ADP Run vs Gusto

Many small business owners wind up making a choice between payroll startup Gusto and ADP’s Run. It’s not a surprise why either is in the running for many businesses: Gusto offers a modern app that checks many boxes, while ADP is one of the biggest names in payroll.


To make an informed decision, take a closer look at what their customers and the experts have to say. Also, it may be worth considering additional providers who get better ratings and reviews.

Jump to compare ADP and Gusto by:

Ratings and Reviews | Pricing and Features | Customer Support

ADP Run vs Gusto: Compare ratings and reviews

Hundreds of small business owners have shared their opinions online, and here’s what they have to say about the Gusto vs. ADP debate. Finance experts have also shared their two cents, but their top choice might not be who you’d expect.


See who's the top-rated provider
Customer ratings Expert reviews

Run by ADP

Gusto

Ease of Setup

89%
88%

Ease of Admin

92%
90%

Quality of Support

91%
84%

Performance

93%
92%

Reliability

94%
92%

Customization

89%
81%

Reporting

90%
87%

Based on G2Crowd ratings

Run by ADP

Ease of Setup

89%

Ease of Admin

92%

Quality of Support

91%

Performance

93%

Reliability

94%

Customization

89%

Reporting

90%

Gusto

Ease of Setup

88%

Ease of Admin

90%

Quality of Support

84%

Performance

92%

Reliability

92%

Customization

81%

Reporting

87%

ADP Run vs Gusto: Compare features and pricing

Full-service payroll starts with accurate payroll calculations, easy ways to pay employees, and automated tax filings. But many services — including both Gusto and ADP — can do a lot more for you. Here’s a closer look at what these two competitors offer. Some features that come standard with other providers require pricey upgrades with both these options.

Run by ADP Gusto
Pricing
Base price No published price.
Negotiate with sales.
Price is per pay run, not monthly.
Starting at $40 per month
Per worker cost No published price.
Negotiate with sales.
Price is per pay run, not monthly.
Starting at $6 per person
Full-service payroll
Automated federal, state, and local tax filings and payments Included Included
Unlimited pay runs Additional fees Included
Multi-state payroll Additional fees Additional fees
Accounting and time tracking integrations Included Included
New hire reporting Additional fees Included
Year-end filings, W-2s, and 1099s Additional fees Included
HR and Team Management
Manage and track time off Additional fees Additional fees
Employee directory Additional fees Additional fees
Org charts Additional fees Additional fees
Document storage and audits Additional fees Included
Onboarding and Employee Self-Service
Employee self-onboarding Included Included
Employee self-service portal Included Included
Document e-sign for I-9s and W-4s Included Included
Customize and send offer letters for e-signature Additional fees Additional fees
Employee lifetime account access Not available Included
Custom onboarding workflows Not available Additional fees
Benefits and Compliance
Medical, dental, and vision plans Additional fees Pay premiums only
Integrated workers’ comp plans Additional fees Pay premiums only
Integrated 401(k) plan Additional fees Additional fees
Reporting and Usability
Payroll and employee reports Included Included
Real-time reporting filters Not available Included
Custom report designer Not available Additional fees

ADP Run vs Gusto: Compare customer support

How easy is it to get set up? And will you receive support if there’s ever a bump in the road? Small business customers say ADP Run offers better support overall, but Gusto offers a wider array of support services for a lower price. Neither offers a tax accuracy guarantee.

Run by ADP Gusto
Extended hours for live support Additional fees Additional fees
Dedicated onboarding support representative Included Additional fees
Account setup and data migration Additional fees Additional fees
Accuracy guarantee Not available Not available

Decide what payroll features you need

If you’re using payroll software, you’re probably saving your business a lot of time and headaches. In fact, our research shows that the average small business owner spends 17 hours a month on payroll if they try to do everything themselves. So give yourself a pat on the back for making smart moves! But should you choose ADP’s Run or Gusto? Here’s a more detailed breakdown to help with your comparison:

Basic payroll services: You should expect your payroll provider to make it easy to pay employees, while handling all the payroll taxes and employee deductions for you. Since payroll and taxes are at the heart of what a provider does, there also shouldn’t be any additional fees for things like W-2 or 1099 forms.


Gusto includes full-service payroll functionality at its lowest price point — including all quarterly and annual tax filings. ADP charges extra for W-2 and 1099 filings. Also, ADP Run’s pricing is based on the number of pay runs each month. Gusto charges a flat monthly fee that’s often a better value than ADP — but your cost can double if you have workers in multiple states. Gusto requires an upgrade if you need to process multistate payroll.



HR and compliance: From employee onboarding and new hire reporting to staying compliant with Workers’ Comp requirements, there can be a lot for employers to juggle. Also, seemingly small tasks like creating an employee roster or keeping track of PTO time can suck up a lot of time. Both these providers help shoulder some of the load.


ADP and Gusto both call “designing for people” a priority, so it shouldn’t be surprising that they offer HR functionality that compliments their payroll services. However, many of their HR features require expensive upgrades ⁠— and may be available for no added cost through other providers.



Real time payroll reporting: For many businesses, employment costs can be one of their biggest burdens. Having the ability to analyze costs, reconcile payroll expenditures, and get the numbers right for your taxes can help you get ahead. Take a closer look to understand what reports are available, and how much flexibility you’ll have to customize them on the fly.


Payroll reporting is available through ADP and Gusto. Both offer a series of canned reports, with some limited ability to customize. With Gusto, custom reports are available with an upgrade and must be exported before report data can be seen. You may want to consider a provider that gives you the ability to design, update, and review in-app reports in real time.



Setup and ongoing support: It can be tricky to migrate your employees’ prior wage data when you switch providers, so it’s nice to have a little help at the beginning. And payroll is complex, so you should be able to quickly connect with someone who knows their stuff if you ever have questions down the road.


If you want help with setup, ADP Run and Gusto charge an additional fee or require an upgrade. Both offer a number of ways to get payroll support when you need it, but neither provider is best in class when viewed through the lens of customer reviews.




Compare more providers

The similarities between Gusto and ADP outnumber the differences, but these two providers are definitely not the same. Pricing, in particular, is a big differentiator. You’ll also be choosing between a more modern, energetic design and a proven level of support.


Can you have the best of both worlds when you choose a payroll provider? Take a look at ratings and reviews for other premium payroll companies to make a good decision about who can do the best job of serving your business.


See who's the top-rated provider

Or compare ADP Run and Gusto head-to-head with the other top payroll companies:

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