Paychex vs. Gusto: Which One Is Best for You?

Paychex vs. Gusto: Which One Is Best for You?

Introducing a simple accounting software into the daily operation of your business is essential to the future success of your business. It’s something most business owners don’t think about when first starting out, but becomes more of a necessity as your business grows.

If you’ve been scouring the web for the best payroll and human resources software, you’ve likely realized that you have a world of options available to you. Navigating through these options can be difficult since they all market themselves as the best for your business.

Today, we’re going to detail two of the most popular accounting software programs available to businesses today -- Paychex and Gusto. We’ll discuss what they are, as well as the various benefits and downfalls that come with them.

By the time we’re done with this comparison, you’ll have a much better idea of which one works best for you. As a result, you’ll feel much more confident in your accounting department and will gain a large amount of your time back.

Let’s get started.

What is Paychex?

Paychex is known as the ‘big brother’ compared to Gusto because it’s been around longer and is a much more reputable brand. It’s known as an all-in-one solution that can provide help with HR services, payroll management, and administration tasks.

Paychex was founded in 1971 by Tom Golisano. Headquartered in Rochester, New York, it’s been around for nearly 50 years and has learned a lot in the industry. It’s designed to increase the amount of automation inside the workplace, giving you and your employees more time to focus on things that are most important.

Understanding the Benefits

Paychex definitely has much more capability when it comes to larger businesses. It’s certainly designed to meet the needs of businesses with 1-100 employees but can even support businesses with as much as 1,000+ employees.

Some of the features it’s capable of include: payroll, taxes, employee time, attendance, analytics, reports, hiring, health insurance, applicant tracking, HR services, employee benefits, employee screening, payment processing, expense management, and retirement plan benefits.

Paychex combines the benefits of a digital-based platform with the effects of a human-powered element. While many payroll and HR software programs feature fully-digital solutions, you get much more with Paychex.

Understanding the Downfalls

As great as Paychex is, there are some downfalls you should be aware of -- much like any accounting software. For example, some users have noted that the timesheet approval process takes too long and it lacks customization when running reports.

You also can’t print off your own checks, though you can have Paychex send their own checks in the mail. This is largely going to hurt employers that want to send a physical check, instead of a direct deposit.

Finally, many users say they didn’t enjoy the steep learning curve associated with Paychex. While they do admit it has a variety of benefits once understood, they mention getting there as being a bit difficult.

What is Gusto?

Gusto is the much newer accounting software on the market. It was introduced in 2012 as a cloud-based platform designed for small businesses looking for help with their payroll, HR, and administration operation/management.

Gusto is a more affordable option compared to Paychex, though it doesn’t come with as many features. It’s better suited for small businesses that don’t plan on growing anytime soon, if at all. For that reason, it’s a great option for self-employed individuals and sole proprietorships.

That’s not to say Gusto is perfect, though. They have their fair share of benefits and downfalls, just like Paychex did. Don’t worry, we’ll take a look at both of them as well, that way you get the full picture before deciding which one is best for you. 

Understanding the Benefits

There’s a lot to like about Gusto as a simple accounting software solution. One of the things we like most about it is the beautiful and easy-to-use interface. It’s one of the best in the industry and provides an excellent experience when managing payroll and HR tasks.

While Paychex required a bit of a learning curve, Gusto doesn’t require much. Their payroll programs are super easy to learn and don’t require you to spend a lot of time training your employees in each department.

There are also four types of payroll you can manage -- regular payroll, bonuses, off-cycle payroll, and termination. It also supports an autorun, which allows you to set your Gusto payroll to run automatically without needing you involved.

Understanding the Downfalls

While there’s a lot to like about Gusto, there are also some downfalls you should consider before making a final decision on Gusto or Paychex. Some of these downfalls could be the reason you choose one over the other, so it’s important to take everything into consideration.

The first major downfall is the fact that Gusto is a US-only service. That means if your business is headquartered outside of the United States, it won’t be of much use to you. In addition to that, it can be rather pricey for those that are in the United States.

Finally, you should be aware that it doesn’t have a mobile app. This takes some of the accessibility away, making it harder to manage when on-the-go -- which most business owners are these days.

Which One is Best for You?

Now that you’ve learned more about what each accounting software has to offer your business, you should have a better idea of which one’s better suited to meet your business’ needs. It’s an extremely important decision, so don’t rush yourself into a commitment.

If you’re still struggling to determine which one you should incorporate into your operations, Consultants In-A-Box can help. We’ve assisted a wide range of companies to find the right accounting software and we can’t wait to do the same for you.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help and how you can start to take better control of your daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly payroll or HR tasks.


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  • Jordan VanMaanen
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