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.
|Plans start at $40/month, plus $6/month per person, or $6/month per contractor for the contractor-only plan
|Plans start at $59/month per employee for your first 49 employees
|Designed to grow with small to mid-sized businesses
|Best for businesses with between 2-200 employees
|Ease of Use
|Easy to set up and use
|Highly rated user interface and customer support
|Integrates with popular accounting and business software
|Currently offers integrations with four accounting software apps
|Available M-F 6 AM-5 PM
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
- Benefits administration
- Unemployment insurance services
- 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.
- 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
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.
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.
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.