Last updated: July 13th, 2021*

A quick and easy comparison guide

Gusto vs Paychex

It doesn’t matter if your business has three employees or 50. Payroll software is essential for paying your team quickly and accurately. With so many options available, how do you find the best payroll provider for your business?

Below is an in-depth comparison of Gusto and Paychex. Seeing the two side by side can help you compare their offerings across payroll, benefits, time tracking, integrations, and other features.

Paychex vs Gusto

Compare pricing and features: Gusto vs Paychex

Gusto Paychex
Monthly fee Starting at $39/mo. + $6/mo. per user No upfront pricing
Setup fee Free dollar icon Extra fees
Unlimited payrolls checkmark icon dollar icon Pay per payroll
Automated federal and state tax filing checkmark icon checkmark icon
Direct deposit checkmark icon checkmark icon
File W-2s checkmark icon dollar icon Extra fees
File 1099s checkmark icon dollar icon Extra fees
Multiple pay rates and schedules checkmark icon checkmark icon
Multiple states checkmark icon dollar icon Extra fees
Contractor payments checkmark icon checkmark icon
E-sign I-9 and W-4 checkmark icon dollar icon Extra fees
Lifetime access for employees checkmark icon x icon
Household employer payroll x icon checkmark icon
International payroll x icon dollar icon Extra fees
Health benefits Pay premiums only Pay premiums only
Workers’ comp Pay premiums only Premiums + fees
Available add-ons
  • 401(k) retirement
  • 529 college savings
  • Commuter benefits
  • Life and disability
  • HSA and FSA
  • 401(k) retirement
  • Commuter benefits
  • Life and disability
  • HSA and FSA
HR tools
Time tracking checkmark icon (Complete and Concierge) checkmark icon (Paychex Flex)
Team directory and org chart checkmark icon (Complete and Concierge) x icon
Time-off requests checkmark icon (Complete and Concierge) checkmark icon (Time & Attendance subscribers)
Online offer letters checkmark icon (Complete and Concierge) x icon
Secure document vault and e-signing checkmark icon (Complete and Concierge) checkmark icon
Custom employee handbook checkmark icon (Concierge) checkmark icon (Paychex Flex)
Job description and policy templates checkmark icon (Concierge) x icon
Proactive compliance updates checkmark icon (Concierge) x icon
Certified HR pros checkmark icon (Concierge) checkmark icon (Paychex Flex)
Direct phone line for dedicated support checkmark icon (Concierge) checkmark icon
Custom Onboarding Checklist checkmark icon (Complete and Concierge) checkmark icon
Software Provisioning checkmark icon (Complete and Concierge) x icon
QuickBooks checkmark icon checkmark icon
Xero checkmark icon checkmark icon
Google (G-suite) SSO checkmark icon x icon
three people standing in line

What to consider when choosing a payroll provider

Comparison details: Gusto vs Paychex


Setup and monthly fees

When you go with Gusto, there are no hidden fees. Our plans begin with a $39 monthly base fee, and you’ll pay an additional $6 per employee per month. Your fees cover multiple payroll runs, thorough and accurate tax filing and reporting, access to benefits, and more. We also don’t charge any setup fees. Learn more about our product plans and current promotions.

Paychex often charges a setup fee along with extra fees to enable direct deposit. The monthly cost fluctuates depending on features added and the number of employees you have.

Gusto Paychex
Monthly fee Starting at $39/mo. + $6/mo. per user No upfront pricing
Setup fee Free dollar icon Extra fees


Running payroll

With Gusto, you can complete payroll in just a few clicks, whether you’re on your phone or a desktop. It takes our customers 11 minutes on average to process payroll, and you can even set up AutoPilot to process your payroll automatically.

Paychex offers online payroll processing from your phone or computer. You can also process payroll by phone or fax.

running payroll on Gusto dashboard

Processing payroll

Gusto doesn’t limit the number of times you can run payroll each month, no matter how many employees and contractors you have. We enable you to rapidly run payroll as many times as you need.

Paychex has payroll processing limits on one-time payments, and its base fee may increase as your company adds more employees.

Tax filings

It’s really important for your payroll service to accurately handle your taxes. At Gusto, we automatically file all tax forms, including new hire reporting, W-2s for full-time employees, and 1099s for contractors. We also calculate, file, and pay your end-of-year federal, state, and local taxes without charging you extra. Need to file taxes in multiple states? No problem, that’s also included.

Like Gusto, Paychex calculates, pays, and files federal and state payroll taxes—but not local taxes. While there are some local payroll taxes that Paychex will cover, some may need to be completed outside of Paychex. The platform also charges extra to issue W-2 and 1099 forms.

Gusto Paychex
Unlimited payrolls checkmark icon dollar icon Pay per payroll
File 1099s checkmark icon dollar icon Extra fees


Employee benefits

We know you want to give your employees the best. That’s why Gusto provides leading medical, dental, and vision benefits administration with all of our payroll plans. The only costs are the premiums for the plans you choose. Our team has licensed health insurance brokers in many U.S. states, so we can secure the best benefits for your employees.


Health benefits, financial tools, and so much more

That's why we provide options and guidance to help your team find the right coverage. .

Our health insurance options span more than 3,500 plans from top-tier networks like Humana, BlueCross BlueShield, United Healthcare, and more. Our licensed advisors will work with you to find affordable insurance options that keep your employees happy and healthy.

We can also help you transfer existing insurance plans to our platform without coverage interruptions, along with setting up and managing contributions to financial benefits. These benefits include flexible spending accounts, workers’ compensation, 401(k) retirement plans, commuter plans, and 529 college savings plans.

You can also support your employees' financial health with Gusto Cashout™. Unique to Gusto, this benefit gives employees access to funds in between paydays, for free.

Paychex offers health insurance, 401 (k) retirement plans, and financial wellness programs.

Gusto Paychex
Health benefits Pay premiums only Pay premiums only
Workers’ comp Pay premiums only Premiums + fees

The Cashout Program is issued by Sunrise Banks, N.A., Member FDIC. The Sunrise Banks, N.A. Privacy Policy can be found here.

HR tools

Expert HR help

Gusto can help generate and issue offer letters to potential employees. When new hires start, they can log into Gusto and enter their information to set up payroll and benefits. This minimizes human error and keeps their sensitive information secure. We also give employees ways to provide anonymous feedback to help you improve your business.

Our expert HR assistance doesn’t stop at onboarding. Our Concierge plan comes with real-time advice from SHRM and HRCI-certified experts. Our team works alongside you to properly set up your HR stack and keep you compliant with the latest rules.

Paychex also offers access to HR features. However, only large customers who sign up for the Flex® Enterprise tier can use their HR tools. These tools include employee development resources, hiring services, and in-house teams of HR compliance experts.

sending an offer letter from Gusto dashboard

Employee self-service

Gusto saves you time while giving employees power over their information. Your team can log into their employee portal and set up their profiles on their own, making their information more accurate and secure.

Employees of companies that use Paychex also have access to an online self-service tool, though it can only be used to view pay stubs and forms rather than edit information. The Paychex employee self-service portal does not include access to benefits information.

Gusto’s platform stands out because we give employees access to their information forever—even if they’re not working with you anymore. No matter how long it’s been since an employee left your company, they’ll always be able to access their W-2s and benefits information without having to contact anyone on your team.

Time management

When you sign up for Gusto’s Complete or Concierge plans, you get straightforward tools for tracking employee hours and processing requests for paid time off. Our tools also integrate seamlessly with Homebase, TSheets, and other widely used time tracking platforms so you can automatically add employee hours.

Paychex offers time tracking through its Paychex Flex platform, which costs extra to add. It integrates with select time and schedule management platforms, including Dolce Software and OnShift. Paychex users who pay for higher-tier memberships can use additional HR tools that may prove helpful with time and schedule management software.

Gusto Paychex
Time tracking checkmark icon (Complete and Concierge) checkmark icon (Paychex Flex)
Online offer letters checkmark icon (Complete and Concierge) x icon

Customer service

Support team

At Gusto, we offer email, phone, and chat support. Our customer support team can be reached Monday through Friday, and we also have a comprehensive online FAQ and help center that’s readily accessible around the clock.


Interested in Gusto?

Our sales team can be reached directly by emailing [email protected], calling (855) 590-3993, or via live chat.

Paychex users can find ample information on the company’s website. Customers who need live assistance can also reach Paychex’s customer support and sales teams by phone. The support team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Integration capabilities

Our payroll platform integrates with leading software tools for time tracking, expense management, point of sale (POS), and accounting. We never charge extra for integrations. Our payroll integration partners currently include QuickBooks, Xero, Homebase, and Clover. Take a look at the full integrations list.

Paychex also offers integrations with benefits, HR, attendance, and accounting platforms. Some of its integration partners are Indeed, OnShift, QuickBooks Online, and Xero. Paychex also allows Paychex Flex users to recommend new integration partners.

*Competitive data on this page was collected as of July 13th, 2021 and is subject to change or update. Gusto does not make any representations as to the completeness or accuracy of the information on this page. All Gusto services listed in the payroll features comparison chart are provided by Gusto or by one of Gusto's trusted partners.

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