Gusto Payroll Review: Should You Use it

Managing the payroll specifics of a company can be quite difficult, especially if you are dealing with a very large workforce. With a huge number of documents and paperwork to handle, manually managing payroll is a major hassle for any HR manager. Thankfully, payroll services such as Gusto Payroll simplify the process a lot. They are a vital part of any HR strategy for startups.

Human resource platforms such as Gusto payroll make sure that the HR tasks related to payroll processing can be automated. However, with the existence of other such platforms out there, is Gusto payroll the right choice?

Let’s get right into it and find out.

About Gusto Payroll

Gusto is an HR services company that provides cloud-based payroll benefits for SMEs in the US. The company was initially launched back In 2012, with the name of ZenPayroll. Today, the company has over 100,000 companies in its service repertoire, and works with businesses across the country.

Prime Features of Gusto Payroll

While Gusto is still new, compared to some other HR and payroll services offerings, it does offer a much more streamlined approach to HR management. The platform offers a host of features that help companies manage their payroll and make the majority of their HR practices easier.

Let’s go over some of the major features:

Payroll Autopilot

This feature lets you set the payroll processing into autopilot mode, which automatically generates payroll after you enter all the employee details, overall pay rate and deduction info. This is a great feature if you don’t see many changes in employee performance that would warrant any extra deductions and such.

All your employees will regularly receive their pay through direct deposit. The feature also lets you generate payroll for employees who are paid an hourly rate. You can even allow employees to maintain their hourly attendance themselves. This feature saves HRs a lot of time every month, especially at the end of the month.

Payroll Tax Compliance

Gusto also assumes the tax responsibilities for payrolls. Gusto calculates the total payroll taxes and files the needed payroll tax forms for each local, state and federal agency. The payments are automatically made on behalf of your business, and it also lets you generate reports for tax payments in real-time.

You can also support claims for SR&ED Tax Credit and R&D Tax Credit, with Gusto.

Wage Garnishment

If your employees owe in terms of loans, the company they work in can be required to garnish their overall wages.

Wage garnishments are among the major hassles for HR managers and are difficult if you don’t have payroll software. This is because there are certain rules and requirements that come with garnishments. You also have to comply with several federal rules related to garnishment. Gusto has a garnishment-specific feature that automatically deducts the garnishment amount and sends the appropriate payment to the lending authority. This is for every state except South Carolina.

Forms Preparation

The tax preparation feature by Gusto can generate both 1099 and W-2 forms, while also sending digital copies to all the contractors and employers. The software can send a yearly report of compensation and wages, combined with the taxes withheld. Since the start and end of the year can be a troublesome time for companies due to payroll taxes and such, this feature can be of great help.

Payment to All Types of Employees

With all the flexibility abound in terms of working schedules today, companies can have a hard times processing payroll for all the employees, regardless of whether they are part-time or full time, or remote workers altogether.

With Gusto, you can simply tell the software what type of schedule each employee has, and the software will do the rest. In addition, Gusto can be used to make payments at any time, and you are not limited to making payments during a certain period.

Onboarding and Reporting for New Hires

If you are operating a new company, your hiring and onboarding processes can be difficult to manage for HRs, especially with all the paperwork required. Gusto allows HRs to complete their tasks without having to worry about processing the paperwork. This is especially beneficial for those without any HR certifications yet.

The software even lets you communicate automatically with employees during onboarding. During this period, you can also send in a form with all the details (bank information, contact info, and W-4s).

Pros and Cons of Gusto Payroll

Here are the reasons why and why not to use Gusto Payroll:


  • Simple, user-friendly interface
  • Transparent pricing
  • All employee types covered
  • Great customer support


  • No support on weekends
  • No features for performance management
  • Very limited health insurance benefits

Is Gusto Payroll Worth It?

The overall verdict is, yes. But only if you are a small business or a startup. Since the software platform lacks some of the features needed to make a competent software for larger companies, such as a student loan refinance calculator to help employees refinance their student loans, you might want to select some other payroll software for a larger business.