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6 Gusto Payroll Alternatives

Julie Thompson
Julie Thompson
business.com Contributing Writer
Updated Feb 15, 2022

Gusto is a highly rated payroll solution, but it's not right for everyone. Here are the top six Gusto alternatives that may be ideal for your business.

With so many payroll software and service options out there, it’s challenging to choose a solution that fits your business’s current needs as well as its potential requirements as it grows. 

Gusto is a popular automated payroll management system that draws customers with features like benefits management, HR functions, customized reporting and employee self-onboarding. But Gusto lacks integration with popular applications, and you can’t use it to pay international workers. Plus, even though it was founded in 2011, it lacks a competitive mobile app for employers and employees.

Fortunately, there are several Gusto alternatives with features and pricing that may suit your business. We’ve compiled our top six Gusto alternatives for their practical features, affordable pricing, and ability to automate your payroll services no matter your business’s size.

TipTip: Read our full Gusto Payroll review to learn exactly what the service offers so you can compare pricing and functionality.

FeatureADPPatriotPaylocityQuickBooksRipplingZenefits
PricingCustom quoteStarts at $10 + $4 per employee per monthCustom quoteStarts at $45 + $4 per employee per monthStarts at $8 per employee per monthStarts at $10 per employee per month
Free trial3 months60 daysNone1 monthNoneNone
BenefitsYesNoYesYesYesYes
Employee portalYesYesYesYesYesYes
Mobile appYesNoYesYesYesYes
TaxesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Time trackingYesYesYesYesYesYes
International employee supportYesNoYesYesYesYes

1. ADP

Automatic Data Processing (ADP) is one of the best-known names in payroll, providing automated payroll services for more than half a million U.S. businesses.

With popular integrations like QuickBooks and Xero and a robust mobile app, ADP not only automates payroll processes but also provides advanced HR, time tracking and compliance features.

Here’s a look at ADP’s key features and pricing options. For more information, read our in-depth review of ADP.

ADP key features

  • Taxes: ADP calculates employee withholdings and automatically completes and files forms for federal, state and local taxes. In addition, you may not need to pay for tax consultants, as ADP acts as a liaison for tax-related issues with agencies and can send employees and contractors W-2 and 1099 forms.
  • New-hire reporting: The employee onboarding process can be tedious, and with staff shortages, you’ll want to get new employees working as soon as possible. After entering a new employee profile, ADP can complete and file all new worker information to the appropriate agencies.
  • Compliance features: In higher-tier plans, ADP can regularly check your rates for state unemployment insurance to make sure you’re not overpaying. You can also take advantage of ADP’s Labor Law Poster Compliance Update Service and wage garnishment assistance.
  • Advanced HR: Depending on your plan, you may be eligible to receive the following services:
    • HR best practices
    • Benefits assistance
    • Library of crucial government forms
    • ZipRecruiter integration
    • Annual background checks (up to five)
    • One-on-one help from ADP’s HR team
  • Time tracking: Employees can use ADP’s mobile app to clock in and out, request paid time off (PTO), and log overtime. Managers can use the app to create schedules and verify hours.

TipTip: If you’re looking for even more Gusto Payroll alternatives, check out our reviews of the best online payroll services.

ADP pricing

ADP does not offer transparent pricing. Just like Gusto, the payroll software offers a tiered service plan structure: Essential, Enhanced, Complete and HR Pro. 

Editor’s note: Looking for the right payroll software for your business? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs.

For all tiers, pricing is based on your business, the features you need, and the number of employees you have. You have to contact ADP directly to receive a price quote.

2. Patriot Payroll

Patriot says its average client can run payroll in less than three minutes. In addition, the full-service plan features federal, state, and local tax filing and deposits, a solid feature if your business has less than 100 employees.

However, if you need benefits administration (HR) and custom reports, look elsewhere. This stripped-down payroll software doesn’t offer any extras.

Here’s a look at Patriot Payroll’s key features and pricing options.

Patriot Payroll key features

  • Unlimited pay runs: Patriot offers unlimited payroll scheduling, so you have maximum flexibility when paying employees and contractors. 
  • Multiple states: Have employees in multiple states? Patriot Payroll takes care of taxes and deductions.
  • Support for up to 100 employees: Unlike competitors in the same feature and price range, Patriot Payroll can support up to 100 employees, letting you scale your workforce affordably.

Patriot Payroll pricing

  • Basic Payroll: The base price is $10 plus $4 per employee per month.
  • Full-Service Payroll: The base price is $30 plus $4 per employee per month.

3. Paylocity

Paylocity provides a wide range of services, including payroll, HR, tax filing, benefits management, time tracking and talent administration. Paylocity also has a self-service portal that allows employees to update and edit personal information and withholding details and to sign up for direct deposit.

When using Paylocity, each payroll is verified before it’s run to reduce human errors. Plus, you can run reports to monitor employee turnover and labor costs either through the desktop or mobile app.

Here’s a look at Paylocity’s key features and pricing options.

Paylocity key features

  • Employee portal: Workers can sign up for direct deposit, view pay stubs, edit personal information, and access company updates.
  • Taxes: Federal Forms 940, 941, W-2 and 1099, as well as state unemployment tax and withholding forms, are e-filed on your behalf. Paylocity offers a 100% guarantee for any IRS fines due to its error.
  • Geofence time tracking: Employees can clock in and out using the app. In addition, the app has built-in geographical points to prevent worker abuse.
  • Recruiting and performance-based reviews: You can recruit applicants and track their status. Create custom performance reviews, improve employee engagement with feedback surveys, and monitor raises to align with the overall budget.

Did you know?Did you know? When a small business uses direct deposit to pay its employees, it saves money and time while supporting employees’ financial health and security.

Paylocity pricing

To get a quote for Paylocity services, you must request a demo through the sales team. While prices vary from business to business, they are likely to fall in the $2-$4 range per employee, plus a base fee.

Current users of Paylocity’s principal product, WebPay, indicate in reviews that there are additional costs for services outside of running payroll, such as tax filing, HR, time tracking and recruiting.

4. QuickBooks Payroll

If you already use QuickBooks for accounting tasks, look into QuickBooks Payroll to streamline your day-to-day operations. 

Plus, if you approve payroll by the close of business the day before payday, everyone will still get their paycheck on time whether they’ve requested direct deposit or a paper check. 

Here’s a look at QuickBooks Payroll’s key features and pricing options. For more information, read our QuickBooks Payroll review.

QuickBooks Payroll key features

  • Seamless integration with QuickBooks Online: If you already use QuickBooks Online for accounting, using QuickBooks Payroll is a logical step. There is less of a learning curve, and your information can easily be transferred. Learn more in our QuickBooks Online review.
  • Promotions: QuickBooks Payroll is more affordable than Gusto due to its low per-employee cost each month. Unlike Gusto, QuickBooks also provides regular promotions for even greater affordability regardless of whether or not you use QuickBooks Online, making it one of the best Gusto payroll alternatives.
  • Fast, reliable direct deposit: Whether or not you have accounting staff, QuickBooks Payroll offers next-day direct deposit for lower tiers and same-day direct deposit for Premium and Elite. 

QuickBooks Payroll pricing

  • Core costs $45 plus $4 per employee per month.
  • Premium costs $75 plus $8 per employee per month. You get same-day direct deposit, expert review and on-the-go time tracking.
  • Elite costs $125 plus $10 per employee per month. You’ll get expert setup, 24/7 expert product support, tax penalty protection and a personal HR advisor.

The Premium and Elite tiers also include an HR support center and workers’ comp insurance administration.

FYIFYI: You can also use QuickBooks as your company’s credit card processor. To learn more, read our QuickBooks Payments review.

5. Rippling

Rippling offers a plethora of options, such as payroll, benefits administration and IT, through a la carte pricing.

While Rippling’s offerings for small businesses might feel overwhelming, the flexibility of payroll and HR options combined with more than 400 third-party integrations makes it easy to streamline current software and take a baby-steps approach. Rippling is recommended for businesses with more than 10 employees. 

Here’s a look at Rippling’s key features and pricing options. For more information, read our in-depth Rippling review.

Rippling key features

  • All-in-one platform: Businesses interested in a payroll service that also provides additional practical services will appreciate Rippling’s offerings. You can add benefits, time tracking, training, recruiting and IT to the platform. 
  • Seamless integrations: Rippling integrates with more than 400 apps for third-party services like Google Workspace, Slack, Zoom, GitHub, Asana, Amazon Web Services and many more. If you are already using another payroll software, you’ll be able to select it from your Rippling account list. Rippling can pull all your payroll data and tax information from Gusto and Zenefits. It can also pull existing data from ADP, Patriot, QuickBooks Online and more.
  • A la carte pricing: Whether you need one feature or 10 added to your payroll software, Rippling lets you purchase each one as you need it, and grow your business on your timeline.
  • Automated wizard: Rippling provides a step-by-step guide on processing payroll for employees and contractors. It prompts the user with questions and helps you accurately set up compensation for your workers.
  • International support: Rippling supports international locations, employees and contractors. You can even automate the process of switching a contractor to an employee.

Rippling pricing

Rippling’s pricing starts at $8 per month per user. Contact Rippling with the services you need for a custom quote.

6. Zenefits

Zenefits is similar to Rippling in that it provides a la carte services. It’s built for small and midsize businesses as well as startups.

Zenefits’ payroll app is an add-on to its main software, which includes benefits administration, background checks, plan building and electronic data interchange. In addition, Zenefits integrates with Google Meet, Microsoft Teams,and Slack. 

Here’s a look at the key features and pricing options of Zenefits. For more information, read our full Zenefits review.

Zenefits key features

  • Worker flexibility: Some payroll software companies cater to W-2 employees, but Zenefits realizes that most companies need flexibility in their workforce. Zenefits supports full-time, part-time and hourly workers. Plus, you can easily set up contractors, PTO and stock options, which is appealing for startups with nontraditional workers and benefits.
  • Multifactor authentication (MFA): MFA is an advanced security feature with two-factor authentication (2FA). Anyone logging in to the user account will need to verify their account details through email or text.
  • Benefits administration: Zenefits allows employers to shop for the best benefits plan and monitor employee use. Employees can use the self-service portal to enter and edit benefits and personal information. Employees have access to health insurance cards, and the software is Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliant.

Zenefits pricing

Zenefits has a minimum threshold of five employees. So even if you only have two employees, you’ll be billed for five.

  • Essentials costs $10 per month per employee.
  • Growth costs $18 per month per employee.
  • Zen costs $27 per month per employee.
  • The payroll add-on costs $6 per month per employee. 
  • The advisory services add-on costs $10 per month per employee.
  • The benefits admin add-on costs $5 per month per employee (using your broker).
Image Credit:

utah778 / Getty Images

Julie Thompson
Julie Thompson
business.com Contributing Writer
Julie Thompson is a professional content writer who has worked with a diverse group of professional clients, including online agencies, tech startups and global entrepreneurs. Julie has also written articles covering current business trends, compliance, and finance.