Gusto for Partners

Hey Accountants! Here’s How to Refer Clients to Gusto

Amy Nguyen Director of Marketing 
3 Ways to Refer Clients

There’s no one way to run a firm. Some manage payroll for clients, others let clients handle that business. Some accountants accept referral incentives which they use to pay their people, others feel better passing those savings along to the client. 

We see you. And we think all types are welcome. That’s why Gusto’s referral program is set up to help you and your clients in equal measure, and make it well worth it for you and your firm to refer clients. 

Here’s how you can get those clients on Gusto’s HR and payroll platform and both win. 

(You’ll need a Gusto account for this — sign up to be a partner today. It’s free.)

1. Refer a business that’ll run its own payroll

Reward: Two $300 Visa gift cards — one for you and one for that business.

Want to refer a company that’ll fully manage its own payroll? This is the option for you. It’s great if you’ve talked to a business owner who needs to start running payroll, but who you aren’t working with yet. Or for whom you won’t be providing outsourced HR or payroll services. (If you end up working with them, you can always claim them later.)

Here’s how: 

  • Within your Gusto Pro dashboard, select one of these options:
  • Select “Refer & earn” in the side navigation, then the “business referrals” tab.
  • Click the gift icon in the top navigation.
  • Visit the “business referrals” tab.
  • From there, follow the instructions. You can either invite them by entering their email, or generate a sharing link.
  • Once they start running payroll, you’ll both get a $300 Visa gift card as thanks.

(To have Gusto email them, you’ll just need the business owner’s email address.)

How to refer

Gusto dashboard for Referrals
A view of where to refer businesses to Gusto.

2. Refer a business where you’ll manage their payroll

Reward: Pass along up to 20 percent savings to your client, or elect to receive up to 20 percent revenue share for your firm. (The percentage is based on your discount tier.)

This is probably the most common way accountants refer clients to Gusto. If you do it this way, that client will appear on your Gusto dashboard, and you’ll be able to manage things for them. Specifically, you’ll be able to: 

  • Run, pause, correct, or delegate payroll (or set it on AutoPilot).
  • Add employees and get them set up for payroll.
  • View growth and people data in the Advisory dashboard.
  • And lots more.

Even if the client will be paying for Gusto on their own, it’s a good idea to set things up this way. It’ll give you access (with their permission) to payroll and people data that’ll allow you to act as a better advisor as they grow.

Once added, this client will count toward your partner firm’s status level, which can unlock greater discounts for either you or the client.

Here’s how to do it:

  • From the “Clients” tab, click “Add a new client.”
  • Select how many clients you’d like to add. (If you add many, Gusto will help you migrate them.)
  • Note whether the client has already run payroll. If so, Gusto will ask them for that information.
  • Choose whether to accept revenue share or pass a discount along to the client.
  • That client will show up on your dashboard under “clients that require setup” and you or the client can set up the account.

How to add

Gusto's dashboard to Add clients
A view of where to refer businesses when you plan to manage their payroll. 

3. New: Refer a business to unlock R&D tax credits

Reward: An average of $50,000 in tax credits for your clients, and a $500 Visa gift card for your firm as well as revenue share on those tax savings.

In 2019, the last year for which we have data, $60 billion of the $92 billion available R&D tax credits went unclaimed. Among the top reasons:

  • Difficulty documenting and applying.
  • Business didn’t know they were eligible.
  • Business assumed it was too small to qualify.

But your clients can actually claim this tax credit at any size, and in real-time, meaning they can apply credits retroactively (going back three years) or proactively — submitting now, but realizing them later. It’s an annuity. That could mean up to $1,250,000 in tax credits over the course of five years that they can apply to all sorts of exciting things. Like payroll!

R&D tax credits are now an integrated offering within the Gusto platform, and the technology can automatically scan your clients to alert you to potential credits. (Download the one-pager for details.)

Here’s how:

  • On the left side of your Gusto dashboard, click “R&D tax credits.”
  • Click “Get started.” 
  • Follow the instructions.

A Gusto referral success story: hiline built a business line on referring clients

The accounting company hiline discovered that running payroll on Gusto was 50 percent less time-consuming than running payroll on other platforms. It was such a big difference, they switched 100 percent of customers over to Gusto, and this offering now accounts for 20 percent of their revenue.

"Today, 100 percent of our payroll and HR customers are on Gusto." - Matt Gardner, CEO & Co-Founder hiline

Questions about referring? Need help adding clients in bulk? (If you’re adding many clients, we’ll help by handling that migration for you.) Ask your account manager for more information. (To contact your account manager, create your own free Gusto Pro account.)

Amy Nguyen
Amy Nguyen I lead customer marketing at Gusto, and focus on our most valued partners — accounting professionals. My prior experience ranges from tech to fintech, recently, at Intuit. Based in San Francisco Bay Area, CA, I love all things outdoors and exploring new places with my husband and two kids.
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