Justworks vs Gusto

Gusto vs. Justworks: Both Gusto and Justworks offer payroll and HR support. They both received high marks in our evaluations of features and ease of use.

Gusto, a payroll software, helps you manage your payroll. Justworks is a professional employer organization (PEO) that ensures your business is compliant with HR and payroll laws.

With this overview in mind, let’s take a closer look at the details of these two HR solutions and the plans each of them offers.

Comparison of Gusto vs. Justworks

  Gusto Justworks
Plans Core, Complete, Concierge Basic, Plus
  • $6/month/employee + $39/month
  • $12/month/employee + $39/month
  • $12/month/employee + $149/month
  • <25 employees: $49 or $99/month/employee
  • 25-99 employees: $44 or $89/month/employee
  • 100-174 employees: $39 or $79/month/employee
Features Employee access to Gusto Cashout, PTO policies, benefits administration HR consulting, onboarding features, employee training
Free trial 30-day free trial No trial
Support 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday 24/7 by phone, email, Slack, SMS, online chat

More Extensive Comparison: Gusto vs. Justworks

  Gusto Justworks
Monthly fee Starting at $39/mo. + $6/mo. per user Starting at $49/mo. per employee (for businesses with <25 employees)
Setup fee Free Free
Unlimited payrolls checkmark icon checkmark icon
Automated federal and state tax filing checkmark icon checkmark icon
Direct deposit checkmark icon checkmark icon
File W-2s checkmark icon checkmark icon
File 1099s checkmark icon checkmark icon
Multiple pay rates and schedules checkmark icon checkmark icon
Multiple states checkmark icon checkmark icon
Contractor payments checkmark icon checkmark icon
E-sign I-9 and W-4 checkmark icon x icon
Lifetime access for employees checkmark icon x icon
Household employer payroll x icon x icon
International payroll x icon x icon
Health benefits Pay premiums only Pay premiums only (Plus)
Workers’ comp Pay premiums only Pay premiums only
Available addons 401(k) retirement529 college savingsCommuter benefits, Life and disability, HSA and FSA 401(k) retirement, Life and disability, HSA, and FSA, COBRA access
HR tools    
Time tracking checkmark icon (Complete and Concierge) checkmark icon
Team directory and org chart checkmark icon (Complete and Concierge) checkmark icon
Time-off requests checkmark icon (Complete and Concierge) checkmark icon
Online offer letters checkmark icon (Complete and Concierge) x icon
Secure document vault and e-signing checkmark icon (Complete and Concierge) checkmark icon
Custom employee handbook checkmark icon (Concierge) x icon
Job description and policy templates checkmark icon (Concierge) x icon
Proactive compliance updates checkmark icon (Concierge) checkmark icon
Certified HR pros checkmark icon (Concierge) x icon
Direct phone line for dedicated support checkmark icon (Concierge) checkmark icon
Custom Onboarding Checklist checkmark icon (Complete and Concierge) x icon
Software Provisioning checkmark icon (Complete and Concierge) x icon
QuickBooks checkmark icon checkmark icon
Xero checkmark icon checkmark icon
Google (G-suite) SSO checkmark icon x icon

Which one should you choose? We recommend both Gusto and Justworks for the following HR services in our Gusto vs. Justworks assessment:

  • Gusto – This software is ideal for small businesses that need affordable, feature-rich software to help them process payroll faster and add HR support.
  • Justworks This is the best option for businesses that need to outsource their HR compliance support.

Visit Gusto

Visit Justworks

Visit the Best Payroll Services for 2022

In some instances, neither Gusto nor Justworks may be the best. We found an alternative if you cannot choose between professional employer organizations (PEO) or HR software.

  • Rippling – This is the best option for companies looking to grow and need to switch off their PEO while still having access to the HR payroll system they are familiar with.

Why Choose Gusto?

Gusto is an excellent option for small businesses that need payroll. It has many payment options, including next-day direct deposits, and offers a variety of benefits to employees. Gusto is more software than a service. It integrates with many other apps that small businesses use. It offers many benefits for the price.

Why Choose Justworks?

Justworks is more than software. Justworks handles payroll and files taxes on your behalf under its employer identification number. It also manages benefits for employees. This is the best option for companies who need payroll and HR benefits but don’t have time or expertise.

It also works well for larger companies that are willing to give up some control in exchange for being freed from the administrative duties of HR.

Gusto Pros & Cons


  • Easy to use, affordable, and full-featured
  • Provides the most essential HR benefits such as health and 401(k).
  • Integrates with much third-party software


  • Only 39 states offer health insurance
  • To receive next-day direct deposit, you will need to upgrade to the premium plan
  • Businesses scaling up quickly may not find it flexible enough

Justworks Pros & Cons


  • Affordable PEO program
  • Handles compliances, take legal responsibility
  • 24/7 customer service


  • Some HR functions are less easily controlled
  • Gusto charges per employee are more expensive than Gusto
  • Integrations are limited

Gusto is the most affordable:

Gusto is cheaper than Justworks. Its starter plan costs $39 per employee plus $6 per month. Justworks Basic tier monthly fees start at $49 per person. While pricing is important, remember that you only get what you pay.

Gusto is far more affordable, but it’s a payroll program with limited time tracking and HR tools. Justworks offers PEO services. It does more administrative work and can take on additional responsibilities.

Gusto is the best payroll feature:

Gusto allows you to manage all types of employees’ payroll. It works in the same way as Justworks and calculates and remits payment, files state, local, and federal taxes, and performs end-of-year tax reporting. It can also handle multiple pay rates, tips credit, garnishments, and PTO policies, as well as multistate payroll.

Pay employees via check, direct deposit, or by pay card. Employees can even get a cashout to receive up to 40% of their paycheck via the Gusto Wallet app’s Cashout feature.

The Complete and Concierge plans include time, workforce, and project tracking. However, if you already use a time- and attendance system, Gusto can integrate with it.

Justworks Payroll: When should you consider it?

Although Justworks doesn’t offer multiple pay options or Gusto’s Cashout, it can still process your payroll. Justworks allows employees to be paid by direct deposit, but you can also send checks. However, you will need the printout and shipping instructions.

It can handle all types of payouts, including tips, off-cycle pay, bonuses, and contractor/vendor payments. It integrates with QuickBooks Time.

However, it also allows you to use Justworks Hours, a time tracking tool available as a paid addon. It is free to try it as of this writing, and you will only need to pay $5 per month if you want the paid addon.

Justworks is the best for HR and Employee Benefits

Justworks will put you in an enterprise-level insurance plan as a PEO. This means that you get lower rates, and they are available in every state. It is compatible with UnitedHealth, Kaiser, and Aetna. It offers dental and vision, HSA/FSA, and medical reimbursement programs.

Justworks is a partner with Slavic and takes fiduciary liability for 401(k), so your employees can enjoy this benefit without taking on legal risk.

Gusto and Justworks offer workers’ compensation through AP Intego. They also have HR experts available to answer any questions you may have on compliance. However, Justworks puts a lot of emphasis on compliance. It offers training online for sexual harassment prevention and discrimination prevention.

Gusto: Employee Benefits & HR

Gusto is a broker for health insurance and has access to more than 3,500 plans from over 100 carriers who work with small businesses. It can help you find the right plan for your employees.

It is unavailable in 11 states: Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Montana. North Dakota, South Dakota. West Virginia and Wyoming. However, Gusto may be a good choice if you are located in one of these areas.

Gusto’s compliance service is more straightforward than Justworks. It includes workers’ compensation compliance, new hire reporting, and compliance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Health Insurance Portability and Account Act (HIPAA), and Employee Retirement Income Security Act Act (ERISA). It handles garnishments of child support for all other states than South Carolina.

Gusto is the best for ease of use, customer support & integrations

We compared Justworks and Gusto and found both programs to have intuitive interfaces that make it easy to find what you need. Both offer in-app support, online guides, and access to HR professionals for expert advice on compliance, payroll, HR, and HR issues.

Both offer email, chat, and phone support. However, Justworks is available 24/7, while Gusto only during business hours.

Gusto offers a more extensive network than Justworks if you require third-party integrations. Only QuickBooks Time, QuickBooks, and Xero can be connected to the latter, while the former integrates with accounting and hiring, time tracking, learning management, legal, POS, and other collaboration tools.

Gusto vs. Justworks – What Users Think

  • Gusto: Gusto received an average rating from third-party sites such as Capterra and G2 of 4.5/5 (as of this writing). Users give it high marks for its user-friendly interface and extensive feature set. The employee portal and onboarding were highly praised by employees, while managers appreciated the ease of managing payroll and automation. Customer support can be a mixed bag. Some users say that the support team is helpful, while others complain about delayed getting their responses.
  • Justworks With an average rating on G2 and Capterra of 4.7/ 5, many users rave about the same three aspects: ease-of-use, intuitiveness, customer service, and simplicity. The benefits they can offer employees are also appreciated. Some people wished it had more reporting and integration options, such as a robust PTO calculator.

Need assistance selecting a payroll provider? This guide will help you choose the right one for your company.

Bottom line

Gusto vs. Justworks: The main questions to ask when deciding between Gusto and Justworks are: How much HR work will you pass on to another person? And how important it is for you to provide competitively priced insurance rates.

Both programs provide user-friendly software and access to benefits. They also offer full-service payroll, tax filings, and year-end reports. Gusto allows you to manage your benefits and payroll yourself. Justworks provides a PEO service that takes over many of your HR tasks.

Gusto is an excellent option for small businesses that need a payroll solution. It has essential HR tools, robust third-party integrations, and affordable pricing.

Although it doesn’t offer Justworks’ PEO and extensive insurance coverage (Gusto is limited to only 39 states), Gusto offers employees a variety of benefits. It allows them to advance access to a portion of their salary in the event of an emergency. Register today for a free trial.

author avatar
Brian Wilson Writer and Editor
Brian Wilson is the content manager and founder of LLC Radar. Brian grew up in North Texas, just outside of Dallas, and has a bachelor's degree in business from Southern Methodist University. Since graduating from SMU, Brian has gained over 10 years of experience in business writing for several online publications. Brian resides in Plano, Texas and he can be reached by email:   info@llcradar.com Phone: 972-776-4050

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