Square Payroll Review
Visit Square Payroll

Square Payroll Review

Square Payroll, like other Square applications, provides the tools small business owners need to operate their business and pay their employees.

Quick Hits

What We Like

  • Integrates with QuickBooks Online
  • No monthly subscription fee required to pay contract employees
  • Tracks tips for restaurant employees

Could Be Better

  • Reporting options are minimal
  • No HR functionality
  • Direct deposit timeline is 4 days

The Blueprint Score

Determined and ranked by our resident expert based on firsthand knowledge and unbiased research.

Ease of Use 9/10
Support 8/10
Pricing 8/10
Features 7/10
8.2 out of 10
Updated April 16, 2020

Square applications are designed to make running your business easy, so it’s no surprise that Square Payroll does the same. Surprisingly powerful for a small business payroll application, Square Payroll is easy to use, affordably priced, and integrates with other Square applications as well as QuickBooks Online.

Overview

Who is Square Payroll for?

While a good fit for any small business, Square Payroll’s ability to manage employee tips makes it a great choice for those in the hospitality industry. Retailers too will appreciate the easy integration between Square Point of Sale and Square Payroll.

Features

Square Payroll features

Square Payroll offers a long list of features including the ability to pay both employees and contractors. Square Payroll also includes unlimited payroll runs, and as a full-service payroll application, will also file tax reports and remit payroll taxes to the appropriate taxing authorities.

Screenshot of the Run Payroll feature to enter or modify payroll hours.

The Run Payroll screen lets you enter payroll hours or make any changes. Source: Square Payroll

Square Payroll also includes an app for both iOS and Android smartphones, which allows you to manage all of your employees and process payroll right from your phone. The application also supports weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, and monthly payroll schedules, and you can pay your contract employees at any time.

In addition, you can set up your payroll to run automatically, which is a great option if you pay a lot of salaried employees.

Square Payroll also includes the following tools and resources:

  • Customizable pay schedules
  • New-hire reporting
  • Multiple pay rates
  • Garnishments
  • W-2 and 1099 processing
  • Direct deposit or manual check processing
  • Employee access

Here are some other standout Square Payroll features:

Tips

While Square Payroll is an excellent choice for retailers, the Tips feature can be extremely handy for small businesses where employees receive tips.

A screenshot of Square Payroll's tool to track employee's tips.

Square Payroll makes it easy to track employee tips.

Source: Square Payroll

You can automate the tip process using the Enable Tip importing option that can be found on the Square Payroll dashboard. Doing so allows you to import tips daily or each pay period. You can also choose to pay tips directly in the application.

Manual entry of tips is also included in Square Payroll, with the choice to enter payroll tips, which will be paid through the payroll system, and cash tips, which records the amount of tips already received. When you enter tip information in the cash tips option, you’ll be recording the tip amounts for tax purposes only.

If you manage tips by shift or if you deduct credit card processing charges from tips made by credit card, you can enter these amounts manually as well.

Confirm Withdrawal

While variations of the Confirm Withdrawal page can be found in most payroll applications, what sets Square Payroll apart is the level of detail provided in an easy to view format.

Screenshot of Square Payroll's withdrawal option to complete a payroll run.

The Confirm Withdrawal summary provides a detailed list of payroll-related expenses.

Source: Square Payroll

The Confirm Withdrawal option is designed to provide you with all of the information you need prior to completing the payroll run. The page provides you with total wages, overtime, and any additional pay as well as employer taxes and any employee reimbursements.

In addition, you’ll also get direct deposit totals as well as both state and federal tax totals, along with totals for any manual checks you may be processing. If you want to view even more details, click on one of the options such as taxes to view a detailed list of all taxes that will be paid.

Timecards

Square includes a timecard function where all of your employees can punch in and out. The timecard function lets you set employee work periods, set overtime and break times, and set up overtime rules for each employee.

A screenshot of Square Payroll's timecard function for employees to punch in and out.

Team Management Timecards in Square allows you to export hours directly into Square Payroll.

Source: Square Payroll

This information can then be automatically exported into Square Payroll. Once the hours have been imported into Square Payroll, you can make any changes or adjustments that may be needed. If you choose not to use the time card function, you can add hours manually.

QuickBooks Online Sync

Square Payroll automatically sends payroll related information to QuickBooks Online, though you can choose to send information manually if you wish. You can also choose to disable the sync option if you use another accounting software application.

Benefits Management

Ideal for small businesses that want to offer benefits to their employees, the benefits management option offers easy access to benefit options, including health insurance, pre-tax spending, and retirement. Workers’ compensation insurance is also available.

A screenshot of Square Payroll's tool for offering benefits to employees

Square Payroll includes benefits management capabilities.

If you want to take advantage of the benefit options offered, just click on the Get Started button to access more details.

Once you choose the plan(s) that are right for your business, you can invite your employees to enroll online directly, eliminating the need to manage enrollment forms and deductions, since all premiums will be automatically deducted from employee paychecks.

Ease of Use

Square Payroll’s ease of use

Even those just figuring out how to do payroll will find Square Payroll easy to navigate, and if you get stuck, just access the comprehensive knowledge base for help with any issues that may arise.

Those already using Square applications are familiar with the user dashboard, which provides a summary of your current business activity. You’ll be able to sign up and access payroll directly from the dashboard.

Screenshot of Square Payroll's main dashboard that showcases business metrics and tools.

You can access payroll directly from Square’s user dashboard.

Source: Square Payroll

Once you sign up for Square Payroll, you can begin to enter company information such as your Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN), state tax information, and your business type. Next, you’ll need to connect your bank account, which will be used for direct deposit as well as for paying payroll taxes.

Once this information has been entered, you can start entering employee information, including new employees. You have the option to invite all of your employees to complete the setup process, where they can fill out the appropriate tax forms and direct deposit details.

Once your employees complete the initial setup process, they will be able to access their pay stubs directly in Square Payroll, as well as view any sick or vacation time they have available.

Pricing

Square Payroll’s pricing

Square Payroll offers one plan that includes all product features for one low price.

A screenshot of Square Payroll's pricing option per person.

Square Payroll pricing is simple and straightforward.

Square Payroll pricing is currently $29/month, with an additional $5 fee for each employee, so a business with five employees will pay $54/month total. If you only pay contractors, there is no monthly fee, just a $5 per contractor fee.

Support

Square Payroll’s support

Square Payroll support options are good, with telephone support offered during extended business hours. In addition, the application offers a comprehensive, searchable knowledge base that offers numerous articles as well as access to payroll topics.

You can also access numerous payroll categories that provide detailed information and short, instructional videos on features, tax documents, benefits, and employee payroll options.

Benefits

Benefits of Square Payroll

While those using other Square applications such as Square Payment or Square Point of Sale will see the most benefit from using Square Payroll, all small businesses can benefit by using this application. Even if you only pay contractors, those contractor payments can be easily managed in Square Payroll.

Square Payroll is a great option for small businesses

For businesses already using Square applications, or even if you’re not, Square Payroll offers easy payroll processing, and is particularly well-suited for smaller restaurants or other businesses where employees frequently receive tips.

Keep in mind that Square Payroll has a long processing time for direct deposit, which can be an issue for smaller businesses with limited cash flow.

If you’re not convinced, or you’d like to see other payroll software applications, be sure to check out The Blueprint’s payroll software reviews to find the payroll application that suits your business.

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions for Square Payroll

Do I have to use Square at my store in order to use Square Payroll?

No, you don’t. If you’re a retailer or own a restaurant that currently uses Square applications, you’ll derive even greater benefits by adding the payroll application, but Square Payroll can also be used as a stand-alone application for small businesses as well.

Does Square Payroll handle all tax reporting and payments?

Yes, they do. Square Payroll only offers one plan, which includes filing reports and remitting tax payments to the correct tax agency.

Will Square Payroll integrate with my accounting software?

Only if you use QuickBooks Online. It does not currently integrate with other accounting applications.

How Square Payroll Compares

Product Online Access Direct Deposit Prepares Federal Tax Forms Employee Access to Payroll Documents
Square Payroll Yes Yes Yes Yes
TRAXPayroll Yes Yes Yes Yes
Wave Payroll Yes Yes Yes
Workday Payroll Yes Yes Yes Yes
Zenefits Payroll Yes Yes Yes Yes

If you’re stressed over processing payroll and unsure about how the entire payroll process works, check out Square Payroll services and see how stress-free paying your employees can be.

If you’re stressed over processing payroll and unsure about how the entire payroll process works, check out Square Payroll services and see how stress-free paying your employees can be.

The Motley Fool has a Disclosure Policy. The Author and/or The Motley Fool may have an interest in companies mentioned. Click here for more information.