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Gusto vs. Quickbooks Payroll: You Decide the Winner

Compare Gusto and QuickBooks to find the best one for you and your company.

How they compare Gusto and QuickBooks

Gusto vs Quickbooks payroll

Top Gusto advantages:

  • Gusto Payroll has more features than QuickBooks. Gusto has more features such as employee profiles and offers, time-off requests and organization charts. Other features may require a higher-level QuickBooks plan or additional fees.
  • Integrations: Gusto allows you to integrate with third-party software, regardless of your plan. Integrations: No matter what plan you have, Gusto allows you to integrate with third-party software.
  • Gusto integrates HR-specific software: Gusto goes beyond a payroll service. Gusto integrates many tools often associated with HR-specific software or HCM (human capital management).
  • Gusto does not charge extra fees. Gusto does not charge additional fees, even though they are more expensive overall.

Gusto has HR-specific features that are better than QuickBooks Payroll. Gusto, for example, allows you to create an organizational chart for your business.

Top QuickBooks Payroll benefits:

  • Connectivity with QuickBooks Online: QuickBooks Payroll has a direct connection to QuickBooks Online. This is one of the best features of the software. It is simple to set up and manage payroll in QuickBooks Online if you already own this software.
  • Pricing: QuickBooks Payroll is usually more affordable than Gusto because of its lower monthly per-employee costs. This applies regardless if the plan is purchased with or sans a QuickBooks Online subscription.
  • Gusto offers next-day/same-day direct deposit. This is a great benefit for employees who need to be paid quickly.
  • Gusto doesn’t offer a mobile app. QuickBooks Payroll has both an iOS and Android app. This app is particularly useful if you need it to manage your payroll from anywhere.

You can view your payroll expenses and enter employee hours using the QuickBooks Payroll mobile application. You can also make a direct deposit.

Features in Gusto vs QuickBooks

Both Gusto and QuickBooks Payroll offer online-based solutions. QuickBooks offers a desktop version, however. Based on which subscription plan you choose, you will be able to access the features that you require within your system. You will find more features on the more expensive plans.

Gusto’s exceptional HR features make it stand apart. Gusto’s capabilities extend beyond payroll processing. It can also be used to manage all aspects of HR and payroll. This is particularly true if you select the top-tier plan or the mid-tier plan.

Gusto features

Gusto lets you choose from the Complete, Core, or Concierge plans. This new option is available to contractors-only employers. They cost $6 per employee, have no base price, and offer all the tools necessary for tax, payroll and benefits management.

  • Unlimited payroll: Payroll can be run (with direct deposit) as many times as you wish, depending on your schedule. You can include multiple pay rates, employee types, contractors and bonuses.
  • Tax filing and payments: All federal, state, and local payroll taxes are automatically calculated, filed, and paid. Also, state new hire reporting can be filed. W-2s and 1099s are also available.
  • Time tracking Manage time accrual policies, reporting, and sick leave.
  • Reporting View and export payroll, tax, and benefits reports
  • Employee portal This portal allows employees to log in and access their portal, which includes pay stubs, tax forms, payroll setup, and more.
  • Profiles of employees: Create employee profile and add teams, managers, departments and managers. E-sign W-4 forms and I-9 forms for employees.
  • Employees can enroll online to get their workers’ comp and health insurance. Workers’ comp administration can be managed with estimate and billing support.
  • Incorporations: Integrate Gusto in accounting software or time-tracking system.
  • Customer Service: Unlimited phone and email support, chat support, available during regular hours

Gusto provides significant functionality even for Core plans to manage payroll and other HR processes for small businesses. These tools offer more time management, professional support and onboarding with higher-level plans.

However, Gusto Complete is the next plan and includes all of the above.

  • Permissions Account administrators and managers can modify permissions to view information about direct reports.
  • Employee offer and onboarding: Create and send out offer letters online, store documents, and allow employees to e-sign custom documents.
  • Time Management Tools: Allow employees to request time off and managers to track them. You can also sync your time tracking with payroll to create holidays.
  • Employee Directory: Create an organization chart and an employee directory. You can add custom fields to employee profiles.
  • Surveys to employees: Send anonymous questionnaires to your employees, and track the trends.

Concierge, the last plan, is the best. The Complete offer includes everything from Core and Complete, plus premium support and more human resources.

  • HR professionals certified Unlimited, live access to HR professionals for help with employee issues and payroll compliance.
  • HR Resource Center: Find guides and templates that will help you manage your staff. This includes handbooks for employees, job descriptions, policy updates, and employee handbooks.
  • Support from Gusto: Get personalized support via email or a phone number.

QuickBooks Payroll features

QuickBooks Online payroll can also be accessed through three subscription packages, but the capabilities of each plan may differ.

First, it’s important that we mention that QuickBooks Online offers payroll software. It can be used in conjunction with a QuickBooks Online subscription, but technically it is not required.

The Core Plan, also known as the first QuickBooks Payroll Plan contains the following:

  • Payroll processing Create payroll, calculate paychecks automatically and send it to your bank. Set up direct deposit for automatic payroll.
  • Taxes on payroll: All federal, state, and local taxes can be calculated and filed automatically. No automatic reporting regarding new hires or automatic payments.
  • Direct deposit next day: Payroll must arrive by 5 p.m. the day before payday. Direct deposit will be made to your employees the next day. Contractors will pay a per-person charge.
  • Health benefits may be subject to additional fees.
  • Workforce portal Employees can access QuickBooks Workforce online to view W-2s and pay stubs.
  • Payroll reports: Create reports, and then download them to pay your taxes, payroll, and PTO. Contractor payments are also possible.
  • Customer service: Chat or call during regular business hours.
  • Integrations with QuickBooks Payroll: Connect QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Payroll. Connect other Intuit tools like TSheets or 1099 service. You will have to manually enter data from other accounting software.

As you can see, the Core plan of QuickBooks Payroll is almost entirely focused on payroll processing. This is in contrast to Gusto’s Core plan. It does not offer any HR-related services. Gusto’s Core plan is more focused on payroll processing.

QuickBooks offers the next plan, the Premium plan. The plan includes the following:

  • Direct deposit same-day : Pay employees on the same day they receive their paychecks. Provided that payroll is received by 7 a.m. on payday. Contractors are not eligible for this service.
  • Permissions to users: You have the ability to set permission levels, add, modify, or remove access for any user at any given time.
  • Files for state new hire reporting: Premium (and Elite) plans include filings to meet state new hire reporting requirements.
  • HR Support Center: Online assistance for HR compliance and best practices. You can also modify job descriptions, onboarding and performance tools.
  • Expert review Request an expert to review and review your account in order to find common errors in payroll, tax, or data transfer.
  • TSheets Mobile Accessibility: Use your smartphone to access the QuickBooks TSheet mobile app. To manage employee hours and track time, you can use the QuickBooks TSheet mobile app.

The Premium plan has more features than the Core plan but they are still focused on the payroll. This plan does have some HR capabilities.

The Elite plan, which is the last QuickBooks Online Payments plan, offers all the benefits and options of Core and Premium.

  • Customized setup: Have a professional setup for your payroll and ensure that all data is transferred correctly if you change providers.
  • Track your time and expenses; track labor hours and labor costs; set geofencing alerts for workers to clock in/out; view an activity feed with photos and notes, and get project updates
  • Tax penalty protection: QuickBooks will pay any IRS penalties arising out of your payroll tax filings. The QuickBooks tax resolution group can represent you and help resolve any IRS issues.
  • 24/7 Support: Receive premium support via chat or phone from U.S-based payroll specialists. There is no waiting!
  • Talk to a certified HR advisor Get answers, troubleshoot problems, and create policies.

The Premium and Elite plans have more features than the standard payroll software. However, they offer more tools. The service has more functionality than their standard payroll software, but the Premium and Elite plans offer additional tools.

Gusto vs QuickBooks Pricing

Gusto Payroll, QuickBooks Payroll, and QuickBooks Payroll offer three subscription plans. This means you’ll pay a monthly charge and a per-person fee, depending on how many people are added to the system.

Let’s say you have 20 employees. For Gusto Complete, you’ll pay $159 per month, $125 for QuickBooks Payroll Core, and $159 per month for Gusto Premium.

QuickBooks Payroll is the most cost-effective option, based on this example. These include payments by direct deposit to contractors and multiple tax filings.

Gusto pricing

Gusto offers three plans for starting:

  • Core: $39 per month plus $6 per month per person
  • Complete: $39 per month plus $12 per month per person
  • Concierge service: $149 per month plus $12 per Person

These plans offer the same features and benefits as the above.

This is important to remember. You will not be charged any administrative fees for finding and integrating the plans that you need with your payroll platform if you use Gusto’s workers’ compensation or health benefits features.

Gusto offers fringe benefits and additional costs as an option to their standard plans.

  • 401K, Retirement Plans: Starting at $39/month plus $8 per Month for Participating Employee
  • 529 college savings accounts: $6 per month per participant, $18 per month minimum
  • Health savings accounts: $2.50 per month per participant, no minimum
  • Commuter benefits: $4 per participant per month, minimum $20 per month
  • Flexible spending account: Minimum $20 per month

Gusto offers an initial one-month free trial of their payroll services. There are no long-term agreements.

Pricing for QuickBooks Payroll

Gusto offers standard pricing. However, it is worth noting they frequently run promotions for QuickBooks Payroll, either as an individual product or in conjunction with a QuickBooks Online subscription.

This is the reason why QuickBooks Payroll’s standard pricing structure is as follows:

  • Core: $45 per month plus $4 per employee per month
  • Premium: $75 per month plus $8 per employee per month
  • Elite: $125 per month plus $10 per employee per month.

Plans start from $25/month for Simple Start and go up to $150/month for Advanced.

QuickBooks Payroll charges an additional fee for contractors who are paid via direct deposit. For Core plans, this is $4 per month, Premium plans $8 per month, and Elite plans $10 per month. QuickBooks Payroll will also charge $12 per month to file additional state tax returns. Gusto doesn’t charge multiple tax filings (except for Elite plan span).

QuickBooks states that workers’ compensation benefits and their health benefits might be subject to additional fees, but doesn’t specify what they are. QuickBooks Payroll Core users pay $5 per month to access workers’ comp payment services.

The following services can be added to your QuickBooks Payroll plans:

  • Tscheets– While TSheets Mobile Access comes as part of Premium and Elite plans, you can add it to your plan for $20 plus $8 per month.
  • 1099 Efiling: Three forms $14.99; additional forms $3.99 QuickBooks adds additional 1099 forms at no additional charge to your file if you have more that 20 1099 forms.
  • An annual subscription: $87.99. Labor law posters

QuickBooks offers a 30-day free trial of their payroll software. QuickBooks also offers a free 30-day trial of their payroll software, just like Gusto.

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