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Hourly and Gusto are two notable payroll solutions for small and midsize businesses. Hourly offers comprehensive payroll with related features, and Gusto does the same — but with extra HR features.

Given the similarities found in both payroll software, it can be tough to choose between them. We compare Hourly and Gusto in detail so you can decide which software solution best suits your payroll needs.

Hourly vs. Gusto: Comparison table

Hourly Gusto
Starting price $80 per month + $12 per employee paid per month $40 per month + $6 per person paid per month
Unlimited payroll runs Yes Yes
Automatic payroll No Yes
Payroll runs via mobile app Yes No
Same-day deposit Yes No
Workers’ comp Yes Yes
Other benefits administration No Yes
Time tracking Yes Yes
Integrations Quickbooks only Yes
Visit Hourly Visit Gusto

Hourly vs. Gusto: Pricing

Hourly pricing

Hourly offers three pricing plans to choose from:

  • Gold: $80 per month plus $12 per employee paid per month. It comes with unlimited payroll runs, automated tax payments and filing, four-day deposit and a white-glove onboarding service.
  • Platinum: $120 per month plus $16 per employee paid per month. It includes everything in Gold plus next-day deposit and a dedicated customer success team.
  • Platinum+: Custom pricing. This plan offers everything in Platinum plus same-day deposit and a full suite of HR tools.

For more information, see our full Hourly review.

Gusto pricing

Gusto also offers three pricing plans to support growing businesses of all sizes, with HR features increasing with each tier, and it has a contractor-only plan:

  • Simple: $40 per month plus $6 per person paid per month. It has full-service single-state payroll including W-2s and 1099s as well as basic hiring and onboarding tools.
  • Plus: $80 per month plus $12 per person paid per month. It covers full-service multi-state payroll including W-2s and 1099s as well as next-day direct deposit, time tracking, performance reviews and more.
  • Premium: Custom pricing. It includes everything in Plus as well as a dedicated customer success manager, HR resource center and compliance alerts.
  • Contractor-only payroll: $6 per person (no monthly fee).

Various add-ons are available, including health insurance, workers’ compensation, life and disability insurance, HSA and FSA accounts, and commuter benefits.

For more information, see our full Gusto review.

Hourly vs. Gusto: Feature comparison

Payroll

Hourly and Gusto both offer unlimited payroll runs on all pricing tiers. Some alternative solutions charge for each individual payroll run, which can quickly add up, especially if you need to run payroll frequently.

However, Gusto offers the option to set payroll to run automatically while Hourly does not. On the other hand, Hourly offers a mobile app to run payroll from your smartphone even when you’re out of the office — Gusto does offer a mobile app called Gusto Wallet, but it’s for employees only and cannot be used by admins to run payroll.

Gusto payroll interface.
Figure A Easily run payroll in Gusto. Image: Gusto.

Direct deposit

Both Hourly and Gusto offer direct deposit as one of the features in their payroll software. For Hourly, the Gold plan offers four-day direct deposit, while the Platinum plan offers next-day direct deposit and the Platinum+ offers same-day deposit.

On the other hand, Gusto offers different timelines for its direct deposit option. There is next-day direct deposit, two-day direct deposit and four-day direct deposit. The next-day direct deposit option is only available to customers on the Plus and Premium subscriptions.

Hourly payroll interface.
Figure B Set up direct deposit in Hourly based on your paid plan. Image: Hourly.

Workers’ comp

Besides payroll software, Hourly is known for its pay-as-you-go workers’ compensation insurance, which allows business owners to make accurate payments based on the amount of each payroll. This is currently available in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas.

Gusto also offers pay-as-you-go workers’ comp add-on through a partnership with AP Intego, which is now owned by NEXT Insurance. Gusto’s workers’ comp is available in more states, so it may be a better fit if you have a multi-state business.

Gusto workers comp.
Figure C Through Gusto, you can get workers’ compensation insurance across several states. Image: Gusto.

Time tracking and attendance

Hourly time tracking comes as an built-in feature, which requires no third-party integrations. With Hourly, you can add and review PTO for each employee, set minimum lunch breaks and require manager approval after eight hours of work. You can also see where your team is on a real-time map and set geolocations for clocking in and out.

With Gusto, employees can log their time via the web browser, the Gusto Wallet app or a Time Kiosk tablet. Gusto also offers project tracking so employees can log their hours to specific tasks or clients. Gusto also provides PTO management and scheduling tools so you can manage everything in one system.

Hourly time tracking geolocation.
Figure D In Hourly, you can look at which employees are actively working across set locations. Image: Hourly.

Employee management

Hourly offers several employee management options, such as vacation and sick policies, which allow businesses to set time-off rules and track vacation and sick leave for their employees. The software also provides pay cards to employees, giving them immediate access to their pay via a reloadable debit card.

Gusto provides even more expansive employee management packages. The software offers hiring and onboarding features, including employee self-onboarding, onboarding checklists and employee background checks.

Integration with other apps

Both software solutions offer integration features that allow businesses to connect with other business applications. Hourly integrates with only QuickBooks, limiting what you can use alongside Hourly.

Gusto’s integrations go well beyond QuickBooks and include other accounting solutions like FreshBooks and Xero as well as software for business operations, learning management, point of sale and more.

Hourly pros and cons

Pros of Hourly

  • Payroll mobile app available.
  • User-friendly interface.
  • Native time tracking.
  • White-glove onboarding service.

Cons of Hourly

  • More expensive than Gusto.
  • Fewer HR features than Gusto.
  • No benefits administration outside of workers’ comp.

Gusto pros and cons

Pros of Gusto

  • Automatic payroll available.
  • Robust HR features.
  • Native time and project tracking.
  • International payroll available.

Cons of Gusto

  • No same-day deposit available for payroll.
  • No mobile payroll app for employers.
  • Health insurance available in 38 states and Washington, D.C. only.

Should your organization use Gusto or Hourly?

Choose Gusto if . . .

  • You need the ability to schedule automatic payroll runs.
  • You don’t mind running payroll on the computer only.
  • You don’t need same-day deposit.
  • You’re looking for more robust HR tools.
  • You want benefits administration outside of workers’ comp.

Choose Hourly if . . .

  • You have a larger budget to spend.
  • You want to be able to run payroll via a mobile app.
  • You need same-day deposit.
  • You already have another solution for benefits administration.
  • You don’t need automatic payroll.

Still can’t decide? Take a look at our page on how to choose the right payroll tool for your business.

Methodology

To compare Hourly and Gusto, we consulted product documentation and user reviews. We considered features such as payroll, taxes and compliance, benefits, time tracking and scheduling, HR resource libraries and more. We also weighted factors such as pricing, user experience, customer service and transparency.


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