Justworks vs Gusto logos.
Image: Rebecca Olason/TechRepublic

As a human resources manager, you have a lot on your plate. You’re responsible for managing, keeping up with staff records and making sure that your employees have everything they need to succeed. This makes finding the right payroll software tool an essential part of your job. Taking the time to find a payroll solution that meets your specific needs can save you a lot of frustration.

SEE: Payroll processing checklist (TechRepublic Premium)

There are several different payroll software options available, each with its own set of features and benefits. Two popular options are Gusto and Justworks. Both are SaaS-based solutions that offer a wide range of features to make managing payroll and other HR functions easier for businesses.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these solutions and compare their features, so you can decide which one is the best fit for your business.

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What is Gusto?

Gusto logo.
Image: Gusto

Gusto is a payroll software solution that makes it easy to manage your payroll and HR processes. It serves more than 200,000 customers and is a cloud-deployable SaaS tool.

Gusto has a wallet app for employees that allows them to access their payroll information on the go. The app also provides a variety of features like payroll, benefits, hiring and management resources.

What is Justworks?

Justworks logo.
Image: Justworks

Justworks is a payroll software solution that provides businesses with one platform that automates payroll, compliance support and several other HR tools. The mobile app is available on the Apple App Store, which makes it convenient for businesses to access their payroll information.

Justworks includes payment options such as direct deposits, bonuses and reimbursement management. This payroll software also has strong analytics and reporting so businesses can make sound payroll decisions.

Gusto vs. Justworks: Feature comparison table

Unlimited payroll runsYesNo
Completely automated payrollYesYes
Mobile functionalityYesYes
Time trackingYesYes
Payroll self-onboardingYesNo
Health benefits administrationYesYes
ESAC certificationNoYes
Next-day direct deposit optionYesNo
Analytics and reportingYesYes

Gusto vs. Justworks: Head-to-head feature comparison

Payroll runs

Justworks offers payroll runs on a flexible basis so you can choose how often you run payroll based on your needs. This can be helpful if you have a lot of employees or if payroll is particularly complex for your business. However, Justworks doesn’t include unlimited payroll runs in its base package, so you’ll need to pay extra if you want to run payroll more than once a month.

Gusto, on the other hand, includes unlimited payroll runs in its base package. This can be helpful if you want the peace of mind of knowing that payroll will always be taken care of. In addition, Gusto offers a next-day direct deposit option, which is faster than the usual standard direct deposit timeline.

Tax filing and compliance capabilities

Both platforms offer tax filing capabilities such as W-2 and 1099 tax filing, so you can make sure that your employees’ taxes are always up to date.

SEE: Data governance checklist for your organization (TechRepublic Premium)

However, Justworks has better compliance support. The tool has several in-built tools to help you comply with state and federal laws, including online compliance training for staff. Justworks is also Employer Services Assurance Corporation certified, signifying strong financial, ethical and operational standards.

Benefits administration

Justworks’ basic plan offers a robust benefits administration platform that allows businesses to easily manage their employee benefits. They offer a wide range of features, including access to workers’ compensation, life and disability insurance, health and wellness perks, fitness memberships and a 401(k).

On the other hand, Gusto’s Premium plan comes with health insurance broker integration. This can be helpful for businesses that want the flexibility to choose their own health insurance plans, as Gusto will automatically update your employee records whenever you add or remove a plan.

Mobile functionality

Both Gusto and Justworks have mobile functionality that allows employees to access their payroll information from their smartphones.

Gusto has a mobile wallet app — available on Android and iPhone — that helps employees earn, save, spend and borrow from within their Gusto account.

Justworks makes available all important employee information via a simple, easy-to-use iPhone app. Employees can access pay stubs, view and request time off, and see all of their insurance information from one place.

Employee self-service options

Both companies offer employee self-service options, but Gusto goes a step further by offering payroll self-onboarding. This feature allows employees to enter their own payroll information into the system, eliminating the need for employer involvement.


When it comes to integrations, Gusto offers a much wider range of options, with integrations for accounting, time tracking, expense management and more. In total, Gusto integrates with more than 180 business applications. Justworks, on the other hand, only integrates with a few accounting software platforms such as QuickBooks and Xero.

Choosing between Gusto and Justworks

The choice between Gusto and Justworks ultimately comes down to your business needs and preferences. Both platforms are powerful payroll solutions that offer a range of features to help businesses run payroll processing workflows smoothly and efficiently.

However, Gusto offers a more comprehensive feature set and a wider range of integrations, making it the better option for businesses looking for an all-in-one solution. If compliance is a bigger deal for you and your industry, Justworks offers a more comprehensive compliance support system than Gusto.

Read next: Best payroll software for small businesses (TechRepublic)