Gusto vs QuickBooks: comparison of payroll management software

Image: Rebecca Olason/TechRepublic

Payroll software is an inexpensive, automated, and often turnkey management solution for everything from employee payments to human resources, benefits, and taxes. Scalable platforms such as Gusto and QuickBooks are ideal for small and medium-sized businesses that don’t necessarily have the financial means to integrate a full HR department, but need flexibility when it comes to managing everything. regarding HR. Also, nothing against carbon-based AI (people), but these frameworks are perfect for avoiding a major pain point: human error.

SEE: Best Payroll Software for Your Small Business in 2022 (TechRepublic)

two of the best software as a service pay options are Enthusiasm and intuitive QuickBooks — both flexible, scalable and based on a subscription model with multiple pricing tiers. Gusto is ideal for small businesses looking for ease of use and versatility, and QuickBooks Online is ideal for businesses up to medium-sized businesses that likely have in-house bookkeeping and bookkeeping.

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What is Gusto?

Gusto logo.
Image: gusto

EnthusiasmPayroll management software is ideal for companies with 10 to 20 employees. It automates a range of payroll functions, from the simplest to the most complex, for both employees and contractors. The executive also handles a plethora of HR tasks, including budget-based disability insurance coverage and employee dental insurance.

Gusto also has the ability to expedite tax returns and filing requirements, time tracking, expense tracking, shift scheduling, and employee onboarding. It is important to note that no domain expert is required. Due to its ease of use and configuration, it is ideal for companies that do not have or have new payroll managers.

What is QuickBooks?

QuickBooks logo.
Image: Intuit

QuickBooks by Intuit is a scalable product for inventory, payroll, benefits, tax and time tracking and more. It offers multiple pricing tiers for its QuickBooks Online SaaS packagers, including its most popular Simple Start, Plus, and Advanced versions, but also (still) sells locally hosted desktop versions (Desktop Plus and Pro). The main product, QuickBooks Online Plus, includes:

  • Access to the file for two accountants
  • Advanced billing, payroll, cash flow management, tax category features and more
  • Access to customer accounts

It is definitely a good option for businesses with dedicated bookkeeping and bookkeeping.

Gusto vs. QuickBooks: Feature Comparison

Features Enthusiasm QuickBooks
Built-in expense tracking Nope Yes
time tracking Yes Yes
Best with Accounting Skills Nope Yes
Mobile friendly Yes Yes
Easy to install Yes less so
Submits state, federal and local taxes Yes Yes
Offers a free trial period Nope Yes

Cloud-based software or desktop software

There are locally hosted desktop versions of several payroll packages, but the trend is definitely towards cloud-based SaaS, which follows and complements the shift to remote and hybrid working. The main advantage: you can access cloud-based platforms anytime and anywhere as long as you have internet access. They are more cost effective, scalable, easier to set up and use, and ideal for small business needs.

Terrestrial products can only be accessed from the computer on which they were installed. Gusto does not have a locally hosted product, and although QuickBooks Desktop SKUs are still available for an annual subscription price (about $800 per year for its Desktop Premier Plus), the company is phasing out QuickBooks Desktop in 2023. .

The Quickbooks desktop.
Image: Intuit

Pricing tiers and add-ons

The entry price is relatively low for Gusto and QuickBooks, but the add-ons add up. Gusto starts at $39 per month and an additional $6 for each employee signed up for the software. But, adding features like multi-state payroll, custom onboarding templates, time trackingnext day direct deposit and PTO management bump it up to $80 per month and $12 per user.

The entry level of QuickBooks is Simple Start, at $30 per month, for a single user. Add two more users plus invoice management and time tracking, and the price jumps up to $55. Five users, plus project tracking and inventory tracking is $85 per month.

Gusto office.
Image: gusto

International or local only?

While a growing number of businesses in the United States have employees and contractors overseas, some payroll and accounting products are home alone, with no ability to facilitate payments from other countries. , which requires a separate payroll framework.

QuickBooks handles overseas transactions. In comparison, Gusto supports payments from international contractors in its “contractor only” plan via Remote team but only after adding a national contractor, according to the company.

SEE: Quick Glossary: ​​Cloud Platform Services (TechRepublic Premium)

Integration with other software

Not all automated payroll software does everything. Some, for example, do not deal with accounting and invoicing, which facilitates integration with other products. Although Gusto does not speed up accounting or invoicing, it integrates with many applications, including QuickBooks, Xero, FreshBooks, Jirav, Sage and many others, to perform tasks such as training, maintenance records and performance reviews.

QuickBooks easily integrates with other apps and Intuit’s own products like Mailchimp, which lets users sync marketing and financial data with a specific Mailchimp audience for targeted marketing.

SEE: What is Software as a Service? (TechRepublic)

Choosing between Gusto and QuickBooks

It’s not all about cost, although budget is part of the process. Both Gusto and QuickBooks offer entry-level and low-cost basics, but when you consider upgrades and additional features, prices can rise sharply.

All in all, if you’re a 10-employee entrepreneur, Gusto is probably right for you, as it fits a smaller budget and fewer employees. Because it’s online, it allows users to pay a monthly subscription rather than an upfront fee and offers a secure connection through a web browser. It also includes features like automated charitable donations and virtual wallets to help employees manage their finances. Plus, there are built-in free checking accounts and high-yield savings accounts with payday advance for employees.

QuickBooks, which is more suitable for medium-sized businesses — its clients ranging from Gruhn Guitars to the University of Massachusetts at Amherst – offers industry-specific editions, purchasing and supplier management, and sales and expense forecasting tools.

It’s worth noting that QuickBooks Desktop users will lose security updates, live support, online backup, banking and more starting in June 2023, so now might be a good time. to get started in the cloud.


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