Gusto and QuickBooks Payroll are both affordable software options for small business owners who want to access their payroll from anywhere. QuickBooks Payroll is best for small businesses that want to offer health insurance to employees and even better for those using QuickBooks accounting software. Gusto is an all-in-one solution that’s best for new small businesses needing both payroll and HR support.
Gusto and QuickBooks Payroll are both great payroll services that:
- Offer three product plans that all include full-service payroll and direct deposit
- Allow businesses to process an unlimited number of pay runs at no additional cost
- Process and file federal, state, and local taxes
- Give employers access to offer health insurance
- Have HR advisers available to premium users who have questions on how to do payroll or handle HR issues
Gusto vs QuickBooks Payroll
Gusto vs QuickBooks Payroll
Gusto Wins: If you’re only paying contractors OR opting for the mid-tier plan
QuickBooks Payroll Wins: If you want the most basic or premium plan
Strongest HR Support
Most Software Integrations
Best Customer Service Experience and Reviews
Workers’ Comp Administration Availability
Robust Selection of Employee Benefits
Health Insurance for All
Quickest Direct Deposit Processing Time
Best Tax Penalty-free Guarantee
Strongest Time Tracking Tool
Most Community Support
Decide which payroll service is right for your business by answering just four Gusto vs QuickBooks quiz questions. Then continue reading the article to learn more about the software.
When to Use Gusto
Gusto is the winner when it comes to overall value and customer service for small businesses. Its plans offer enough features to help small businesses from the time they decide to hire a new employee—with offer letters and onboarding support—to the day the employee is terminated. Gusto ensures employees and taxes are paid correctly, makes your business more attractive with its robust benefit options, and offers advising on payroll and HR compliance issues so you don’t end up in court.
All-in-one payroll and HR solution
Doesn’t offer insurance in all states
Automated payroll for any employee
Doesn’t scale well for businesses with >100 employees
Employee benefits selection
When to Use QuickBooks Payroll
With QuickBooks Payroll, you can offer the most popular benefit that employees usually want—health insurance—in any state; this means you don’t have to worry about not being eligible as you would with Gusto. And if you have hourly workers, the time and attendance tool is top-notch, with built-in GPS tracking so you know your team is on-site when they clock in.
QuickBooks Payroll Strengths
QuickBooks Payroll Weaknesses
Built-in integration within QuickBooks accounting software
Doesn’t offer benefits outside of insurance and workers’ comp
Inconsistent customer service
Fast direct deposit processing (slowest is next-day)
Unlimited pay runs
When to Use an Alternative
If your company is subject to more regulations than the average business, i.e., you employ minors, have a construction business, etc., and need more human resource and compliance support, you may want to consider Zenefits as an alternative. Gusto and QuickBooks Payroll both have premium features that help you comply with payroll laws, but Zenefits offers a full-suite of HR tools in its most basic plan.
All users receive HR support and a time and scheduling tool. An HR advising service, onboarding help, and electronic storage are also available. You will have to add payroll as an add-on for an additional $6 per employee per month. If this sounds like it fits your business, sign up to get started today.
An In-Depth Look at Gusto vs QuickBooks Payroll Features
From $45 to $155 monthly for one employee
From $49 to $135 monthly for one employee ($13.50 to $37.50 for the first three months)
Direct Deposit Processing Time
Minimum next-day process; same-day with premium plans
Health insurance, disability, the commuter, flexible spending accounts, retirement accounts
Available in 27 states
Available in all 50 states
Can purchase and manage within all plans
Can only purchase and mange in most premium (Elite) plan
For salaried and hourly workers
Only for salaried workers
Self-onboarding, state new hire reporting, offer letters, employee directory and surveys, advising
HR Support Center, advising
QuickBooks Online, Xero, FreshBooks, When I Work, TSheets, Homebase +
TSheets and primarily other Intuit products
Inconsistent; trend of unreliable customer service
For In-Depth Reviews From Real Users
Gusto vs QuickBooks Payroll Pricing Plans
Gusto and QuickBooks Payroll are very similar in pricing options, unless you’re only paying contractors. If contractors are your only workers, Gusto will only charge you $6 per worker and only during months in which you process a paycheck. The base price for Gusto’s core plan is $39 per month, plus $6 per month, per employee or contractor.
Gusto Pricing Plans
$6/contractor, per month
$39 + $6/employee, per month
$39 + $12/employee, per month
$149 + $12/employee, per month
Unlimited payments, self-service portal, 1099 forms and filing
Full-service payroll and benefits features
Core + Time management, onboarding, and employee engagement tools
Complete +HR Pro advising and resources, templates, training, and dedicated support team
QuickBooks Payroll Pricing Plans
QuickBooks Payroll offers a discount, but only for the first three months of service. Both regular and discounted pricing are shown in the table below.
$45 + $4/employee, per month
3-month discount rate: $13.50 + $4/employee, per month
$75 + $8/employee, per month
3-month discount rate: $22.60 + 8/employee, per month
$125 + $10/employee, per month
3-month discount rate: $37.50 + $10/employee, per month
Full-service payroll + health benefits + next-day direct deposit
Core + same-day direct deposit + mobile time tracking + HR support center workers’ comp
Premium + 24/7 support + professional setup + HR advisor +tax penalty protection
To help you choose the payroll solution that’s best for your business—Gusto or QuickBooks Payroll, start by assessing how many employees you have (and plan to have in the future) along with your need for HR support and software integrations. You should also determine if you want to offer benefits, and if so, consider if any are negotiable.
If you’re focused on hiring the best and need more than just health insurance benefits to build a quality team, consider Gusto. It’s also the most affordable option if you’re only paying contractors. If you’re already using QuickBooks and have (or plan to have) 50 or more employees, QuickBooks Payroll may be a better option. When you reach the equivalent of 50 full-time employees, you’ll need to offer health insurance. And it’s a given that QuickBooks users will have a much easier time using QuickBooks Payroll.