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Updated May 17, 2024

6 Gusto Payroll Alternatives

Gusto is renowned for its payroll service, but there are other alternatives that might be good for your business as well.

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Written By: Max FreedmanBusiness Operations Insider and Senior Analyst
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Editor Reviewed
This guide was reviewed by a Business News Daily editor to ensure it provides comprehensive and accurate information to aid your buying decision.

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Gusto’s prominence in the payroll world largely stems from it being far more than just a payroll service. The company is renowned for its full-service HR platform that couples payroll with advanced features such as workforce costing and employee handbook templates. At its highest pricing tier, it also offers access to a certified HR professional. But for some small businesses, Gusto alternatives may prove superior. Here’s a look at Gusto and its features, along with overviews of six Gusto alternatives that might be right for your business.

Gusto overview

After launching in November 2011, Gusto quickly rose to prominence among payroll services, given its seamless coupling of payroll processing with high-level HR features. When you choose Gusto to run your payroll, Gusto can also oversee your benefits administration, time and attendance tracking, compliance, and successful onboarding. For small businesses that can’t quite afford an in-house HR staff, these features are often game-changing.

On the other hand, Gusto’s extensive HR features might prove redundant for small businesses with robust accounting and HR departments. If this makes Gusto an improper fit for your company, then one of the below Gusto payroll alternatives might better suit you. As you go through this list, you may want to consult our Gusto payroll review and payroll software best picks list.

Key TakeawayKey takeaway
When it comes to choosing the right payroll service for your business, Gusto payroll alternatives may be better for small businesses with full accounting or HR departments.

6 alternatives to Gusto

These are some prominent Gusto payroll alternatives:

1. Paychex

Paychex has been a prominent payroll service provider for half a century. While Paychex serves businesses of all sizes, it has developed a specialty for working with larger businesses. It includes basic payroll services alongside features that large teams might need, such as time and attendance tracking and incorporation assistance. 

If you choose Paychex, you’ll also be paired with a dedicated account specialist and receive 24/7 customer support.

These are some of the best Paychex features:

  • Basic payroll calculations
  • Payroll tax calculation and payments
  • Direct deposit and pay cards
  • Extensive payroll reports
  • Numerous accounting integrations
  • New-hire reporting
  • Benefits administration
  • Employee financial wellness program administration
  • Employee training
  • Background screening and onboarding
  • Time and attendance tracking
  • Performance reviews and tracking
  • Unemployment insurance program coordination
  • Secure document storage
  • Business incorporation services

Paychex pricing information is available upon request. 

To learn more about Paychex, read our Paychex payroll service review.

2. OnPay

Extremely small businesses with fewer employees than can be counted on one hand might lack the resources to oversee payroll directly. OnPay is designed with these businesses in mind. It offers only one pricing tier and feature set, and that’s intentional. 

All OnPay users get equal access to the company’s extremely user-friendly payroll processing and tax services, not to mention robust customer service. This all comes free of long-term contracts and hidden fees.

All OnPay users get these features:

  • Full-service payroll processing and tax payments 
  • Direct deposit 
  • Full coverage of any tax penalties or interest resulting from OnPay’s work
  • Unlimited payroll runs
  • Employee self service
  • New-hire reporting
  • Onboarding services
  • Extensive integrations
  • Paid time off (PTO) tracking
  • Offer letters
  • HR resource center
  • Benefits and workers’ comp administration

You’ll pay a monthly fee of $40, plus $4 per employee, for OnPay. The only other fees that come into play pertain to year-end tax forms.  OnPay will mail these forms directly to your employees and contractors for $9.99 per form. Alternatively, you can print your own W-2 forms for free. 

Read our OnPay payroll software review to learn more.

3. Rippling

Although payroll services are supposed to save you innumerable hours on payroll, taxes and HR, some payroll software platform interfaces complicate the process. Rippling, on the other hand, allows you to run payroll in just 90 seconds. 

These are some important Rippling features:

  • 90-second payroll runs
  • Automated compliance and tax filing
  • Global payroll
  • Multiple pay rates
  • Direct deposit
  • Time tracking software
  • PTO management
  • Customizable payroll reports and templates
  • Job costing
  • Wage garnishments
  • Several hundred integrations
  • Benefits administration (if you register for Rippling HR)

Rippling pricing plans start at $8 per user per month. Your actual price will vary based on many factors, and you’ll need to get a custom quote to start using the service. 

Read more about Rippling in our Rippling payroll software review.

4. Intuit QuickBooks Payroll

Intuit QuickBooks Payroll is a great choice for small businesses of all types, given the company’s prominence in accounting software. QuickBooks Payroll seamlessly integrates its payroll and accounting platforms, giving you complete control over your employee payments. You also have the option to choose between hosting your software online or on your desktop.

These are some of the best QuickBooks Payroll features:

  • Full-service payroll processing 
  • Full-service payroll tax filing and payment
  • Direct deposit
  • Unlimited payroll runs
  • Multiple pay schedules
  • Mobile time tracking
  • Coverage of tax penalties or interest up to $25,000 (on select plans)
  • Seamless QuickBooks accounting integration
  • HR services alongside designated account HR advisor
  • Workers’ comp administration
  • Health insurance administration through Allstate Health Solutions
  • 401(k) administration through Guideline

QuickBooks Online Payroll is available in three plans: Core, Premium and Elite.

  • Core: $45 per month, plus $6 per employee per month. You’ll get full-service payroll and benefits administration services.
  • Premium: $80 per month, plus $8 per employee per month. You’ll get all Core services, plus mobile time tracking, same-day direct deposit, HR center access and expert setup assistance.
  • Elite: $125 per month, plus $10 per employee per month. You’ll get every service in the other plans, plus tax penalty protection and a personal HR advisor.

Learn about all the features this platform offers in our Intuit QuickBooks Payroll software review.

Read more in our comparison of Gusto vs. QuickBooks Payroll to find out if Gusto or QuickBooks Payroll is the best fit for you.

5. Paycor

If you need both payroll and HR software, Paycor’s services could be the answer. Paycor’s automated payroll includes extensive compliance features so that you know you’re adhering to all local, state and federal regulations. In addition to automated onboarding, Paycor also helps you retain top talent with employee development features. 

These are some of Paycor’s top features:

  • Custom dashboards and analytics
  • Mobile time and attendance tracking
  • Tax compliance automation
  • Employee self-service 
  • Payroll alerts
  • Overtime analytics
  • Talent development tools
  • Onboarding analytics and reporting
  • Automated job posting
  • Benefits administration
  • Customizable HR templates
  • Compensation planning and automation

Paycor offers four plans for small businesses: Basic, Essential, Core and Complete. Contact Paycor for specific pricing on all plan options. 

Read more in our Paycor HR software review

6. ADP

ADP’s several payroll and HR services make it an ideal choice for complex payrolls. If your company hires numerous employees and contractors at wildly different pay rates and hours, ADP can handle that. Plus, it’s the most popular payroll service: When we surveyed businesses as we researched payroll services, nearly 1 in 4 told us it uses ADP.

These are some of ADP’s features:

  • Complete payroll processing
  • Payroll tax calculation and filing
  • Online, phone and mobile app payroll runs
  • Year-end tax forms
  • Direct deposit and paper checks
  • Employee self-service app
  • Standard payroll reports
  • New-hire reporting
  • Hiring and training services
  • Background checks
  • Performance management
  • State unemployment insurance management
  • HR professional access
  • Legal assistance

All ADP prices are entirely customized. You can choose from among four plans: Essential, Enhanced, Complete and HR Pro. No matter which plan you choose, you’ll also pay a setup fee of up to $200.

ADP Essential includes basic payroll services with some nice-to-haves such as onboarding and marketing tools. The Enhanced plan adds more services, including paper check stuffing and state unemployment insurance management. The Complete and HR Pro plans add more HR services to the mix, with HR Pro providing legal assistance unavailable with other payroll services we evaluated.

To get the full scoop on ADP, read our ADP payroll services review. Learn more about how it measures up to Gusto in our Gusto vs. ADP payroll comparison.

Choose a payroll solution that’s right for your business

Finding the best payroll service is all about knowing which features are most important for your organization. While some payroll services might be great for one business, they might not have the talent management or reporting features that you need. Don’t be afraid to consider other Gusto payroll alternatives as your search continues – this list is just a starting point. 

Natalie Hamingson contributed to this article.

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Written By: Max FreedmanBusiness Operations Insider and Senior Analyst
Max Freedman has spent nearly a decade providing entrepreneurs and business operators with actionable advice they can use to launch and grow their businesses. Max has direct experience helping run a small business, performs hands-on reviews and has real-world experience with the categories he covers, such as accounting software and digital payroll solutions, as well as leading small business lenders and employee retirement providers. Max has written hundreds of articles for Business News Daily on a range of valuable topics, including small business funding, time and attendance, marketing and human resources.
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