Business tools Productivity

Gusto Payroll Review

Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you click on them and sign up for a plan.

Gusto is a payroll service that automates the most painful parts of running payroll, and calculates/pays your payroll taxes on your behalf. I’ve been using Gusto in my business for several years now, and I highly recommend it. It has made payroll 100% less stressful! If you sign up using this link, you’ll get a $100 Visa gift card after you run your first payroll. But let me tell you more about Gusto, and answer all your questions in this article.


Watch my video, or continue below:

Sign up for Gusto using my affiliate link and get a $100 VISA gift card after you run your first payroll. Click here to sign up and get your gift card.

What is Gusto Payroll?

At its core, Gusto is a service for businesses that you pay for monthly that will manage and execute your payroll on your behalf. All you have to do on payday is select the employee on the Gusto dashboard, enter the number of hours worked, time off, etc, and Gusto will automatically calculate the taxes, paystubs, and will direct deposit to your employees bank account.

To run payroll in Gusto, you just type in the number of hours an employee worked, and Gusto takes care of the rest.

My favorite Gusto features:

  • Automated Tax calculating, filing and payment: The absolute most pain-in-the-ass part about payroll is all the tax calculations, paystub calculations, and all the various tax forms you have to fill out and file. There are so many variables and deadlines, it’s just a real pain. Gusto simply takes care of it. I literally never have to look at a Form 940, Form 941, state tax forms, or any other form for that matter. (Of course, if I ever want to review them, I can find them in my dashboard.) Gusto will also pay all your taxes on your behalf, on-time.
  • Employee dashboard: This is actually really cool because most payroll-related info an employee would ask for is right at their fingertips inside their own dashboard. They get their own Gusto login and can input most of their personal information and update it at any time. Your employees will also have direct access to paystubs and W2s and any other reports they’d need. Saves administrative costs by enabling employees to self-serve! And depending on the plan you purchase, you can have your employees track their time on their phone, making payday effortless.
  • 1099 Contractor payments: Pay your 1099 contractors through Gusto with direct deposit or check, and at the end of the year Gusto will calculate and send all your 1099s for you!
  • Customer Service: You might be apprehensive about outsourcing your payroll. After all, it’s a critical component to your business, and you need to trust that everything is being filed correctly, and that any problems are handled promptly and with expertise. I’ve had 3 experiences with Gusto’s customer service, all of which were caused by mistakes that I made, and in all instances, Gusto’s support team took care of the issue and filed the necessary amended tax forms when required, all at no additional cost to me! Who knows how much I would have had to pay an accountant to fix my mistake? You can always live chat or email the support team, and they are prompt in getting back to you.

Check out my video about Gusto’s excellent customer service, then continue below.

Sign up for Gusto using my affiliate link and get a $100 VISA gift card after you run your first payroll. Click here to sign up and get your gift card.

Gusto Payroll pricing

Gusto has the most competitive entry plans for running basic payroll. This is excellent if you are a soloprenuer, and are just looking for very basic payroll features. Just check out this comparison with some of the more popular payroll service providers:

ProviderBasic Plan cost
Gusto Logo$19/mo + $6/mo per person
Onpay payroll logo$36/mo + $4 per person
Quickbooks payroll logo$45/mo + $4/mo per person
paychex logo$59/mo + $4/mo per person
ADP logo$59/mo + $4/mo per person

Side note: Paychex and ADP are giant publicly traded relics of the pre-internet age of payroll management. They have huge overhead and just need to die off and let the new, nimble, efficient companies like Gusto take the lead.

So, if you’re a small business with 2 employees, the Basic plan would cost:

$19 + $6 + $6 = $31/mo.

That’s pretty cheap! And if you have any contractors that you pay through Gusto, it will cost you $6 for each month that you make a payment to a contractor. So, for example, if you have a contractor that you only pay once every 6 months, you only get charged the additional $6 in the month that you made the payment. If you pay a contractor 4 times per month, it’s still just the additional $6 fee!

Now, if you’re looking for additional features like accounting or time tracking software integration, health insurance administration, and some additional employee management tools, the Core plan costs $39/mo plus $6/mo per person.

I recommend the Core plan if you're a small business because the accounting integration is worth the extra $20 per month in time you save with bookkeeping.

I personally recommend the Core plan if you’re a small business like myself, simply for the accounting integration. The extra $20/mo you pay is worth it in time saved with bookkeeping. Gusto integrates with Freshbooks, Xero, Quickbooks, and more. Any time you run payroll, Gusto will automatically send over the transactions to your accounting software, all categorized correctly, making bookkeeping dead simple.

If you’re a larger business that has many employees and managers, you might want to look at the Complete plan ($39/mo + $12/mo per person) or the Concierge plan ($149/mo + $12/mo per person). You’ll get access to time management tools, paid-time off requests, and you’ll have the ability to add managers to your Gusto account to run payroll.

Gusto Benefits

Not only does Gusto take care of your payroll, but they also offer several HR services through their platform or with their partner services. You can offer your employees health insurance, dental, vision, retirement plans, workers’ compensation insurance, and more.

The great thing about using Gusto for these benefits is that your payroll will correctly record all these costs for tax purposes, so it’s easy to manage. You can even set up reimbursements, like for cell phone, gym, charity, or any other custom type of reimbursement you’d like.

They’ve got a cool new app called Gusto Wallet that links up to a special bank account that your employees can set up and they’ll also get a debit card along with it. Gusto Wallet allows them to see their paystubs, request a payroll advance, split their paycheck into different accounts and track their spending.

Sign up for Gusto using my affiliate link and get a $100 VISA gift card after you run your first payroll. Click here to sign up and get your gift card.


  • How much does Gusto payroll cost?
    • Gusto payroll pricing starts at $19/mo + $6/per person, but if you go with the Core plan it’s $39/mo + $6 and the Concierge Plan is $39/mo + $12. There’s also a Concierge plan at $149/mo + $12, which comes with dedicated support.
  • Can you pay yourself as a sole proprietor business owner through Gusto?
    • If you’re a sole proprietor, you don’t pay yourself through payroll, but if you have employees, you can use Gusto to pay them and any 1099 contractors you pay.
  • Can you pay yourself as the business owner if your business is an LLC taxed as an SCorp?
    • Yes. Since an SCorp requires owners to pay themselves a fair wage if they play an active role in the business, you are required to be on payroll and Gusto is a great solution for paying yourself.
  • Can you do an owner’s draw through Gusto?
    • Yes. Owner’s draws are not subject to payroll tax filings and withholdings, but you can use Gusto to issue them in order to take advantage of the direct deposit connection you already have established.
  • Do you have to have a certain type of business in order to use Gusto?
    • Any US business type that has employees, runs payroll, has withholding taxes, etc, can use Gusto to significantly simplify their payroll management.
  • Can you use Gusto for a non-profit 501(3)(C)?
    • Yes.
  • Does Gusto have a free trial?
    • Since payroll requires extensive setup in order for tax forms to be filed and payments to be made, it’s not really feasible to offer a trial. However, they have a demo account set up where you can play with all the bells and whistles to see if you like the platform.
  • How to contact Gusto customer service?
    • When logged into your account, you just click help, check to see if your question has already been answered in their extensive guides and FAQ, then you can click Contact Us to connect to live chat or send an email.
  • What services does Gusto HR provide?
    • Direct deposit, health insurance, health reimbursement, 401(k), workers’ compensation, HSA and FSA accounts, cash accounts, dental, vision, paycheck splitting, paycheck advances, Gusto Wallet app.
  • Does Gusto offer a 401(k) plan for employees?
  • Does Gusto offer time tracking for employees?
    • With the Core plan, you can integrate Gusto with several 3rd party time tracking apps. With Core and Concierge, you can use Gusto’s built-in time tracking tools.

Sign up for Gusto using my affiliate link and get a $100 VISA gift card after you run your first payroll. Click here to sign up and get your gift card.

By Matt Donley

Matt is the creator of onlinebusinesstech where he shares tips, tricks, and tutorials on how to leverage technology when building your own online business.