Square Payroll VS Gusto Comparison 2023
Both Square and Gusto offer affordable and easy to use payroll software for small businesses. But which one is the best fit for your needs?
When sizing up the best payroll software for small businesses, the battle between Square Payroll vs. Gusto is a close one. And the good news is that you can’t really go wrong as both companies offer user-friendly software, solid feature sets, and affordable pricing.
But one option might be significantly better for your individual needs and that’s where we’re here to help.
We’ll dive into each software’s features, pricing, compatible integrations, and feedback from small business users. Read on for our Gusto vs. Square Payroll comparison, and find out which software is the best option for your business.
|Ideal For||Independent contractors and businesses with simple accounting needs||Small to mid-sized businesses needing complete payroll software|
|Pricing||$5/month per person – $35/month + add-ons||$6/month per person – $80/month + $12/per person|
Table of Contents
- Square Payroll VS Gusto Comparison Summary
- What Is The Difference Between Square Payroll & Gusto?
- Square Payroll Vs. Gusto Pricing
- Square Payroll VS Gusto Features
- Which Payroll Software Do Users Like Better: Square Payroll Or Gusto?
- Is Square Payroll Or Gusto Better For My Business?
- Square Payroll VS Gusto Comparison: The Final Verdict
- Gusto VS Square Payroll FAQs
Square Payroll VS Gusto Comparison Summary
Payroll software isn’t a cookie-cutter solution. By examining Square Payroll vs. Gusto, we’ll weigh the pros and cons, including a plan-by-plan breakdown for each. While both software apps boast easy-to-use interfaces and competitive pricing, there are some key differences to consider when choosing between Square Payroll and Gusto.
Before hashing out the details, we’ll start with a high-level view of both payroll options, including their pros and cons.
- Straight-forward pricing
- Good tax support
- Handy mobile app
- Integrates with Square’s other products
- Features are less advanced compared to Gusto
- Limited reporting
- Fewer health benefits options
Square is well-known in the small business community for its multitude of products and services, such as point of sale (POS) and payment processing. Square Payroll checks the boxes for easy use and compliance. With any subscription, Square’s features cover all essential payroll functions like direct deposit and tax filing.
For small businesses already using other Square products, tacking on Square Payroll is a logical choice to further integrated operations. For instance, businesses with Square POS can carry over its time-tracking functions at the register for employees to clock in or out of their shifts. It’s as easy as setting up each employee with their own unique code in the system.
- Transparent pricing
- Integrated time tracking and HR
- Intuitive interface
- Year-end tax forms
- Unlimited payroll runs (for businesses with <100 employees)
- Limited time tracking
- Only supports 11 reports
- No health insurance in all 50 states
Gusto is a cloud-based payroll platform with a reputation for its straightforward interface and the ease at which it can automatically calculate payroll and tax filings. Gusto supports flexible payment schedules too, which comes in handy whether following a standard bi-weekly plan or periodically doling out bonuses and commissions.
Gusto is effective at integrating other aspects of business, such as HR, employee onboarding, and benefits administration. Through the employee portal, workers can log hours and keep track of PTO with any of Gusto’s three plans. Additionally, Gusto can sync up with third-party applications, such as the popular accounting program QuickBooks.
What Is The Difference Between Square Payroll & Gusto?
Square Payroll and Gusto offer similar pricing structures and usability for employees while Gusto offers more benefits options and integrations and Square has a convenient mobile app.
Both Square & Gusto Offer…
- Affordable and flexible pricing
- Intuitive interface
- Unlimited pay runs
- Employee management
- Employer portal
- Strong customer service
- Similar number of reports
Only Square Payroll Offers…
- Mobile app
- Integrations to other Square products
- Contractors Only plan
- Services in all 50 states
Only Gusto Offers…
- Extensive benefits options
- More integrations
- Document vault and e-signing
- Extensive add-on options
- Contractors Only plan
Square Payroll Vs. Gusto Pricing
|Price||$5/per month – $35/month + add-ons||$6/month – $80/month|
|Number of users||Unlimited||Unlimited|
Square Payroll and Gusto have similar pricing plans in that they both have low-cost entry points for small to mid-sized businesses, but there are some key differences that might help sway you one way or the other. We explain Square Payroll’s pricing in our guide and note that it is ideal for very small businesses that only have a handful of independent contractors and simply costs $5/month per individual paid. This also comes with access to various add-ons like health and retirement benefits. For more features, you can subscribe to the Employees & Contractors pan for $35/month plus $5 per employee which comes with features like timecards and an employee app plus tax support.
Gusto’s payroll pricing has a few more options and is slightly more expensive but also has additional features.
Like Square Payroll, there is a contractors only plan that starts at $6/month per individual. The Lite Plan is $40/month + $6/month per employee and the Plus Plan starts at $80/month + $12/month per employee. There is also a Premier Plan with custom pricing for larger businesses.
As you would probably expect from the pricing differences, Gusto does come with additional features that Square’s base package does not so, depending on what you might need to add on with Square Payroll, the overall costs could end up being similar. Gusto’s Plus package comes with additional reports and employee tracking and it also offers far more benefit options than Square Payroll.
To sum up, if you’re looking for a complete payroll software system with everything included, Gusto is probably the simplest choice. If you don’t think you will be needing to tack on multiple features a la carte from Square’s basic services, Square Payroll will likely be more affordable.
Square Payroll VS Gusto Features
|Unlimited Pay Runs||✔︎||✔︎|
|Benefits Administration||Costs extra||✔︎|
|New Hire Reporting||✔︎||✔︎|
|Next Steps||Start Trial
On the surface, Square and Gusto have many of the same payroll features. However, the functionality and cost of certain features are quite different in practice.
Let’s take a closer look at Gusto vs Square payroll to see how they stack up on some key features.
Which Payroll Software Do Users Like Better: Square Payroll Or Gusto?
Generally speaking, Gusto receives mostly positive feedback. Reviews have praised their tax support, as well as the software’s intuitive nature, transparent pricing, and its ability to save business owners time and energy. On the flip side, some customers have complained about limited reporting and analytics. In some cases, customers have expressed the wish that Gusto covered international employees and contractors too.
Square also has more positive than negative reviews on the whole. For the most part, users enjoy Square’s straightforward UI and payroll processing. They also find the payroll reminders and transparent pricing to be positive attributes. Like Gusto, the limited reporting is a recurring complaint. Customers who don’t use other Square products have expressed frustration with a dashboard crowded with programs they don’t even use. Finally, small businesses that need greater customization in their payroll scheduling and deductions have taken issue with Square’s inability to accommodate their unique needs.
Is Square Payroll Or Gusto Better For My Business?
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to running a small business, and the same goes for processing payroll. For the most part, small business customers are satisfied with Gusto and Square Payroll. That being said, there are some situations when one option outweighs the other.
Choose Square Payroll If…
- You have a small business that exclusively employs 1099 contractors
- You’re not interested in tons of add-on features
- You already use other Square products, such as Square Online, Square POS, and Square Marketing.
Choose Gusto If…
- You run a small or startup businesses
- You value streamlined payroll, HR, and benefits management over sophisticated analytics and reporting.
- You need flexible payroll runs for contractors, tipped workers, or employees earning bonuses or commission.
Square Payroll VS Gusto Comparison: The Final Verdict
Gusto’s success in the payroll realm can be attributed to its transparent, budget-friendly pricing structure and easy-to-manage interface. The software’s leading features – automated payroll processing, direct deposits, tax filing, and PTO management – are available across all four plans. Benefit options, such as medical, vision, dental, 401(k), and tax-advantaged savings accounts are affordable add-on features if desired. For these reasons, small and startup businesses stand to benefit from the straightforward features, pricing, and integration with other software and applications.
When taken together with its sister products, Square Payroll can offer comprehensive timekeeping, payroll, and payment processing solution for small businesses. Square Payroll pricing is among the most competitive in the industry, and their transparent rates mean you don’t have to stress about hidden fees throwing a wrench in your budget. Although the features aren’t leading the pack, they have the nuts and bolts of payroll and tax filing covered for small-medium businesses. If you’re not currently using or considering other Square products, Gusto’s superior customization and employee management may be worth the modest bump in pricing.
Once you’ve made a decision, you’ll also want to earn how to run Square Payroll or how to run Gusto. Fortunately, both software services are extremely user-friendly.