Many of my accounting & tax clients use Gusto for their small business payroll and not one has ever said a bad word about it. These are the things they talked about liking the most as well as my own opinions since I actually use it for my own employee payroll!
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 payroll & 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 small business payroll needs.
Every client I have that has employee payroll uses it.
There are plenty of reasons why.
These are the most common things people like about Gusto.
Gusto Has A 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?
Gusto’s Guided Setup Process
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 small business payroll setup process.
There’s literally a numbered list of steps to follow so you can get to processing your employee payroll quicker rather than spinning your wheels setting up the account:
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 income tax info
- Connecting your business bank account
- Establishing employee 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 payroll tax liabilities from previous payrolls
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 small 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 employee payroll info to the payroll company which would then process the checks or direct deposits.
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.
Set your salary and the pay periods.
Then turn on auto-pilot and BOOM 💥
The employee payroll will be run for you without you being required to lift a finger.
It doesn’t get much easier than not doing a thing and still having your employees receive their money, does it?
Automatic Payroll Tax Deposits & Quarterly Payroll Tax Return Filing
Who will tire 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 for small businesses that it bears repeating!
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 payday.
Still, others must make the payroll tax deposit the next business day.
Not only is it yet another deadline to keep track of, but it can also 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 Payroll Tax Processing
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.
The latter two are required for each of your employees and independent contractors to file their own income tax return.
With Gusto processing the reports automatically, you are actually helping them get their own taxes done quicker.
Plus, 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.
Gusto prepares and files the employee payroll forms–W-2s–at no additional 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 take the guessing game out of when to send a 1099-MISC for everyone.
Maybe one day!
One Fee Covers All Your Small Business Payroll
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:
- Employee payroll processing regardless of how many pay periods you want
- Payroll on Auto-Pilot
- Direct deposit of paychecks to employee bank accounts
- 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 manually printed and signed.
It makes no sense.
Gusto 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 onboarding 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.
There’s no running out and waste money on a package of envelopes just to mail a few sheets of paper.
There isn’t any need to run to the store or Post Office to buy stamps to mail back the signed documents.
You and your employees do everything on your computer and never have to leave the house.
Best Small Business Payroll Syncs With The Best Accounting Software
This is something that most of my clients (or anyone else I speak to about online payroll companies) 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 Small Business Payroll
Your dentist isn’t also your tailor.
Hopefully, your lawyer isn’t also your gardener.
The person who files your income tax return better not also be 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 does small business payroll, that’s it.
It’s not trying to do all things well.
It’s trying to be great at one thing.
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, CFA, ChFC, JD, and 10 other acronyms what the hell are they actually an expert in?
They can’t possibly 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 small business payroll needs as well as having 20+ clients who require an online payroll service for their own employee payroll processing.
I’d recommend it for anyone 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 online payroll services for small businesses 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?