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Gusto vs Paychex: Compare Top Payroll Software – newzflash

Payroll software keeps all your important information about salary or hourly pay in one place. Gusto and Paychex are both respected software services, but which is better for you?

Gusto vs Paychex logos.
Image: Rebecca Olason/TechRepublic

A good payroll software can make managing your organization much easier, no matter how small or large. Gusto and Paychex are both well-established options that provide convenient payroll services.

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What is Gusto?

The Gusto logo.
Image: Gusto

Gusto is payroll management software that puts various employee management tools, such as pay, time off and benefits, in one place. Gusto offers reporting tools with customizable reports, compliance reports and team survey capabilities as well. This payroll management software is best for small organizations that don’t foresee a lot of growth.

What is Paychex?

Paychex logo.
Image: Paychex

Paychex is a payroll processing and human resources software service. It provides online services such as geolocation and geofencing for organizations whose employees are often on the move. Paychex’s core capabilities are payroll, invoicing, insurance administration and compliance, workers’ compensation, and benefits.

Common features of Gusto vs. Paychex

Both payroll software services offer a typical dashboard with a main menu on the left side and other displays appearing in the middle as needed. However, Gusto and Paychex break down information differently in a way that may be more or less suitable for larger businesses.

Feature Gusto Paychex
Payroll Yes Yes
Benefits Yes (Gusto Plus) Yes
HR Yes Yes
Compliance support Yes (Gusto Premium) Yes
PTO Yes Yes
Taxes Yes Yes (Paychex Flex Select)
Benefits Yes Yes
Hiring and onboarding Yes (Advanced tools in Gusto Plus) Yes (Paychex Flex Select)

Dashboard

Paychex’s dashboard (Figure A) is like the classic Windows philosophy, offering insight into what the software itself is doing and the ability to play with a lot of settings.

Figure A

The Paychex time and attendance dashboard.
The Paychex time and attendance dashboard. Image: Paychex

By comparison, Gusto’s dashboard (Figure B) is more like Apple, hiding more information initially in order to promote an easier-to-use approach. In Gusto, instructions flow in a chronological fashion, whereas Paychex lets the user look at more information at one time in general.

Figure B

Demonstration Gusto dashboard.
Demonstration Gusto dashboard. Image: Gusto

Both dashboards offer a wide range of features and organize a lot of information that is useful for businesses. For instance, Figure C is an example of Gusto platform data.

Figure C

An example of Gusto's platform data.
An example of Gusto’s platform data. Image: Gusto

Employee portals

Employees can log in to Paychex or Gusto (Figure D) to log their work time if they’re hourly as well as to check the status of payments. Gusto’s app walks employees through onboarding, while Paychex integrates with several proprietary hardware tools, including a face recognition “clock in” device called the Iris or similar retina scanning. Gusto does not offer hardware add-ons.

Figure D

An employee portal in Gusto.
An employee portal in Gusto. Image: Gusto

Pricing per plan

Gusto’s Simple tier costs $40 per month plus $6 per employee. For $60 per month and $9 per person, you can get Gusto’s Plus plan, which includes multi-state tax services, next-day direct deposit, PTO management, time tracking and other features. The top-tier Premium plan requires talking to Gusto’s sales department to discuss the pricing plan.

Paychex’s lowest pricing tier, Flex Essentials, is priced at a competitive $39 per month and $5 per employee. For information about additional plans, prospective customers can speak to a sales representative. Note that the basic tier does not include HR services or time and attendance, only payroll.

With the cost being relatively similar at the introductory level, the decision between Gusto and Paychex may come down to ease of use, what features your organization needs and the size of your business.

Choosing Gusto vs. Paychex

Larger organizations with more complicated payroll needs might want to choose Paychex for the greater number of customization options and for a display made to show a lot more information.  Growing companies might want to choose Paychex for its ease of handling larger teams.

Gusto is a good choice for organizations that want an easy-to-use payroll system. Gusto is designed to hold a small business owner’s hand through the process of doing taxes according to state and federal regulations, so there are fewer chances of a less-experienced business owner, or one who wants to focus on improving their own product or service, being surprised by unexpected payroll problems.

For more payroll software options, read about the best payroll software for your small business in 2022, why businesses are spending more on productivity tech and the best HR analytics software.

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