Back to Reference
No items found.
Search everything, get answers anywhere with Guru.
Watch a demoTake a product tour
June 6, 2024
XX min read

Gusto vs Zenefits


Managing human resources is crucial for the success of any business. Two popular HRIS (Human Resource Information System) tools that have gained traction in the market are Gusto and Zenefits. 

With Gusto, you get modern HR features like payroll, benefits, hiring, management resources, and more — all in one place.

Zenefits is a SaaS cloud-based human resources platform that helps more than 11,000 small and mid-sized companies empower their workforce, manage change, and stay compliant. Zenefits' People Platform delivers the most comprehensive, intuitive HR experience in the market. Its HR, Benefits, Payroll, and Performance apps, combined with advisory services and tightly integrated partner apps, radically simplify HR administration – reducing paperwork and complexity so companies can focus on starting, running, and growing their businesses.

Comparing HRIS tools like Gusto and Zenefits is essential for businesses to find the solution that best fits their specific needs, ensuring their HR operations run smoothly and efficiently.

Gusto Overview

Key Features

Gusto offers a range of features designed to streamline HR management:

  • Payroll: Automate payroll processing with direct deposit, tax filing, and compliance.
  • Benefits Administration: Management of health benefits, 401(k) plans, and other perks.
  • Hiring and Onboarding: Efficiently handle job postings, offer letters, and new hire paperwork.
  • Time Tracking: Monitor employee work hours and integrate with payroll.
  • Employee Self-Service: Employees can access pay stubs, tax documents, and benefits information.
  • Compliance: Stay up-to-date with labor laws and payroll regulations.
  • Reports and Analytics: Generate reports to gain insights into HR metrics and performance.

Zenefits Overview

Key Features

Zenefits offers a comprehensive suite of HR functionalities:

  • HR Management: Manage employee records, organizational charts, and company policies.
  • Benefits Administration: Handle medical, dental, vision, and other employee benefits.
  • Payroll: Integrated payroll processing with tax filing and compliance support.
  • Performance Management: Tools for setting goals, conducting reviews, and tracking performance.
  • Time and Scheduling: Track employee hours, manage time off, and create work schedules.
  • Compliance: Tools and advisory services to ensure your company remains legally compliant.
  • Mobile Access: Mobile app for employee self-service and administrative tasks.
  • Partner Integrations: Integrate with various third-party apps for a customized HR experience.


Both Gusto and Zenefits share several similarities as HRIS tools:

  • Comprehensive HR Services: Both platforms offer payroll, benefits administration, and HR management.
  • Compliance Support: Each solution provides tools and resources to help businesses stay compliant with labor laws and regulations.
  • Employee Self-Service: Employees can access their pay information, benefits, and other HR-related documents via a self-service portal.
  • Streamlined Onboarding: Both systems facilitate a smooth onboarding process for new hires.
  • Reports and Analytics: Each platform offers reporting tools to help businesses gain insights into their HR data.


Despite their similarities, Gusto and Zenefits have distinct differences:

  • Focus Areas: Gusto puts significant emphasis on payroll and benefits management, making it a strong choice for companies primarily focused on these areas. Zenefits, on the other hand, provides a broader range of HR functionalities including performance management and partner integrations.
  • Compliance and Advisory Services: Zenefits offers more extensive advisory services and compliance tools, helping businesses navigate complex HR regulations. Gusto offers compliance support but does not provide the same level of advisory services.
  • Mobile Access: Zenefits has a more robust mobile app, allowing employees and administrators to perform various HR tasks on the go. Gusto's mobile capabilities are more limited in comparison.
  • User Experience: Zenefits’ interface is known for being intuitive and user-friendly, while Gusto’s simplicity and straightforward design appeal to users who prioritize ease of use in payroll and benefits management.

Pros and Cons



  • Ease of Use: Simple, user-friendly interface.
  • Payroll & Benefits Focus: Strong capabilities in payroll processing and benefits administration.
  • Automation: Automates many HR tasks to save time and reduce errors.
  • Integration: Integrates with various tools like accounting software and time tracking apps.


  • Limited Mobile App: Mobile functionality is not as comprehensive as Zenefits.
  • Advisory Services: Does not offer the same level of advisory services as Zenefits.
  • Features: May lack some advanced HR features like performance management.



  • Comprehensive HR Suite: Offers a wide range of HR tools and features.
  • Advisory Services: Provides extensive compliance and advisory services.
  • Mobile Access: Robust mobile app for on-the-go HR management.
  • User Experience: Intuitive and easy-to-navigate interface.


  • Complexity: Can be overwhelming for smaller businesses or those with simpler needs.
  • Cost: May be more expensive compared to Gusto, especially for small businesses.
  • Integration: Although it offers many integrations, initial setup can be complex.

Use Cases


Gusto is ideal for:

  • Small to Medium-Sized Businesses: Particularly those wanting to streamline payroll and benefits management.
  • Companies Focused on Payroll: Businesses that prioritize payroll automation and need a straightforward, efficient system.
  • Ease of Use: Organizations looking for a simple, user-friendly interface for basic HR needs.


Zenefits is ideal for:

  • Medium to Larger Companies: Businesses needing a comprehensive HR suite with advanced features.
  • Compliance Focused: Companies that require extensive compliance and advisory services.
  • Mobile-First Companies: Organizations whose employees and managers need robust mobile access for HR tasks.
  • Complex HR Needs: Businesses seeking a flexible platform with a wide range of integrations and customization options.


Both Gusto and Zenefits offer valuable HRIS solutions tailored to different business needs. 

Gusto excels in providing a simplified, seamless experience for payroll and benefits administration. It’s an excellent choice for small to medium-sized businesses looking for an easy-to-use platform to streamline their HR processes.

Zenefits, on the other hand, delivers a comprehensive HR suite with a broader range of features and extensive compliance support. It’s ideal for medium to larger companies with more complex HR requirements, or those that prefer a mobile-friendly solution.

In summary, the choice between Gusto and Zenefits depends largely on your business size, focus areas, and specific HR needs. Gusto may be the better fit for those seeking straightforward payroll and benefits management, while Zenefits is well-suited for companies needing extensive HR functionality and compliance support.

Key takeaways 🔑🥡🍕

Written by
Search everything, get answers anywhere with Guru.

Learn more tools and terminology re: workplace knowledge