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June 6, 2024
XX min read

Square Payroll vs Rippling


Selecting the right Human Resource Information System (HRIS) is crucial for businesses looking to streamline their operations. Among the popular choices are Square Payroll and Rippling. Square Payroll is the online payroll service trusted by small businesses for its simplicity and efficiency. Rippling, on the other hand, offers a comprehensive solution that integrates HR, IT, and finance operations globally, bringing together disparate workforce systems into a single platform. Comparing these two tools can help businesses make an informed decision about which HRIS will best serve their needs.

Square Payroll Overview

Square Payroll specializes in providing an intuitive and reliable payroll service tailored to small businesses.

Key Features

  • Automated Payroll Processing: Simplifies payroll by automating calculations, tax forms, and payments.
  • Employee Self-Service Portal: Employees can access their pay stubs and manage direct deposit settings.
  • Time Tracking Integration: Seamlessly integrates with Square’s POS system for easy time tracking and attendance management.
  • Tax Filings: Automatically handles local, state, and federal payroll tax filings.
  • Direct Deposit: Offers direct deposit to ensure timely and efficient payment to employees.
  • Benefits Management: Handles health benefits, retirement plans, and workers' compensation.

Rippling Overview 

Rippling is a versatile HRIS that combines HR, IT, and finance functionalities into a single, efficient platform.

Key Features

  • Unified Workforce Management: Integrates HR, payroll, IT, and finance functions in one central location.
  • Global Payroll and Compliance: Manages payroll and compliance requirements across different countries.
  • Onboarding Automation: Streamlines the employee onboarding process, including device provisioning and account setups.
  • Benefits Administration: Offers comprehensive benefits management, including health insurance and retirement plans.
  • Time and Attendance: Tracks employee hours and manages paid time off (PTO).
  • App and Device Management: Controls employee access to software and hardware, including laptops and applications.


Both Square Payroll and Rippling offer robust solutions to manage payroll and benefits, catering to different aspects of HR workflows. They automate essential HR tasks such as payroll processing, tax filing, and benefits administration, freeing up businesses to focus on growth. Both platforms also provide time tracking and compliance management, ensuring businesses adhere to regulatory requirements.


Focus and Scope

  • Square Payroll: Primarily focuses on payroll services tailored to small businesses, making it a simpler, more focused solution.
  • Rippling: Provides a more extensive suite of services that include HR, IT, and finance management, making it suitable for more complex organizational needs.

Integration and Automation

  • Square Payroll: Integrates seamlessly with Square’s POS system and offers basic automation features for payroll and tax filing.
  • Rippling: Offers advanced integration capabilities, including device and app management, onboarding automation, and global compliance support.

User Experience

  • Square Payroll: Known for its user-friendly interface designed for small business owners with limited HR expertise.
  • Rippling: Provides a more comprehensive and customizable user experience suitable for larger enterprises with more complex HR requirements.

Pros and Cons

Square Payroll


  • Simple, user-friendly interface
  • Affordable and transparent pricing
  • Seamless integration with Square POS
  • Excellent for small businesses with straightforward payroll needs


  • Limited to payroll and basic HR features
  • Not ideal for larger businesses or those needing global payroll support
  • Fewer advanced features compared to comprehensive HRIS tools



  • All-in-one platform for HR, IT, and finance
  • Advanced automation and integration capabilities
  • Global payroll and compliance support
  • Comprehensive benefits administration


  • Higher learning curve due to extensive features
  • More expensive compared to basic payroll services
  • May be overkill for very small businesses with limited HR needs

Use Cases

Square Payroll

  • Small Retail Businesses: Perfect for brick-and-mortar stores using Square POS.
  • Startups with Limited HR Needs: Ideal for startups needing simple payroll processing without extensive HR functions.
  • Local Service Providers: Suitable for local businesses like cafes, salons, or small restaurants.


  • Mid to Large Enterprises: Best for businesses needing comprehensive HR, IT, and finance management.
  • Multi-National Companies: Ideal for companies with global operations needing cross-border payroll and compliance support.
  • Tech-Savvy Organizations: Perfect for companies needing integration with various devices and software applications.


When comparing Square Payroll and Rippling, it’s clear that both have their own strengths suitable for different business needs. Square Payroll excels in providing an easy-to-use and affordable payroll solution for small businesses, while Rippling offers a more robust, all-in-one platform for larger enterprises with complex HR, IT, and finance requirements.

For small businesses or startups looking for straightforward payroll and basic HR services, Square Payroll is a perfect fit. However, for mid to large enterprises requiring a comprehensive HRIS with advanced integration and global support, Rippling is the superior choice. Ultimately, selecting the right tool depends on the specific needs and scale of your business.

Key takeaways 🔑🥡🍕

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