receives compensation from some of the companies listed on this page. Advertising Disclosure
BDC Hamburger Icon


BDC Logo
Search Icon
Updated Apr 03, 2024

Rippling vs. Gusto Comparison

author image
Skye Schooley, Senior Lead Analyst & Expert on Business Operations

Table of Contents

Open row

Human resources (HR) software can help business owners effectively manage their HR functions, including payroll, benefits administration, recruiting and onboarding, talent management, compliance support and workflow automations. Rippling and Gusto are both excellent, customizable HR solutions with robust functionality. We’ll compare their pricing, features, usability and customer support to help businesses choose the right HR software for their needs. 

Rippling vs. Gusto

Rippling vs. Gusto HR Highlights

Rippling and Gusto are two of the best HR software options on the market. However, key differences may make one more suitable for your business. Here’s an overview of their features and pricing.  





Starting monthly price

$8 per user, per month

$40 monthly (plus $6 per person, per month)

HR services

  • Recruiting and onboarding
  • Application tracking system (ATS)
  • Document management
  • Org directory
  • Custom workflows
  • Role-based permissions
  • Benefits administration
  • Learning management
  • Analytics
  • App and device management
  • Expense management
  • Professional employer organization (PEO)
  • Employer of record (EOR)
  • Hiring and onboarding
  • ATS
  • Background checks
  • Document storage
  • Organization chart
  • Time tracking
  • Time off management
  • Benefits administration
  • Performance management
  • HR reports
  • Research and development (R&D) tax credit services
  • EOR


Comprehensive (add-on option)

Comprehensive (included in plans)

Ease of use

Very intuitive and user-friendly

Intuitive and user-friendly

Customer support

Email and web chat (plus phone support with HR help desk add-on)

Phone, email and web chat (priority support add-on)

Who Is Rippling For?

Rippling is an advanced HR and IT solution that caters to small and midsize businesses (SMBs). It’s ideal for employers who want to manage HR functions with workflows and automations, reducing the need for manual HR processes. The software is highly customizable, making it an excellent solution for businesses that need a flexible or unique HR management system. While Rippling’s functions can streamline HR processes, employers must have the time and ability to set up workflow automations when accessing the software. Check out our detailed Rippling review for more information on this powerful platform.

Rippling custom workflows

Rippling allows you to trigger custom workflows based on employees, third-party app data and more. Source: Rippling

Who Is Gusto For?

Gusto is a payroll platform with integrated HR features that best serve small companies with fewer than 50 workers. It’s a great solution for mixed workforces because it can support businesses that must pay employees and contractors. Since payroll functionality is at Gusto’s core, it’s best for small businesses seeking a comprehensive payroll platform with additional HR functions. Gusto offers several add-on options and supports hundreds of third-party applications, making it ideal for businesses that need a flexible solution. Read our in-depth Gusto HR software review to learn more and check out our Gusto payroll software review for a broader overview of this provider.

Did You Know?Did you know

The core functions of HR software include hiring, dealing with compliance challenges and keeping employees safe.

Gusto platform

The Gusto platform is comprehensive but easy to navigate. Source: Gusto

Rippling vs. Gusto Comparison

Here’s how Rippling and Gusto compare in pricing and essential HR services and functions. 

Pricing and Plans

The best HR software for your business will fit your budget while providing essential features. 

Rippling Pricing and Plans

Rippling’s base workforce platform, Rippling Unity, starts at $8 per user, per month. However, it offers several additional service options, so you must contact Rippling directly for a quote.

Here is some notable Rippling pricing information: 

  • Rippling doesn’t offer a free trial but does offer a free product demo.
  • Rippling Unity has four base plans (Core, Pro, Unlimited and Enterprise) but doesn’t list its pricing online. 
  • Rippling’s plans offer various levels of custom workflows, formula fields and advanced HR reports.
  • Users can pay to add HR cloud features and non-HR services.

Gusto Pricing and Plans

Gusto offers three plans for employees (Simple, Plus and Premium) and a plan for contractors. Features and support vary by service level.

Here is some notable Gusto pricing information: 

  • Gusto offers a free trial up until you run your first payroll.
  • Gusto offers monthly pricing and doesn’t require long-term contracts.
  • Users can pay to add supplemental payroll, HR tools and various employee benefits. However, most add-ons are not available for contractor-only plans.

Here’s a breakdown of Gusto’s base plans:

Plan name

HR services


Contractor Only

  • Unlimited payments
  • Four-day direct deposit
  • 1099-NECs (plus new-hire reporting, if required)
  • International contractor payments (optional add-on)

$35 per month plus $6 per contractor, per month


  • Single-state payroll processing
  • Hiring and onboarding
  • Employee self-service capabilities
  • Health insurance administration
  • Employee benefits (optional add-on)
  • Payroll and HR reports
  • Workforce management
  • Custom admin permissions
  • Integrations
  • Customer service

$40 per month plus $6 per employee, per month


  • Everything in the Simple plan, plus: 
  • Multistate payroll processing
  • Advanced hiring and onboarding features
  • Paid time off (PTO) management
  • Next-day direct deposit
  • Project tracking
  • Time tracking and kiosk
  • Workforce costing and reports
  • Team management tools
  • Employee surveys
  • Performance reviews
  • Priority support (optional add-on)

$80 per month plus $12 per employee, per month


  • Everything in the Plus plan, plus: 
  • Insurance broker integration
  • Priority customer support
  • Full-service payroll migration and account setup
  • Compliance alerts
  • R&D tax credit discount
  • Access to certified HR experts
  • Dedicated customer success manager

Custom pricing

Gusto occasionally offers significant discounts, so check its website for updated pricing while conducting your research. 

Winner: Gusto

We like that both vendors offer monthly rates and multiple add-ons, so small and growing businesses pay only for the services they need. However, Gusto is our winner in this category. Its Simple plan includes essential HR functions like employee onboarding, payroll and employee self-service. We also like that Gusto offers discounts and lets users try the software for free until they run their first payroll ― something Rippling and many competitors don’t offer. 

Gusto’s pricing is transparent and readily accessible online, making budgeting for your HR needs easier. Source: Gusto

HR Services

Here’s how Rippling and Gusto compare when it comes to essential HR services.

Rippling HR Services

  • Essential HR features in base plan: Rippling’s base plans have essential HR features like onboarding and offboarding automation, a workforce directory, policy management, workflow automations and approvals, compensation bands, global workforce analytics, document management and vacation and leave management.
  • Optional HR features: Rippling offers optional HR features like United States and global payroll, time and attendance, employee benefits management and administration, Affordable Care Act and COBRA administration, recruitment, learning management, performance management, headcount planning, pulse surveys and an HR help desk.
  • Optional non-HR services: Rippling also offers optional finance and information technology (IT) services that can integrate with your HR platform, including app management, mobile device management, inventory management, expense management, bill pay and corporate cards.
  • PEO/administrative services offering (ASO)/EOR plans available: Rippling offers other HR arrangements, such as a PEO plan, ASO and global EOR services. We like that it allows users to conveniently switch between PEO and non-PEO services.

Gusto HR Services

  • Essential HR features: Gusto’s plans have essential HR features like applicant tracking, hiring and onboarding, organization charts, benefits administration, time and project tracking, payroll processing, HR reporting, employee surveys and performance management.
  • Optional HR features: Gusto offers optional payroll and HR tools, such as international contractor payments, state tax registration, R&D tax credits and a time kiosk.
  • Optional employee benefits: Gusto offers optional employee benefits like health insurance, health insurance broker integration, workers’ compensation, life and disability insurance, 401(k) retirement plans, 529 college savings plans, health savings accounts, flexible savings accounts and commuter benefits.
  • Compliance features: All plans include assistance with HR compliance automatically. The Premium plan includes compliance alerts.

Winner: Rippling

Gusto offers essential HR services and add-ons. However, Rippling’s extensive HR capabilities impressed us. We like that Rippling can automate virtually any HR process, saving your HR team countless hours. Additionally, Rippling is one of the few HR solutions we reviewed that offers IT functions like app and device management. We were also pleased to see that Rippling offers an optional PEO arrangement for small businesses that want a co-employment model and ASO and EOR services for those that need them. 

Rippling devices

Rippling helps employers manage the entire lifecycle of their employees’ desktop and mobile devices. Source: Rippling

TipBottom line

If you’re seeking a stand-alone PEO service to handle multiple HR needs under a co-employment model, check out our reviews of the best PEO services to simplify your HR responsibilities.

Payroll Processing

Rippling and Gusto both incorporate robust payroll processing functions.

Rippling Payroll Processing

  • Running payroll: Rippling offers United States and global payroll as an optional add-on feature. However, payroll is required for PEO clients.
  • Payroll taxes: Rippling can handle your federal, state and local payroll taxes, such as W-2, W-4 and 1099.
  • Time and attendance option: If you add Rippling’s time and attendance feature, it can automatically integrate with Rippling’s payroll and PTO functionalities. (Read our dedicated Rippling payroll software review for specific details on its payroll functions.)

Gusto Payroll Processing

  • Running payroll: Gusto offers full-service, single-state and multistate payroll processing for employees and contractors. It can even run payroll for international contractors as an optional add-on feature.
  • Automated payroll: All plans include Gusto’s payroll on AutoPilot ― a way to automate your payroll process.
  • Payroll taxes: Gusto can handle your federal, state and local payroll taxes, such as W-2, W-4 and 1099.

Winner: Gusto

Payroll is Gusto’s bread and butter and it does it well. We like the fact that full-service payroll functionality is included in every plan automatically. Users don’t have to pay extra to add payroll services. Businesses can also pay international contractor payments, which is especially valuable with today’s remote workforces. Gusto also offers EOR payroll services for Canadian employees and the company is expected to expand this offering to more countries.

Gusto time-tracking features

Gusto’s time-tracking features can integrate with its payroll functionality automatically. Source: Gusto

Ease of Use

HR software should be straightforward to implement and use. Here’s how Rippling and Gusto compare. 

Rippling Ease of Use

  • Intuitive navigation: When testing the Rippling HR platform, we were pleased with its intuitive and easily navigable interface.
  • Automations: Rippling has several easily configurable workflows and automations to help businesses automate their HR processes.
  • Central platform: Rippling allows you to integrate and manage HR, IT and finance data from one platform.

Gusto Ease of Use

  • Accessible from anywhere: Gusto is a cloud-based platform that can be accessed from anywhere.
  • Straightforward implementation: Gusto’s implementation process is relatively easy and quicker than most competitors’ setup processes.
  • Interactive demo: Gusto offers an interactive demo to help employers learn how the platform works.

Winner: Rippling

During testing, we found both platforms intuitive and easy to navigate. However, Rippling’s automations and workflow-creation features boost its usability and set it apart. While configuring automation processes can take time, once established, your HR functions can practically run themselves. Automating tedious tasks can save employees and HR professionals countless hours, freeing them for more pressing issues. We also like that Rippling offers device and app management, allowing companies to manage several business functions from one platform without integrations.

Rippling checklist

Set up automated checklists in Rippling to save your HR team time. Source: Rippling

FYIDid you know

Rippling and Gusto both offer user-friendly iOS and Android mobile apps, helping employees manage their HR information on the go.

Customer Support

Being able to contact your vendor is crucial. Here’s how Rippling and Gusto handle customer support.

Rippling Customer Support

  • Support channels: Rippling offers live chat and email support.
  • Added support: Users can add the HR Help Desk: HR Support feature if they want direct phone and email support and real-time compliance updates.
  • Online resources: Rippling has helpful online resources, such as blogs, recipe templates and a help center.

Gusto Customer Support

  • Support channels: Every Gusto plan includes phone, email and web chat support automatically.
  • Added support: Premium plans get priority support and a dedicated customer success manager.
  • Online resources: Gusto offers several online resources, such as a blog, tools and calculators, small business guides and 24/7 help center access.

Winner: Tie

This category is a tie. Both companies offer standard HR support through multiple channels and comprehensive online resources, which is standard in the HR industry. We like that both vendors allow users to upgrade to more advanced support if needed.

Rippling vs. Gusto Summary

Rippling and Gusto are excellent HR solutions for many businesses. We recommend these platforms for the following organizations: 

Rippling is best for companies seeking HR automations. 

Rippling is an excellent option for SMBs that want to automate several HR functions. It’s also a great choice for companies that want to manage HR, IT and finance data and processes from a centralized platform.

Gusto is best for small businesses that need HR and payroll features. 

Gusto is best for small businesses (with fewer than 50 workers) that want HR software with comprehensive payroll features for employees and contractors. It’s also a great choice for businesses working within a specific HR budget that want to see upfront plan pricing online.


Rippling typically takes an average of three weeks to implement, although your company’s implementation time will depend on the features you must access. Since Rippling is a highly customizable HR solution, setting up automations can take time. However, once set up, many of your HR processes will be quicker, thanks to the software’s automatic workflows.

Like Rippling, Gusto’s implementation time depends on the features and add-ons you select. However, we were pleased to learn Gusto’s straightforward software can be implemented in just a few days. This is much quicker than many competitors, including Rippling.

Yes. Rippling is a highly customizable HR and IT solution that can integrate with more than 500 third-party applications. It also has an open application programming interface and several add-on options, making it a flexible solution for SMBs.

Yes. Gusto can integrate with nearly 200 third-party applications. This is on par with competitors and guarantees that you’ll be able to integrate the vendor with many business software solutions you already use seamlessly.

author image
Skye Schooley, Senior Lead Analyst & Expert on Business Operations
Skye Schooley is a human resources writer at and Business News Daily, where she has researched and written more than 300 articles on HR-focused topics including human resources operations, management leadership, and HR technology. In addition to researching and analyzing products and services that help business owners run a smoother human resources department, such as HR software, PEOs, HROs, employee monitoring software and time and attendance systems, Skye investigates and writes on topics aimed at building better professional culture, like protecting employee privacy, managing human capital, improving communication, and fostering workplace diversity and culture.
BDC Logo

Get Weekly 5-Minute Business Advice

B. newsletter is your digest of bite-sized news, thought & brand leadership, and entertainment. All in one email.

Back to top