits administration and compliance management tools streamline HR tasks and help businesses stay on top of regulatory requirements.

Gusto’s time tracking and scheduling features, mobile app for employees, and compliance alerts and notifications provide businesses with added convenience and peace of mind. Additionally, Gusto’s dedicated support team and affordable pricing plans make it an ideal choice for businesses looking for a user-friendly and feature-rich HR and payroll software.

As small and medium-sized businesses continue to face challenges in managing HR and payroll functions, Gusto offers an innovative solution that can help improve efficiency and reduce costs. By using Gusto, businesses can focus on their core operations and growth, while leaving HR and payroll management in the hands of experts.

We encourage readers to try Gusto for their own business needs and experience the benefits firsthand.

For readers who want to learn more about Gusto, visit their website at Gusto also offers a range of resources, including articles, webinars, and podcasts, to help businesses stay up-to-date on the latest HR and payroll trends and best practices.