Software & Tech
Mar 27, 2018

Our Favorite Apps: Gusto

What is it?

Gusto is a platform that primarily handles payroll, but can also be used to manage employee on-boarding, tax and paperwork filing, leave and benefits handling and they just added a new functionality allows them to actually almost function as an outsourced HR office.

So, let’s talk about the top four reasons you might want to use Gusto in your business:

1. It’s easy. So, freaking easy.

Pretty much anything you need to do with regards to employees or contractors, Gusto will handle. New hire paperwork? Paying contractors? Want to offer benefits? It can handle all of that, with a simple easy-for-normal-people-to-use interface. When we started using Gusto for our first business, several years ago, I had no experience with payroll software or having employees. Using Gusto meant that I didn’t really have to - it was all taken care of for me. All I had to do was press “pay.”

The interface is easy to navigate and beautiful. To-do tasks pop up automatically on your dashboard, and they send you an email to remind you when to run payroll.

2. It automates just about everything HR related.

This is the big kicker - and the reason that we recommend Gusto to pretty much every business owner we meet. Gusto is like a business administration wizard. All that really boring, really annoying but critical paperwork that happens when you hire an employee or a contractor is done for you - without you really having to do anything.


Employee on-boarding is my favorite part. Instead of spending hours trying to get information about new employees and fill out tax forms and get them to sign the employee handbook, you enter their name and email into Gusto and the rest just happens, auto-magically.

Gusto sends them an email, they start their profile on the system and they fill out all their id information, tax information, bank account information for direct deposit, emergency contact info, welcome emails. They read and sign their employee handbook (and any other documentation, to include offer letters beforehand). All of that takes exactly 0 minutes of work from me, outside of entering their email. And then Gusto will file all the new hire paperwork for me, and they’re ready to be paid.  

Onboarding your employees well has big payoffs - better retention and more productivity out of the gate. Organizations with a standard onboarding process experience 50 percent greater new-hire productivity and employees are significantly more likely to stick around, too. Gusto allows you to set up your onboarding process one time, down to writing the text of their welcome email, and then every employee you hire after that point has the same, fabulous, experience.

Your employees know exactly what is expected of them on the first day (because you told them in your welcome email) and you don't have to remember to do any of that paperwork or tax stuff. Just enter their email and you're golden.

If your company has remote employees, you can really maximize the benefits of the system. Gusto takes care of filing all the new hire paperwork for each state, and the self-onboarding process means that you don't have to scan and sign and send back and forth. It's just done for you.


Contractors are just as easy. Enter your contractor’s email in Gusto, and they can self-onboard too. You can direct deposit to contractors just like you would with employees, and at the end of the year, there is no worry about issuing 1099s, Gusto already takes care of that.

For salaried employees, you can auto-run payroll, so you don’t even have to log into the system, it just happens. For hourly employees, you can connect Gusto to a time tracking tool, like Deputy or TSheets, to easily import hours into Gusto to pay. Running payroll for our two retail stores, with 20+ employees, took me a sum total of 5 minutes, sometimes less.

It also connects to your accounting software (Xero, Quickbooks Online or Freshbooks). So, instead of having to manually enter payroll into your accounting software, it just sends it automatically. No big deal. Time spent = 0 minutes.

3. They’re so nice.

Customer support at Gusto is awesome. They are friendly, knowledgeable and just amazing. Not once have I ever had a bad experience with anyone at the company. My new favorite feature of Gusto (wish they’d had this YEARS ago when I was getting started managing employees) is the Concierge plan. Basically, for a bit more money, you get an HR professional for your team. You have someone to call, to bounce ideas off of, someone who is an HR expert and is qualified to give you the down-low.  For new businesses or ones that are just taking on employees, this is an amazing resource.

4. Enforcement and Security

Instead of worrying about paying contractors and employees and spending a ton of time on it, using Gusto allows you to automate pretty much all of your HR processes, giving you back peace of mind and a ton of time. It enforces your onboarding process, ensuring all documents get signed, employees get welcome emails with the necessary information and you start your hiring process off right.

Employee self-onboarding is more secure than on paper. They don’t have to give you their social security number. It’s stored in the system and masked for everyone except them. No security risk of having socials sitting on your desk, on paperwork lying around the office or in your files.

Last Updated:
Mar 27, 2018
Originally Published:
Mar 27, 2018

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