Many of my accounting & tax clients use Gusto online payroll services and not one has ever had a bad word about it. Taking an informal survey these are the results of what they liked the most as well as my own opinions since I actually use it myself!
It’s yet another part of running a small business.
It can also a pain in the ass.
I mean you already have enough to do as the “boss”.
Add to that:
- Calculating employee pay & taxes
- Paying employees
- Submitting the taxes withheld
- Filing quarterly & annual payroll tax returns
Even if you are the only employee, you still have to do all that.
Do you really need to add more to your already full plate?
That’s why Gusto exists.
It allows you to outsource payroll processing to free you up to do everything else!
I use it for my own payroll.
Every client I have that has payroll uses it in their small business.
There are plenty of reasons why, and here are the most common we all are ecstatic in our choice of small business payroll services:
Simple, Clean Interface
These days it seems like companies want to throw everything at you at once.
The business website has almost become a free-for-all of information.
They’ll pack as much information as possible on each page of the site regardless of the impact on user experience.
It’s almost like these companies are trying to overcompensate for something.
All it does is cause information overload and analysis paralysis in the people using the site.
Gusto doesn’t do that.
The user interface is simple.
The work area only contains important info.
That’s all, see for yourself:
There’s nothing extraneous here, just the Things To Do and the Calendar.
Everything else is contained neatly in the left-side menu section.
It doesn’t get much cleaner or simpler than the Gusto dashboard, does it?
Easy-To-Follow Guided Setup
How many times have you had to set up an account in a new app, program or system and were completely lost?
How often do you sit there like “where do I start?” and then “what do I do next?”?
Well Gusto takes the guesswork out of the account setup process.
There’s literally a numbered account setup process:
It really doesn’t get much easier.
You start at task #1 which is entering your address.
Then you move on, in order, to:
- Adding employees
- Entering federal tax info
- Entering state tax info
- Connecting your business bank account
- Establishing payroll schedule
- Entering historical payroll info
- Signing the documentation to allow Gusto to do things on your behalf
- Verifying bank connection
- Dealing with potential unpaid tax liabilities from previous payroll
Gusto simply takes the guesswork out of the setup process.
Why is this such an important feature you ask?
- You save time by completing everything in order
- The chance that you miss/forget something is greatly reduced
As a business owner, you are probably all about saving time so that itself should be enough reason to like this feature!
The other benefit is making sure everything is completed the first time because we all know that it’s a pain in the ass to think you’re all done and ready to go only to have to stop and go back to fix things.
Payroll On Auto-Pilot
Didn’t I just get finished saying how business owners love saving time?
Well, yeah, here is another time saver Gusto provides when it comes to running your small business payroll.
If you’ve processed payroll before, many times you have to call in or log into your payroll processing company’s website and enter the information.
Even if it’s for a salaried employee, some companies require “verification” by continually inputting it.
It’s even worse when you have someone in your office doing your payroll manually.
Trust me, when I was working in CPA firms I saw this all of the time.
Each week (or whatever the payroll schedule was) the person would sit and tabulate everything on a ledger then manually write out the checks.
Or that same person at a different company would have to call/fax in the payroll to the payroll company that would process the checks.
And that included the owners and managers who got paid the same every single period
It really got to be a huge waste of time, but you try convincing someone who had been doing it that way for 40 years to try something new & better 🤷
That’s what makes this feature so valuable to many of my clients.
All you do is set your salary and the pay periods.
Then turn on auto-pilot and boom! you’re done.
Each period the payroll will be run for you without you being required to lift a finger.
Automatic Payroll Tax Deposits & Quarterly Payroll Tax Return Filing
I wonder who is going to tired first:
Me of continually writing about saving time or you of reading my mentions of it over and over again hahaha.
The truth is it’s such a huge factor in small business that it bears being highlighted!
Once again, using Gusto for small business payroll saves time for busy entrepreneurs.
This time, it’ll potentially save you money as well!
How you ask?
When you do your own payroll processing you have to be responsible for sending in the taxes withheld from your–and your employees’ –paychecks.
Real quick–when are you supposed to send in those withheld taxes?
Most people don’t know.
What’s worse is there is no one answer because your deposit period depends on your company tax liability.
Some small business payroll taxes need to be deposited by the 15th of the next month.
Others are required to make tax deposits on a specific day of the week depending on the pay day.
Still others must make the payroll tax deposit the next business day.
Not only is it yet another deadline to keep track of, it can be costly if you forget.
The payroll tax returns are a little different since most of them have the same filing date.
But that doesn’t mean it’s not easy to forget to file those as well, particularly if you are new to having payroll liabilities.
Gusto takes care of all of this hassle by doing all of these tasks for you…
You never have to do anything or pay extra for the service; it’s part of the process for everyone.
That “set it and forget it” aspect is one of the things that everyone loves.
And the fact that they don’t have to deal with quarterly estimates any more too hahaha.
Automatic W-2 And 1099-MISC Filing
It’s not just the withholding tax deposits and the quarterly payroll tax returns that get taken care of.
Gusto also takes care of the annual payroll tax returns including Federal Unemployment Tax, your employees’ W-2 and any contractor 1099-MISC forms.
That’s pretty big because if you did it yourself, you’d have to spend extra time and money doing it yourself or entering the data into a separate online tax form filing program.
Let’s be real–no one wants to spend more time or money than they have to.
Just like the payroll tax returns, the employee tax forms are also done at no extra cost.
One other benefit is not having to worry about wrongly sending 1099-MISC forms to your contractors.
It’s just too bad the program can’t cant’take the guessing game out of whether or not you need to send out a 1099-MISC for everyone.
Maybe one day!
One Fee Covers All Payroll Processing Activities
Here we go, this is where most people complain about everything:
Except, with Gusto, there is never any confusion when it comes to how much you will pay.
You always pay one monthly fee that covers all services.
Yes, your fee pays for:
- Payroll processing regardless of how many pay periods you want
- Payroll on Auto-Pilot
- Direct deposit of paychecks
- Withholding tax deposits
- Quarterly payroll tax returns
- Annual payroll tax returns
One fee for everything.
Music to your ears, amiright!?
That makes it so much easier than wondering how much you’ll pay based on hiring new people or wanting to switch from paper checks to direct deposit.
For small businesses, knowing exactly what your costs are each month makes budgeting and operating your business so much easier!
Everything Is Digital
Even in today’s digital age, so many things still have to be printed and signed then mailed or faxed back to the originator.
It makes no sesnse.
Gust embraces technology and the digital age and makes setting up your small business payroll account effortless.
You digitally sign and submit all of the account onboarding documents.
Your employees get their own onbaording package online, then digitally sign those documents.
The documents to make Gusto your agent with the state and IRS are digitally signed and submitted.
You don’t have to run over to the local office supply store or call around to friends and family to find a fax machine.
You don’t have to run out and waste money on a package of envelopes just to mail a few sheets of paper.
You don’t have to run to the store or Post Office to buy stamps to mail back the signed documents.
You and your employees do everything at your computer and never have to leave the house.
Gusto Syncs With The Best Accounting Software
This is something that most of my clients (or anyone else I speak to about online payroll services) don’t even consider.
What happens when you do your own books in–let’s say QuickBooks–and you see the payroll in your bank feed?
How do you break down the different categories?
Do you even do it or stick everything in your wages account?
Which, by the way, isn’t the correct way to do it 😉
Now, whenever anyone runs a payroll, it automatically gets sent to their QuickBooks Online file with the proper classifications broken out.
All they need to do is click “match” in the bank feed and boom! it’s recorded correctly.
When I explain it, I (almost) always get that “ahhhhhhh” response.
It’s the little things that help make running a business easier!
Gusto Only Does One Thing
Your dentist isn’t also your tailor.
Your lawyer isn’t also your gardener.
Your accountant isn’t also your barber/hairstylist.
At least I hope none of those are true!
The point is, you want the people and services you work with to be experts in those areas.
Gusto does exactly that!
It’s an online payroll service for small businesses, that’s it.
It’s not trying to do all things well.
It’s doing one thing great.
That’s the problem with so many of these all-in-one solutions.
None of them are great at every service they provide.
Think of it like this:
If you go to someone who says they’re a CFP, CPA, JD, and 10 other acronyms what the hell are they actually an expert in?
They can’t possible put in enough time into each area to truly be an expert in everything, yet they have to spend enough time in all of them to maintain their licenses.
So, in reality they are an expert in nothing.
A jack of all trades, but a master of none as the saying goes.
With Gusto, you are only getting small business payroll-related services at a high level.
That’s what you should expect from a payroll company!
Like I said, at the top, I personally use Gusto for my own payroll as well as having 10+ clients who require a payroll service for their own small businesses. I’d recommend it for any one of the above reasons, but considering all of them together makes it a no brainer for me!
Don’t take my word as gospel–try it for yourself! Plus, if you use any of the links in this article you will get one month of payroll service for free!
Have you tried any specialized payroll services for small business like Gusto? Do you do it by hand? If you think you may need small business payroll services in the future which ones have you looked into?