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Quickbooks Payroll vs Gusto

Find out how these two payroll providers compare when it comes to pricing and features, including the latest ratings and reviews:

Quickbooks Payroll vs Gusto: Compare ratings and reviews

Small businesses and industry experts have shared their payroll software insight and advice.
See how Quickbooks Payroll and Gusto stack up.

Gusto

QuickBooks Payroll

Ease of Setup

8.6
7.9

Ease of Admin

8.8
8.1

Quality of Support

8.0
7.5

Performance

9.2
Not available

Reliability

9.4
8.9

Customization

8.2
Not available

Reporting

8.9
Not available

Ease of Setup

Gusto

8.6

QuickBooks Payroll

7.9

Ease of Admin

Gusto

8.8

QuickBooks Payroll

8.1

Quality of Support

Gusto

8.0

QuickBooks Payroll

7.5

Performance

Gusto

9.2

QuickBooks Payroll

Not available

Reliability

Gusto

9.4

QuickBooks Payroll

8.9

Customization

Gusto

8.2

QuickBooks Payroll

Not available

Reporting

Gusto

8.9

QuickBooks Payroll

Not available

Customer review data on this page is all from G2.com. Links and additional resources.

Quickbooks Payroll vs Gusto: Compare features and pricing

Experts and clients agree that both solutions are pretty good. Gusto has more features at a lower starting price, but it costs more per employee. So, a smaller organization that doesn’t need time-off tracking and other perks may prefer using QuickBooks. But when it comes to services like filing and paying local taxes, and custom, real-time reporting, both QuickBooks Online Payroll and Gusto have limitations. It’s still worth taking a look at everything you get with each provider, and what will it will cost⁠— but it may also be worth widening your search to include other providers.

Quickbooks PayrollGusto
Pricing
Base PriceTiered pricing, starting at $45 per monthStarting at $40 per month
Per worker costTiered pricing, starting at $4 per personStarting 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 Additional fees
Accounting and time tracking integrations Included Included
New hire reporting Included Included
Year-end filings, W-2s, and 1099s Additional fees Included
HR and Team Management
Manage and track time off Not available Additional fees
Employee directory Not available Additional fees
Org charts Not available Additional fees
Document storage and audits Not available 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 Additional fees 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 Via SimplyInsured Pay premiums only
Integrated workers’ comp plans Additional fees Pay premiums only
Integrated 401(k) plan Pay premiums only Pay premiums only
Reporting and Usability
Payroll and employee reports Additional fees Included
Real-time reporting filters Additional fees Included
Custom report designer Not available Additional fees
Customer Support
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 Additional fees Not available

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Decide what payroll features you need

At the end of the day, your payroll and HR software should be easy to set up, and come with payroll services that make it simple to grow your business. Since no two businesses are the same, you’re the real expert when it comes to what’s important in a payroll provider, but it usually comes down to time and money. Let’s look at four specific features, and see how QuickBooks and Gusto compare.

  • What full-service payroll features should I expect?

    Full-service payroll for a small business should include the filing and payment of payroll taxes in every state (and city) you operate in. It should include the ability to pay contractors off of normal pay cycles (with no added fees), and simplify things like bonuses, garnishments, and commissions. And finally, if it’s really full-service, they should handle any data migration and setup for you, and guarantee accuracy.

     

    Gusto and QuickBooks Payroll offer free setup and data migration, but only at the highest tier. It’s not included in their base plans. Gusto will file and pay local payroll taxes, but QuickBooks Payroll doesn’t offer this in their core plan. If you need to pay workers in more than one state with Gusto, you’ll be required to make an upgrade that doubles your monthly cost. So while both Gusto and QuickBooks each have their own benefits and drawbacks, our research found that another provider scored higher in most of these areas (and at a better value).

  • Do I need HR and compliance?

    HR features: You may think your business doesn’t need HR functionality, but tools like self-onboarding, document e-sign for offer letters and tax forms, and document audits greatly reduce the time you spend on paperwork. Payroll providers that offer HR services like lifetime access for employee documents, and that integrate with Workers’ Compensation plans, let you relax and run your business without worrying about staying compliant. Plus, who doesn’t like a nice org chart to help everyone know who’s who?

     

    In this category, Gusto has a slight advantage by offering document storage and audits with lifetime employee account access. QuickBooks Payroll offers basic document storage too, but not in their core plan. Payroll providers that are designed for small businesses should offer these features standard.

  • What kind of payroll reporting is included?

    It’s not always obvious what you need from reports until you suddenly have a question about employee hours or taxes withheld. Since you never know what report you’ll need until the time comes, look for a payroll service that offers a flexible, customizable report builder so you can see only the data that impacts your business the most.

     

    QuickBooks and Gusto both have payroll and employee reports, but neither have a custom payroll listing report builder. While QuickBooks came out ahead of Gusto when it comes to real-time reporting filters, Gusto offers some basic customization of employee-level reports. Some payroll services offer more robust reporting options, so if reporting is important to you, you might want to consider more providers.

  • Is the lower cost the best solution?

    It’s a fine line between discount and value. A discount price might be convincing at first, but then will they set you up, or manage a seamless handoff from your previous provider? What happens when you need help? You shouldn’t have to settle for watered down payroll just because you’re not a provider’s biggest client.

     

    There’s no clear winner between QuickBooks Payroll and Gusto in this category. Gusto has a lower base price than QuickBooks, but with a higher per-worker cost plus additional fees for most of the features you might require. QuickBooks also offers multiple pricing tiers as well as add-on packages, which can make shopping by price a little ambiguous. Look for a payroll service with a simple pricing structure to avoid sudden extra fees and costs popping up when you least expect them.