Gusto offers straightforward monthly plans with options starting at a monthly base fee of $40, plus an additional $6 per employee per month. If you don’t have W-2 employees, you can use Gusto to pay your contractors for just $35/month plus $6/month per contractor (only in the months you pay them). There are no hidden fees, you can cancel anytime, and our base price includes setup, tax filing, multiple payroll runs, reporting, and other essentials.
How does that compare with TriNet? We wish we could tell you. While their pricing is on a flat, per-employee-per-month (PEPM) basis, they don’t provide any information on what’s included or what those prices might be. According to analysis from the Small Business Guide, TriNet costs between $80 and $600 per employee per month. According to Forbes, you can expect to pay at least $150 per employee per month just for basic payroll and benefits administration.
Every TriNet plan comes with payroll, risk mitigation, benefits, HR support, and the technology platform, but if you want to find out how much it’s gonna cost, you’ll have to fill out a form and request a quote.
Both Gusto and TriNet can run your payroll in just a few clicks. Both platforms automatically calculate and file all federal, state, and local taxes every time you run payroll. Both platforms support multiple pay rates and schedules across multiple states, and both come with unlimited payroll runs each month.
But TriNet doesn’t have support for contractors on your payroll, they can’t generate or file 1099s, and they don’t support international payments or tip allocation.
Overall, TriNet is an HR-focused PEO that offers some payroll functionality, while payroll is what Gusto knows best.
We know you want to give your employees the best. That’s why Gusto provides leading medical, dental, and vision benefits with all of our plans. Our team has licensed health insurance brokers in 37 U.S. states and counting offering 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.
In addition to a wide range of traditional health benefits, both Gusto and TriNet offer worker’s comp, 401(k)s, FSAs, and HSAs along with compliance support for COBRA and ACA.
What sets Gusto apart is our wide range of no-cost and low-cost options including commuter plans and the Gusto Wallet mobile app that lets employees manage their paychecks, save money, access emergency cash, and more. TriNet does offer supplemental benefits like critical accident and illness policies, access to auto and home policies, and commuter benefits, but they fall short when it comes to no-cost, employee-focused perks to help attract and retain talent no matter your budget.
TriNet isn’t just an HR and payroll tool to help you run your business. TriNet is a PEO, meaning your company enters into a shared employment relationship. TriNet becomes the “employer of record” and is responsible for payroll and payroll tax compliance, benefits administration, workers’ compensation, processing unemployment claims, and other administrative tasks.
Partnering with a PEO can take a lot of admin off your plate, but it also gives you limited flexibility with your benefits. With Gusto, you can craft a flexible, custom package of low-cost, no-cost, and premium benefits options that meets both your needs and budget, no matter how many employees you’re taking care of. And your benefits package can always grow as your business grows.
And finally, with Gusto, benefits administration is always included, and the only costs are the premiums for the plan you choose. There are no set up fees for 401(k) retirement plans. As with all PEOs, TriNet charges per-employee fees on top of any premiums you pay.
Gusto’s self-onboarding makes adding new team members a breeze while confidential information stays confidential. And with Gusto’s lifetime employee access, employees will always be able to access their W-2s and benefits information without having to contact anyone on your team—no matter how long it’s been since they left the company.
Time Tracking & PTO
Gusto’s Plus and Premium plans include time tracking, so employees can track hours, request paid time off, and easily view PTO straight from their accounts. And any approved hours automatically sync to payroll.
TriNet recently released time tracking with employee clock-ins, along with scheduling and time and attendance reporting, but it’s unclear if any scheduling or hours will automatically sync to payroll. They also lack integrations with your favorite time-tracking software you already know and love.
And as with almost all features in TriNet, your cost per employee per month goes up with each feature you add.
Hiring & onboarding
Both Gusto and TriNet offer a full suite of tools to help you hire, onboard, and retain your team. While basic tools like e-signing, onboarding checklists, and secure document storage are included with all of Gusto’s plans, our Plus and Premium plans give you access to advanced tools like applicant tracking, job postings, and customizable workflows.
Looking for dedicated HR support but don’t need all the bells and whistles of our Premium plan? You can add HR specialist support to the Plus plan for just $8 per employee per month.
With TriNet, their job posting and onboarding tools are included whether you need them or not, but their applicant tracking system is only available through their hiring platform, TriNet Hire. And while they can help you hire and onboard international applicants—they can’t help you pay them.
With Gusto’s Premium plan, you get access to employee engagement surveys, performance management, career development resources, and robust people analytics. We also integrate with leading performance management and rewards apps including Lattice, 15Five, CultureAmp, and more.
TriNet also has an impressive suite of people management tools, but they are only available as expensive, individual add-ons. You’ll have to add Connect 360, Talent Retention, and Strategic HR to meet the same features and functionality available with Gusto.
All of Gusto’s plans come with full access to our friendly sales and customer support teams via phone, email, and chat Monday through Friday. And our FAQ and Help Center are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Companies with more than 10 employees also benefit from our dedicated onboarding support team.
TriNet offers live phone support from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m. ET Monday through Friday, along with email and chat support. But according to SelectHub, more than 70% of reviews who mentioned contacting customer service by phone said it was slow and hard to get through to a person. An analysis from Forbes confirms their customer service representatives often struggle to answer even basic questions.
Our payroll platform integrates with nearly 200 leading software tools for time tracking, expense management, point of sale (POS), accounting, and more. And we never charge extra for integrations. Check out our full list of integrations here.
TriNet currently has just 12 integrations listed on their site.