Top 3 Reasons To Steer Clear Of Gusto Payroll

This blog contains affiliate links. Guided Wellness is a customer of Gusto Payroll, a company which offers a referral program that benefits new customers and current referring customers. Guided Wellness will earn a small commission from Gusto Payroll, at no cost to you, if you purchase through these links. I am careful to link only to products I use for myself or my business and can enthusiastically recommend.

Do I Need A Payroll System For My Small Business?

Owning and running a small business is about so much more than issuing paychecks. There are a thousand other things to focus on: marketing, attracting your ideal client, hiring staff, managing an office space or home office setting and so much more. But the truth is, we do all of this to get paid. If that wasn’t the truth you would be volunteering.

So let’s talk about payroll systems – Gusto payroll specifically. As the owner of a small business (Guided Wellness Counseling – a group practice of therapists in Southern Utah), I am the one responsible for making all the decisions about how my private practice employees get paid. Choosing a payroll system is one of the decisions I’ve revisited most in the history of my company’s systems.

Payroll Services For My Small Business

Like many small businesses I was my very first employee. The first few years of my business I was a solo practitioner in my private practice. When it was payday I simply moved money from my business checking into my personal checking. Simple. Paid. When I got busy and began planning for growth, it made sense to become an S-corp and I hired my tax accountant to run my payroll. Eventually my first hire was added to that system. It worked, but wasn’t a great fit (more on that below). Then 1 year ago I switched to Gusto payroll and wow! – have I learned a lot about payroll systems for small businesses and I cannot wait to share them with you. Could Gusto be the right payroll system for your:

  • small business
  • home based business
  • private practice
  • group practice

Here’s three things you should know about Gusto and why you might want to stear clear (or jump on board). Are you ready?

Modern workspace with laptop, coffee, and smartphone.

Reason 1: Do You Want To “DIY” Your Payroll System?

As a small business owner who has no formal business training, I felt like an absolute novice when it came time to take charge of my payroll system. Would I pick the right payroll system? Were payroll services something I should even try to manage myself or should I outsource my payroll to some more “qualified”?

So it’s no surprise that the very first thing I noticed when I signed up for Gusto payroll is how clearly they laid out the set-up and enrollment process. Literally, my homepage was lined with colorful buttons labeled, “Step 1… Step 2… Step 3…” It immediately put my mind at ease.

Do You Need Help With Payroll?

Eventually I did hit a bump in the road and couldn’t move forward in the steps. To be honest, I don’t even remember what it was that had me stuck. What I do remember is calling customer service and speaking with an incredibly friendly representative who taught me how to move forward. The end result was a confidence in myself that I could do this with their impeccable guidance.

However, if you want to patch together your payroll system like your grandmother’s quilts, Gusto is not for you. Similarly, if you would rather spend hours Googling FAQs about your payroll system because their customer service sucks – Gusto payroll is not for you. But if you are looking for straight forward, small, manageable steps and personalized service even in the most basic packages – Gusto will 100% deliver.

Reason 2: Are You A Master Manager And Scheduler?

I have a confession to make. One of the reasons I fired my tax accountant’s system is that I couldn’t remember when to report payroll hours. I schedule clients and staff meetings for private practice all darn day. But for the life of me, when it came to remembering when to report my employees hours and knowing what days of the month we would get paid, I could not remember. I was in constant fear I was going to miss a date and my team wouldn’t get paid on time.

Gusto absolutely took this responsibility off my shoulders. Twice a month I get friendly reminders in my inbox (complete w/ their super cute piggy bank mascot) that it’s time for me to report hours. I get another reminder 2 days later and then, if I’ve really delayed, 1 day to report.

How Do Small Businesses Set Up Payroll?

Using this payroll system for my small business also let me choose what days we would predictably get paid. For my team, I chose every other Friday – easy, rhythmic and predictable. But I could have also chosen to pay on specific dates, by compensation type (salary versus hourly) or by employee (which you might need if you have multiple locations or employee types).

Also, onboarding new employees has a similar feel. When I’m onboarding a therapist into my private practice team they begin getting those beautiful step-by-step prompts too! I also receive email updates as they complete their forms.

Personally, I have W-2 employees and each of them has found the system effortless to use. As a paperless office, it’s also nice that all of their employment and tax forms are online and completed via drop down menus. I don’t know about you, but paper employment and tax forms always made my eyes cross.

If you are a master manager and these kinds of reminders feel like an overbearing parent looking at your middle school day planner, then move on to another payroll system.

However, if you would like to remember one less thing and release the fear of forgetting your employees payroll, Gusto payroll will show up for you like a ride-or-die friend determined to make you a dependable boss.

Cozy home office setup with laptop on vintage chair.

Reason 3: You Are Hands-Off When Tracking Your Money.

For the past couple of years I have been managing my small business with the Profit First system. It helps me organize my income into accounts that are set aside for taxes, operating expenses (e.g. rent, tissues, etc), my own paycheck as the owner, and profit. With no formal training in business or accounting, this system has made managing money easy and organized. Profit first can work for large corporations, small business owners and home based businesses.

I have struggled in the past with payroll systems that help me translate my employees’ pay into my Profit First System, but Gusto payroll thought this through! This is game changing.

Profit First And Payroll Systems

Every time I run payroll I get a summary on the website with bullet points of how much my employees are getting paid, how much I the owner are getting paid, and how much I’m paying in taxes. Then, I pop into my back accounts and do my Profit First allocations for these tax and owner compensation deductions. Simple!

Perhaps you like to be hands-off with your money and cash flow. I mean, maybe you have more money then you know what to do with. Maybe at tax time you like to be surprised with an email from your tax accountant that you owe the government thousands of dollars. If this is you, move on and don’t use Gusto payroll. In fact, it sounds like you could move on entirely; sell your business and retire somewhere glamorous.

If you utilize Profit First or you simply want to rest easy knowing that your taxes are paid AND you have enough money to pay your employees that month then run, don’t walk, to Gusto payroll. It’s the only system I’ve used so far that makes this information so clear that it cannot be missed.

Is Gusto Payroll Really Right For Me?

Are you still wondering if Gusto is right for you? You’re not alone. These systems have a lot of nooks and crannies. In fact, I haven’t even explored all the other features my basic Gusto payroll plan offers me, like managing health benefits. I dream of being able to offer an HSA fund to my employees. I know when my small business is ready – Gusto can walk me through it. Seeing the option on my dashboard keeps the dream alive.

Clearly, I’m a fan of Gusto for my small business payroll system. It’s why I’m offering you my affiliate link to get a $100 Visa card when you run your first payroll with Gusto. There are a lot of payroll systems out there for private practices, small business and home based businesses. All of them have their bells and whistles, but I can honestly say that Gusto has been the best fit for me.

If you have any questions about my experience with Gusto – reach out! Hop into my inbox and I’d be glad to support you however I can. When you’re ready, use my referral code and you’ll receive a $100 Visa gift card when you run your first payroll. That’s like getting your first two months on the basic plan for free.

Being a small business owner and the manager of my own group practice can be scary, but we don’t have to do it alone. In fact, I firmly believe we shouldn’t do it alone. I hope that my personal experience of Gusto payroll serves you. Know that I’m rooting for you always and I wish you many happy paychecks in the years to come.


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Guided Wellness Counseling

Healing Depression, Anxiety, and Trauma in St. George and all of Southern Utah.

EMDR Therapy and EMDR Consultation Services.

720 South River Road Suite E 103, St. George, UT 84790