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Gusto vs. ADP: Unraveling the Best Payroll Services for Your Business

In the bustling world of business, handling payroll can be a daunting task. Today, we’re taking a close look at two titans in this field: Gusto vs. ADP. This comparison aims to resolve the confusion and equip you with valuable insights to make a confident choice in selecting the right payroll service for your business. Let’s get started!

In the following video, I share my experience of using ADP and Gusto Payroll, while also comparing it with other Payroll services like Paychex, and QuickBooks. It’s important to find a good payroll service that will make doing payroll a breeze for you:

Disclaimer- I am not an attorney or a CPA, just a small business owner who has researched this information thoroughly for my own business.

If you’re looking at setting up a 401k for your business and want more hand-holding, I recommend a service like ADP. I say this about ADP because Gusto is great for self-service, and you pay less for that reason, but when you need more service to ensure your 401k is running smoothly, you may want to check out a service like ADP.

Gusto vs. ADP:

Gusto: A Holistic View

Gusto is a modern, cloud-based platform providing an all-in-one solution for payroll, benefits, and HR. Renowned for its simplicity and intuitive interface, Gusto offers full-service payroll alongside features such as time tracking, health insurance, 401(k) retirement plans, and team management tools. The service streamlines administrative work, ensuring small to medium businesses operate smoothly.

Disclaimer- I am not an attorney or a CPA, just a small business owner who has researched this information thoroughly for my own business.

ADP: Powering the World of Work

Automatic Data Processing, commonly known as ADP, is a comprehensive global provider of cloud-based Human Capital Management (HCM) solutions. With decades of experience under its belt, ADP offers services encompassing payroll, time and attendance, talent management, and HR services. From small businesses to multinational corporations, ADP caters to a vast array of industries with bespoke solutions.

The Importance of Payroll Services

Payroll services handle the time-consuming tasks of payroll processing and employee payment. These services ensure accurate tax calculations, compliance with tax laws, efficient employee payment, and timely tax filings. Effective payroll management is integral to your business, boosting employee morale, ensuring legal compliance, and offering significant time and cost savings.

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Gusto: Deep-Dive Review

Gusto’s platform prioritizes user-friendliness, making it an excellent choice for small businesses. Payroll runs are automated, taxes are filed and paid on your behalf, and employees can easily access their pay stubs and tax forms.

Beyond payroll, Gusto’s concierge service offers access to certified HR professionals, enhancing your team’s ability to navigate complex workforce issues. Their transparent pricing, with plans starting from $39/month plus $6 per person, adds to their appeal.


  • Payroll processing: Gusto automates the entire payroll process, allowing you to calculate and run payroll with ease. It handles tasks such as calculating employee wages, deductions, and tax withholdings.
  • Employee self-service: Gusto provides an employee self-service portal where employees can access their pay stubs, tax forms, and update their personal information. They can also submit time-off requests and view their vacation balances.
  • Tax filings and payments: Gusto takes care of all federal, state, and local payroll tax filings on your behalf. It calculates the taxes owed, generates tax forms (such as W-2s and 1099s), and files them with the appropriate agencies. Gusto also facilitates tax payments, making sure you stay compliant.
  • Direct deposit and paycards: With Gusto, you can offer direct deposit to your employees, allowing them to receive their wages directly into their bank accounts. Alternatively, Gusto also supports paycards, which are reloadable debit cards that can be used by employees without a bank account.
  • New hire onboarding: Gusto streamlines the onboarding process for new employees. It collects all the necessary information, such as tax forms and employment agreements, and guides new hires through the paperwork, making the process efficient and paperless.
  • Time tracking integration: Gusto integrates with various time tracking systems, making it easy to import employee hours and calculate accurate payroll. This integration eliminates manual data entry and reduces errors.
  • PTO tracking: Gusto allows you to track and manage paid time off (PTO) for your employees. You can set up your company’s PTO policies, track accrued balances, and enable employees to request time off directly through the employee self-service portal.
  • Benefits administration: Gusto provides tools to manage employee benefits, including health insurance, retirement plans, and commuter benefits. It helps you track eligibility, enroll employees, and handle deductions for benefits.
  • Reports and analytics: Gusto generates a variety of payroll reports that provide insights into your payroll data. You can access reports such as payroll summaries, tax filings, and employee details. These reports help you analyze your payroll expenses and stay compliant with reporting requirements.
  • Integration with accounting software: Gusto seamlessly integrates with popular accounting software platforms like QuickBooks and Xero. This integration ensures that your payroll data is accurately transferred to your accounting system, simplifying your financial processes.

As a small business owner, you’re managing more than ever — and you can’t afford mistakes. You need a trusted payroll and HR platform that can free you up to drive your business forward.

Price List

Here’s a comparison box outlining the different Gusto Payroll service plans along with their respective prices:

PRICE PER MONTH$39 base fee$39 base fee$149 base fee
+ $6 per person+ $12 per person+ 12 per person
Full Service Payroll
Employee Self-Service
Direct Deposit
Tax Filings and Payments
New hire onboarding
Time-tracking integration
PTO tracking
Health benefits
Retirement benefits
Worker’s compensation
HR Support
Additional FeaturesState tax filings and formsState tax filings and formsState tax filings and forms
Employee cashoutEmployee cashoutEmployee cashout
FICA tip creditFICA tip creditFICA tip credit
Certified HR AdvisorsCertified HR AdvisorsCertified HR Advisors
Certified HR Pros
Dedicated support team
Pricing may vary based on factors such as the size of your business and any additional services or add-ons you may require.

ADP: In-Depth Review

With ADP, businesses get a lot more than just payroll. Their highly customizable solutions include time and attendance tracking, HR management, talent acquisition, and employee benefits.

ADP offers two main packages for small businesses, “Run” for up to 49 employees and “Workforce Now” for 50-999 employees. Each package offers different levels of service, and pricing varies based on your specific needs.


  • Robust Payroll Processing: ADP manages everything from calculating pay, taxes, and deductions to directly depositing salaries into your employees’ accounts.
  • Tax Compliance: ADP’s system ensures your business meets all state and federal tax requirements, reducing the chance of costly fines and penalties. 
  • Employee Access: Employees can easily access their payroll information through a user-friendly portal, allowing for better transparency and communication.
  • HR Services: In addition to payroll, ADP also offers additional HR services such as talent management, benefits administration, and time and attendance solutions.

As a small business owner, you’re managing more than ever — and you can’t afford mistakes. You need a trusted payroll and HR platform that can free you up to drive your business forward.

Price List

ADP Payroll has various plans with different features to cater to the unique needs of businesses. The pricing typically ranges from $59 per month to $179 per month, depending on the size of your business and the services you need.

To make it easier for you to decide, let’s compare the features and prices of their popular plans:

Essential$59 per month
Basic Payroll, Employee Access, W-2s & 1099s
Enhanced$99 per monthEssential Features + State Unemployment Insurance Management, Garnishment Payment Service
Complete$149 per monthEnhanced Features + Job Posting & Applicant Tracking, ZipRecruiter®
HR Pro$179 per monthComplete Features + Employee Handbook Wizard, HR HelpDesk Support, Employee Training & Development
Please note that prices may vary based on specific needs and additional services. Always confirm with the service provider for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Gusto vs. ADP Comparison Box

Let’s compare the services offered with the 2 Payroll Options:

Payroll Processing
Tax Filing & Compliance
Employee Self-Service
Time & Attendance Tracking
HR Management
Benefits Administration
Talent Acquisition
Customizable Solutions

Gusto vs. ADP: Pricing

Creating a detailed comparison box for Gusto and ADP is a bit tricky, as Gusto has a straightforward pricing model with exact figures available, while ADP works on a quote-based system tailored to each business’s specific needs. That said, here’s a comparison of Gusto’s pricing tiers:

Basic Plan$39/mo + $6/mo per person$59 per month
Complete Plan$39/mo + $12/mo per person$149 per month
Concierge Plan$149/mo + $12/mo per person$179 per month

To get a clearer understanding of how much ADP’s payroll services might cost your business, it’s recommended to get in touch with ADP directly for a customized quote based on your specific needs.

Hidden Fees

Gusto operates with transparency, and there are no hidden fees. The cost depends on the plan you choose, and you’re only billed for the employees who use the service each month.

ADP, however, does not disclose its pricing upfront. While it allows for more customized solutions, there could be potential additional charges based on your needs, so it’s wise to request a detailed quote.

Public Opinion on Gusto and ADP Payroll

Both Gusto and ADP have their fair share of fans. Gusto users often laud its simplicity, ease of use, and transparency in pricing. However, some users wish for more advanced HR functions.

ADP is praised for its robust features, scalability, and customer service. On the flip side, some users express concerns over its complex pricing structure and steep learning curve.

When it comes to choosing between Gusto and ADP, it boils down to your business size and needs. Gusto is fantastic for small to medium businesses seeking an easy-to-use, straightforward solution. ADP, on the other hand, is a powerhouse capable of handling the complex needs of larger businesses.

In the realm of Gusto vs. ADP, it’s about finding the perfect match for your unique business needs. So, equip yourself with these insights and choose wisely!


Choosing the right payroll service can dramatically streamline your business operations. In the Gusto vs. ADP standoff, both offer compelling advantages. Gusto shines with its simplicity and transparency, while ADP brings in-depth, customizable solutions for businesses of all sizes. Take your pick according to your specific needs and take your business to new heights.

If you’re looking at setting up a 401k for your business and you want more hand-holding, then I would recommend a service like ADP. The reason I say this about ADP is that Gusto is great for self-service, and you pay less for that reason, but when you need more service to make sure your 401k is running smoothly, then you may want to check out a service like ADP.

Our content is independently researched and reviewed. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Learn more

About Us

Hi, I’m Eric Worral, and I Want to help you start a business.

You should know I’m one of those people that sees an obscure stat or quote and I won’t be able to shake it… it just follows me around like a shadow.

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