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June 6, 2024
XX min read

Gusto vs Breathe


In today's fast-paced business environment, Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) tools have become indispensable for efficient HR management. Two notable contenders in this space are Gusto and Breathe. 

With Gusto, you get modern HR features like payroll, benefits, hiring, management resources, and more — all in one place. On the other hand, Breathe is a multi-award-winning simple and secure people software that helps UK and Australian SMEs move their core people processes online – saving time, giving peace of mind, and enabling businesses wherever they are working.

Choosing the right HRIS tool is crucial for maximizing efficiency and ensuring your HR processes are smooth and effective. This detailed comparison aims to help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of each tool to determine the best fit for your organization.

Gusto Overview

Gusto is an all-in-one platform designed to simplify HR processes. It is particularly favored by small to medium-sized businesses in the US for its user-friendly interface and comprehensive feature set.

Key Features

  • Payroll Management: Automates payroll calculations, tax filings, and payments to ensure accuracy and compliance.
  • Benefits Administration: Offers employee benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, and more, integrating seamlessly with payroll.
  • Time Tracking: Integrated time tracking tools to monitor employee hours, leave, and overtime.
  • Hiring and Onboarding: Facilitates job postings, applicant tracking, and a streamlined onboarding process to get new hires up to speed quickly.
  • Employee Self-Service: Allows employees to access their pay stubs, benefits information, and personal data.
  • HR Management Tools: Comprehensive management resources include compliance assistance, team management, and performance reviews.
  • User-Friendly Interface: Elegant and simple interfaces make it easy for non-HR professionals to navigate.
  • Financial Tools: Integrated with popular accounting software such as QuickBooks to streamline financial operations.

Breathe Overview

Breathe is a versatile HRIS tool tailored to the needs of UK and Australian SMEs. It focuses on simplifying core HR processes to enhance business efficiency regardless of where the teams are working.

Key Features

  • Employee Database: Centralized repository for storing and managing employee data securely.
  • Leave Management: Streamlined process for managing employee leave requests and approvals.
  • Performance Management: Tools to facilitate performance reviews, setting objectives, and tracking development.
  • Document Management: Secure storage for employee documents, contracts, and policies.
  • HR Reporting: Comprehensive reporting tools to get insights into various HR metrics.
  • Compliance Management: Ensures HR practices are compliant with local employment laws and regulations.
  • User-Friendly Interface: Intuitive design that simplifies navigation for users of all levels.
  • Remote Work Support: Facilitates HR tasks in a remote work environment, ensuring flexibility and productivity.


Both Gusto and Breathe are robust HRIS tools designed to streamline HR operations and improve efficiency within organizations. Here’s how they are similar:

  • All-in-One Platforms: Both tools aim to centralize various HR functions, providing a one-stop solution for payroll, benefits, and employee management.
  • User-Friendly: They are designed with simplicity in mind, making them accessible to users irrespective of their technical proficiency.
  • Employee Self-Service: Both platforms offer self-service capabilities, allowing employees to manage their own information, which reduces the HR administrative burden.
  • Compliance: Each tool assists organizations in compliance with relevant laws and regulations in their respective regions, mitigating the risk of legal issues.
  • Time-Saving: By automating repetitive tasks, both Gusto and Breathe help save time, allowing HR teams to focus on more strategic initiatives.
  • Reporting: They provide various reporting tools for analyzing HR data, offering insights into workforce metrics and trends.


Despite their similarities, Gusto and Breathe differ significantly in certain aspects:

  • Geographic Focus: Gusto primarily serves businesses in the US, whereas Breathe targets SMEs in the UK and Australia.
  • Payroll Capabilities: Gusto offers extensive payroll features, including automatic tax filing and payment processing, which are more limited in Breathe.
  • Integration: Gusto provides more extensive integrations with third-party financial tools, such as QuickBooks. Breathe focuses more on core HR processes and offers fewer integration options.
  • Benefits Management: Gusto provides a broad range of employee benefits options, while Breathe’s offerings in this area are more basic.
  • Remote Work Support: Breathe emphasizes remote work support features, making it more suitable for businesses with distributed teams.
  • Price Point: Gusto tends to be more expensive due to its comprehensive feature set, while Breathe offers a more cost-effective solution for smaller businesses.

Pros and Cons



  • Comprehensive payroll and benefits management
  • User-friendly interface
  • Extensive third-party integrations
  • Robust compliance features
  • Great for growing businesses


  • Higher cost
  • Primarily focused on the US market
  • May be too feature-rich for very small businesses



  • Cost-effective for SMEs
  • Excellent support for remote work environments
  • Simple and secure employee data management
  • Intuitive design and ease of use
  • Strong emphasis on compliance


  • Limited payroll capabilities
  • Fewer integrations compared to Gusto
  • Primarily focuses on the UK and Australian markets

Use Cases


Gusto is ideal for small to medium-sized businesses in the US looking for a comprehensive HRIS tool that covers payroll, benefits, and HR management. It is particularly beneficial for companies with growing teams needing robust compliance support and third-party integrations.


Breathe is well-suited for UK and Australian SMEs aiming to move their HR processes online to save time and ensure secure, centralized data management. It’s especially advantageous for businesses with remote teams, requiring efficient leave management and performance tracking without high costs.


In summary, both Gusto and Breathe offer powerful HRIS solutions, each catering to different needs and markets. 

Gusto excels in providing a comprehensive, all-in-one HRIS experience with strong payroll and benefits management capabilities, making it an excellent choice for US-based businesses aiming for growth and extensive features. Its higher price point is justified by its breadth of offerings and integration capabilities.

Conversely, Breathe shines as a cost-effective, simple, and secure HRIS solution tailored for SMEs in the UK and Australia. It emphasizes ease of use, remote work support, and effective compliance management. This makes it a great option for smaller businesses aiming to streamline HR processes without incurring high expenses.

Choosing between Gusto and Breathe ultimately depends on your business's geographic location, specific HR needs, budget constraints, and growth plans. Assess these factors carefully to select the tool that aligns best with your organizational goals.

Key takeaways 🔑🥡🍕

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