Rippling vs. Gusto – Which Payroll Service?

Regardless of size, every business needs an excellent payroll service. If you’re trying to figure out which one is the perfect match for your business, you’re probably stuck between Rippling and Gusto. They are exceptional solutions, but both have their own pros and cons.

Rippling vs. Gusto - Which Payroll Service?

In this article, you’ll learn how Rippling and Gusto compare and find out which one best meets your business needs.

Rippling vs. Gusto: Pricing

Pricing is perhaps one of the most important factors when choosing a payroll service provider.

Gusto has several payment plans, including Core, Complete, Concierge, and Select. Here’s a breakdown of how much they cost:

  • Core – This plan is built for small businesses that need a simple payroll service to take care of their salaries, wages, and payments. It costs $39 per company, plus an additional $6 for each employee every month.
  • Complete – The Complete Plan caters to a slightly more advanced business. It’s suitable for businesses with a sophisticated hiring process and robust team management needs. The plan costs $39, plus $12 for each employee every month.
  • Concierge – The Concierge Plan goes for $149, plus $12 for every employee each month. This is built for businesses that require a more advanced HR management system. It’s also suitable for companies that need to stay highly compliant with set policies.
  • Select – The Select Plan is tailored for businesses that require more complex and premium features. For pricing, you’ll have to get in touch with the Gusto team for a customized quote. However, to qualify for this plan you’ll need to have a team of at least 25 people.

Unlike Gusto’s general payment plans, you’ll have to contact the Rippling team to get a custom quote for your payroll service package. However, the base fee is $35, plus an additional $8 for every employee per month.

While Rippling’s payment plans aren’t as fixed and straightforward as Gusto’s, they allow for greater customization. For instance, you can decide on what features you’d like to have in your payroll service, and request a highly customized plan that meets your specific business needs. Most importantly, with this flexibility, you only pay for what you use.

Rippling vs. Gusto: Customer Support

Customer support is an essential factor, especially when problems arise.

Gusto’s customer support is solid. You can get help through a phone call, email, or live chat. The live chat feature is what really makes their customer support excellent. It’s responsive, and someone is always on the other end of the computer to answer your questions. Plus, customer support is more than just a medium of getting to the help desk, and Gusto recognizes that well. For that reason, they give you access to additional resources like in-depth guides, video tutorials, intense documentation, and a knowledge base. Note that live support is only available on weekdays.

But what about Rippling’s customer support? They have a pretty decent customer support system too, but it’s not as good as Gusto’s. Often, when you need help, they’ll redirect you to their knowledge base and FAQ section. Plus, they use a support ticket system which often results in them taking a long time to get back to you. This can be especially inconvenient if the matter is urgent and needs timely attention. Finally, Rippling only offers customer support on weekdays as well.

When it comes to customer support-related issues, Gusto is clearly the winner.

Rippling vs. Gusto: Support for International Payroll

Rippling integrates well when you have to make payments to international staff. You can pay your workers even if they’re in different states. Gusto, however, only supports international contractors. This can be problematic if your workers are scattered across multiple states. Therefore, if you’re an international company, Rippling is the right option for you.

Rippling vs. Gusto: Supported Platforms

Gusto is solely available to its users as a web-based solution. Rippling, on the other hand, supports a variety of platforms, including a mobile app, a website portal, and a desktop application.

Rippling wins this category because it gives you a variety of options and flexibility in terms of which device to use for your payroll needs.

Rippling vs. Gusto: The Onboarding Process

Gusto is hugely convenient when it comes to setting up a payroll account. You can do so in less than 40 minutes with the aid of a simple guide that walks you through the steps. Even better, you can have a member of the Gusto team set up the service for you.

On the flip side, Rippling doesn’t let you set the account by yourself. Plus, doing so can take up to eight weeks.

Rippling vs. Gusto: Business Size

Gusto best fits small businesses seeking an affordable Payroll service without any immediate plans to scale.

In comparison, Rippling is the perfect match for businesses that are constantly scaling and need more than just a payroll service. It’s also suitable for businesses that want assistance in managing IT-related issues, HR, and the ever-growing employee data. Ultimately, Rippling is the place to go if you want a payroll service that grows with you.

Rippling vs. Gusto: Managing Employee Benefits

Handling employee benefits is perhaps one of the most critical functions of any HR department. Thanks to these two payroll service providers, the process will be completely automated.

Both Rippling and Gusto handle the following employee benefits:

  • Health insurance
  • 401(k) plans
  • Health savings accounts, etc.

However, Gusto doesn’t offer health benefits in all the states.

Rippling vs. Gusto: Switching to Another Payroll Provider

Both Rippling and Gusto offer a seamless migrating process, should you want to switch to another payroll service provider. You just need to talk to the provider you’re currently working with, and they’ll walk you through the process.

Note that the perfect time for migrating is at the beginning of the year, so you can avoid filing taxes twice. If this isn’t possible, then migrate at the start of a new quarter.

Rippling vs. Gusto: Integration With Other Business Apps

Rippling seamlessly integrates with over 500 third-party business apps, including team management apps such as Slack. It also integrates with other popular employee management tools such as attendance, accounting, and time tracking apps. With all these integrations, you don’t have to worry about your business’s productivity going down.

Gusto integrates with only 300 third-party apps, but they still get the job done.

Rippling vs. Gusto: Brand Awareness and Reputation

If you’re conscious of the reputation of a company before working with them, this might be a deal-breaker for you.

Founded in 2011, Gusto has earned trust and a good reputation from its users. Rippling was founded in 2016, and its branding is still a work-in-progress. But they are getting there. In fact, Rippling is doing an excellent job of gaining recognition from businesses.

Rippling vs. Gusto: Tax Filings and Payments

Fortunately, both of these platforms file taxes for you. Gusto calculates and pays taxes to the government agencies without charging you extra.

With Rippling, all the taxes are filed automatically without the need for human intervention.

Additional Key Features of Gusto

  • Employee benefits such as commute and health benefits.
  • Offers self-service for employees.
  • Supports device management.

Additional Key Features of Rippling

  • Support for IT features, including app and device management.
  • It offers an open API that developers can use to build solutions that interact with the service.
  • Offers HR management services, including employee training and attendance management.

Pros of Using Gusto

As mentioned, Gusto is a web-based solution, and the website offers a modern and intuitive design that’s easy to use and set up.

  • It’s affordable and offers unlimited payroll.
  • It’s suitable for small businesses and startups as no minimum number of employers is required to start using the service.

Cons of Using Gusto

  • Unlike Rippling, Gusto solely provides payroll services. Hence, you won’t receive any support regarding employment laws and compliance.

Pros of Using Rippling

  • It’s an excellent payroll solution for businesses that plan to grow because the service is so easy to scale.
  • Besides being a payroll service provider, they also provide PEO solutions. This means they’ll take care of most of the employment compliance aspects of your business.
  • The platform is easy to use, thanks to its intuitive design.

Cons of Using Rippling

  • There are some disparities in their customer support.
  • The payroll service is unreliable because of system downtimes.
  • Disparities in the management of the developer’s API.

Why You Need a Payroll Service

Automation of Tax Filing and Withholding – A payroll software will help your business stay on top of your tax game as most payroll software automate the process. Rarely will you have to worry about accidentally defaulting on taxes.

Automates Payment of Salaries and Wages – As a business, you shouldn’t be stressing over small processes that can easily be automated. Instead, your focus and energy should be directed towards high-end operations that will actually propel the business to the next level.

Staying Compliant with Federal and State Laws – A payroll service will help you stay compliant with Federal and State laws to avoid any mix-ups in the future. Not being compliant causes unnecessary problems for a business which can easily be avoided.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Payroll Service Provider

Payroll is a critical part of every business. Before choosing a service, you might want to consider the following.

The Cost of the Payroll Solution

Cost is a significant consideration when purchasing any utility in a business. In addition, most payroll solutions function as SAAS models. This means you’ll have to pay to access the service. Ensure you have accurate information relating to the cost of the payroll service you’d like to work with. Discover if there are any hidden costs, and only proceed if you’re confident with what you’ll be getting.

The Ease of Switching to Another Payroll Service Provider

You’re probably not going to be stuck with a single payroll service provider forever. Over time, your business needs will evolve, and you might find yourself searching for another service that best fits your new business needs.

Ask your payroll providers to clarify the process of migrating to another payroll service to avoid any misunderstandings. Most importantly, know who is in charge of the process so that you’re sure who to approach.

Automation of the Tax Filing Process

Some payroll service providers will leave the task of filing taxes to you. Others, however, will automate the whole process, including filling out 1099’s and W-2 forms.

It’s best to choose a payroll service provider that automates the process of paying and filing taxes.

Tax is a critical aspect of every business, and many small organizations make a lot of mistakes. It’s estimated that at least one in three businesses has been penalized by the IRS for tax and payroll issues.


The internet can be a dangerous place if your valuable information falls into the wrong hands. You don’t want to work with a system that will leak critical details of your employees to the public, or a system vulnerable to hackers.

Customer Support

A good payroll service provider should be ready to offer support when the need arises. Find out about the kind of customer support they offer, via email, online chat, a ticket system, or even a phone call.

How quickly they respond to queries is a good indicator of the quality of service they provide. It would be best to choose the provider that quickly solves your problems before they escalate.

Integration With Business Apps

Go for a payroll service provider that integrates with other third-party apps that your business already uses. Some of these integrations include things like employee attendance, time tracking, and communication aiding tools.

Choosing a provider that has plenty of integration options will make the process of managing your business a breeze.

Additional FAQ

Who needs a payroll service?

A payroll service is suitable for any employer who wants to patch out the disparities that come with the manual processing of salaries for their workers. It’s also suitable for a business that wants to stay policy and tax compliant.

Which Payroll service should you use?

Choosing the right payroll service for your business comes down to understanding your specific business needs, the size of your business, and what budget you’re willing to work with. Of course, there are many other factors to consider, like how well it integrates with various business apps.

It’s Your Turn to Decide

Choosing a payroll service provider is ultimately decided by how much money you’re willing to spend on monthly fees and whether the provider’s model and features meet your business requirements. Hopefully, you now have some insights on whether Gusto or Rippling is the perfect match for your business.

Have you worked with a payroll service provider before? How was the experience? Let us know in the comments section below.

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