Gusto Review – Forbes Advisor

Gusto is a full-service payroll and benefits platform designed to grow with US-based startups and small businesses.

All Gusto accounts come with your choice of automated or manual payroll for employees and contractors in all 50 US states, employee or contractor self-service profiles, direct deposit option of two or four days, employee onboarding and benefits administration and automated payroll. .


Gusto offers three monthly pricing tiers:

  • Heart: $39/month + $6 per person paid
  • Complete: $39/month + $12 per person paid
  • Concierge: $149/month + $12 per person paid
  • Contractor only: $0/month + $6 per contractor paid


Managing employee payroll through Gusto is simple and flexible depending on your business needs. You can set a salary or hourly wage in an employee’s profile and set payroll on autopilot to allow Gusto to automatically handle payroll for you on the schedule you set.

Gusto takes care of calculating and filing payroll taxes for you and your employees, and it keeps a record of pay stubs available to employees through their online profiles. Employees also receive an email each payday letting them know when their money has arrived.

If you pay someone by check, you must manually print the checks generated by Gusto. It does not have the ability to automatically print and send physical paychecks.

Pay contractors

Paying contractors is just as easy for any contractors with a Gusto profile for your business. You can capture all contractor payments in one go and set payments to be delivered by direct deposit.

Gusto tracks contractor payments and generates a Form 1099 for each contractor each year. It will even automatically email contractors to let them know when their forms are ready, and they can retrieve forms through their profiles.

Benefits management

Regardless of account level, you can set up a range of benefits through Gusto, including:

  • Health Benefits: Purchase group health, dental, and vision insurance plans through Gusto and administer benefits on the platform. Employees will also be able to enable or disable benefits through the platform. You can also administer flexible spending accounts and health savings accounts.
  • Commuter: Manage a commute allowance or company car benefits.
    Life Insurance: Purchase life insurance plans for employees through Gusto and administer benefits on the platform. Employees can accept or decline the benefit through the platform.
  • Retirement and savings: Administer a variety of retirement plans and a 529 education savings plan.
  • Housing and welfare benefits: Add personalized benefits, like housing or welfare allowances, to your employees’ paychecks, and Gusto will automatically track and tax them accordingly.

time tracking

Activate the time tracking application in Gusto to allow employees and contractors to track their hours directly on the platform. This facilitates payroll management linked to an hourly rate.

Taxes Plus Compliance

Gusto files employee W-4s and contractor W-9s as part of their profile setup, and it creates and distributes W-2 and 1099 forms each January for tax returns. You can also choose to have Gusto automatically file a new hire report in an employee’s state when you hire them.

Gusto even offers to help you stay compliant with local labor laws through its Labor Law Poster Shop. You can print labor law posters to display for on-site employees or send electronic notices to remote employees. The service keeps you informed and automatically alerts employees of any changes in the law to keep you compliant. It costs $10 per month for up to five employees, plus $1 per additional employee per month.

Margie D. Carlisle