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June 6, 2024
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Justworks vs Square Payroll


In the realm of HRIS (Human Resource Information System) tools, choosing the right solution is crucial for the efficiency and satisfaction of both HR teams and employees. Two prominent players in this space are Justworks and Square Payroll. Justworks is noted for being a multi-product solution offering global payroll, benefits, compliance support, time tracking, HR tools, and more, with award-winning support by HR-certified experts. Square Payroll, on the other hand, is known for being the online payroll service trusted by small businesses.

Understanding the capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses of each tool is essential for businesses to determine which best fits their needs. This comprehensive comparison will delve into the details of Justworks and Square Payroll, examining their similarities, differences, pros, cons, and ideal use cases.

Justworks Overview

Justworks is designed to streamline various aspects of HR management with its wide array of features. It aims to simplify the complexities of payroll processing, benefits administration, compliance, time tracking, and more, all while providing robust support from HR-certified experts.

Key Features

  • Global Payroll: Justworks handles payroll processing for employees across different regions, ensuring compliance with local tax laws and regulations.
  • Benefits Administration: The platform offers a range of benefits management options, including health insurance, retirement plans, and perks.
  • Compliance Support: Justworks helps businesses stay compliant with federal, state, and local employment laws, reducing the risk of legal issues.
  • Time Tracking: Integrated tools for tracking employee working hours, which seamlessly tie into payroll processing.
  • HR Tools: A suite of tools designed to streamline HR processes, such as onboarding, employee self-service, and document management.
  • 24/7 Support: Access to certified HR experts who can provide guidance and support at any time.

Square Payroll Overview

Square Payroll is recognized for its simplicity and integration with Square’s suite of business solutions. It is particularly favored by small businesses for its ease of use and streamlined payroll processing capabilities.

Key Features

  • Payroll Processing: Comprehensive payroll services that handle tax calculations, payments, and filings automatically.
  • Employee and Contractor Payments: Ability to pay both regular employees and contractors with direct deposit and integrated timecard import.
  • Automated Tax Filings: Automatically handles federal and state tax filings, ensuring compliance with the latest regulations.
  • Benefits Integration: Offers integration with benefit providers for health insurance and other employee benefits.
  • Time Tracking: Integration with Square's time tracking tools to streamline the payroll process.
  • Easy Setup: Designed for easy setup and management, catering to small businesses without extensive HR departments.


Both Justworks and Square Payroll cater to simplifying HR processes, particularly payroll, and share a focus on automation and compliance. Key similarities include:

  • Payroll Processing: Both platforms excel in automating payroll calculations and payments, including tax deductions and filings.
  • Time Tracking Integration: Each offers robust time tracking features to ensure accurate payroll and overtime calculations.
  • Benefits Administration: Both provide tools for managing employee benefits, from health insurance to retirement plans.
  • Compliance Support: Assistance with staying compliant with federal and state employment laws.
  • User-Friendly Interface: Designed to be user-friendly, particularly for businesses lacking sophisticated HR infrastructure.


While Justworks and Square Payroll share several core functionalities, they diverge significantly in their target audience, feature depth, and additional services offered.


  • Target Audience: Aimed at businesses of all sizes, including those with complex HR needs and multinational presence.
  • Feature Depth: Offers a comprehensive suite of HR tools beyond payroll, including onboarding, employee self-service, and document management.
  • Compliance Support: More robust compliance features, catering to multi-state and international regulations.
  • 24/7 HR Support: Access to certified HR experts around the clock.
  • Employee Experience: Employee engagement tools and a more comprehensive benefits administration system.

Square Payroll

  • Target Audience: Primarily small businesses looking for a simple, affordable payroll solution.
  • Integration with Square Ecosystem: Seamless integration with other Square business solutions like point of sale (POS) systems.
  • Ease of Use: Strong emphasis on ease of use and quick setup, making it accessible for small business owners.
  • Cost-Effective: Generally more affordable due to its focused service offering.
  • Contractor Payments: Specific features for managing payments to contractors, beneficial for businesses with a mixed workforce.

Pros and Cons



  • Comprehensive HR solution covering payroll, benefits, compliance, and more.
  • Suitable for businesses with complex and multinational needs.
  • 24/7 expert HR support.
  • Robust compliance assistance.
  • Excellent employee engagement tools.


  • Higher cost reflecting the broader feature set.
  • May be too complex for very small businesses or those needing only basic payroll services.

Square Payroll


  • Simple, intuitive interface ideal for small businesses.
  • Seamless integration with other Square products.
  • Quick setup and easy management.
  • Cost-effective for businesses needing basic payroll services.
  • Excellent for businesses with contractors.


  • Limited HR functions beyond payroll and basic benefits management.
  • May not scale well for larger businesses with more complex needs.
  • Less robust compliance support compared to Justworks.

Use Cases


Justworks is ideally suited for:

  • Medium to Larger Businesses: Those with complex HR needs, multiple locations, or international employees.
  • Companies Seeking Comprehensive HR Solutions: Organizations needing a full suite of HR tools like onboarding, compliance tracking, and employee self-service.
  • Businesses Requiring Extensive Support: Companies that benefit from around-the-clock access to HR-certified experts for guidance and support.

Square Payroll

Square Payroll excels in:

  • Small Businesses: Particularly those already using Square’s suite of products and looking for an integrated payroll solution.
  • Businesses with Mixed Workforce: Companies that need to manage payments to both employees and contractors smoothly.
  • Startups and New Ventures: New businesses that need a quick, affordable, and easy-to-manage payroll system without extensive HR functions.


Justworks and Square Payroll both offer valuable tools for managing HR processes, particularly in payroll, but cater to different market segments and needs. Justworks is a comprehensive HR solution suited for businesses with more complex requirements and seeking extensive HR support. Its breadth of features, 24/7 expert support, and robust compliance tools make it ideal for medium to larger businesses or those with a multinational presence.

Square Payroll, with its easy setup, cost-effectiveness, and seamless integration with Square’s ecosystem, is perfect for small businesses or startups. It offers essential payroll and basic HR functions that are sufficient for businesses with simpler needs.

Ultimately, the choice between Justworks and Square Payroll hinges on the specific requirements of your business. If you need a full-fledged HR solution with extensive support and compliance capabilities, Justworks is the way to go. For small businesses looking for an affordable, easy-to-manage payroll system, Square Payroll is likely the better fit.

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