Last updated: June 25th, 2020*

A quick and easy comparison guide

Gusto vs QuickBooks Payroll

Payroll software is the key to quickly and compliantly paying your team. But with so many payroll providers out there, how do you know which one is best for your business?

Below, you can compare Gusto with Intuit’s QuickBooks Payroll to get a better understanding of how they differ in terms of payroll, benefits, customer service, and pricing.

Intuit QuickBooks payroll vs Gusto

Compare pricing and features: Gusto vs QuickBooks Payroll

Gusto QuickBooks Payroll
Monthly fee Starting at $39/mo. + $6/mo. per user Starting at $45/mo. + $4/mo. per user
Setup fee Free Free
Unlimited payrolls checkmark icon checkmark icon
Automated federal and state tax filing checkmark icon checkmark icon
Direct deposit checkmark icon checkmark icon
File W-2s checkmark icon checkmark icon
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 checkmark icon (Premium and Elite)
Lifetime access for employees checkmark icon x icon
Household employer payroll x icon x icon
International payroll x icon x icon
Health benefits Pay premiums only Through SimplyInsured
Workers’ comp Pay premiums only Premiums + fees
Available add-ons
  • 401(k) retirement
  • 529 college savings
  • Commuter benefits
  • Life and disability
  • HSA and FSA
x icon
HR tools
Time tracking checkmark icon (Complete and Concierge) checkmark icon (Premium and Elite)
Team directory and org chart checkmark icon (Complete and Concierge) x icon
Time-off requests checkmark icon (Complete and Concierge) x icon
Online offer letters checkmark icon (Complete and Concierge) x icon
Secure document vault and e-signing checkmark icon (Complete and Concierge) x icon
Custom employee handbook checkmark icon (Concierge) checkmark icon (Elite)
Job description and policy templates checkmark icon (Concierge) checkmark icon (Premium and Elite)
Proactive compliance updates checkmark icon (Concierge) checkmark icon (Elite)
Certified HR pros checkmark icon (Concierge) checkmark icon (Elite)
Direct phone line for dedicated support checkmark icon (Concierge) x 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 checkmark icon
three people standing in line

What to consider when choosing a payroll provider

Comparison details: Gusto vs QuickBooks Payroll


Monthly fees

Our pricing is straightforward. We have four plans starting with a base fee of $39 per month, plus an additional monthly fee of $6 per employee. There are no hidden fees with Gusto—your price includes multiple payroll runs, tax filing, reporting, and more. Read more about our four plans and current promotions.

QuickBooks Payroll’s accounting and payroll plans start at $45 per month, plus an additional monthly charge of $4 for every employee on your team. It should be noted that the cost per employee goes up with each service tier, and contractor payments cost $4 per month, per contractor.

Gusto QuickBooks Payroll
Monthly fee Starting at $39/mo. + $6/mo. per user Starting at $45/mo. + $4/mo. per user
Setup fee Free Free


Running payroll

With Gusto, running payroll is done with your time in mind. Our platform cuts out the time-consuming parts of payroll, so it only requires a few clicks. Gusto customers say they spend only 11 minutes each time they run payroll —on either desktop or mobile. You can even set up Gusto to automatically process payroll each pay period, along with filing payroll taxes.

As part of Intuit, QuickBooks Payroll is an extension of the existing QuickBooks platform, meaning it wasn’t built to handle payroll exclusively.

Once your company’s setup is complete, the software can automatically handle payroll for salaried employees. Keep in mind that you may need to add more information to pay your hourly workers.

running payroll on Gusto dashboard

Processing payroll

Gusto allows you to run payroll as often as you need, regardless of whether you have one employee or 100. Each payroll run takes minutes to complete and comes with a summary so you can double-check that everything’s correct before submission.

QuickBooks Payroll also offers unlimited payroll runs.

Tax filings

It’s crucial that your payroll taxes are filed correctly. Gusto collects and files payroll taxes automatically, so you don’t have to think about it. Your employees’ W-2 forms and contractors’ 1099 forms are filed directly from our platform. In addition, we file your local, state, and federal taxes at no extra fee. We also handle tax filings in multiple states without additional charges.

QuickBooks Payroll can also take care of your company’s payroll tax requirements. The service can calculate, file, and pay your payroll taxes, similar to Gusto. However, only one state filing is included in the payroll package, and additional states cost $12 a month for the Core and Premium service tiers. Additionally, local tax filings require that users print out the forms and send them to their local tax collection agencies.

Gusto QuickBooks Payroll
Unlimited payrolls checkmark icon checkmark icon
File 1099s checkmark icon dollar icon Extra fees


Employee benefits

At Gusto, we know how important your benefits package is to your employees. That’s why we offer medical, dental, and vision benefits administration for free as an add-on to our payroll plans. Gusto offers more than 3,500 trusted health insurance plans, from top carriers such as BlueCross BlueShield, Humana, United Healthcare, and many more. If you want to offer health benefits to your team, you’ll only pay the premiums. Along with setting up new health benefits, you can transfer your existing plans without any coverage interruption.

setting up benefits on Gusto dashboard

With guidance from our licensed advisors, Gusto helps you find the right health care coverage that fits your budget.

We also offer other financial benefits, including 401(k) retirement plans, commuter benefits, workers’ compensation, flexible spending accounts, and 529 college savings plans.

QuickBooks Payroll only offers health benefits and workers’ comp. While the platform’s benefits administration capabilities are available at all service levels, only the Premium and Elite levels have access to workers’ comp.


Health benefits, financial tools, and so much more

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

Signup costs

With Gusto, there are no administration fees to sign up for health benefits or workers’ comp – you’ll only pay the premiums. Here are more pricing details for benefits.

QuickBooks Payroll requires that you pay the premiums, as well as a monthly fee in some cases.

Gusto QuickBooks Payroll
Health benefits Pay premiums only Through SimplyInsured
Workers’ comp Pay premiums only Premiums + fees

HR tools

Time tracking

With Gusto’s Complete and Concierge plans, you unlock access to simple time tracking tools that can help you monitor employee hours and process PTO requests. We also integrate with popular time tracking software like Homebase and TSheets, so you can automatically import your employees’ hours into Gusto.

QuickBooks Payroll includes time tracking features in its Premium and Elite packages through TSheets. Separately, the TSheets Premium service costs $8 per month for every user, with an additional $20 base fee per month. The Elite service has a monthly fee of $10 per user, with an additional $40 base fee per month.

Customer service

Support team

At Gusto, our products are backed with the full support of a sales and customer support team. We’re available every weekday through phone, email, and chat. Our comprehensive online FAQ page and help center are also available at any time.


Interested in Gusto?

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

QuickBooks has an extensive knowledge base that’s hosted on their website. For customers who want to speak with a live person, the QuickBooks support team can be reached by phone.


Integration capabilities

Gusto’s people platform is compatible with a wide range of popular accounting, time tracking, point of sale (POS), and expense management software, including FreshBooks, Expensify, Homebase, and TSheets. All integrations are available for no additional cost and without any downtime. See the full list of integration partners.

QuickBooks Payroll is primarily built to integrate with the QuickBooks line of software solutions. Certain QuickBooks products, like TSheets and their main software offering, can integrate with other platforms, including Gusto.

*Competitive data on this page was collected as of June 25th, 2020 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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