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June 6, 2024
XX min read

Gusto vs Charlie


Choosing the right Human Resource Information System (HRIS) can be a game-changer for any organization. With tools like Gusto and Charlie, companies can streamline their HR processes, improve efficiency, and provide a better experience for their employees.

Gusto offers modern HR features like payroll, benefits, hiring, management resources, and more — all in one place. This comprehensive approach makes it a popular choice for businesses seeking to centralize their HR activities.

Charlie, on the other hand, is a cloud-based HR software that focuses on making HR processes easy. It allows users to onboard new hires, store company documents, book and manage time off, run productive reviews, and get professional HR advice. This holistic system is designed to cater to all the needs of modern HR departments.

Comparing HRIS tools like Gusto and Charlie is essential to understand their capabilities, identify which features are most beneficial, and determine the best fit for your organization's specific needs.

Gusto Overview

Gusto is an all-in-one HR solution designed to simplify HR tasks and provide essential tools to manage a business effectively.

Key Features

  • Payroll Processing: Automate payroll calculations, deductions, and tax filings.
  • Employee Benefits: Manage health benefits, retirement plans, and other employee perks.
  • Hiring and Onboarding: Streamline recruitment with easy-to-use hiring tools and customized onboarding checklists.
  • Time Tracking: Track employee hours, manage time-off requests, and sync with payroll.
  • Compliance: Ensure compliance with federal, state, and local regulations.
  • Employee Self-Service: Provide a user-friendly portal for employees to access their pay stubs, benefits information, and personal details.
  • Management Resources: Access performance management tools, custom reports, and HR advisory services.

Charlie Overview

Charlie is designed to make HR processes straightforward and efficient, helping businesses focus on their people rather than paperwork.

Key Features

  • Onboarding: Simplify the onboarding process with intuitive checklists and document storage.
  • Document Management: Store and organize company documents securely in the cloud.
  • Time Off Management: Easily request, approve, and track employee time off.
  • Performance Reviews: Conduct productive reviews with customizable templates and feedback tools.
  • HR Advice: Access professional HR advice to address specific concerns or questions.
  • Employee Records: Maintain up-to-date employee records with comprehensive profiles.
  • Compliance: Ensure compliance with essential HR regulations and best practices.


Both Gusto and Charlie aim to streamline HR processes and provide a range of features designed to improve efficiency and employee satisfaction. Key similarities include:

  • Onboarding: Both tools provide robust onboarding features to help new hires integrate smoothly into the organization.
  • Document Management: Each tool offers secure document storage and management capabilities.
  • Time Off Management: Gusto and Charlie both allow for easy management of employee time off, including requests and approvals.
  • Compliance: Ensuring compliance with HR regulations is a priority for both platforms.
  • Employee Self-Service: Both platforms provide portals where employees can access important information and manage their own HR-related tasks.


While there are many similarities, Gusto and Charlie also have key differences that might make one more suitable for certain organizations than the other:

  • Payroll Processing: Gusto has a comprehensive payroll processing feature, whereas Charlie focuses more on general HR tasks and doesn't offer the same depth in payroll services.
  • Employee Benefits Management: Gusto excels in managing employee benefits, offering extensive options for health, retirement, and other perks. Charlie, however, mainly focuses on HR processes and advice.
  • Performance Management: While both offer tools for performance reviews, Gusto integrates these tools with broader management resources and advisory services, whereas Charlie offers customizable review templates and feedback mechanisms that are more straightforward.
  • HR Advice: Charlie provides direct access to professional HR advice, a unique feature that Gusto does not explicitly match.
  • Focus and Scope: Gusto is more comprehensive, covering a wider array of HR tasks, including payroll and benefits, while Charlie simplifies core HR functions without diving deeply into payroll and benefits administration.

Pros and Cons



  • Comprehensive payroll services.
  • Extensive benefits management.
  • Efficient onboarding and time tracking.
  • Strong compliance features.
  • Employee self-service portal.


  • Can be overwhelming for small businesses with its extensive features.
  • Higher cost compared to simpler HRIS tools.
  • Limited HR advisory services compared to Charlie.



  • User-friendly and easy to navigate.
  • Strong onboarding and document management features.
  • Access to professional HR advice.
  • Effective time off and performance management.
  • Cost-effective for small to medium-sized businesses.


  • Lacks comprehensive payroll processing.
  • Limited employee benefits management.
  • May not suit larger businesses needing advanced HR features.

Use Cases


Gusto is ideal for companies that need a comprehensive HR solution that includes payroll, benefits, and extensive management resources. It suits businesses looking for an all-in-one platform to handle a wide range of HR tasks efficiently. Gusto is perfect for medium to large organizations requiring robust tools for compliance, payroll, and employee benefits.


Charlie is best suited for small to medium-sized companies that need an easy-to-use platform for essential HR functions. It's perfect for businesses that prioritize simple onboarding, effective document management, and access to HR advice without requiring extensive payroll or benefits features. Charlie's straightforward approach makes it ideal for companies looking to focus primarily on improving core HR processes.


Choosing between Gusto and Charlie depends largely on your organization's specific needs and priorities. 

Gusto offers a comprehensive suite of HR tools, including payroll and benefits management, making it ideal for businesses that require all-encompassing HR functionalities. Its robust platform supports medium to large organizations in managing complex HR tasks efficiently.

Charlie, with its user-friendly interface and focus on simplifying core HR processes, is a great choice for small to medium-sized businesses. It provides essential features like onboarding, document management, and HR advice, making it perfect for companies seeking to improve their HR operations without the need for extensive payroll and benefits management.

Ultimately, the decision should be based on which tool's features align best with your business’s needs. If comprehensive payroll and benefits management are priorities, Gusto is the better option. If ease of use and core HR process management are more important, Charlie is likely the way to go.

Key takeaways 🔑🥡🍕

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