Square Payroll vs Deluxe Payroll



Square Payroll vs. Deluxe Payroll, may the best payroll service win! This review is both a Square Payroll review and a Deluxe Payroll review rolled into one.

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Square is the newer to the payroll business than Deluxe, but Deluxe Payroll made a significant purchase in 2016 when they bought full-service payroll provider Payce Payroll. This was about the same time Square entered the market, so Square and Deluxe are ripe for comparing.

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Square Payroll vs Deluxe Payroll 1

Deluxe Payroll Website
Deluxe Payroll website

Payroll is an essential aspect in any business and to avoid trouble, it has it be accurate and complete. However, Payroll is a labor-intensive undertaking for any company’s finance department to handle and to be able to concentrate on the business; it has to be convenient and easy to use.

Firms handle their payroll a little different from each other, and each company has to support taxation and labor laws for each state, so the payroll package has to be adaptive.

Square Payroll website

There is a multitude of Payroll packages available out there, on-premise or outsourced but we’re here to discuss two popular packages—the well-established Deluxe Corporation and the convenient payroll package from the leader in point-of-sale Square.

Both Deluxe Payroll and Square Payroll have plenty to offer and both promise compliance to regional taxation and labor laws. Let’s see which Payroll solution is right for your company in terms of.


When it comes to Payroll, there needs to be trust between the company and its employees. Payroll accuracy is a must, and the same goes between a company and its chosen Payroll provider or Payroll package. Deductions, earnings, and tax filings need to be done correctly.

For some history, Deluxe began providing payroll services in 1983 as PayTime Inc. In 2005 Deluxe changed the name to Deluxe Payroll. In 2016 Deluxe joined forces with 36-year-old full-service payroll company Payce Payroll of Maryland. With this strategic purchase, Deluxe strengthened its position in the payroll market with an experienced team of payroll and HR professionals.

Any Payroll package will say that they’re accurate and experienced in the field, including new ones like Square, which has successfully diversified from just being a convenient retail solution.

When it comes to longevity and experience though, the longtime business-builder Deluxe Corporation’s payroll department has been in the Payroll business for over thirty years, providing accurate payroll services in the United States and is known for its exceptional customer service.

Square Payroll vs Deluxe Payroll 2

Square, on the other hand, has successfully diversified into other services other than point-of-sale retail and offers very compelling and convenient Payroll packages as suitable as it’s the point-of-sale app. Payroll can be done directly on an iPad or an iPhone.

Deluxe, however, offers various payment options not limited to direct deposits as preferred by companies or their respective employees. Square is an excellent modern option, but Deluxe has also successfully diversified into online Payroll as well. The winner of the experience round would have to go to Deluxe.
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As mentioned, Payroll is a time-consuming and labor-intensive task wherein payroll officers would need to be appropriately credited. Any company needs to have an easy-to-use but accurate Payroll package so that management can concentrate on other aspects of the business.

square payroll

In this respect, Square seems to be the most attractive, especially for small businesses. For larger companies that span several buildings and branches, Deluxe is highly recommended.

As for Square Payroll, everything can be operated by the business owner on the same iPad the owner uses as point-of-sale. Apart from the monthly subscription, there is hardly any other investment required.

The Payroll system itself is online, so there is no need for any on-premise hardware or database. Employees can also clock in using the same iPad or if the owner chooses a dedicated tablet.

Both Square and Deluxe have smooth, easy-to-use interfaces, but there is hardly any learning curve involved with Square, which even features a hand-off automatic Payroll. In case you have a small restaurant or retail business, the winner for convenience is Square.
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square payroll on iphone


Square ensures its payroll security the same way it guarantees secure retail payments through its platform. Their hardware modules are also proprietary, engineered from the ground up with end-to-end encryption which extends to their payroll system though there isn’t much material with regards to their payroll security except that they offer fraud detection, account takeover detection, and chargeback insurance.

Deluxe, on the other hand, has decades of experience in various business aspects, including Payroll. Deluxe takes security seriously as per their expertise in the check printing industry that would make Frank Abagnale Jr. proud. All of Deluxe’s software also holds CPSA certification, which ensures that they’re compliant with security standards. If you need someone you could fully trust, Deluxe would be the winner in terms of security.


Both Square Payroll and Deluxe Payroll offer plenty of features to make themselves stand out from the multitude of other payroll packages out there. Deluxe has been around much longer than Square has and has well-integrated their Payroll with their other systems as well as their respective customer’s. Their reputation as a business builder means that they can set up a business from financials right down to the nitty-gritty payroll in a seemingly seamless system.

Just some of the Payroll features from Deluxe include:

  • Secure employee checks, direct deposit, debit cards, and even mail-in pay stubs

  • Customized detailed and summary reports

  • Paperless payroll

  • On-time tax filing, government compliance, and bank reconciliation

Features from Square:

  • Automatic and paperless payroll

  • Automated tax filing and government compliance

  • Timecard integration from POS app

  • Online accounts for teams and contractors

  • Mobile payroll app

  • Health insurance and 401k integration

Though Square may have plenty of features, there’s more than Deluxe can offer to the table than what’s displayed on their website. It’s challenging to make a one-on-one comparison, but as experience goes, Deluxe can offer much more for more substantial and complex businesses while Square gets points for business integration for smaller firms.

Square Payroll App & Reporting

We like the Square Mobile Payroll feature. It has a clear, smooth interface, and the ease of use is a plus. One great advantage that Square Payroll has is its direct integration with its point-of-sale and inventory app were clocking in can also be done within the POS app on the same iPad.

The Square Payroll app can report on various business aspects from multiple locations, bookkeeping, and employee statistics apart from real-time data reporting of products and employees.

Out of the box, Deluxe reporting is rather weak unless customized for the particular business which is the package’s main strength. Square’s mobile advantage means that reporting can be done and viewed from anywhere and also allows employees to see how they’re doing.

For out of the box simplicity, we can go with Square for payroll and business reporting.

Online Payroll Prices

Deluxe offers a flexible pricing structure depending on the services asked of them, which includes Payroll. Deluxe has a multitude of options in terms of the Payroll process and reporting integration, as well as the number of employees involved. For simplicity, Deluxe Payroll can start from $50 to over $1000 depending on brackets of employee numbers.

Square Payroll pricing, on the other hand, takes into account the dynamic nature of smaller businesses and scales their payroll package according to the exact number of employees per pay period.

Square Payroll costs $29 monthly subscription and a $5 charge per employee. This makes Square more appealing for smaller businesses but can be a pickle for larger ones. Deluxe’s pricing is not an exact science unless discussed in detail at the negotiating table.

We like the Square Mobile Payroll service and the transparent starting prices. For a quick assessment, Square is the winner in pricing.

In Summary

It’s been challenging to compare Deluxe and Square as business payroll packages but are both worthy options depending on the type of business you run. If you handle a large company, Deluxe gets points for experience, features, and security.

For smaller firms, Square gets points for pricing, simplicity, and convenience. However, since every business is different, with their particular requirements, the choice remains yours, thankfully, with this comparison as your guide.
Visit Deluxe Payroll

Visit Square Payroll

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