When running a business, it’s easy to get lost in back-office tasks — whether it’s running payroll, managing HR, or making sure you’re staying compliant. That’s probably why you’re here looking for a payroll provider.
Both Gusto and Paychex can help you save time in the back-office and reduce errors when it comes to payroll tax filings and other compliance issues. Here’s a comprehensive review of each provider to help you make the best decision.
When you want to choose which payroll provider is right for you, start off by looking at the reviews — from both small business owners and industry experts. While they’re both very popular, neither Gusto nor Paychex consistently get top ratings from their clients or the experts.
Here’s a more detailed breakdown of everything Gusto and Paychex Flex do for small businesses. Gusto’s basic plans cost a little less than Paychex Flex, but both have a number of pricey add-on features. Also, note that Paychex charges per pay run, while Gusto charges a single monthly fee (no matter how many times you run payroll).
If you ever have questions you need answered — or help using the platform — your provider should be easy to reach and reliable. Here’s how Gusto’s support compares with Paychex:
|Setup and data migration||Included||Additional fees|
|Expert phone support||Included||Included|
|Accuracy guarantee||Not available||Not available|
When it comes down to it, your payroll provider should do more than just process paychecks. They should help you manage employees, simplify back-office tasks, and save you time. Since every business has unique needs, depending on its size, industry, and other factors, it’s worth zooming in on a few key product areas to decide the winner of Paychex vs. Gusto matchup.
Customer service: The best payroll providers should be there to help you along the way — whether that’s answering any questions you may have or getting you fully onboarded. If you’re switching payroll providers, you should be able to get help with setup and migration at no additional cost. Or if you’re running payroll for the first time, your provider should have flexible support options to ensure you don’t hit any speed bumps along the way.
Accuracy Guarantee: First off, it’s important to make sure your payroll provider will automate federal, state, and local tax filings and payments. But on top of that, check to see who assumes the responsibility if a mistake is made. You should be offered an accuracy guarantee that puts the responsibility on the provider if they make a mistake.
HR and employee benefits: The majority of payroll providers not only offer payroll services, but also offer HR features and benefits administration to keep employees happy and healthy. Check to see if integrated health, 401(k), and workers’ comp plans are included. And when it comes to HR, a few of the top features to look out for include PTO tracking and approval, employee self-service with custom onboarding flows, e-signable documents, and organization charts.
Integrations: In addition to integrated benefits and workers’ comp, you also want to ensure your payroll provider integrates with time-tracking and accounting systems as well. These integrations will help you save time entering hours, and allow you to get your information flowing straight into your accounting platform. You also want to be sure these integrations offer the flexibility and customization options you need to get your data organized the way you want it.
Depending on the needs of your business, both Gusto and Paychex are great options to take into account. But, there are other providers that offer similarly robust feature sets, get better reviews, and cost less. Take a look to see who else you should consider:
Or see a head-to-head comparison of how Paychex Flex and Gusto do versus providers:
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