You want software that helps you accurately process your payrolls and taxes, and you want software that offers attractive benefits to your teams and increases employee retention. It may seem like you’re asking a lot, but you’re in luck—the right payroll software solution can provide the tools to support your business in a variety of areas.
While Gusto and Zenefits are both leading competitors in the payroll software world, the products take a unique approach to offering different features and capabilities. We’ll compare the key features of Gusto and Zenefits so you can choose the payroll solution that’s ideal for your business.
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What is Gusto?
enthusiasm offers a cloud-based, full-service payroll software solution with HR tools that help companies hire and provide compensation and benefits for their workforce. The company delivers its payroll software through three product tiers that include automatic payroll features, benefits integration, and other organizational capabilities. You can customize Gusto’s plans with add-on options to access more payroll and HR tools.
Gusto’s recruiting tools and talent management capabilities can help HR managers find and manage their workforce. The platform’s insights and reporting capabilities inform decision-making.
What is Zen Fit?
Zenefits offers a People Ops platform in the form of cloud-based software with functions for managing payroll processes, health insurance and other HR activities. The software-as-a-service solution is offered in three subscriptions, each billed monthly based on the number of employees in your organization.
You can use automation software to manage multiple aspects of your teams, from onboarding new hires to conducting performance reviews. The software also allows users to offer comprehensive care plans and other benefits to their employees, and provides features to help management improve compliance, team productivity, and employee experience.
Gusto vs Zenefits: feature comparison
|529 College Savings Plan||Yes||no|
|Built-in workforce scheduling capabilities||no||Yes|
|Advantages in-house mediation||Yes||no|
|Platform mobile app||no||Yes|
|Custom admin privileges||Yes||no|
|Health insurance in all 50 states||no||Yes|
Gusto vs Zenefits: Payroll Features
With Gusto’s full-service tools, companies can easily run unlimited payrolls. The solution has time tracking built in, which means that employees’ hours are automatically synchronized with their payroll data. The automated nature of the integrated solution also means that other factors that affect payroll, such as health insurance, 401(k), workers’ compensation, and PTO, are properly managed.
Gusto can handle payroll for you, regardless of where your employees live. In addition, the payroll solution can process payments from contractors in more than 80 countries and handle the tax registration process for employees in all 50 US states. For hourly workers, geolocation time tracking helps keep company data accurate and compliant.
Gusto also automatically files payroll taxes with the appropriate government agencies. Employees can view pay stubs and W-2s in the system and quickly access their pay via Gusto debit cards.
You can process unlimited payouts through Zenefits’ user-friendly platform. The automated features simplify payroll, with automatically synced time off, benefit deductions, schedule details, and salary information updates.
Zenefits administration and payroll features help you manage payroll tasks with automated reminders. Features such as automatic prorated payments for new hires, prepayments, and the ability to record reported tips are beneficial for accurate payments and compliance.
Zenefits allows businesses to process multiple deductions and automatically handle federal and state tax returns, including new lease filings and 1099 returns with the IRS. Foreclosures are not a problem as the platform calculates and sets aside foreclosure amounts.
Zenefits can process direct deposits for all employees, including full-time employees, contractors, freelancers or consultants. Employees have mobile access to their dynamic pay slips so they can view their deductions and pay information even after they leave their job.
Gusto vs Zenefits: Benefits
Gusto acts as a broker and helps employers provide health and financial benefits to their employees. These affordable benefits include low-cost benefits, commuter benefits, and HSA and FSA options. In addition, the premium Gusto plan gives users access to 401ks and dental, vision, and health insurance administration. Gusto allows users to integrate existing brokers and eligible health plans for easier management.
Several free benefits are offered to employees, such as the open enrollment renewal features and budgeting tools. For example, the Gusto Wallet app allows employees to manage their paychecks and set up automatic savings with the Gusto Cash Accounts. With the app, employees can divide their wages between their accounts and gain insight into budgeting.
Zenefits’ automated system supports businesses in providing medical, dental and vision benefits in 49 states. Additional benefits include FSA, 401k, life and disability, HSA, commute and additional benefits. With regard to ACA regulations, the platform keeps track of the latest updates and handles compliance automatically.
Employees can register for benefits directly on the platform. In the Zenefits app, employees can view their balance, expense claims and plan information from their mobile devices. By integrating the Zenefits app with other apps, employees can connect and apply their benefits on the go.
Gusto vs. Zenefits: reporting, insights and analytics
With Gusto, you can view and share a wide variety of reports related to payroll, benefits, employees, and taxes. For example, employee leave data can be organized by date, department, or employee, so you can generate the right reports for your needs.
Higher subscription tiers give leaders and decision makers access to more reports and holistic insights into data related to tax and employee costs. With Gusto, companies can even generate custom reports using the templates, helping them get the required data and insights.
Another reporting benefit available through the more expensive Gusto plans is the ability to generate employee reports. Anonymous employee surveys help you improve your employees’ experience by getting actionable insights from them and analyzing survey results over time. The project tracking and personnel cost reports can also provide insight into team productivity and labor budgeting.
Zenefits can track multiple business aspects through the platform’s reporting features. For example, Zenefits can generate payroll timelines and general ledger reports to help you understand your compensation expenses. In addition, you can learn how labor costs are distributed among each of your types of labor.
Moreover, Zenefits makes tax filing a breeze as the software offers comprehensive ways to visualize and manage your finances through reports, including tax liability reports, tax payment summaries, and garnishments reports.
People Analytics features allow you to view payroll, HR, and benefits data; this data can be viewed as reports used to build visualizations and shared with others.
How to choose between Gusto and Zenefits
When choosing between Zenefits and Gusto, keep in mind the features that mean the most to your organization. Download this payroll comparison tool from TechRepublic Premium to help you make your decision.
If you want to optimize your payroll through business insights, Zenefits may be a better choice as Zenefits offers a much wider range of reporting and BI visualization options than Gusto. Zenefits enables reporting for payroll data, tax statements and other salary data, so leaders and employees can quickly get relevant salary information. Organizational leaders and decision makers using Zenefits can easily visualize a wide variety of datasets, gaining more actionable insights through reports that summarize information about historical data, income, deductions, contributions and taxes for each run.
Gusto’s payroll solution takes a more hands-on approach to employee benefits. While Zenefits only allows companies to partner with benefit brokers, Gusto acts as a broker for its users and offers the option to integrate existing brokers.
Finally, consider integrations when choosing a software system for your business. Choosing a solution that works well with the third-party solutions your company uses can make a significant difference in functionality. For example, Gusto doesn’t offer built-in employee scheduling, but it does integrate with popular scheduling solutions. If scheduling capabilities are critical to your organization’s needs, make sure the scheduling software you use is supported by Gusto.
To discover more payroll software options, read about the best payroll software for small businesses, 8 Best Payroll Processing Services for Small Businesses, Gusto vs Justworks, Gusto vs. QuickBooks and Ripple vs Gusto.