8 Best Gusto Competitors & Alternatives for Startups in 2024

Man standing in his office.

Payroll software can save entrepreneurs time and effort by automating payroll and streamlining employee management processes. Payroll services for startups aren’t one-size-fits-all, however. 

Whether you’re a solopreneur, small business, or fast-scaling startup, finding the right payroll software for your business is crucial. If you aren’t sure that Gusto is the right choice for you, see how these Gusto alternatives measure up and whether one will be the right fit for your team.

Top Alternatives to Gusto

Gusto is a great payroll software for a variety of business types and sizes. However, there are several Gusto competitors offering similar services to consider when choosing payroll software for your startup. These are the top Gusto alternatives and how they compare to Gusto based on price, features, and more key considerations.

1. OnPay

OnPay is a payroll, benefits, and HR software solution built for small businesses. With OnPay, customers gain all the essentials to help manage their employees, from automating payroll to issuing benefits in any state. 

A few of the most notable features offered by OnPay include: 

  • Unlimited monthly pay runs
  • Features for W-2 and 1099 workers 
  • Multi-state payroll, available in all 50 states 
  • Pay by direct deposit, debit card, or check
  • Health and dental benefits in all 50 states 

Unlike many competitors, OnPay only offers one plan, which starts at $40 per month plus $6 per user per month. While this limits customers’ ability to choose a plan tailored to their needs as they would with Gusto, it ensures that small businesses are able to obtain the necessary features at a low price with no hidden costs. 

Learn more by reading our full OnPay review.

2. ADP

Run Powered by ADP is a payroll solution created for businesses in a range of sizes from 1 to 1,000+ employees. This is an easy-to-use, comprehensive payroll solution that gets the job done. ADP is a well-known brand trusted by over 1 million businesses and boasts high customer ratings compared to some competitors. 

Some of the most noteworthy features offered by ADP include: 

  • Payroll via app, desktop, or phone with direct deposit 
  • Multi-company management 
  • Google Ads tools 
  • Tax and compliance features built-in 

ADP doesn’t offer pricing information on its website. However, it is important to note that customers are priced per payroll run, which may be an advantage or disadvantage, depending on how many payroll runs your business completes each month. 

3. QuickBooks

QuickBooks is a popular name in business software solutions. Their payroll software comes in three packages and can be easily bundled with their widely used bookkeeping software. 

The platform boasts features to help entrepreneurs manage their payroll, benefits, taxes, and time tracking all in one place — a one-stop shop for employee management. 

Some key features of QuickBooks payroll software: 

  • Same-day direct deposit 
  • Tax calculation, filing, and payment 
  • Time tracking features 

QuickBooks offers three payroll software packages: Payroll Core ($45/month + $6/user/month), Payroll Premium ($80/month + $8/user/month), and Payroll Elite ($125/month + $10/month/user)

While their prices are slightly higher than Gusto’s, QuickBooks still provides valuable features for the price. Not to mention, customers already using QuickBooks can easily fold the payroll software into their current tech stack. 

4. Square Payroll

Known primarily for its point of sale (POS) systems, Square offers even more business services, including its payroll software. The platform boasts several features that are crafted with the service industry in mind, making it easier to dispense tips and manage time-clocking. 

Here are a few of the most notable features included with Square Payroll: 

  • Tax preparation and filing services
  • Automatic tip and commission tracking and import 
  • Multi-state payroll 
  • Automatic time tracking 

Square Payroll is priced lower than several of its competitors at $35 per month plus $6 per user per month. They also offer a contractor plan similar to Gusto that only requires users to pay $6 per contractor being paid. 

5. Paychex

Paychex is an HR, benefits, and payroll solution used by over 700,000 businesses. The company offers tailored solutions depending on business size, from self-employed, 1-19 employees, 20-49 employees, to 50-1,000+ employees. With an easy-to-use dashboard and features included to improve the employee experience, Paychex is built to help companies retain employees. 

Some notable features included on the Paychex platform include: 

  • 24/7, US-based chat and phone support
  • Calculate, file, and pay payroll taxes 
  • Financial wellness and cash flow assistance for employees
  • Analytics and reporting features 

Pricing for Paychex payroll software starts at $39 per month plus $5 per user per month for their Essentials package. There are two more packages offered by Paychex, Select and Pro, but you are required to request a quote for more information on pricing. 

6. Rippling

Rippling is a workforce platform that provides solutions for a variety of employee management needs. On the Rippling platform, customers can choose between HR Cloud, IT Cloud, Finance Cloud, or Rippling Unity (or a combination of the three). 

HR Cloud is the payroll, benefits, and HR software offered by the company. The service boasts usability for businesses with between two and 2,000 employees throughout the entire employee lifecycle from onboarding to offboarding. 

Here are a few of the noteworthy features included: 

  • Global payroll 
  • Integrations for the recruiting process 
  • Time tracking for hourly employees 
  • Performance reviews, compensation, and goal management 

Pricing for Rippling starts at $8 per month per user. However, rather than offering standard pricing, Rippling requires users to connect with the company to build a custom quote for individual services. 

7. Patriot Software

Patriot Software is a payroll and accounting software company offering low-cost services, US-based customer support, and basic employee management features. Their easy-to-use, no-frills platform makes managing payroll simple. 

Some of the most notable features of Patriot Software include: 

  • Two-day direct deposit 
  • Unlimited payroll 
  • Time-off accruals 
  • Free expert support 

Patriot Software’s pricing is super competitive, starting at $17 per month plus $4 per employee or contractor for their Basic Package and $37 per month plus $4 per employee for their Full Service Payroll package. 

8. Trinet

Formerly Zenefits, Trinet is an HR platform with services for managing payroll and navigating tax season. The platform is built to automate and streamline processes, saving time and effort on employee management tasks. 

A few of the most notable features included with Trinet: 

  • Extensive expense management and reporting features
  • Time tracking and scheduling 
  • Tax filing and preparation 
  • ePay stubs and electronic W-2 preparation 

Trinet’s pricing is slightly complicated. In order to receive payroll features, you will need to commit to their Zen package at $33 per employee per month. Or, opt for payroll processing as an add-on to their other packages for $6 per user per month.