Square Payroll is a popular option for small businesses, especially those already using Square to receive payments. But the title isn’t the greatest for growing entities. Many advanced features, like international support and advanced reporting, are absent.

So, if you’re looking to shift from Square Payroll, there are options. Many platforms, like Patriot Payroll, similarly offer a beginner-friendly environment. Meanwhile, if you’re on a tight budget, lots of options keep things affordable. And some powerhouse names, like ADP RUN, deliver a great path towards long-term growth.

Let’s dig into the best Square Payroll competitors and alternatives this year.

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Top Square Payroll competitors and alternatives: Comparison table

Starting monthly priceBeginner friendlyFull-service tax filingUnlimited payroll runsInternational payroll
Square Payroll$35 + $6/personYesYesYesNoTry Square
OnPay$40 + $6/personYesYesYesNoTry OnPay
SurePayroll$29 + $4/personYesYesYesNoTry SurePayroll
Gusto$40 + $6/personYesYesYesNoTry Gusto
Patriot Payroll$17 + $4/personYesNot in basic planYesNoTry Patriot
ADP RUNCustomNoYesYesYesTry ADP
Paychex$39 + $5/personNoYesYesYesTry Paychex

Top Square Payroll competitors and alternatives

OnPay: Best overall

Logo for OnPay.
Image: OnPay

OnPay is one of the most popular payroll providers for small businesses. It’s known for its ease of use, affordable pricing and comprehensive features. But we particularly love the platform for its all-inclusive functionality.

The software not only cuts paychecks, but it also offers human resources and employee benefits management features. This all-in-one package is superb for small businesses needing a straightforward, no-nonsense solution.

And while smaller entities are ideal candidates for OnPay, anyone can retain the platform long term — it’s powerful enough to serve businesses with many employees and complex payroll needs.

OnPay also offers excellent customer support. You can get help via live chat, email or phone support, which is available eleven hours a day, Monday through Friday. Some competitor platforms offer only email support.

Features

  • Automated tax filing and payments.
  • Direct deposit.
  • Payroll reporting.
  • Time tracking.
  • Employee benefits administration.

Pros

  • Easy to use.
  • Excellent customer service.
  • Scalable for all business sizes.

Cons

  • Limited technical documentation.
  • No support from certified accountants.

Pricing

  • Starts at $40 per month plus $6 per person.

Learn more in our OnPay review.

SurePayroll: Most affordable

The SurePayroll logo.
Image: SurePayroll

SurePayroll is a small-business solution from Paychex, a household name in the payroll world. It’s a simpler, no-frills platform, but what it lacks in functionality, it makes up for in price. You can snag up to six months free, which is one of the longest trial periods around. And when you’re ready to commit, it offers a basic payroll plan that starts at just $29 per month, plus $4 per employee. This price tag is lower than many competitors, such as Gusto.

As mentioned above, the platform doesn’t offer as many features as some other payroll providers. Still, for the price, it delivers great value as it includes unlimited payroll runs and all the essential functions a smaller entity needs. You can also tack on extras, such as time tracking and employee benefits administration, for only a few dollars each.

Features

  • Automated tax filing and payments.
  • Time tracking.
  • Employee benefits administration.
  • Human resource management tools.

Pros

  • Easy to use.
  • Integration with Paychex products.
  • Scalable.

Cons

  • Difficult to get pricing details.
  • Requires some technical knowledge.

Pricing

  • Starts at $29 per month plus $4 per employee.

Learn more in our SurePayroll review.

Gusto: Best user experience

Gusto logo.
Image: Gusto.

Gusto is a payroll provider that’s known for its best-in-class user experience and comprehensive features. The platform is breathtakingly beautiful and beginner-oriented. There is no jargon, and the software can automatically file your taxes for you. Plus, you can get support from certified accountants for an additional fee.

What’s more, if you prefer to figure things out on your own, you’re in luck. Gusto boasts an elaborate knowledge base made up of video tutorials and plain English guides. No technical background is needed.

Bottom line, Gusto is a good choice for small businesses of varying sizes. But it’s especially well-suited for businesses that want a payroll provider that can help them with their HR needs since Gusto also offers a variety of HR tools, such as employee onboarding, performance reviews and termination processing. Indeed, you can pay people and manage them all under one roof.

Features

  • Automated tax filing and payments.
  • Time tracking.
  • Employee benefits administration.
  • Human resource management tools.

Pros

  • Best-in-class user experience.
  • Comprehensive features.
  • Excellent customer support.

Cons

  • Pricey.

Pricing

  • Starts at $40 per month plus $6 per employee.

Learn more in our Gusto review.

Patriot Payroll: Best for one-employee businesses

The Patriot logo.
Image: Patriot

Patriot Payroll is the simplest, yet most affordable option on this list. You won’t find the all-inclusive powerhouse seen in the likes of ADP or Paychex. But the platform’s tiny price of $17 a month plus $4 per person is one of the lowest around. This highly affordable figure is perfect for small-business owners looking for a basic way to pay only a handful of folks.

The platform prides itself on serving the smallest of businesses. Sure, it doesn’t offer advanced reporting or AI-powered features. But you get unlimited payroll runs on a beginner-friendly platform. This barebones beauty makes it a boon if you simply want to keep people paid without unnecessary bells and whistles.

Long-term, Patriot Payroll has room for growth. For an additional fee, you can tack on accounting and full-service tax filing. You can also add unlimited users if you acquire more business partners.

Features

  • Unlimited payroll runs.
  • Highly rated mobile app.
  • Lots of third-party integrations.
  • Supports salaried, hourly and commissioned workers.

Pros

  • Simple and easy to use.
  • Add-on functions available.
  • Excellent customer support.

Cons

  • Minimal functions.
  • No advanced reporting.

Pricing

  • Starts at $17 per month plus $4 per employee.

Learn more in our Patriot Payroll review.

ADP RUN: Best for HR

ADP RUN logo
Image: RUN Powered by ADP

ADP RUN is a cloud-based human capital management (HCM) solution. This fancy label means it boasts a comprehensive suite of HR tools and services. It is ideal for growing small businesses that need streamlined administrative processes and top-notch efficiency, while also ensuring legal compliance.

ADP RUN offers a wide range of HR features, like:

  • Payroll processing and tax filing: ADP RUN automatically calculates and files payroll taxes for you.
  • Benefits administration: ADP RUN includes employee benefits management for perks like health insurance, retirement savings plans and paid time off.
  • Time and attendance tracking: ADP RUN allows you to track employee hours worked, vacation time and sick leave.
  • Talent management: ADP RUN helps you recruit, hire and retain top talent, with tools for applicant tracking, onboarding, performance management and succession planning.
  • HR compliance: ADP RUN helps you stay compliant with employment laws and regulations, with tools for managing employee records, tracking compliance obligations and generating reports.

And since it’s from the world-famous ADP brand, you can easily integrate with the company’s other solutions. This link makes it a breeze to grow your business without having to source another payroll solution down the line.

Features

  • Advanced reports and features.
  • Integration with ADP products.
  • Full-service tax filing.

Pros

  • Scalable.
  • Powerful functionality.
  • Wide breadth of human resource tools.

Cons

  • Not suitable for beginners.
  • No transparent pricing structure.

Pricing

  • Customized — not publicly disclosed.

Learn more in our ADP RUN review.

Paychex: Best for growing businesses

The Paychex logo.
Image: Paychex

Small businesses find Paychex ideal for growth thanks to its comprehensive range of personnel services. From payroll processing to human resource management, tax compliance and employee benefits, the software title eliminates the need for multiple systems and extra staff. Additionally, Paychex’s user-friendly interface, coupled with its customer support, ensures that even those without a background in HR or payroll can navigate and utilize the system effectively.

Paychex is also an ideal solution because it focuses on legal compliance. As labor laws change, the platform receives real-time updates and ensures businesses remain compliant. For small businesses that might not have the resources to continuously monitor and adapt to these changes, the solution is a godsend in this regard.

Features

  • Advanced reports and features.
  • Lots of third-party integrations.
  • Supports large workforces.

Pros

  • Scalable.
  • Powerful functionality.
  • Wide variety of tools.

Cons

  • Not suitable for beginners.
  • Requires some technical skill.

Pricing

  • Starts at $39 per month plus $5 per employee.

Learn more in our Paychex review.

Is Square Payroll worth it?

Square Payroll is a popular payroll solution for small businesses, especially those using Square to accept payments. Overall, it’s ideal for small businesses craving an affordable and easy-to-use payroll solution. However, the title lacks some advanced functions, making it fall short of powerhouses like ADP and Paychex.

So if you need a little more than the basics, Square Payroll may not be the right fit for you. But if you already use Square’s payment solution and have just a few employees, it could be exactly what you need.

Square Payroll pros and cons

Pros

  • Affordable.
  • Easy to use.
  • Employee self-service.
  • Time tracking available.
  • Full-service payroll tax filing.
  • Integrations with other Square products.

Cons

  • Few advanced features.
  • No broader human resource functions.
  • No support for international payroll.
  • Limited compatibility with complicated pay situations.

Square Payroll pricing

The platform costs $35 a month, plus $6 per payee. But if you only pay contractors, there is no base fee. Instead, it’s only $6 per person monthly.

Unlike other titles, there are no other subscription plans. Square Payroll is simple in this regard. For one simple price, you get every feature.

Try Square Payroll

Do you need an alternative to Square Payroll?

Whether or not you need an alternative to Square Payroll depends on your specific needs and budget. If you’re looking for an affordable provider with easy-to-use features, SurePayroll or Patriot Payroll are good options.

But if you’re looking for a payroll solution with comprehensive features and integrations with human resource products and services, ADP RUN and Paychex are better.

Meanwhile, if you’re seeking a moderately priced payroll provider with a stellar user experience and lots of features, Gusto is an excellent choice.

Methodology

We carefully analyzed each software title’s ease-of-use, value for the money and customer reviews, among other factors. We also considered Square Payroll’s pros and cons and how each alternative measured up to these good and bad traits.

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Stay up to date on the latest in technology with Daily Tech Insider. We bring you news on industry-leading companies, products, and people, as well as highlighted articles, downloads, and top resources. You’ll receive primers on hot tech topics that will help you stay ahead of the game. Delivered Weekdays