Gusto vs TriNet

A quick and easy comparison guide

Gusto vs TriNet

HR software makes it easier to manage your team, simplify payroll, and stay compliant with federal and state regulations. But how do you decide which HR software is right for your business? Below, you can compare Gusto with TriNet and decide which platform is best for your payroll and HR needs.

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Compare pricing and features: Gusto vs TriNet

Monthly feeStarting at $40/mo + $6/mo per person
Setup feeFree
Extra feesExtra fees
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)
Contractor paymentsCheckmark
Extra feesExtra fees
E-sign I-9 and W-4Checkmark
Lifetime access for employeesCheckmark
Household employer payrollX
International payrollDollar(International contractor add-on)
Only onboard, not payOnly onboard, not pay
Health benefitsPay premiums only
Premiums + feesPremiums + fees
Workers’ compPay premiums only
Premiums + feesPremiums + fees
Available add-ons
  • Broker integration
  • 401(k) retirement
  • Commuter benefits
  • Life and disability
  • HSA and FSA
  • Medical
  • Dental
  • Vision
  • HSA and FSA
  • Commuter benefits
  • 401(k) retirement
  • Life and disability
  • Supplemental
HR tools
Time trackingCheckmark(Plus and Premium)
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)
Proactive compliance updatesCheckmark(Premium and HR add-on)
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)
Partner apps onlyPartner apps only
Google (G-suite) SSOCheckmark

*Competitive data on this page was collected as of March 2023 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.

Clipart of three people
Clipart of three people

What to consider when choosing a payroll provider?

  • What’s included in pricing?

    Many platforms offer lots of bells and whistles—but all at additional cost that can quickly add up. Look for a payroll provider that doesn’t charge extra for every feature you want to add.

  • Find a provider that can grow with you.

    A payroll solution that focuses on enterprises might not give growing businesses what they need. Select a payroll company that will work for where you are today and one that can grow with you in the future.

  • Is it easy to switch?

    Migrating your payroll data could be a daunting task, and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Ask about this process, and ask about what kind of onboarding support they offer for new customers.

  • How can I get help when I need it?

    Getting in touch with customer support should be simple and easy, with ample resources at your fingertips to help you get the most of your new payroll software. Ask about online, email, chat, and phone support.

Comparison details: Gusto vs TriNet


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.


Employee Benefits

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.

Benefits Administration

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.

HR tools

Employee self-service

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.

Team management

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. 

Customer service

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.

list of software integration logos

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