Honest Review (2024)

Automatic payroll syncing and comprehensive health benefits administration but high price and poor customer support.

Written by Asim Qureshi
By Asim Qureshi, CEO Jibble

As a CEO of a time tracking software company I need to know what my competitors are up to. That means I’m often researching about and/or playing around with their products, you know, it’s part of the job. Thus, this Gusto review. Here, I share my findings of that research, giving credit to those competitors where credit is due and being honest about which products I believe you really need to avoid. And so, there you have it, this Gusto review, and in it, I try to be honest, fair, and insightful…

This review covers:


Gusto is an HR platform that offers a range of services, including automatic payroll syncing, management administration, integration, and employee onboarding.

One of the things I appreciate about Gusto is that it extends compliance assistance, tax filings, and HR resources to ensure businesses remain compliant with regulations and requirements. Plus, Gusto integrates with various other software solutions, like accounting software and time-tracking tools, making it a comprehensive HR and payroll management solution.

Now, I must warn you that while Gusto is great for some businesses, there are a few potential downsides to consider. Gusto’s pricing is higher than other payroll providers, which needs to be considered by companies or individuals on a tight budget. I also find customer support to be inadequate, and it’s inconvenient when the software slows down while processing a substantial amount of data.

Visualizing Gusto payroll screen

What Users Like

  • User-friendly
  • Provides a range of Payroll and HR services
  • Automated payroll processing
  • Employee self-service portal

What Users Don’t Like

  • High pricing
  • Poor customer service
  • Slow when processing large volumes of data

Pricing Plans

Gusto offers three different pricing plans: Simple, Plus, and Premium.

Simple Plan: At a base fee of $40/month and $6/employee/month, the Simple plan includes automatic payroll features and benefits integrations, employee self-service, basic hiring and onboarding tools, Gusto-brokered health insurance administration, payroll and time-off reports, custom admin permissions, and integrations for accounting, time tracking, expense management, and more.

Plus Plan: At a base fee of $80/month and $12/employee/month, the Plus plan includes all of the features of the Simple plan, plus additional features such as full-service multi-state payroll, next-day direct deposit, advanced hiring and onboarding tools, PTO management and policies, time tracking and project tracking, workforce costing and reports, team management tools, and full support.

Premium Plan: The pricing for this plan is available upon request. This plan offers scalable payroll and benefits, expert HR, and dedicated support for the complex needs of growing teams. It includes exclusive features such as HR Resource Center, compliance alerts, access to certified HR experts, full-service payroll migration and account setup, health insurance broker integration, R&D tax credit discount, waived fees and exclusive pricing, performance reviews, employee surveys and insights, and dedicated support.

Standout Features of Gusto

1. Gusto Automatic Payroll Syncing

This feature allows businesses to streamline their payroll process by automatically syncing employee data and payment information with their payroll software. Employers no longer need to manually enter employee information or payment details, lowering the risk of mistakes and saving critical time. Automated payroll syncing ensures that employees are paid on time and in total by offering a more precise and efficient process. This simplifies the procedure and lowers the possibility of errors, making it especially useful for companies with many employees or complicated payroll obligations.

Screen showing Gusto integration

2. Gusto Health Benefits Administration

Gusto health benefits administration is a comprehensive solution that streamlines and simplifies employee health benefits management. Employers can use this solution to manage the complex and ever-changing landscape of health benefits from a single platform. It includes enrollment management, billing and payment management, compliance tracking, and reporting. By utilizing Gusto’s Health Benefits Administration, employers can provide their employees with a seamless and user-friendly experience when selecting and managing their health benefits. Furthermore, it assists employers in remaining in compliance with federal and state regulations, avoiding costly penalties and fines.

Visualizing benefits with Gusto

3. Gusto Time Tracking

Gusto offers an optional time-tracking feature that allows employees to clock in and out and allows managers to approve time off requests and timesheets. It helps businesses comply with labor regulations and avoid costly penalties for non-compliance. The software provides real-time data, allowing employers to make informed staffing, scheduling, and productivity decisions

Showing employee's time tracking screen

4. Gusto Compliance Assistance

Gusto helps ensures business complies with payroll laws and regulations by filing payroll taxes and generating year-end tax forms like W-2s and 1099s. The Compliance Assistance service enables companies to keep up with constantly changing employment regulations and ensure compliance with federal, state, and local laws. Businesses have access to a team of compliance experts who can advise them on wage and hour laws, employment discrimination, harassment prevention, and employee leave management. This feature also provides online tools and resources, such as interactive compliance training modules and downloadable HR forms, to assist businesses in meeting their compliance obligations.

Screen visualizing 401(k) Plan

Selected Positive User Feedback: 

  • Gusto was very easy to set up and it was very simple to add new employees.”- Julia H(Source G2)
  • Easy to use, very lightweight, reasonable pricing, and has good reporting.”- Upal H. (Source G2)
  • “The system is user-friendly, and I like that the interface is accessible to the eyes.” – Verified User in Veterinary(Source G2)
  • Paycheck stubs, holiday stuff, W2s, etc. All in one place and easy to find.” – Verified User in Hospitality(Source G2)
  • “From sending the offer letter via Gusto to the onboarding checklists for the manager, HR team and new hire. Gusto’s reminders are helpful.” – Denise P. (Source G2)
  • “Gusto takes care of everything. Running payroll is just a matter of entering the info on hours and time off–  Martin C. (Source G2)
  • “They had the option to take a pay advance within their app which is always nice since I am a single mother.”- Stacie C. (Source G2)
  • “Gusto saves so much time I can do it myself.” – Jessi F.(Source Capterra)
  • Setting up employees is even easier! All you need is the employee’s name, pay rate, and email.” – Brenton W. (Source Capterra)
  • “Employees can clock in and clock out using an app on their smartphone.”- Philip G. (Source Capterra)
  • Onboarding is convenient, integrated forms are nice.” – Jonathon E. (SourceCapterra)
  • “The employees can log their times and I can easily verify them and sync it with payroll.” – Cobby H.(Source G2)
  • Payroll, tax, onboarding new team members.”- Verified User in Computer Games (Source G2)
  • It is easy to use and navigate as a user and provides accurate data.” – Sarah W.(Source G2)
  • “How it alerts me about payday/paystubs and provides easy info about my position for tax season.”- Hannah P.(Source G2)

Selected Negative User Feedback:

  • “It’s not the easiest HRIS for admin users. It takes too long to onboard and the reporting feature could be improved. ”- Sophia L. (Source G2)
  • No ability to run benefits from Gusto, especially health insurance.”- Martin C. (Source G2)
  • “What I dislike about Gusto is the fact that it tries to get me to sell it to my friends and family.” – Todd G. (Source G2)
  • Contractor mgmt options are still limited. Org structure limited to full time employees.” Verified User in Computer Science (Source G2)
  • “It can be difficult to manage your team and their time off when there is a large amount of data as software becomes very slow.” – Verified User in Marketing and Advertising (Source G2)
  • Some things are a little inflexible, due to it being a piece of software rather than a service.” – Mirriam M.(Source Capterra)
  • “It started to cost more for everything and they took away some of their best amenities.” Hank W.(Source Capterra)
  • “I’d say the occasional glitches that happen on certain pages with customer service that is unable to resolve the issues it can be frustrating.”- Denise P. (Source G2)
  • “The web browser UI of Gusto differs significantly from the phone application. This difference can make it challenging to navigate at times.”- Emily C.(Source Capterra)
  • Insurance issues need to be explored so that we have more to offer our employees.” – Maria C. (Source Capterra)
  • “Pricey. The system also has many limitations.”- Ayishah W.(Source Capterra)
  • sometimes it is difficult to navigate through the software especially when the leave is of less than a day.”-Albert A. (Source Capterra)
  • “Finally, accounting integration is dependent on downloading files and then importing. Customer support also has slow response time.”- Pamella D.(Source Capterra)
  • The loading screen with the walking pig and “your next paycheck is in … days” is extremely frustrating when it comes to new hires, who haven’t logged hours for that “next paycheck” status. ”- Jessilie (Source App Store)
  • Sometimes it takes a while when processing large volume of data as the software becomes unrepsonsive.”- Tonda B.(Source Google Play)

Ratings from Other Reviews

(As of 04/17/2023)

  • Capterra: 4.6/5
  • G2: 4.5/5 
  • Google Play: 4.5/5
  • App Store: 4.8/5

Final Thoughts

Gusto is a cloud-based payroll and HR software with an intuitive interface for businesses to manage payroll, benefits, and compliance requirements. 

Personally, I find its comprehensive capabilities, including full-service payroll processing, integration with accounting software, and health benefits administration, to be highly advantageous for businesses. The compliance support and employee self-service tools further assist businesses in ensuring compliance with payroll laws and regulations while allowing employees to manage their data independently.

However, I must acknowledge that the platform’s pricing is relatively high compared to other payroll software options, which may deter some businesses, especially those with many employees. Additionally, there have been reports of issues with Gusto’s customer support, including slow response times and difficulty resolving specific problems. Disappointingly, the software becomes sluggish and unresponsive, particularly when processing large volumes of data.

In conclusion, I must say, while Gusto’s payroll solution is powerful for those who are willing to spend more bucks, the software would become even more impressive if its customer support is polished up along with other issues.