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Full Gusto HR Software Review – All You Need to Know About Gusto


Managing human resources, benefits, and payrolls can sometimes be frustrating and annoying without a software. But luckily, all that has changed, and it’s all thanks to platforms like Gusto.

Gusto, formerly ZenPayroll, was a part of the 2012 batch of Y Combinator. However, the platform officially launched in California on December 11, 2012.

The platform is a cloud-based human resources, benefits, and payroll software for businesses within the United States. Also, Gusto takes control of your payments to your contractors and employees.

Additionally, the platform electronically handles the necessary paperwork needed to help your business comply with immigration, labor, as well as tax laws.

Gusto has advanced in many ways since its birth. In April 2015, the platform announced that it supports all 50 states within the United States.

What more do you need from an HR management solution?

That said, let’s have a review of Gusto, its features, advantages, and flaws.

What is Gusto?

Gusto is one of the leading HR platforms out on the market today. The platform comes with a lot of essential HCM functionalities that you can use for effective performance management and onboarding, all on a user-friendly console.

Gusto also has fantastic payroll administration features and industry-leading benefits which makes it one of the top HR management software.

With Gusto, you have access to an HR module that covers compliance, PTO, and onboarding. On top of that, you get just enough customization to adjust the platform to fit your needs and requirements.

The platform also has a variety of capabilities asides streamlining your onboarding processes. Plus, Gusto also improves your hiring experience significantly and makes sure you handle compliance the right way and on time.

You can also get your new hires slick and awesome welcome messages and employment letters with necessary details. And, you can invite these hires to sign their contracts and forms online within a secure platform.

Each of these hires can also have a detailed profile and record within Gusto which is synced automatically within its benefits and payroll module. And with a self-onboarding functionality, these hires can adjust and add data. But that’s not all!

Your hires can also subscribe for specific benefits without your interference. Plus, you don’t need to waste time approving time-off requests associated with current schedules since your hires can submit it themselves.

The best part is that you can monitor all these processes all the way through, and even carry out private surveys to measure their performances.

Gusto’s Customer Focus

The Gusto platform mainly supports small and developing businesses within the United States. And if you fall into these categories, the platform can cover your end-to-end HR operations and needs.

You also get an intuitive and streamlined interface and a wide range of awesome automated processes. On top of that, Gusto has a moderate pricing model that is built to fit small businesses. Hence, the platform is suitable for managing payroll and HR while on a strict budget.


Gusto helps you automate a lot of HR processes like payment, calculation, and submission of federal, state, or local fees. Plus, you can also cover these fees with direct deposits and checks, prepare year-end forms and reports. Hence, you don’t need to worry about critical errors in your bookkeeping.

With a 30-days free trial, you can examine the system to experience these capabilities.

Pros of Using Gusto

Before we talk about the features of Gusto, let’s have a look at its benefits, shall we?

Streamlined and Simplified On-boarding

With Gusto’s intuitive and customizable interface, your new hires can feel at home. Plus, they can have a better understanding of your operations and processes with little or no training.

You can also send these hires awesome welcoming cards and offer letters that introduce them to your company. Plus, they can get acquainted with the team by using Gusto’s collaboration features.

Secure E-Signature Environment

Gusto has an innovative technology at its core that let you e-sign contracts and forms. Plus, this technology SSL-encryption to ensure security and eliminate the need to maintain and administer bulk loads of paperwork.

Your employees also have the chance to participate in benefits and payroll schemes online without having to submit extra documents.

A Time-Effective Platform

Gusto automates all your essential payroll and HR operations. Hence, you can save a significant amount of time.

On top of that, the platform handles complex calculations, payment of taxes and ACA compliance, prepares and submits end of the year forms and reports, and summarizes your data in a single platform.

A major benefit of Gusto is that it allows the creation of new employee profiles and records. This way, employees can take charge of their data while you focus on other parts of the business.

Automated Time-Off Approval

Coupled with taking full control of your employee’s performance, Gusto also allows the independent management and approval of time-off requests.

The platform syncs all requests automatically with your payroll and calendar and arranges them in a visual performance chart. Hence, you can generate your reports easily.

Managing Employee Satisfaction

If your employees are not satisfied, it’s going to affect your business. And you don’t want that, do you?

Well, with Gusto, you can stay up-to-date on your employees’ needs and satisfaction at different points in time.

But how?

Gusto lets you create anonymous surveys that allow you to gather essential information for future purposes.

Widely-Integrated System

Gusto is designed to blend with other software landscapes easily. As a result, the platform can function side-by-side with other essential HR systems.

Some of these systems include When I Work, FreshBooks, Receipt Bank, TSheets, Xero, BambooHR, QuickBooks, Homebase, and so on.

Guaranteed Compliance

Using Gusto gives you a certain level of assurance that your business is within industry standard. The platform ensures this compliance by automatically filing new hire paperwork and assisting you with Federal I-9s and W-4s.

Gusto also ensures that you pay only what you owe by integrating workers’ comp. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

The system’s operations all meet in detail ERISA, ACA, and HIPAA standards. Hence, your data gets checked automatically, and all benefits get thoroughly screened for compliance.

Efficient Benefits Management

Gusto’s Benefits management module is impressively compact. As a result, the system allows your employees to save money for their retirement, enroll in different benefits schemes, and manage and set 401(K) plans.

All-Round Access To Information

Gusto acts as a central hub for all your employees’ information. As a result, you can access the platform on any device, from anywhere, as long as you have your system credentials.

With the platform’s easy filtering and navigation, you can prepare awesome reports on W-4s, I-9s, time-offs, and even extract only essential data.

Error-Proof Payroll

Gusto substantially reduces human-caused errors. With the system, you don’t have to import data from multiple apps and database. Plus, all your data are centralized and made ready on the platform.

With Gusto being a highly-customizable HR system, employees can access their data from any device, at any time, to make needed adjustments without the interference of the manager.

Cons of Using Gusto

Now that you’ve seen the good side to using Gusto, how about the “other” side?

So, what are the cons of using this HR management solution?

It is A Bit Pricey

Now, even though Gusto focuses on small and upcoming businesses, its prices are a bit steep, especially if you are on a tight budget.

No App Feature

Gusto is web-based, and that’s fine. However, the platform doesn’t have a downloadable app. Hence, you always have to use a browser to access the system.

Dependent Accounting Integration

Gusto integrates with other accounting software. However, this integration depends on importing and downloading files.

As a result, you don’t have direct integration with accounting systems like Xero and Quickbooks.

It Is Cloud-Based

While being cloud-based is a plus to the Gusto platform, it also has its downside. If the system is down or you have a slow internet connection, it can be frustrating to access the platform.

No Invoice Function

Gusto is overwhelmed with a lot of functionalities but seems to have left out an invoice tool. Hence, your contractors can’t submit invoices for you to approve. You need to maintain a separate system for invoicing.

Features of Gusto

You might be wondering “is there more to Gusto?” Well, you’re about to find out!

The platform has awesome features like payroll, simplified benefits, modern HR, and more.

So, let’s dive right into these features, shall we?


Gusto has a payroll feature that you can set up easily. Plus, the system puts everything you need to know in English. You don’t need to have a Ph.D. to understand.

With this feature, you can manage your payroll in a matter of minutes. Plus, you can make payday fun for your employees by sending fun emails that link to their paystubs.

As a bonus, Gusto automatically files and pays your payroll taxes. Plus, you can easily sync your payroll with time-tracking and accounting software, HR, benefits, and employees’ comp.


Once you’ve been able to set up payroll on Gusto, your licensed broker can assist you in choosing benefits that match the needs of your team and your budget.

Furthermore, the platform invites your employees to enroll for any of these benefits online.

Now, you can relax because Gusto deducts these benefits and syncs it with your payroll. Plus, your employees can easily update their data anytime they want.

HR Tools

Gusto HR tool makes you take things further when it comes to sending offer letters for new hires.

With this feature, you can send slick offer letters to new hires. This way, you stand out from the rest. Plus, you can get these new hires excited about starting and getting to know your team.

Additionally, your employees can sign contracts and forms online without having to go through loads of paperwork.

You can also manage time-off requests and automatically sync them with your calendar and payroll. Plus, you can carry out anonymous surveys to get recommendations and feedback on the needs of your employees.

Pricing Model of Gusto

Gusto pricing model consists of three different plans. And, each plan is tailored to fit the needs of specific market levels. Plus, you can also customize these plans and add extra benefits like FSAs, 401(k)s, and so on.

Additionally, each plan comes with a 1-month free trial. So, you can easily walk through the system and see if you need any other thing.

So, let’s dive right into the pricing plans of the system, shall we?

Core Plan

This plan gives you access to an easy payroll so you can divert your attention to other parts of your business. The plan starts at $39 per month base and $6 per month for each user.

The Core plan comes with features like:

  • PTO Tracking
  • Best-in-class support
  • Full-Service payroll
  • Workers’ Comp administration
  • Health Benefits administration and;
  • Employee self-service and profiles

Complete Plan

The complete plan starts at $39 per month base and $12 per month for each user.

The plan gives you access to all core plan features plus:

  • Employee directory and surveys
  • PTO Approvals
  • Employee offers and onboarding and;
  • Admin permissions

Concierge Plan

This plan gives you access to certified HR resources and pros. The price starts at $149 per month base and $12 per month for each user.

With the Concierge plan, you get access to all of the complete plan features plus:

  • Certified HR Pros and;
  • HR resource center

Technical Details

There are some technical details you need to take into consideration if you’re going to be using Gusto.

Highlighted below are these details.

Supported Devices

With Gusto being cloud-based and web-based, it supports devices like:

  • Windows mobile
  • Mac
  • Windows
  • Android and;
  • iPad.iPhone

Pricing Model

Gusto has three pricing plans that are tailored to fit into different tiers of business. Plus, these plans come with a monthly payment scheme

Customer Base

Gusto’s extensive customer base covers:

  • Freelancers
  • Small businesses and;
  • Medium businesses

Support Details

Getting support on the Gusto platform is as simple as ABC because of its excellent customer service. However, to contact their support team, you need to be a member of the platform. All you have to do is to log-in and fill in the necessary details.

As a newbie on the platform, you can also get support via live chat, email, or phone call. Plus, you can access a wide range of FAQs and resources that can come in handy for you.

Just head to their support page and search for what you need.

Final Thoughts

Gusto seems like it’s on a mission to transform HR management. How? By streamlining and customizing the most complex business tasks. This way, the platform redefines HR, benefits, and payroll for small and upcoming businesses.

So, is Gusto is the best option for your business? You’ll have to figure that out! But luckily, Gusto comes with a 30-days free trial that you can use in test driving the system.