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June 6, 2024
XX min read

HR Cloud vs Square Payroll


In today's competitive business environment, choosing the right Human Resource Information System (HRIS) is crucial for maximizing efficiency and employee satisfaction. Two popular HRIS tools are HR Cloud and Square Payroll. 

HR Cloud is a leading provider of HR software and HRMS solutions aimed at businesses looking to increase employee engagement, satisfaction, and productivity. With proven solutions for every step of the employee lifecycle—from onboarding to performance management and everything in between—HR Cloud gives HR and the entire workforce the tools they need to collaborate and grow.

Square Payroll offers an online payroll service trusted by small businesses. It aims to simplify the payroll process, making it easier for business owners to manage employee compensation and benefits without the headache of manual paperwork and calculations.

Comparing these HRIS tools helps businesses identify which system aligns better with their specific needs, ensuring they maximize their return on investment in HR technology.

HR Cloud Overview

HR Cloud provides comprehensive solutions throughout the entire employee lifecycle, focusing on enhancing engagement, satisfaction, and productivity. The platform offers a range of functionalities from onboarding and performance management to collaboration and growth tools.

Key Features

  • Onboarding: A streamlined onboarding process that reduces time-to-productivity for new hires. Automated workflows and personalized welcome pages ensure a smooth entry into the company.

  • Performance Management: A robust performance management system that includes goal-setting, continuous feedback, and performance reviews. This ensures that employees and managers are always aligned on key performance metrics.

  • Employee Engagement: Tools for surveys, feedback, and pulse checks that help gauge employee sentiment and identify areas for improvement.

  • HRMS: A comprehensive Human Resource Management System for managing employee data, benefits, and compliance. It includes customizable dashboards and real-time analytics.

  • Time and Attendance: Integrated time-tracking features that help in managing employee schedules, clock-ins, and leave requests.

  • Mobile App: Provides a mobile app option ensuring employees can access HR services on the go.

Square Payroll Overview

Square Payroll simplifies the payroll process for small businesses, allowing for easier management of employee compensation and benefits. Its focus is on delivering an online payroll service that is hassle-free and reliable.

Key Features

  • Full-Service Payroll: Comprehensive payroll processing for employees and contractors. This includes automatic tax calculations and filings.

  • Automated Benefits Management: Managing health, dental, and other benefits automatically, ensuring compliance and accuracy.

  • Time Tracking Integration: Seamless integration with Square’s time-tracking tools, making payroll processing more efficient.

  • Employee Self-Service: Allows employees to access their pay stubs and W-2 forms through a self-service portal.

  • Direct Deposit: Ensures timely salary payments through direct deposit, reducing the administrative burden on employers.

  • Reporting and Compliance: Includes features for generating payroll reports and ensuring compliance with federal, state, and local tax laws.


Both HR Cloud and Square Payroll are designed to streamline HR functions, but they do so with different focuses. Here are some of the similarities:

  • Employee Management: Both tools offer capabilities to manage employee information and track various aspects of HR.

  • Automated Workflows: Automation plays a key role in both platforms, reducing manual effort and increasing efficiency in HR processes.

  • Compliance: HR Cloud and Square Payroll ensure compliance with necessary regulations, minimizing the risk of legal issues.

  • Employee Self-Service: Both platforms provide self-service options for employees, enabling them to handle their HR-related needs independently.

  • Integration Capabilities: They offer integration with other software tools to enhance functionalities and streamline business operations.


While sharing some commonalities, HR Cloud and Square Payroll differ significantly in their core functionalities and target audience:

  • Primary Focus: HR Cloud is a comprehensive HRMS tool focusing on various aspects of employee lifecycle management. Square Payroll, on the other hand, is primarily centered on payroll processing for small businesses.

  • Features: HR Cloud offers a wider range of HR functionalities, including performance management, engagement tools, and a full HRMS suite. Square Payroll focuses on payroll and benefits management, excelling in simplifying these processes.

  • Target Audience: HR Cloud is suited for mid-sized businesses looking for a comprehensive HR solution. Square Payroll is ideal for small businesses needing a straightforward payroll service.

  • Customizability: HR Cloud provides more customization options for creating personalized HR workflows. Square Payroll offers a more standardized approach, which might be less flexible but easier to implement for small businesses.

  • Scalability: HR Cloud can scale with growing businesses adding more complex HR needs. Square Payroll is optimized for smaller setups that require efficient, less complex payroll solutions.

Pros and Cons

HR Cloud


  • Comprehensive HR solutions that cover the entire employee lifecycle.
  • Customizable workflows and dashboards.
  • Strong performance management tools.
  • Enhanced employee engagement capabilities.
  • Mobile app for accessibility.


  • May be too complex for very small businesses.
  • Higher cost compared to simpler payroll tools.
  • Implementation can be time-consuming due to the breadth of features.

Square Payroll


  • User-friendly interface ideal for small businesses.
  • Simplifies payroll processing with automated tax calculations and filings.
  • Efficient benefits management.
  • Seamless integration with Square's ecosystem.
  • Cost-effective for small businesses.


  • Limited HR functionalities beyond payroll and benefits.
  • Less customizable compared to comprehensive HR systems.
  • May not scale well for larger businesses with more complex needs.

Use Cases

HR Cloud:

  • Mid-Sized Companies: Ideal for companies looking to manage comprehensive HR needs, from onboarding and performance management to employee engagement.
  • Growing Businesses: Scalable solutions that can grow with the company’s HR needs.
  • Employee-Centric Organizations: Businesses that prioritize employee engagement and satisfaction.
  • Complex HR Needs: Organizations requiring robust, customizable HR workflows and analytics.

Square Payroll:

  • Small Businesses: Designed for small businesses needing a simple and efficient payroll service.
  • Startups: Affordable and user-friendly for new businesses focused on core operations.
  • Seasonal Businesses: Ideal for businesses with seasonal employees requiring flexible payroll management.
  • Existing Square Users: Businesses already using Square’s ecosystem for point-of-sale or other services.


When comparing HR Cloud and Square Payroll, the decision largely depends on the specific needs of your business:

  • HR Cloud offers a comprehensive suite of HR tools aimed at improving efficiency, engagement, and productivity across the entire employee lifecycle. It's ideal for mid-sized and growing businesses that need robust and customizable HR solutions.

  • Square Payroll focuses on simplifying payroll processes, making it a perfect fit for small businesses looking for an easy-to-use, cost-effective payroll service. It offers excellent integration with Square’s ecosystem, making it a seamless addition for existing Square users.

Ultimately, HR Cloud is the better choice for businesses seeking an all-encompassing HRIS to support complex HR needs and employee engagement efforts. In contrast, Square Payroll stands out for small businesses where simplicity, efficiency, and affordability in payroll processing are paramount. 

Understanding your company’s unique requirements will help determine which tool is the best fit, ensuring you invest in a solution that supports your HR goals effectively.

Key takeaways 🔑🥡🍕

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