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  7. 2023 Gusto vs. Justworks:...

Edited by: Kimberlee Leonard
 and Reviewed: Kimberlee Leonard

2023 Gusto vs. Justworks: What We Recommend & Why

Author: | Sep 11, 2023

Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on Go Sifter Advisor. Commissions do not affect our editors’ opinions or evaluations.

When it comes to choosing between Justworks vs. Gusto, there are a few key differences you should be aware of. While Gusto and Justworks both offer payroll, tax filing, HR tools, onboarding, benefits administration, analytics, and integrations with accounting apps, they are structured differently.

Gusto is a popular payroll service provider that offers HR and human management features.

Justworks is a professional employer organization (PEO), meaning that when you contract with it, it becomes a co-employer and takes over essential administrative functions for (and shares liability with) your business.

We analyzed each company and compared their features, cost, user reviews, and software integrations to determine the best payroll + HR software solution for small businesses. 

Deciding Factors

PricePlans start at $40/month, plus $6/month per person, or $6/month per contractor for the contractor-only planPlans start at $59/month per employee for your first 49 employees
ScalabilityDesigned to grow with small to mid-sized businessesBest for businesses with between 2-200 employees
Ease of UseEasy to set up and useHighly rated user interface and customer support
IntegrationsIntegrates with popular accounting and business softwareCurrently offers integrations with four accounting software apps
Employee Benefits✔️✔️
Customer ServiceAvailable M-F 6 AM-5 PMAvailable 24/7

Gusto vs. Justworks: Features

While Gusto is a payroll service provider and Justworks is a PEO, both provide the following features:

  • Automated payroll
  • Tax filing
  • Direct deposit
  • Employee and contractor payments
  • Time tracking
  • Onboarding
  • Benefits administration 
  • Unemployment insurance services
  • Reporting
  • Customer support

Customers who choose Justworks’ higher-tier plan can access medical, dental, and vision insurance, Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) administration for individuals whose employment status changes, and time tracking tools. Gusto offers the following features as add-ons:

  • International contractor payments
  • State tax registration
  • Workers’ comp
  • Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)
  • Life and disability insurance
  • Retirement plans

Gusto and Justworks are well-matched with features, offering the payroll, benefits administration, and HR features that small business owners need to scale their businesses.

However, we chose Justworks as the feature winner due to its superior customer support and more extensive health benefits coverage.

Deciding Features

  • Employee health benefits in 37 states 
  • Customer support available Monday-Friday, 6 AM-5 PM PT
  • National health coverage
  • 24/7 customer support

Gusto vs. Justworks: Cost

Gusto Plans

If you need to pay your employees and provide benefits, Gusto has you covered. It also offers a contractor-only plan for employers who only need to pay 1099 workers.

Simple: This plan starts at $40/month, plus $6/month per person. It includes single-state payroll, onboarding tools, reporting, and integrations with business software.

Plus: The Plus plan starts at $80/month, plus $12/month per person. The Plus plan includes everything in the Simple plan, plus multi-state payroll, next-day direct deposit, time-tracking tools, and employee surveys. You can add a time kiosk to this plan for an additional $4/month per person, or add extra HR support and resources for an additional $8/month per person.

Premium: This plan includes everything in the Plus plan and is priced based on your business’s unique needs. It includes more HR resources, health insurance broker integration, and the time kiosk. 

Contractor: The contractor-only plan starts at $6/month per contractor and includes new hire reporting and 4-day direct deposit. The base fee increases to $35/month plus $6/month per contractor after your first six months. 

Justworks Plans

The main difference between Justworks’ Basic and Plus plans is that you can access medical, dental, and vision insurance with the Plus plan.

Basic: This plan includes payroll, benefits administration, and HR and compliance services. The Basic plan is $59/month per employee for your first 49 employees, then $49/month per employee from your 50th employee and beyond. 

Plus: The Plus plan includes everything in the Basic plan, as well as medical, dental, and vision benefits. The Plus plan is $99/month per employee for your first 49 employees, then $89/month per employee for your 50th employee and up. 

Payroll: If you only need payroll, Justworks’ Payroll plan includes tax returns, timecards, integration with QuickBooks Online, and reporting features for $10/month plus $5/month per employee. Justworks Payroll is only available in New York, California, Texas, Florida, Massachusetts, Illinois, New Jersey, Georgia, Arizona, Maine, Colorado, and DC.

Gusto and Justworks offer similar features but are structured differently, meaning that the cost comparison is not as cut and dried as choosing the company with the cheapest plans. While both companies provide payroll, time tracking, onboarding, and HR services, as a PEO, Justworks can take over much of the legal and administrative responsibilities.

Benefits administration comes with all employee plans for both companies: Gusto customers that use it as their health insurance broker only pay health insurance premiums while Justworks customers can get access to health insurance usually reserved for larger companies and pay based on the number of employees that sign up. 

However, Gusto wins the cost round in Justworks vs. Gusto as Gusto’s employee plans are more affordable for small businesses and its contractor-only plan for employers that need to pay freelancers and other 1099 workers is more widely available (in all 50 states) than Justworks’ Payroll plan. 

Gusto vs. Justworks: User Reviews 

We analyzed user reviews on Reddit, TrustPilot, and G2 to determine that Justworks is the customer favorite.

When it comes to Gusto vs. Justworks reviews on Reddit, small business owners say they like Gusto due to its ease of use and good customer service, although Justworks gets good reviews thanks to its user interface. 

TrustPilot reviewers give Justworks a 4.3 star (out of 5) rating, praising its customer service, ease of setup and maintenance, and interface and reporting. Gusto gets a lower 3.4 rating on TrustPilot due to issues with customer support. 

G2 reviewers give Justworks 4.6 stars (out of 5) thanks to its user interface and customer service. Gusto’s G2 rating is slightly lower at 4.4 stars, with reviewers reporting customer support issues. 

Gusto vs. Justworks: Integration With Other Software

As for integrations, Gusto is the winner, as it offers integrations with its own apps and popular third-party accounting, time tracking, onboarding, point of sale (POS), and analytics software.  

Justworks currently only integrates with the following accounting software: Xero, QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Desktop, and Greenhouse. 

Gusto vs. Justworks: Which Is Best For My Business Needs

If you are a small to mid-sized business looking for a cost-effective payroll service, look no further than Gusto. However, if you are a small business owner with 2-200 employees who wants an all-in-one PEO with a solid selection of HR tools, Justworks is your best choice. 

Gusto vs. Justworks Comparison: The Final Verdict

So which is best overall for small business owners in 2023, Gusto or Justworks? It was a tough call, as both companies offer similar features and unique benefits. 

Justworks offers some of the following advantages over Gusto:

  • Slightly better customer reviews
  • Shares liability as a co-employer
  • Offers a time-tracking app for employers
  • Provides more coverage for employee health benefits
  • More accessible customer service

However, Gusto offers more accounting and business software integrations and many of the same features as Justworks (including payroll, tax filing, onboarding, reporting, and benefits administration) but at a lower price, making Gusto the winner.


Who are Gusto’s competitors?

Some of Gusto’s top competitors include Square Payroll and ADP Payroll, which both offer comprehensive HR features, time tracking tools, and benefits administration. Intuit Online Payroll is a strong Gusto competitor for users who need accounting integrations, and Paychex offers excellent analytics and reporting capabilities.

Is Justworks a good PEO?
Is Gusto payroll a PEO?
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