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June 6, 2024
XX min read

Workday vs Gusto


When it comes to managing human resources, selecting the appropriate HRIS (Human Resource Information System) tool can make a significant impact on operational efficiency, compliance, and employee satisfaction. Two prominent players in this arena are Workday and Gusto.

Workday is renowned as a comprehensive finance system designed to streamline financial processes, drive business strategy, and mitigate risks both domestically and internationally. It helps users focus less on transaction processing and more on strategic actions thanks to its automated financial management and insightful reporting.

Gusto, on the other hand, offers a modern suite of HR features that include payroll, benefits administration, hiring tools, and management resources, all consolidated into one user-friendly platform.

This comparison will delve into both tools, their features, strengths, weaknesses, and unique aspects to guide you in making an informed decision.

Workday Overview

Workday stands out as an extensive solution that provides a suite of applications designed to meet an organization's finance and HR needs cohesively.

Key Features

  • Financial Management: Advanced financial analytics, automated accounting, procurement, and strategic planning tools.
  • Human Capital Management (HCM): Talent acquisition, development, and optimization modules designed to nurture and retain top talent.
  • Expense Management: Real-time expense tracking, automated approvals, and thorough auditing capabilities.
  • Payroll Solutions: Comprehensive payroll management, including global payroll for international companies.
  • Analytics and Reporting: Actionable insights with powerful reporting tools, customized dashboards, and in-context analytics.
  • Mobile Access: Fully mobile-enabled platform, allowing for on-the-go management of HR and financial tasks.
  • Compliance and Risk Management: Tools to stay compliant with financial regulations and to manage risks effectively.

Gusto Overview

Gusto brings together a suite of HR features tailored towards smaller and mid-sized businesses, focusing on simplifying payroll, HR, and benefits administration.

Key Features

  • Payroll Processing: Automated payroll calculations, tax filings, and direct deposits.
  • Benefits Administration: Health insurance, 401(k) plans, workers’ compensation, and other employee benefits management.
  • Employee Onboarding: Streamlined onboarding processes, including digital paperwork and task automation.
  • Time Tracking: Integrated time-tracking tools suitable for hourly and salaried employees.
  • Talent Management: Performance reviews, goal setting, and employee engagement tools.
  • Compliance Tools: Built-in compliance features for federal, state, and local regulations, including health benefits compliance.
  • HR Resources: Access to HR experts and resources to assist with employee management and compliance.


Both Workday and Gusto offer comprehensive HR solutions designed to streamline various HR-related processes. Some key similarities include:

  • Payroll Management: Both offer robust payroll solutions that include automatic tax calculations and filings.
  • Compliance Tools: Each platform includes tools and features to help businesses stay compliant with relevant regulations.
  • Analytics and Reporting: Both provide data analytics and reporting tools, although Workday’s are more advanced.
  • Mobile Access: Users can access both platforms via mobile devices, allowing for increased flexibility and productivity on-the-go.
  • Employee Self-Service: Employees can interact with both systems to manage their information, such as updating personal details or accessing pay stubs.


Despite their similarities, Workday and Gusto have several notable differences:

  • Target Audience: Workday caters primarily to larger enterprises with complex needs, whereas Gusto is more fitting for small to mid-sized businesses.
  • Financial Management: Workday includes extensive financial management features, while Gusto focuses more on HR functions.
  • Global Payroll: Workday offers a robust global payroll solution suitable for international businesses; Gusto's payroll services are more US-centric.
  • Cost: Gusto generally offers more affordable pricing options compared to Workday, which can be cost-prohibitive for smaller businesses.
  • User Interface: Gusto is known for its user-friendly interface that simplifies HR management; Workday, though comprehensive, has a steeper learning curve.

Pros and Cons



  • Comprehensive suite covering both HR and financial management.
  • Advanced analytics and reporting capabilities.
  • Scalable solution suitable for large, international organizations.
  • Integrated expense and procurement management.
  • Strong risk and compliance management tools.


  • High cost, potentially prohibitive for smaller businesses.
  • Steep learning curve due to the platform’s extensive offerings.
  • Implementation can be time-consuming and complex.



  • User-friendly interface ideal for small to mid-sized businesses.
  • Affordable pricing with scalable plans.
  • Streamlined payroll and benefits management.
  • Integrated employee onboarding and time tracking.
  • Access to HR experts and resources.


  • Limited financial management capabilities.
  • US-focused with limited support for global payroll.
  • Lacks some of the more advanced analytics found in Workday.

Use Cases

Ideal scenarios or use cases for Workday:

  • Large Enterprises: Workday is tailored for large businesses needing an integrated solution for both HR and financial management.
  • International Operations: Companies with global operations will benefit from Workday’s robust global payroll and compliance features.
  • Complex Financial Needs: Organizations requiring detailed financial analytics and automated accounting processes.

Ideal scenarios or use cases for Gusto:

  • Small to Mid-Sized Businesses: Gusto is perfect for smaller companies needing comprehensive HR and payroll services without the complexity.
  • User Experience Priority: Businesses seeking an intuitive and easy-to-use platform.
  • Cost-Effective Solutions: Organizations looking for a budget-friendly HRIS with the essential features needed for efficient HR management.


In comparing Workday and Gusto, it's clear that each platform offers strong capabilities tailored to different business needs. Workday’s comprehensive suite is well-suited for large enterprises with complex HR and financial management requirements. In contrast, Gusto provides an affordable and user-friendly solution ideal for small to mid-sized businesses focused on streamlining HR and payroll processes.

When choosing between Workday and Gusto, consider the size of your business, the complexity of your needs, and your budget. Larger enterprises with extensive requirements will likely find Workday’s robust features and global capabilities essential. Smaller businesses or those just starting who prioritize an intuitive, cost-effective solution will find Gusto to be a great fit.

Key takeaways 🔑🥡🍕

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