Online payroll services can save you time in computing income and taxes. You don’t want to lose precious time and money from doing this on your own if you don’t have a payroll expert on your team. One of the most trusted online payroll services is Square Payroll. But what makes it the premier choice for most small businesses? Learn more about our Square Payroll review below.

Square Payroll: An Overview

Square Payroll is a full-service payroll system helping small businesses automate compensation and tax filing and payments.

It will help your small business automate your payroll system. Aside from helping you track employee payroll, the system can calculate taxes for you too. 

It takes five easy steps to process your small business’ payroll:

  • Choose how you’ll pay
  • View your team’s hours and earnings
  • Make some adjustments
  • Conduct a quick review
  • Send payroll to your team

Square Payroll Features

In this Square Payroll review, let’s look at what features Square has compared to other payroll applications.

Paying Payroll Taxes

You don’t need to calculate taxes manually by using Square Payroll; they will automatically calculate taxes based on payroll. Not only that, they can file your quarterly and yearly taxes. They even mail out W2 and 1099 to employees or contractors. Plus, they ensure that they update the service so businesses will stay compliant.

Square Apps Integration

This works well for those who are subscribed to other Square apps. 

Square Team is an app that your employees can download. You can keep track of their hours and earnings, which you can review before sending the payroll. It uses Timecards, so that you know when your employees or contracts clock in and clock out.

Businesses that use the Square Point of Sale (POS) system can integrate Square Payroll for related earnings and sync timecards.

Full-Service Payroll

Aside from tax filing and payments and Square integrations, here are their other noteworthy inclusions:

  • Custom pay scheduling
  • Automated pay calculations for new employees and terminated ones
  • Reporting
  • Pay rates
  • Time tracking and overtime
  • Paid time off and sick leaves

Payroll Support from Experts

Small businesses may face challenges when tracking employees and contractors about their pay and benefits. Fortunately, Square Payroll offers expert payroll support from the moment a business owner signs up. Then, businesses can contact them during regular business hours in PST. Plus, they can help businesses switch from another provider to Square Payroll.

Pricing for Square Payroll

They offer two plans. It depends on which types of workers you have on your team.

  • Pay Employees and Contractors
  • Pay Contractors Only

Both plans have these inclusions:

  • Unlimited pay runs
  • Free seasonal inactivity
  • Pay by Cash app, check, or deposit

There’s a $29 flat monthly fee for the Pay Employees and Contractors option + $5/employee/mo or contractor added on the application.

Meanwhile, those who only hire contractors will pay $5/employee/mo.

Pros and Cons of Using Square Payroll


  • Payroll specialists are available to guide business owners and employees to navigate the software
  • Partners with known insurance companies to help with employee benefits
  • Pause billing or cancel anytime
  • Run payroll on-the-go
  • Easily sync benefits partners
  • No hidden and additional fees


  • Users report some issues with customer service due to slow responses or processing some concerns
  • Limited payroll scheduling options
  • May be costly when scaling up

Square Payroll Alternatives

While small businesses can benefit greatly by using Square Payroll, those who are scaling up or down may consider other payroll alternatives. Let’s see how the payroll alternatives fare against Square’s payroll system in this Square Payroll review.

Gusto Payroll

Gusto’s payroll system is more pricey for small businesses, but it’s one of the most popular payroll systems out there. It can help you scale up or down, depending on your business size. Gusto doesn’t have an a la carte option, unlike Square, wherein you can purchase different products. You may benefit from Gusto Payroll if you also need an Accounting service, as it’s integrated into their pricing plans.

Pricing Overview

Core: $39/mo + $6/employee/mo

Complete: $39/mo + $12/employee/mo

Concierge: $149/mo + $12/employee/mo

They also offer a contractor-only plan for only $6/mo.

Patriot Payroll

Patriot’s payroll system can rival Square in price and features. Small businesses with up to 100 employees can maximize the payroll service to its full capability. 

It has two pricing plans: basic and full-service. 

However, Patriot payroll only offers tax filing and payments on the full-service option. It will help small businesses file their year-end, federal, state, and local taxes. Plus, they guarantee accuracy in filing and paying on time. They also offer Time and Attendance and HR Software features, both starting at $6/mo.

Pricing Overview

Basic Payroll: $10/mo + $4/employee or contractor/mo

Full Service Payroll: $30/mo + $4/employee or contractor/mo


ADP has been one of the leading brands in human resource management. Their payroll system is ideal for any type of business, as they ensure their software is always updated with new tax-related policies. Plus, in just a few minutes, businesses can run payroll anytime, anywhere.

ADP’s payroll doesn’t have pricing plans available, but you can contact them for a quote.


As with most payroll systems, Paychex doesn’t fall behind its competitors. Like Square, Paychex has a marketing option for its Paychex Flex and Enterprise subscribers. Although with Square, you have to purchase it separately. Plus, it has an accounting service available for Paychex Flex and Enterprise.

Like ADP Payroll, they don’t have pricing plans available, and you need to contact them for a quote. However, they do have Paychex Go, which can be up and running within 24 hours. It’s the most ideal for small businesses, and it costs $59/mo + $4/employee/mo.

QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks’ payroll system has options for different businesses. They have an option to add the Accounting feature, which can become an all-in-one solution for businesses that need to streamline these processes. Plus, QuickBooks can give you different subscription options depending on your business needs.

Even if QuickBooks is an alternative payroll service, Square Payroll users can integrate QuickBooks too.

Pricing Overview

Core: $45/mo + $4/employee/mo

Premium: $75/mo + $8/employee/mo

Elite: $125/mo $10/employee/mo


Square Payroll is one of the best payroll systems for small businesses. It won’t break the bank, and it will even help businesses file and pay their taxes. It can also become a starter payroll option for those launching their small business. However, problems may arise in terms of its customer service turnaround and software. Nonetheless, it’s still an option worth pursuing when deciding which payroll service to use.