Gusto vs QuickBooks Payroll

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 and Intuit QuickBooks Payroll across payroll, benefits, time tracking, integrations, pricing, and other features.

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Compare pricing and features: Gusto vs QuickBooks Payroll

QuickBooks Payroll
Monthly feeStarting at $40/mo + $6/mo per person
Starting at $45/mo + $5/mo per user
Setup feeFree
Unlimited payrollsCheckmark
Automated federal and state tax filingCheckmark
Direct depositCheckmark
File W-2sCheckmark
File 1099sCheckmark
Multiple pay rates and schedulesCheckmark
Multiple statesCheckmark(Plus and Premium)
Extra fees (free with Elite)Extra fees (free with Elite)
Contractor paymentsCheckmark
E-sign I-9 and W-4Checkmark
(Premium and Elite)(Premium and Elite)
Lifetime access for employeesCheckmark
Household employer payrollX
International payrollDollar(International contractor add-on)
Health benefitsPay premiums only
Through SimplyInsured
Workers’ compPay premiums only
Premiums + fees (fees waived for Premium and Elite)
Available add-ons
  • Broker integration
  • 401(k) retirement
  • Commuter benefits
  • Life and disability
  • HSA and FSA
  • 401(k) retirement
HR tools
Time trackingCheckmark(Plus and Premium)
(Premium and Elite)(Premium and Elite)
Team directory and org chartCheckmark(Plus and Premium)
Time-off requestsCheckmark(Plus and Premium)
Online offer lettersCheckmark
Secure document vault and e-signingCheckmark
Custom employee handbookCheckmark(Premium and HR add-on)
Job description and policy templatesCheckmark(Premium and HR add-on)
(Premium and Elite)(Premium and Elite)
Proactive compliance updatesCheckmark(Premium and HR add-on)
(Premium and Elite)(Premium and Elite)
Certified HR prosCheckmark(Premium and HR add-on)
Direct phone line for dedicated supportCheckmark(Premium and HR add-on)
Custom Onboarding ChecklistCheckmark(Plus and Premium)
Software ProvisioningCheckmark(Plus and Premium)
Google (G-suite) SSOCheckmark

*Competitive data on this page was collected as of June 27th, 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

“Gusto helps me stay on top of compliance.”

93% of surveyed customers

Save 4 hours running payroll each month

on average, compared to QuickBooks1

Save 3 hours monthly onboarding new hires

on average, compared to QuickBooks1

Clipart of three people
Clipart of three people

What to consider when choosing a payroll provider?

  • Evaluate the features your business needs today—and down the road.

    Some payroll platforms might offer a lot of services, but they come at a cost. While a few dollars may not seem like much, these extras can eventually add up. Find a payroll platform that doesn’t charge you extra for every feature you add.

  • See if the provider has experience with businesses like yours.

    Size is one of the most important factors to keep in mind. While some payroll solutions are great for large enterprises, they may not be able to cover the needs of small and midsize businesses. By choosing a payroll service that can serve you today and in the future, you can guarantee your needs will be met at each stage.

  • Consider how easy it is to switch.

    Exporting and importing your existing data can be a tough task. If you’re planning on switching payroll providers, ask about the data migration process. While it’s important to understand the steps needed to transfer data, you should also ask who will oversee your migration to your new payroll service.

  • Get help when you need it.

    Talking to customer service should be easy, especially when you’re in a bind. With so many ways to contact someone online, a good payroll service provider should offer plenty of assistance through chat, phone, and email.

Comparison details: Gusto vs QuickBooks Payroll


Monthly fees

Our pricing is straightforward. We have four plans starting with a base fee of $40 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 $5 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 $15 per month for up to 020 contractors, and $2 for each additional contractor enabled for direct deposit.

Gusto QuickBooks Payroll
Monthly feeStarting at $40/mo. + $6/mo. per userStarting at $45/mo. + $5/mo. per user
Set up feeFreeFree
Create account


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.

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.

GustoQuickBooks Payroll
Unlimited Payrolls
File 1099’s


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.

Screenshot of Gusto Software Benefits offerings
Gusto's software benefits screen

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, and flexible spending accounts.

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.

GustoQuickBooks Payroll
Health benefitsPay premiums onlyThrough SimplyInsured
Workers’ compPay premiums onlyPremiums + fees (fees waived for Premium and Elite)

HR tools

Time tracking

With Gusto’s Plus and Premium 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 All of Gusto’s products come with access to friendly customer support via phone, email, and chat Monday through Friday. Our FAQ and Help Center are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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, When I Work, and Xero. 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 and their main software offering, can integrate with other platforms, including Gusto.

Still deciding? Check out these 8 alternatives to QuickBooks for more options.

*Competitive data on this page was collected as of June 27th, 2022 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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