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ADP and Gusto are two famous names in the world of payroll software. But they target different demographics with different complexities and price points.

ADP is a household name thanks to its massively powerful platform. Nearly every administrative need is solved. However, pricing is not transparent, so you may need a more generous budget, even for its small-business offering, RUN Powered by ADP. It also involves a steep learning curve.

On the other hand, Gusto is a simple, beginner-friendly payroll software designed for small businesses. Its beautiful interface caters to more straightforward operations. This lightweight approach is a double-edged sword, though, as it makes it a challenge to grow with this title.

ADP vs. Gusto: Comparison table

ADP Gusto
Starting price Custom quote $40/mo. + $6/employee
International payroll Yes EOR services only
Full-service tax filing Yes Yes
Advanced analytics Yes No
Best for More complex, growing businesses Smaller, straightforward businesses
Visit ADP Visit Gusto

ADP vs. Gusto: Pricing

ADP

ADP tailors solutions to various business sizes. However, solving dynamic and complicated needs means the platform’s costs are rather varied, and there is no public pricing information. You’ll have to work with a sales agent to get an accurate quote.

Because of this, it may not be a great fit for smaller businesses, as its small-business product — RUN Powered by ADP — is said to be pricier and more complex than other solutions in the space. But for larger businesses, ADP’s offerings could be just the thing you need, especially if you’re leaning into rapid growth.

Gusto

In contrast to ADP, Gusto offers transparent pricing and is more affordable for small to midsize businesses. Packages start at $40 plus $6 per worker, monthly, and higher-level plans with benefits management and added services cost at least twice as much. This price is in line with other small-business-focused competitors, like Patriot Software.

But unlike ADP, Gusto is limited in functionality. It can solve basic payroll and human resource needs for smaller businesses. It won’t deliver top-tier perks like international growth or high-octane analytics, though.

ADP vs. Gusto: Feature comparison

User-friendly interface

Winner: Gusto

Gusto is known for its user-friendly interface and comprehensive services for small to midsize businesses. It boasts features like automated payroll runs, health benefits administration, compliance help and a suite of tools for employee management.

ADP also offers these tools and more. But only Gusto serves it up in a beautiful, point-and-click style that requires no technical background. Simply put, it’s perfect if you crave something easy to use and headache-free.

Integrations

Winner: ADP

ADP leads in third-party integration capabilities thanks to its massive array of connections. You can link to everything from Square to HR Avatar and more. And don’t worry if your favorite software isn’t supported out of the box. The title’s Marketplace platform lets you download add-ons to sync up with nearly any enterprise title imaginable.

Sure, Gusto also includes some third-party connections. But ADP’s is unmatched in quantity and quality. So, if you love your existing workflow, this world-famous title blends in seamlessly.

Employee self-service

Winner: Gusto

If you have a long roster of current and former staffers, then Gusto can save you headaches. It dishes out lifetime access to its employee self-service portal, allowing former workers to view pay stubs, old W-2s and more.

In comparison, ADP provides a similar tool but limits the viewing of past W-2s or 1099s to three years. It also isn’t as pretty or straightforward of an interface as Gusto.

Scalable plans

Winner: ADP

ADP is highly scalable, offering features that grow with your business. It includes tax compliance alerts, State Unemployment Insurance (SUI) management, an applicant tracking system and access to dedicated HR advisors through the HR HelpDesk. It’s designed to serve businesses of all sizes, from small to large enterprises, and is particularly strong in areas like employee management, payroll features, customer support and HR capabilities.

Plus, it supports international workforces more flexibly, while Gusto offers only employer of record services.

Customer service

Winner: Tie

Both Gusto and ADP offer high-quality customer support, making them equally reliable for businesses that need payroll and HR assistance.

Gusto provides phone support from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Time. You can also utilize live chat, email support and automated bots for after-hours inquiries.

Similarly, ADP’s customer service for U.S. clients is available from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern Time, along with live chat, email support and automated assistance.

Both platforms feature extensive knowledge bases and educational materials, enabling users to find answers and solutions independently.

So, if you love excellent customer service, either option is sure to delight.

ADP pros and cons

Pros of ADP

  • Scalable solutions.
  • Comprehensive feature set, including advanced HR tools, benefits administration, compliance support and tax filing.
  • Access to dedicated HR advisors.
  • Global payroll capabilities.
  • Strong reputation with reliability.

Cons of ADP

  • Complex plan and pricing structure.
  • Potential for additional fees.
  • Can be overly complex for small businesses.
  • Charges per payroll run.
  • No free trial.

Gusto pros and cons

Pros of Gusto

  • User-friendly interface.
  • Competitive pricing.
  • Tailored to small businesses.
  • Wide range of payroll features, such as automatic tax filing, direct deposit and benefits administration.
  • Excellent customer support.

Cons of Gusto

  • Limited scalability.
  • May be too simple for some businesses.

Should your organization use ADP or Gusto?

Choose ADP if . . .

  • Your organization requires a highly scalable solution that grows with your business.
  • You need a comprehensive suite of HR and payroll features.
  • You value having access to dedicated HR advisors and extensive customer support.

Choose Gusto if . . .

  • You’re a small to midsize business looking for an affordable, transparently priced payroll solution.
  • You prioritize ease of use and a straightforward setup for your organization.
  • You don’t require extensive HR services beyond payroll and basic benefits administration.

If you’re still unsure which way to go, take a look at our tips for choosing the right payroll software for your business.

Methodology

We considered factors such as pricing transparency, ease of use, feature set, scalability and customer service. We also analyzed customer feedback, overall value for money, technical documentation, international capabilities, tax filing functions and more.


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