HR & Payroll

OnPay vs Gusto (2023)

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Managing payroll and HR tasks can be a daunting and time-consuming endeavor for any business. That’s where payroll software solutions like OnPay and Gusto come in. 

These platforms offer a range of features and services to streamline payroll processes and simplify HR management. But the question is, which one is the better fit for your business? We take a closer look at OnPay and Gusto to hopefully help steer you into the right path, whether you’re a small startup or a growing company.

OnPay vs Gusto Comparison Chart

Product NameOnPayGusto
OnPay vs GustoOnPay vs Gusto
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
TiersN/A (only one plan available)Simple, Plus, Premium and contractor-only plan
Free Trial30 daysN/A
Payroll Tax ManagementYesYes
HR ManagementYesYes
Third-Party Integrations10 apps, including QuickBooks and XeroMore than 100 apps, including QuickBooks, Xero, FreshBooks and 7Shifts
Health Insurance Coverage50 states37 states + D.C.
Wage Garnishment ServicesYesYes
International Contractor PaymentsNoYes (add-on)

OnPay Overview

OnPay vs Gusto

OnPay is a cloud-based payroll and HR software platform designed for small- and medium-sized businesses. It provides payroll and human resources (HR) services, simplifying the overall process. Also, it integrates with other third-party accounting and time-tracking platforms, providing a comprehensive solution for managing various aspects of employee management.

Gusto Overview

OnPay vs Gusto

Gusto offers cloud-based payroll and HR services for businesses of all sizes, offering a scalable solution to cater to its clients’ needs. It’s flexible in that it offers a contractor-only plan, allowing companies to save money if they only require basic but essential features. Moreover, it includes employee self-onboarding and tax payments and filing, as well as a suite of HR tools such as automatically creating paid time off (PTO) policies and tracking PTO accrual.

Payroll Features

Right off the bat, Gusto sets itself apart from OnPay with its AutoPilot feature. For the uninitiated, this lets users automate payroll runs to follow set schedules. Not only does it come in handy for busy businesses, but it also makes sure that employees consistently get paid on time.

In terms of payroll services in the “standard” sense, they’re pretty much the same. First off, both accommodate salaried and hourly workers. Also, both will do the heavy-lifting when it comes to filing federal and state payroll taxes free of charge, as well as the calculations and deductions involved. On top of that, the two support filing taxes across multiple states and multi-state payrolls—though in Gusto’s case, the latter is only available in its higher-tiered plans. However, there’s one advantage that Gusto has over OnPay: It’ll file local payroll taxes for you too.

What’s more, there’s a difference between the two regarding their wage garnishment services. While both will take into account any deduction related to child or spousal support automatically, only Gusto will send it directly to the receiver (offered in 49 states, excepting South Carolina). If nothing else, that’s one less thing to worry about.

For the record, only Gusto supports international contractor payments in more than 120 countries, but it’s available only as an add-on.


To start things off, OnPay plays nicely with time tracking and accounting software, but its options are limited to only 10 in total. At any rate, it includes two of the most popular apps of their kind: Xero and QuickBooks.

In contrast, Gusto integrates with over 100 third-party apps across 15 categories, which include accounting, collaboration, expense management, hiring and onboarding, legal and compliance, performance management, point of sale, tax preparation and time tracking. Needless to say, QuickBooks and Xero are also in the list, as well as FreshBooks and 7Shifts.

HR Features

On one hand, OnPay has fewer employee benefits but with a wider coverage. On the other hand, Gusto has more options, but they’re not as widely available. To be exact, OnPay offers health insurance in all 50 states, whereas Gusto only covers 37 states and D.C. In its defense, Gusto does have HSA, FSA and Affordable Care Act, to name a few.

Also, Gusto has better HR management—that is, if you opt for its most expensive plan. That’s because it includes perks such as consultations with HR experts and priority support. But then again, OnPay does throw in an HR guide right from the get-go, while Gusto only includes it in its higher-tiered subscriptions. The same goes for creation of PTO policies and document e-signing.

To put it briefly, OnPay offers more bang for the buck, but because it only has a single plan (more on that in a bit), its scalability may be limited. Meanwhile, Gusto provides more employee benefits and options but with restricted coverage, and some of its HR tools aren’t as easily available.

Pricing and Plans

As noted, OnPay only has one plan available, and it costs a base fee of $40 and $6 per payee every month. For a better idea of how much it all adds up, having 10 employees will total to $100 per month. All in all, OnPay is an affordable payroll software with a relatively more comprehensive suite of features (considering its price) that’s well suited for small- to medium-sized businesses.

Similarly, Gusto’s cheapest plan Simple costs the same with a base fee of $40 and $6 per employee on a monthly basis. To put two and two together, this price point is reasonable for small- and medium-sized companies as well, but the same can’t be said about its pricier subscriptions.

Case in point, Gusto’s more advanced tier Plus starts at $80 per month plus $12 per payee, and priority support and HR services cost an additional $8 per month for each employee. These add-ons are included in its Premium plan, but it goes without saying that it’s more expensive, though its pricing is only available upon request.

However, Gusto is the only one of the two that offers a contractor-only plan, which is perfect for businesses that employ only 1099 contractors as opposed to W-2 employees. Normally, it costs $35 plus $6 per payee a month, but at the time of writing, it has a base price of $0 for six months. Even at the standard rate, it’s more affordable than OnPay’s plan.

Benefits of Using Payroll and HR Software

Time-saving: Payroll software automates time-consuming tasks such as calculating wages, deductions and taxes. This saves valuable time for business owners and HR professionals, allowing them to focus on other critical aspects of their operations.

Accuracy: Payroll calculations can be complex and prone to errors when done manually. Payroll software ensures accurate and precise calculations, reducing the risk of costly mistakes and compliance issues.

Compliance: Keeping up with ever-changing payroll regulations and tax laws can be challenging. Payroll software helps businesses stay compliant by automatically applying the latest tax rates, deductions and legal requirements.

Tax filing: Payroll software simplifies the process of generating and filing payroll taxes. It automatically calculates and withholds the necessary taxes, generates tax forms and provides reports that assist with tax filing.

Employee self-service: Many payroll software solutions offer self-service portals, allowing employees to access their pay stubs, tax documents and other payroll-related information. This empowers employees, reduces administrative tasks and promotes transparency.

Cost-effective: While there may be upfront costs associated with implementing payroll software, it can save money in the long run by reducing the need for additional staff and minimizing the risk of penalties resulting from payroll errors.

Reporting and analytics: Payroll software generates comprehensive reports and analytics that provide valuable insights into labor costs, overtime, employee attendance and other payroll-related metrics. These insights can aid in decision-making and strategic planning.

Integration with other systems: Many payroll software solutions integrate seamlessly with other HR and accounting systems, streamlining data flow and eliminating the need for manual data entry.


To sum things up, both OnPay and Gusto offer robust payroll services and HR features, catering to different business needs.

OnPay is a more cost-effective solution with a comprehensive set of features, ideal for small- to medium-sized businesses. On the other hand, Gusto offers a wider range of integration options, more extensive HR management features, additional employee benefits (albeit with limited availability) and better scalability, all of which make it the better option for businesses that plan to grow.