By Daniel Lewis,
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4.8 / 5

From my review of the Square Payroll tool, this platform is adequate for small business owners who need to pay salaries and wages to different types of employees. The features allow the business owners to keep track of salaries, hourly employees, and contractors.

The contractor-only payment option offered by Square Payroll does not charge any subscription fees; it only charges $5/month per person paid. This plan seems like a good option for startups that don’t have regular employees or don’t need to pay anyone in months.

User Experience
Integrations & Add-Ons
Service & Support
  • Affordable pricing plans
  • Automated and unlimited payrolls
  • Automatic tax filings
  • Contractor only options
  • Easy to set up and add new employees
  • Mobile app for Android and iOS users
  • Limited dashboard and basic features
  • Could use improved reports
  • Not very efficient customer service

The Square Payroll full-service payroll tool is designed for startups and small businesses to pay their employees through an online payroll management system. It also has an integrated payroll tax calculation and can be integrated with several payment processing tools, and the QuickBooks accounting software.

The Square Payroll platform has many exciting features that help small business owners efficiently pay their employees. Some of the main features of the Square Payroll include:

  • Automatic tax calculation
  • Timecard integration
  • Employee self-on boarding
  • Access to the Square Team app
  • Automatic quarterly and annual tax filing
  • Employee and contractor time tracking
  • Overtime calculations
  • Flat pricing for payroll services
  • Mobile app for Android and Apple users

Editor’s note: Square Payroll is a known name in the payroll platform tools. The initial offer is well-rounded, and the pricing plans are nicely organized: one comes with basic features and no monthly subscription fee. Even though this service offers all-inclusive payroll features, in my opinion, it still needs work to have a more wholesome payroll service its competitors offer.

Square Payroll – What Is It?

Square Payroll is an independent tool that helps small business owners run payroll, automatically file payroll taxes, and manage employee benefits. It is a full-service payroll system designed with the needs of small business owners in mind and can be integrated with other Square apps. That means that all of the features you need to consider are already included in the platform.

All the functionalities are included under one dashboard. For example, you can pay various employee types like salaried employees, hourly employees, and contractor fees. In addition, this platform has features that automatically calculate paid time off, hours worked, and total labor costs.

To make things easier for employers, the Square Payroll is also available via the mobile app for Android and iOS users. The app has many functionalities that allow you to keep track and manage payroll and accompanying features while on the move. Square is created and owned by the same people who created and own Twitter.

Square Payroll Features

The features of the Square Payroll platform are designed to help the small business owner handle all the necessities related to payroll. The features of this platform include:

  • Multi-state system
  • Payroll reporting
  • Benefits management
  • Check printing
  • Automatic tax reporting
  • Salaried and hourly payments
  • Contractors and employee payments
  • 401(k) tracking
  • Self-service portal
  • Vacation/leave tracking
  • Wage garnishments
  • Mobile app for Android and iOS users

The Square Payroll platform offers promising features that help small business owners pay their employees. The features are well-designed, and the developers are constantly working on adding new and improving the existing features that provide a more wholesome user experience.

The main features are employee onboarding, an employee self-service portal, automated quarterly and annual tax calculations and filings, direct deposit and manual checks, automatic payroll, employee and contractor time tracking, W2/1099 generation and filing, and more.

The Square payroll service can be integrated with other accounting services like QuickBooks accounting. However, as this platform is a part of the Square software, it seamlessly integrates with the other Square apps like Appointments, Payments, Point of Sale, and Invoices.

Square Payroll Pricing Plans

The Square Payroll tool has different pricing plans are based on the type and number of employees a business has. Initially, there are two pricing options:

Pay Contractors Only – this pricing plan does not include a monthly subscription fee but only charges a $5/month per person paid fee. There are no commitments with this plan, and you flat pricing and unlimited pay run per month. The other features include US-based customer support, mailing of all 1099 MISC forms, payments by check, direct deposit, or Cash App. It also allows free seasonal inactivity and the ability to cancel anytime.

Pay Employees & Contractors – this is the costlier pricing plan as it has a $29/month monthly subscription fee plus $5/month per person paid. The features include full-service payroll for both employees and contractors, automatic payroll tax calculations, tax filings and payments included, timecards and employee app, mailing of W-2s and 1099 MISC forms, payment by check, direct deposit and Cash App, US-based customer support, and unlimited pay runs per month.

After reviewing Square Payroll’s main competitors, I can say that this is not the most affordable, nor is it the most expensive payroll tool. The less expensive Square option does not have a fixed monthly fee; it only charges $5/month per person paid. Still, the features reflect the price plan, and the less expensive option only gives you the option to pay contractors. If you are looking for a payroll tool for paying your employees, you need to look at the pricier Square Payroll plan or check out some of Square Payroll’s main competitors, which are covered in the table below.

Square Payroll $29 + $5/month per person paid Full-service payroll, timecards, tax filings, automatic payments, pay contractors and employees
OnPay $36 +$4 per additional employee Full-service payroll HR, benefits.
Patriot Payroll $30 + $4 per additional employee Full-service payroll, HR
Quickbooks Payroll $22.50 +$4 per additional employee Full-service payroll, HR. Price jumps after three months.
Zoho Payroll $19 + $2 per additional employee Full-Service Payroll, Benefits, HR (Only available in 2 states)
Gusto $39 + $6 per additional employee Full-service payroll, No benefits or HR until higher tiers.

Square Comparison With Similar Software

The main Square Payroll competitors include Patriot Payroll, OnPay, and QuickBooks Payroll. While QuickBooks Payroll can be a stand-alone app, it seamlessly integrates with the QuickBooks accounting software. Square Payroll is also straightforward to integrate with the QuickBooks software.

The Patriot Payroll has very similar price points and has very similar full-service payroll options. OnPay is more expensive, but it also has more detailed features that help a small business, like an error-free guarantee. Among the essential features for a small business owner is the time tracking option. In addition, Square Payroll has an employee app that enables self-service and timecard integration with the Square Team app.

Below I’ve prepared a table comparing the features between the main payroll competitors I’ve covered in recent reviews. You can check out the differences and ratings, but the final decision for the option most suited for your business comes down to the needs you need the payroll tool to have.

Square review 5 4 5 4 4
OnPay review 5 5 5 5 4
Patriot Software review 5 5 5 4.5 4
Quickbooks 4 5 4 4 5
Zoho Books review 5 5 5 4 5
Gusto Review 4 5 5 3.5 4.5

Square Payroll User Experience

The user experience is what separates the average from the above-average software. Unfortunately, in the case of Square Payroll, the user experience is average. A while back, Square had a very detailed wizard that walked you through all the steps necessary for setting up the initial payroll run. However, this practice changed, and there is only a short four-step process that helps you set up only the essential information for setup.

The initial setup of the employee records can take up much time, but Square helps save time by enabling the self-service portal where the employees can enter a lot of their personal information. Still, much of the essential information needs to be supplied by the business owner, like an hourly or salaried employee, pay rate, means of payment like a paper paycheck or direct deposit, and more.

The user experience is pleasant, as the Square Payroll dashboard is nicely organized. The main menu is on the left side of the screen, and it lists all the options you have available with this platform. The overview tab has shortcuts to all the essential features, and the right side of the screen shows when your next payroll is due.

User Experience

Next in the menu, there is the History and Reports tab with your previous payroll payments history. Next, the Payroll Team tab holds a list of all the team members on your current payroll. Then, the Benefits & HR tab allows you to create and manage the benefits package for your team.

User Experience

The Square Payroll menu also has a Tax Form tab for managing all the tax forms that need filling and a Settings tab. Under the settings, you can add and update your business info, add payroll settings, connect your bank account, and integrate the Square Payroll tool with the Intuit QuickBooks Online accounting software.

User Experience

Square Customer Support

The official Square Payroll website has a good help center in place. The help center has articles that help you with the setup of the platform. In addition, many articles contain explainer videos and text explanations about setting up the payroll tool and setting up all the individual aspects necessary for a successful payroll run. Finally, there is a Payroll Help Bot within the Square Payroll platform that offers answers to the crucial setup and payroll running inquiries.

Customer Support

As the Square Payroll tool is a part of the Square platform, you’ll need to emphasize this if you need to talk to a support assistant. The initial customer support agent is a chatbot, and it offers automatic responses to essential matters.

However, if you are looking to get answers to a more specific question, you can contact their US-based customer support agents by asking to talk to a support agent. The Square customer support agents are available via phone, email, and Twitter, and they always make a point of talking every phone call and answering each email.

Customer Support

Customer Support

At the time of writing this review, Square Payroll has a 4.7-star review on TrustPilot and a 4.6-star review on CapTerra. After reading the many customer reviews, I can say that many of the people who’ve used this app recently have mainly pleasant experiences and have commendable words for the customer service agents.

Square Payroll FAQs

Does Square Payroll Have a Mobile App?

Yes, apart from the online payroll tool, Square Payroll is available via a mobile app for both Android and iOS users. The app enables employers to manage the payroll while on the go. In addition, it allows management of features like sick leave tracking, vacation tracking, payroll calculation, timecard access, automatic payroll setup, payroll processing, and more.

Can I Use Timecards With Square Payroll?

Square Payroll has free timecards that enable employees to track employee hours, and these are available only through the Square Point of Sale app. To keep track of the employee hours, you need to assign a passcode to your hourly employees and import the timecards into the Payroll app.

When Will My Employees Get Paid?

Square Payroll has the options for running payroll for employees once a week/weekly, every two weeks/bi-weekly, two days each month/semi-monthly, and once per month/monthly. There is no set payment schedule in terms of contractor payments, so they can be paid whenever is appropriate for you.

The employees and contractors get their funds four business days after payroll gets processed with the standard payment option. The manual check option is a faster payment option. Still, the quickest way for your employees to get their paycheck is via Instant Payments, where you enable direct deposits from your stored card balance to your employees. The employees will receive their funds the next day if they use a traditional bank account or instantly via Cash App.

How Do I Access the Employee Benefits?

The Square Payroll dashboard has a separate page for accessing the employee benefits. In addition, you can set up integrated benefits like health insurance, retirement benefits, and workers’ compensation. If there are already benefits you offer, you can add taxable benefit deductions and contributions to each Payroll employee profile.

What Payroll Tax Filing Forms Do I Need to Submit for My Business?

The Square App is designed to handle payroll tax. It offers automated tax filings, including new hire reports, W-2 forms, and federal and state payroll taxes. First, however, you’ll need to enter the payroll tax information for your state, based on the current tax tables provided by the tool, which now supports all 50 states. It includes the state withholding and UI account numbers and UI tax rates.

Square Payroll Conclusion

Square Payroll is a full-service payroll tool and is a part of the Square family of online financial tools. The Payroll tool works to offer a complete payroll and HR/benefits product, with a simple and easy-to-use interface, straightforward yet lengthy initial setup, and good customer support service in place.

The features of the Square Payroll tool are well organized, and the pricing plans are affordable: the Pay Contractors Only plan has basic features and has no fixed monthly subscription fee. The Pay Employees and Contractors plan is the full-service payroll platform, with all the features necessary for a startup or a small business.

Daniel Lewis
Daniel Lewis
Daniel Lewis is an MBA accredited investment professional who wants to assist small business owners to gain access to finance. After going through many channels for funding, Lewis has found that getting the first loan right is vitally important for future success.
  • Calle Paul

    The ability to access the payroll tool via mobile apps is really amazing. I could be on a vacation and still manage to pay my employees well on time. This has really taken off the burden and frustration that comes from trivial payroll services.

4 Based On 1

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