OnPay vs Gusto

Over the past few years, OnPay and Gusto have emerged as two of the top payroll providers for small businesses. While they both use modern, cloud-based interfaces and offer an array of HR and benefits-oriented services that go way beyond payroll, there are a few big differences between these two solutions.


We pulled together some of the latest ratings and reviews — as well as detailed pricing and feature information — to help you get a better understanding of whether OnPay or Gusto is a better fit for your business.

Over the past few years, OnPay and Gusto have emerged as two of the top payroll providers for small businesses. While they both use modern, cloud-based interfaces and offer an array of HR and benefits-oriented services that go way beyond payroll, there are a few big differences between these two solutions.

Jump to compare OnPay and Gusto by:

Ratings and Reviews | Pricing and Features | Support

Compare ratings and reviews

To get a high-level picture, start by checking out recent ratings and reviews. While the experts have great things to say about both providers, small business owners tend to think one of these two solutions does a little more to take good care of them and their teams.

Customer ratings Expert reviews

OnPay

Gusto

Ease of Setup

92%
88%

Ease of Admin

96%
90%

Quality of Support

97%
84%

Performance

99%
92%

Reliability

98%
92%

Customization

94%
81%

Reporting

98%
87%

Based on G2Crowd ratings

OnPay

Ease of Setup

92%

Ease of Admin

96%

Quality of Support

97%

Performance

99%

Reliability

98%

Customization

94%

Reporting

98%

Gusto

Ease of Setup

88%

Ease of Admin

90%

Quality of Support

84%

Performance

92%

Reliability

92%

Customization

81%

Reporting

87%
Try OnPay's top-rated payroll

Compare features and pricing

When you’re considering Gusto versus OnPay, ratings and reviews are just one piece of the puzzle. It’s also important to check out the capabilities of each payroll platform and get a better sense of how much they all cost. Here’s a closer look at how features and associated costs stack up for each provider.

OnPay Gusto
Pricing
Base price $36 per month Starting at $39 per month
Per worker cost $4 per person.
Only pay for active workers paid that month.
Starting at $6 per person
Full-service payroll
Automated federal, state, and local tax filings and payments Included Included
Unlimited pay runs Included Included
Multi-state payroll Included Included
Edit or cancel a pay run Included Included
Multiple pay rates and schedules Included Included
Garnishments Included Included
Accounting and time tracking integrations Included Included
New hire reporting Included Included
Year-end filings, W-2s, and 1099s Included 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
Send and sign offer letters electronically Included Included
Employee lifetime account access Included Included
HR and Team Management
Manage and track time off Included Included
Org charts Included Additional fees
Document storage and audits Included Included
Custom onboarding workflows Included Not available
Benefits and Compliance
Medical, dental, and vision plans Pay premiums only Pay premiums only
Integrated workers’ comp plans Pay premiums only Pay premiums only
Integrated 401(k) plan Pay premiums only Pay premiums only
Reporting and Usability
Payroll and employee reports Included Included
Real-time reporting filters Included Not available
Custom report designer Included Not available

Compare support

Payroll can be tricky, and you’re going to have questions from time to time. It can also save a ton of time to have support from your provider when you’re switching, entering employee payroll data for the first time, and making sure your account is set up right. And if there’s ever a tax issue, some providers even step up to offer extra support. Here’s how OnPay and Gusto compare:

OnPay Gusto
Setup and data migration Included Included
Expert phone support Included Included
Chat support Included Included
Accuracy guarantee Included Not available

Decide what payroll features you need

Both Gusto and OnPay have very rich feature sets and a modern interface, so it’s not surprising to see them at the top of many “best payroll” lists. However, there are a lot of differences, especially once you start to look at specific plans and pricing. Here’s a rundown of what each provider offers in key feature areas.


Payroll and payroll taxes: If you want to make payroll fast and easy, while eliminating all the busywork associated with filing and paying payroll taxes, you can’t make a bad choice here. Both Gusto and OnPay handle the basics beautifully and process both employer payroll taxes and employee tax forms (like W-2s and 1099s) for no extra fee.


OnPay’s accuracy guarantee gives business owners the added assurance that payroll will be done right. And while both OnPay and Gusto have different levels of permissions that allow employers to delegate some of the payroll duties, Gusto requires an expensive upgrade to access this functionality.



Integrations: Your business finances don’t start and end with payroll, so your payroll provider should make it easy to get your data where it needs to be. From accounting software to time tracking apps, being able to sync with the other platforms you use will save tons of time and duplicated efforts.


OnPay offers the most robust integrations with leading accounting software like QuickBooks and Xero. Features like custom item mapping and employee-level detail let you (or your accountant) do more to set up the general ledger in a way that makes sense for your business. Both providers also offer integrations with top time tracking software, and Gusto has the option to use an internal time tracking feature for an additional fee.



Specialized payroll requirements: If you run a restaurant, a farm, or a nonprofit, the IRS throws a few different payroll tax wrinkles at you. If you’re making a choice between OnPay or Gusto (or any other payroll provider), it’s a good idea to make sure all the special filings, deductions, and exemptions for your industry can be processed without too much extra legwork.


OnPay is designed to serve every type of business well — in fact, it also receives the highest rating from accounting publication CPA Practice Advisor. Whether it’s filing Form 943 for ranches, processing payroll for workers on an H2-A visa, or helping churches with parsonage exemptions, OnPay does more to get all the little details right.



HR and employee benefits: Keeping a team healthy and happy — and keeping your business compliant — requires a lot more than just paying employees and filing taxes. OnPay and Gusto are among the top-rated payroll services because they help businesses do more to take care of their teams. Both offer employee self-service, e-signable offer letters, and new hire reporting. And both can help with integrated health plans, workers’ comp, and retirement plans.


In addition to basic HR functionality, OnPay offers some features that require expensive upgrades with Gusto (like employee directories). OnPay also includes the ability to create custom HR workflows, delegate tasks around your organization, and perform compliance audits — all for the same low fee. You may want to keep in mind that OnPay can help with health benefits in all 50 states, while Gusto only covers some states.



Account setup and ongoing support: Moving to a new payroll provider can sometimes feel intimidating. Both these providers offer personal onboarding support that takes care of most of the work for you. When it comes to ongoing support, both OnPay and Gusto offer similar access to weekday support by phone, email, or on-site chat.


While the levels of service look similar on paper, OnPay’s customers approve of its customer support 97% of the time, while only 84% of Gusto customers give it the thumbs up. OnPay likely gets higher marks for its accuracy guarantee and its highly-trained support staff.



With Gusto or OnPay, you’re likely to get modern payroll that takes care of a lot of back office headaches and makes it easy to put your employees on a pedestal. There’s a reason experts put both of these choices at the top of their lists. Give OnPay a closer look if you prefer better support, more options to customize things to fit your business, and much lower prices.

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