Gusto vs Zenefits

A quick and easy comparison guide

Gusto vs Zenefits

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 Zenefits and decide which platform is best for your payroll and HR needs.

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Compare pricing and features: Gusto vs Zenefits

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
Dollarextra fees
E-sign I-9 and W-4Checkmark
Lifetime access for employeesCheckmark
Household employer payrollX
International payrollDollar(International contractor add-on)
Health benefitsPay premiums only
DollarPremiums + fees
Workers’ compPay premiums only
Premiums + feesPremiums + fees
Available add-ons
  • Broker integration
  • 401(k) retirement
  • 529 college savings
  • Commuter benefits
  • Life and disability
  • HSA and FSA
  • Medical, Dental and Vision
  • HSA and FSA
  • Commuter
  • 401K
  • L&D
  • 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)
Recruiting add-onRecruiting add-on
Proactive compliance updatesCheckmark(Premium and HR add-on)
Certified HR prosCheckmark(Premium and HR add-on)
Advisory add-onAdvisory 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 March 20th, 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 BambooHR


Setup and monthly fees

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.

Zenefits starts with a bare bones “Essentials” plan at $8 per employee per month, and then offers two higher-tier plans at $16 and $21 per employee per month, respectively. But these prices are only available if you make an annual commitment. For month-to-month packages, the prices go up to $10, $20, and $27 per employee per month. 
It’s important to note that Zenefits is more HR-focused, and payroll isn’t included in any of their pricing plans. Instead, they offer payroll as an add-on service for an additional $6 per employee per month.

Finally, Zenefits isn’t built for start-ups and small businesses. They have a minimum requirement of 5 employees for any of their pricing plans. You can still use their service if you only have two or three employees on payroll, but you’ll still have to pay for all five.

Monthly FeeStarting at $40/mo. + $6/mo. per personNO upfront monthly pricing
Setup feeFreeFree for simple migration


Both Gusto and Zenefits 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, tips and wage garnishments, and both come with unlimited payroll runs each month. 

But Zenefits doesn’t support international payments, and some Zenefits users have reported issues with incorrect payroll deductions and incorrectly filed local taxes. 

Overall, Zenefits offers a competitive payroll service with many of the same features as Gusto’s robust, easy-to-use platform. There’s just one more catch—payroll isn’t included in any Zenefits packages. You’ll have to pay an additional $6 per employee per month no matter which tier you choose. 


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. 

Both Gusto and Zenefits offer a wide range of traditional health benefits like medical, dental, and vision along with worker’s comp, FSAs, and HSAs. While Zenefits says they offer commuter plans and “supplemental benefits” it’s unclear exactly what these options are or how much they cost to include. No matter which Gusto plan you choose, you’ll get access to a wide range of no-cost and low-cost options to fit any budget including commuter plans, 529 college savings plans, and the Gusto Wallet mobile app that lets employees manage their paychecks, save money, access emergency cash, and more. 

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 and 529 college savings. Zenefits charges fees on top of premiums you pay, and there is an administration fee of $5 per employee to transition your existing benefits.

HR tools

PTO & time tracking

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. Zenefits offers time tracking, scheduling, and PTO with all of their plans, but you’ll need to pay for the payroll add-on to sync any hours to payroll.  

If you already have a favorite time-tracking software, Gusto offers dozens of integrations to seamlessly integrate with payroll. Zenefits has just two time-tracking integrations: Quickbooks Time and Deputy.

Hiring & team management

As Zenefits is an HR platform at heart, all of their packages include basic onboarding, employee management, time-off tracking, and scheduling. Gusto offers basic hiring and onboarding tools like e-signing, offer letters, and secure document storage with all pricing plans, and for those who want more robust people management tools like time tracking, job postings, applicant tracking, and custom offer letters, you’ll need to sign up for a Plus or Premium plan.   

If you’re looking for access to certified HR Pros, both Zenefits and Gusto charge $8 per employee per month. But if you want to manage hiring with Zenefits, you’ll need to sign up for their “Recruiting” add-on that allows you to manage job postings for $35 a month. Looking to utilize applicant tracking software? The cost jumps to $215 per month with Zenefits. And their top-tier recruiting package comes in at a whopping $323 per month.  

When it comes to keeping your team happy and engaged, both Gusto and Zenefits offer employee engagement surveys, performance reviews, and people analytics, but they are included only in the top-tier “Zen” plan with Zenefits. Similarly, with Gusto, these tools are available on our Premium plan.

Hiring & Onboarding

Online offer lettersAll plansAll plans
Secure document vault and e-signingAll plansAll plans
Job PostingsPlus & Premium$35 per month recruiting add-on
Applicant Tracking SystemPlus & Premium$215 per month recruiting add-on

Team Management

Time trackingPlus & PremiumAll plans
SchedulingPlus & PremiumAll plans
PTO managementPlus & PremiumAll plans
Team directory and org chartPlus & PremiumAll plans 
Time-off requestsPlus & PremiumAll plans
Employee Engagement SurveysPremium“Zen” plan
People AnalyticsPremium“Zen” plan
Certified HR pros$8 per month HR add-on$8 per month HR add-on

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. 
Zenefits offers live phone support Monday to Friday from 6 a.m. – 4 p.m. PST. They also offer email support, though some reviews mention terrible experiences with customer service including long lag times, unhelpful agents, and unanswered emails.


Our payroll platform integrates with nearly 200 leading software tools for time tracking, expense management, point of sale (POS), accounting, and more. Check out our full list of integrations here.

Zenefits currently offers just 44 integrations, and users have reported issues with key integrations like Quickbooks and ADP.

list of software integration logos

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