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June 6, 2024
XX min read

Gusto vs Rippling


When it comes to managing HR processes, choosing the right Human Resources Information System (HRIS) is crucial. Two popular tools in this category are Gusto and Rippling. 

With Gusto, you get modern HR features like payroll, benefits, hiring, management resources, and more—all in one place. In comparison, Rippling gives businesses one place to run HR, IT, and Finance—globally. It brings together all workforce systems that are normally scattered across a company, like payroll, expenses, benefits, and computers. For the first time ever, you can manage and automate every part of the employee lifecycle in a single system.

Comparing these HRIS tools is important for businesses looking to optimize their HR processes and ensure they choose the best fit for their specific needs.

Gusto Overview

Key Features

Gusto is well-known for its user-friendly interface and comprehensive feature set tailored to small to medium-sized businesses. Below are the key features of Gusto:

  • Payroll Management: Gusto offers a robust payroll system that handles federal, state, and local tax filings. The system is designed to be intuitive, automating as much of the process as possible.
  • Benefits Administration: Gusto helps businesses manage health insurance, 401(k) plans, and other employee benefits. They also offer options for workers' comp insurance and health savings accounts (HSAs).
  • Time Tracking: Gusto includes basic time tracking functionality, allowing employees to clock in and out, request time off, and track their hours directly within the platform.
  • Onboarding Tools: With built-in tools for onboarding, Gusto simplifies the process of getting new hires up and running with automated paperwork, e-signatures, and task lists.
  • Employee Self-Service: Employees can access their payroll information, request PTO, and view their benefits through a dedicated online portal.
  • Compliance Support: Gusto helps ensure compliance with labor laws and tax regulations, offering up-to-date resources and automatic updates to keep your business compliant.

Rippling Overview

Key Features

Rippling stands out for its ability to integrate HR with IT and Finance, offering unparalleled automation and efficiency. Here are the key features of Rippling:

  • Unified Workforce Management: Rippling combines HR, IT, and Finance, allowing you to manage everything from payroll and benefits to managing devices and apps from a single platform.
  • Automation of Employee Lifecycle: Automate every part of the employee lifecycle, from onboarding and offboarding to changes in roles, departments, and locations.
  • Global Payroll: Rippling makes managing international payroll easier and allows businesses to pay employees in multiple countries, maintaining compliance with local laws.
  • Benefits Administration: Like Gusto, Rippling helps manage employee benefits, including health insurance, 401(k) plans, and more. Its benefits administration tools are comprehensive and integrate seamlessly with payroll.
  • App and Device Management: Rippling’s IT management tools allow you to set up, manage, and disable employee access to various software and hardware. This is particularly useful for companies that provide computers and other devices to their employees.
  • Expense Management: Rippling offers features to manage and track employee expenses, making reimbursement processing smoother and more efficient.


Both Gusto and Rippling offer a range of features aimed at streamlining HR processes and improving efficiency. Here are the key similarities:

  • Payroll Management: Both platforms offer robust payroll management, including tax filing and compliance support.
  • Benefits Administration: Both tools provide comprehensive benefits administration, including health insurance and retirement plan management.
  • Onboarding Tools: Both Gusto and Rippling have strong onboarding functionalities, ensuring new hires can hit the ground running with minimal hassle.
  • Employee Self-Service: Employees can access their pay stubs, benefits information, and other personal HR data through both platforms.
  • Time Tracking: Both HRIS tools offer time tracking capabilities to help manage employee hours and attendance.


While Gusto and Rippling share some key functionalities, there are significant differences between the two:

  • Integration Depth: Rippling integrates deeply with IT and Finance, allowing for management of devices and apps, which Gusto doesn’t offer.
  • Global Capabilities: Rippling stands out with its ability to handle global payroll and compliance, making it suitable for international businesses, whereas Gusto is primarily focused on the US.
  • Expense Management: Rippling includes more comprehensive expense management tools, which are not a core feature of Gusto.
  • Automation and Efficiency: While Gusto is user-friendly and straightforward, Rippling offers more advanced automation features across multiple departments, enhancing overall operational efficiency.
  • Target Audience: Gusto is best suited for small to medium-sized businesses that need an easy-to-use HR system. Rippling, on the other hand, can serve larger enterprises or those with complex needs involving IT and international operations.

Pros and Cons



  • User-Friendly Interface: Gusto is known for its clean, intuitive interface that makes it easy for users to navigate and manage HR tasks.
  • Comprehensive Payroll and Benefits: Gusto’s payroll and benefits administration are both robust and straightforward.
  • Excellent Onboarding: Automates many onboarding tasks to ensure new hires can get started quickly.
  • Transparency and Compliance: Offers substantial resources to help businesses stay compliant with labor laws and tax regulations.


  • Limited Integration: Doesn’t offer the deep IT and Finance integrations that Rippling does.
  • US-Centric: Primarily focuses on US payroll and benefits administration, lacking global payroll capabilities.
  • Basic Time Tracking: Time tracking functionality is basic and may not meet the needs of all businesses.



  • Integration with IT and Finance: Ability to manage computers, apps, and more alongside traditional HR tasks.
  • Global Payroll: Excellent for companies with employees in different countries.
  • High Level of Automation: Automating processes across HR, IT, and Finance can save businesses a significant amount of time.
  • Comprehensive Expense Management: Advanced tools for tracking and managing employee expenses.


  • Complexity: While powerful, Rippling’s extensive features may be overwhelming for smaller businesses or those looking for a simpler solution.
  • Higher Learning Curve: More features mean that there may be a steeper learning curve compared to Gusto.
  • Cost: Generally priced higher than Gusto, which might be prohibitive for small businesses with tight budgets.

Use Cases


  • Small to Medium-Sized Businesses: Ideal for companies looking for a straightforward, user-friendly HRIS tool to manage payroll, benefits, and basic HR tasks.
  • Companies Based in the US: Perfect for businesses operating within the US due to its focus on US-based payroll and tax compliance.
  • Organizations Needing Excellent Onboarding: Especially beneficial for companies with frequent hiring needs that require seamless onboarding processes.


  • Larger Enterprises: Suitable for larger companies that need a more sophisticated solution integrating HR, IT, and Finance.
  • Global Companies: Great for businesses with a global workforce, thanks to its international payroll and compliance capabilities.
  • IT-Heavy Organizations: Particularly beneficial for companies that provide devices or require extensive software management across the organization.


Choosing between Gusto and Rippling depends largely on the specific needs of your business. Gusto offers a user-friendly, comprehensive HRIS solution ideal for small to medium-sized businesses focused on straightforward payroll and benefits management within the US. Its onboarding features and compliance support make it an excellent choice for growing businesses that need to streamline their HR processes.

Rippling, on the other hand, offers a more robust, all-encompassing solution that integrates HR, IT, and Finance, making it ideal for larger enterprises or businesses with a global workforce. Its advanced automation features and ability to manage devices and apps provide a higher level of efficiency, though at a higher cost and with a steeper learning curve.

Ultimately, if you need a simple, efficient HR solution tailored to US-based operations, Gusto may be the best fit. However, if your business requires a more integrated, global approach with advanced automation capabilities, Rippling is likely the better choice.

Key takeaways 🔑🥡🍕

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