Rippling vs. Gusto | Which Is Best for Your Startup?

Rippling vs Gusto | Which Is Best for Your Startup?

Rippling vs. Gusto, which one is best?

Rippling and Gusto are two payroll companies that are probably competing for your startup, but which offers the best package for your utility?

It’s a tough decision because both of these companies, while doing similar jobs, have unique offerings and packages, and some startups might not need all of the features offered by both.

This article’ll examine rippling vs. gusto and how they compare.

Rippling is a payroll company that offers payroll software and services to help businesses manage their payroll process.

Gusto is another company that provides payroll services to businesses. Gusto focuses on providing all kinds of HR-related services, such as benefits, HR administration, and more.

What Do Startups Look For When Choosing a Payroll System?

Rippling vs Gusto | Which Is Best for Your Startup?

Startups are always looking for ways to go lean and stay profitable. One way to do this is by choosing the right payroll system. Startups need to find a system that is easy to use, has affordable pricing, and doesn’t require a lot of time investment.

Some factors startups consider when choosing a payroll system are:

  • The type of company they have.
  • The number of employees.
  • The amount of time and money they want to spend on payroll.
  • The level of complexity they need for their employee data.
  • How much control do they want over their payroll process?
  • How much time do they need to spend on payroll each month?

About Gusto

Formerly known as ZenPayroll, Gusto is a cloud-based payroll system founded in 2011 by Josh Reeves and Alex Turnbull, both previously senior executives at ZenPayroll.

Gusto offers services for payroll processing and payroll tax. It also provides human resources features and tools. Gusto, so far, has raised $691M in funding. 

Looking at some of the pros of Gusto, it has a good mobile interface with good integration alongside an accounting and time-tracking system.

Its Autopilot feature ensures employees are always paid on time. It also provides the option to set customized pay schedules and change them at any time.

As for compliance, it deals with federal and state payroll taxes seamlessly and automatically. 

It is worth noting that Gusto doesn’t have an easy IT systems management feature coupled with no integrated background checks compared to Rippling. The most important downside is that Gusto is not registered for benefits in all states.

This means you will have to register your company in each state where your employees are based, unlike some regular payment systems that register for you.

Although, I must add that Gusto provides support in this regard for its client. With Gusto, you can’t bring your own benefits broker to the table, so you are more or less stuck with the benefits companies integrated into Gusto. This has made a lot of Gusto clients take their businesses elsewhere.

About Rippling

Rippling was founded in 2016, and it provides payroll, payroll tax, human resources, and benefits management services through cloud-based software. So far, Rippling has raised $447M in funding. 

Rippling has a user-friendly experience and provides turnkey IT systems management so that when you hire a new employee, it’s easy to get them into the system.

Migrating from another payroll and benefits firm in Ripple is nearly seamless. Ripple works well with third-party benefits brokers, so you can enlist the services of an independent broker.

When Rippling first came on board, it had fewer integration options than Gusto. However, Rippling is working hard on new integrations and has now topped the number available with Gusto.

Although it is worth noting that Rippling does not offer a free trial, you can’t have a trial run to decide if you’ll want to purchase their services.

Rippling vs. Gusto – Which Is Best for Your Startup?

This is a comparison of both.


Core: $39/month + $6 per person.

Complete: $39/month +$12 per person.

Concierge: $149/month + $12 per person.

Select Quote-based pricing.
Payroll service: Offer starts at $35/month + $8 per person.

Pricing for extra services is quote-based.
Tax filing and paymentsYes, they offer this service.

With each pay, taxes are calculated and paid to government agencies at no extra cost.
Yes. Federal, state, and local taxes are calculated and filed automatically.
Ability to manage benefitsAbove Average

Employees can view their pay stubs and get W-2s + requests for time off from a mobile phone or online.

Employees also have access to view and update benefits.

Health insurance, 401ks, and other benefits.

Rippling Professional Employer organization provides access to health insurance, including 401k plans, health savings accounts, and flexible spending accounts.
Portal Access For EmployeesExcellent.

The system syncs with various apps from accounting to time tracking, e.g., QuickBooks Online, and Xero.

Employees have lifetime access to their accounts to view pay stubs, obtain W-2 forms and change personal info.
Live supportGood.

They offer live customer support by phone, email, or chat at all plan levels.

Although Support is not available on weekends.

They offer live chat, in-app video calls, and email during weekdays only.

Lots of apps in a wide range of categories are included for accounting, hiring and onboarding, time tracking, and more.

The system syncs with a variety of apps from accounting to time tracking e.g. QuickBooks Online, Xero.


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