Building Embedded Payroll

With Gusto Embedded Payroll, our Partners own the frontend payroll experience and Gusto handles the back-end tax calculations and payments. This guide provides a high level overview of what's required at minimum to launch a payroll product.

If you haven't already, start by reviewing Payroll Fundamentals to familiarize yourself with the different components of payroll.


  • Create and authenticate new payroll customers via API token Authentication.
  • Authenticate existing Gusto customers via OAuth2.
  • Persist access and refresh tokens in your database.


Build company and employee onboarding to collect information that is required to process payroll

  • Option 1: Build or map existing UI to Gusto’s APIs
  • Option 2: Leverage Gusto’s Flows (Pre-built UI)
  • Option 3: Use a combination of APIs and modular Flows ("Hybrid" model)

Payroll UI

  • Surface the upcoming payroll period and deadline to submit payroll in your application.
  • Inform end-users that submitting a direct deposit payroll past the payroll deadline will result in a late payroll.
  • Build a UI that allows the end-user to input/edit hourly and fixed compensations.
  • Build a screen that shows the calculated payroll preview with a granular breakdown of payroll items prior to the payroll submission. At minimum, this will include the total payroll amount, the debit amount, the debit date, the employee pay date, and employee payroll summary.
  • Build a UI that allows the end-user to 'go-back' to edit payroll information and re-calculate payroll with updated totals prior to the payroll submission deadline.
  • Build a UI that allows the end-user to confirm and submit payroll.
  • Build a confirmation screen that payroll has successfully been processed or an error message if the payroll was not successfully processed.
  • Build a UI so the end-user can cancel a payroll prior to the payroll submission deadline.
    • The end-user will the option to re-run the payroll prior to payroll submission deadline.
    • In-app messaging will inform the end-user that the payroll cannot be canceled if the payment has already started processing and they must contact support.

Payroll Document

  • Surface pay stubs to employees from your application by the payroll check date.
  • Surface company tax forms to customers in your application when available. This includes but is not limited to quarterly/annual tax forms (940/941/944), W2s, 1099s, etc.
  • Surface payroll receipts in your application when available.

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