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The 9 Best Gusto Alternatives

These alternatives to Gusto offer similar features to the popular payroll solution, but may be better suited to your small business in terms of pricing, integrations, and reporting.

    Matt Sherman
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Advertiser Disclosure: Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity.

If you’re looking for a user-friendly payroll solution, Gusto has likely come up in your search thanks to its excellent HR and payroll features. But there are plenty of other Gusto alternatives that might better suit your small business. 

To help decide what payroll software is best for you, we’ll explore the best alternatives to Gusto and evaluate when they may be a better fit for a business.

Learn More About Our Top Picks

CompanyBest ForNext StepsBest For
ADP Payroll

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Best for rich feature set.
Best for rich feature set.

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Square Payroll

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Overall best Gusto alternative.
Overall best Gusto alternative.

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Intuit Online Payroll

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Best for accounting integrations.
Best for accounting integrations.

Visit Site

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Paychex

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Best for analytics and reporting.
Best for analytics and reporting.

Visit Site

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Zenefits

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Best for HR integrations.
Best for HR integrations.

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Other Featured Options:

Read more below to learn why we chose these options.

Tired Of Gusto? 4 Reasons You MIght Want To Switch

While Gusto is highly-rated payroll software, it isn’t perfect for everyone. Here are a few reasons why you might want to go with an alternative to Gusto:

  • You Need A Cheaper Solution: While Gusto is a very affordable option, if you have a very small business with simple payroll needs, you may find that you’re paying for services you’re not using.
  • You Need Advanced Reporting: If you’re wanting in-depth data on your company, you might find Gusto lacking as it has basic reporting but does not delve much deeper than that.
  • You Have Complex Time Tracking Needs: Gusto handles standard time tracking perfectly well, but if you run a business that has more advanced ways to track when your employees punch in and out, you might need an alternative.
  • You Have Workers Overseas: While Gusto does have some capacity for handling international workers, there are other solutions that handle that specific need better.

The 9 Best Gusto Alternatives Worth Considering

The best Gusto alternatives have in-depth reporting, support for international workers, and a simple interface at an affordable price. Read on for a list of some of our favorite alternatives to Gusto. 

1. ADP: Best For Rich Feature Set

ADP Payroll



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Pros

  • Strong customer support
  • Comprehensive features
  • Flexible integrations

Cons

  • Pricing not transparent
  • Fee per payroll run

With nearly 700,000 small business customers, ADP has made a name for itself as a leader among payroll processing companies. Business owners who are new to ADP (or to payroll software, in general) will appreciate the platform’s organized interface.

Additionally, ADP staff are on hand to walk customers through the setup process. ADP’s employee portal is very user-friendly and makes it easy for workers to access pay stubs, tax forms, and other HR information. This level of support is reflected in numerous positive reviews from small business customers. On the flipside, some customers have expressed frustration with less than straightforward pricing structures.

A Quick Look At ADP Pricing

ADP Run includes four different plans—ADP Essential, ADP Enhanced, ADP Complete & HR Plus, and ADP HR Pro—and multiple options for add-on features. However, pricing is not disclosed online so you’ll have to call for a quote. The Enhanced plan gives businesses access to a suite of other payroll and HR services, such as a ZipRecruiter subscription, employee background checks, and assistance complying with local labor laws. ADP’s top-tier plans provide the greatest level of customization to a business’s individual needs.

Read our full comparison of Gusto and ADP for more details about how the two differ.

Get Started with ADP Payroll

Read our in-depth review

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2. Square Payroll: Overall Best Gusto Alternative

Square Payroll



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Read our Review

Pros

  • Competitive pricing
  • Strong integrations with other Square products
  • Easy to use app and interface

Cons

  • Limited payroll functions
  • Limited benefits and HR features

Square offers an assortment of business software and services. Overall, Square’s products have a reputation for being easy to use and adaptable to a customer’s needs. Square Payroll is ideal if you’re using any of the company’s other services, like the Square point-of-sale platform. Square Payroll can be up and running in a matter of minutes and takes minimal training time, even if you’re not overly familiar with payroll software.

Square covers core payroll functions, such as direct deposit, tax withholdings, and the ability to automate payroll runs. Businesses interested in more complex features, such as benefits administration and employee management, can tack them on a Square plan for an additional cost. Compatibility with other Square products, like Square POS and Square Appointments, for example, makes it easy to coordinate payroll, sales, and scheduling in one place. Square may not be a strong Gusto alternative when it comes to the variety of integrations, but the payroll provider does support a handful of third-party apps, including QuickBooks, ZipRecruiter, SimplyInsured, and TSheets.

A Quick Look At Square Payroll Pricing

Square payroll has two aptly named plans: the Pay Contractors Only Plan and Pay Employees & Contractors Plan. Businesses employing independent 1099 workers will pay just $5 per contractor paid each month. Any customer with both W-2 and 1099 employees will pay a base fee of $29 a month + $5 per person paid.

Read about Square Payroll vs Gusto for more information about how the two payroll providers compare.

Get Started with Square Payroll

Read our in-depth review

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3. QuickBooks Online Payroll: Best For Accounting Integration

Intuit Online Payroll



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Read our Review

Pros

  • Next-day direct deposit
  • Integrates with hundreds of apps
  • Intuitive dashboard and portal

Cons

  • Mediocre customer support
  • Local tax support may be lacking

QuickBooks Online Payroll integrates directly with QuickBooks Online, meaning that if you’re already a QuickBooks Online user for accounting, you might want to strongly look into this software as well. It offers full-service payroll across all of its pricing platforms, along with benefits and retirement plan options.

As an ADP alternative, QuickBooks Online Payroll shines when it comes to integrations, as it can sync with over 400 apps, including numerous POS, time tracking, and project management programs. A drawback of QuickBooks is the basic level of the reporting tools. For some small businesses, QuickBooks Online Payroll’s reporting on payroll, taxes, employee benefits, and PTO may be sufficient.

A Quick Look At QuickBooks Online Payroll Pricing

This ADP alternative has three plans from which to choose: Core, Essentials, and Elite. Intuit Online Payroll pricing includes a base fee and variable cost per employee. Here’s how it works out for each plan:

  • Core: $70/month + $4/month per employee
  • Essentials: $95/month + $4/month per employee
  • Elite: $155/month + $8/month per employee

Check out our Gusto VS Quickbooks comparison for a full breakdown of how these payroll solutions differ.

Get Started with Intuit Online Payroll

Read our in-depth review

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4. Paychex: Best For Analytics & Reporting

Paychex



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Read our Review

Pros

  • Extensive reporting
  • Highly scaleable
  • Strong overall payroll features

Cons

  • Some pricing not transparent
  • Limited integrations outside Paychex

Aside from its core payroll functions, Paychex is reputed for offering benefits administration from “hire to retire.” Small businesses offering health insurance, retirement plans, and other comprehensive benefits may prefer Paychex’s in-depth offerings and ability to integrate everything in one place. It’s worth noting that the extra cost for these add-on features can accumulate quickly.

If customers encounter any problems later on, a Paychex representative is available 24/7 by phone or live chat. And with over 100 brick-and-mortar offices, in-person assistance may be feasible based on where your business is located. Small business employees can also get the support they need through Paychex’s Help Center.

A Quick Look At Paychex Pricing

Paychex’s Essentials Plan starts at $39 a month plus $5 per additional employee, which is affordable and comparable to Gusto albeit with a basic feature set. Its two higher-tiered plans, which require a call to a representative for a pricing quote, have advanced features like a dedicated specialist and additional integrations.

Get Started with Paychex

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5. Zenefits: Best For HR Integrations

Zenefits



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Pros

  • Convenient HR integration
  • Extensive mobile app
  • Straightforward interface

Cons

  • Confusing pricing structure
  • Complex payroll processing

As its name suggests, benefits are a core component of payroll solution Zenefits. In fact, payroll is an add-on module that must be purchased in combination with one of the company’s three HR software plans: Essentials, Growth, and Zen. Payroll comes at an additional cost of $6 per employee with any of these options.

A robust HR platform has its advantages for Zenefits payroll customers. For example, new hire reporting, time tracking, PTO, and benefits deductions are all automatically synced between the HR and payroll modules. Zenefits also covers direct deposits, tax filings, multiple pay rates, garnishments, reporting on tipped earnings, and issuing bonuses. Zenefits can integrate with a host of productivity, accounting, and learning software too. Meanwhile, extensive reporting options can provide insight into business operations and payroll topics.

A Quick Look At Zenefits Pricing

The Essentials plan costs $10/month per employee and is the most rudimentary in terms of workforce management. Its main features are employee onboarding, document management, scheduling, and a mobile app for recording hours worked and accessing HR information. The Growth plan increases the per employee cost to $18/month, but provides compensation and performance management for employees. The Zen plan, which costs $27/month per employee, gives access to top-level HR management tools and employee benefits.

If you’re looking for more information, our post on Zenefits vs Gusto provides a good breakdown of how the two payroll software apps differ.

Get Started with Zenefits

Read our in-depth review

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6. Justworks: Best For Insurance Options

Justworks



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Pros

  • Intuitive interface
  • Simple pricing structure
  • Great insurance options

Cons

  • Not customizable
  • Reporting and analytics lacking

Justworks offers basic payroll software for small businesses but, in this case, basic is a good thing. Justworks keeps things simple from its two transparent pricing tiers to its interface, which is so easy to use it can be mastered with minimal training. Larger businesses with complex payroll needs might be wanting some additional features, but for those looking for a platform that simply checks all of the boxes at an affordable price, Justworks gets the job done.

With its basic pricing level, you get things like 24/7 customer support, HR consulting, and PTO management. Its customer service is also extremely highly rated and you can reach them almost instantly at any time of day. Justworks offers only a limited number of integrations if you’re looking to add on to your software.

A Quick Look At Justworks Pricing

Justworks pricing is refreshingly upfront. It starts at $49/month per employee for its Basic plan and its Plus plan is $99/month per employee. When you upgrade, you get access to COBRA administration and health advocacy services. Time tracking is an additional $8/month per employee.

Read our in-depth review

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7. Paylocity: Best For Integrations

Paylocity



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Read our Review

Pros

  • Numerous integrations
  • Rich feature set
  • Employee portal

Cons

  • Nontransparent pricing
  • Clunky software

Paylocity is a powerhouse in the world of payroll software with virtually every feature and integration you could imagine. But, also as you might imagine, a feature set that robust puts it on the higher end when it comes to price. As such, Paylocity is probably best suited for mid-sized to larger businesses. The good news is that, for those businesses, even with extensive payroll needs, Paylocity is more than capable.

It has all the basics like time tracking, employee management, and a wide variety of reports. Paylocity really shines when it comes to its integrations, of which it boasts more than 300. It also has strong customer service, although there have been some complaints of the software being difficult to use at times.

A Quick Look At Paylocity Pricing

Unfortunately, Paylocity doesn’t disclose its pricing online and you will need to contact a sales representative for a quote. But you can expect that it will be on par with other similar, higher-end payroll services.

Read our in-depth review

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8. OnPay: Best For Upfront Pricing

OnPay



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Pros

  • Strong customer support
  • Highly customizable
  • Simple pricing

Cons

  • Mobile app lacking
  • Not for international employees

OnPay is an excellent piece of HR software with just one simple and affordable pricing plan. OnPay features automated tax support and has a solid number of integrations, including strong accounting platforms like QuickBooks and Xero. One of its more unique features is that it has a Report Designer, which allows you to save custom payroll reports. It also has employee self-service functionality and a built-in HR platform, giving you everything a small business would need from payroll software.

OnPay’s biggest plus is how simple its pricing structure is. OnPay has a flat fee and even a tool on its website to calculate the cost for your business. While Gusto might be better suited for larger businesses, OnPay’s customizable reports are a really nice feature and its integrations hold up with any of its competitors.

A Quick Look At OnPay Pricing

OnPay’s pricing is extremely simple. It starts at $36/month + $4/month per employee with no additional hidden fees.

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9. Rippling: Best Mobile App

Rippling



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Pros

  • Mobile app
  • Constant updates
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Average customer service
  • Not very customizable

Rippling is another excellent solution for medium to larger businesses. The product is exceptionally well-reviewed online with much of the praise revolving around just how easy it is to set up and operate. This is high praise when you consider just how in-depth its features are. Rippling has very strong time tracking, benefits administration, and COBRA administration along with everything else you would expect from a large-scale payroll software service.

It’s also a great option if you have international workers, something which gives it a leg up on Gusto. Rippling has a strong mobile app and in-depth reporting. If there are any issues with Rippling it would be with its customer service department. While many users give it good reviews, more than a handful of others say that representatives have struggled to help when they have had issues.

A Quick Look At Rippling Pricing

To get the full picture of what you can expect to pay with Rippling, you’ll have to speak to a representative; the company does not disclose its pricing online. However, you can get started with Rippling at the most basic level for $8/month per user.

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Choosing The Right Gusto Alternative For Your Business

Gusto is an excellent piece of payroll software with a simple interface and excellent features all at an affordable price point. But it obviously isn’t going to be the perfect solution for every business.

While these Gusto alternatives could be a great fit in some scenarios, determining the best payroll software for any small business will always come down to individual needs. Start by assessing what employee benefits you offer (or plan to offer), your HR systems, and projected business growth before you begin your search for the best payroll processing company for your business, and you’ll be far more likely to find what you need.

FAQs About Gusto Alternatives

What payroll software is similar to Gusto?

While each payroll software company is different, Square Payroll, ADP, and Paylocity all have similarities to Gusto.

Is Gusto better than ADP?

Both Gusto and ADP are excellent payroll software apps. Gusto is a good choice for small to midsized businesses and is more affordable than ADP, while ADP has a deeper feature set.

Is Gusto better than Zenefits?

Gusto and Zenefits excel in different areas. While Gusto is a better all-around payroll solution, Zenefits thrives in the areas of benefits and HR. 

What is the best alternative to Gusto?

Whether one or more Gusto alternatives are a better fit for a small business will depend on their budget, goals, and characteristics. ADP, Paylocity, and Square Payroll are all strong alternatives to Gusto.

What are the disadvantages of Gusto?

While Gusto is easy to use and affordable, it is not the best solution if you have international workers or need deep reporting and analytics.

Who are Gusto's competitors?

Companies like ADP, Square, and OnPay all have similar products to Gusto and each have their own benefits.

In Summary: The 9 Best Gusto Alternatives Worth Considering

  1. ADP Payroll: Best for rich feature set.
  2. Square Payroll: Overall best Gusto alternative.
  3. Intuit Online Payroll: Best for accounting integrations.
  4. Paychex: Best for analytics and reporting.
  5. Zenefits: Best for HR integrations.
  6. Justworks: Best for insurance options.
  7. Paylocity: Best for integrations.
  8. OnPay: Best for upfront pricing.
  9. Rippling: Best mobile app.
Matt Sherman

Matt Sherman

Expert Analyst & Reviewer at Merchant Maverick
A former sports editor and journalist, Matt Sherman has been writing about and researching small business software since 2015, with a special emphasis on retail and restaurant sales. Matt's expert opinions are cited in various industry publications, including Fox Business. He is a graduate of the University of Oregon.
Matt Sherman
View Matt Sherman's professional experience on LinkedIn.

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The vendors that appear on this list were chosen by subject matter experts on the basis of product quality, wide usage and availability, and positive reputation.

Merchant Maverick’s ratings are editorial in nature, and are not aggregated from user reviews. Each staff reviewer at Merchant Maverick is a subject matter expert with experience researching, testing, and evaluating small business software and services. The rating of this company or service is based on the author’s expert opinion and analysis of the product, and assessed and seconded by another subject matter expert on staff before publication. Merchant Maverick’s ratings are not influenced by affiliate partnerships.

Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity. The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone.

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