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June 6, 2024
XX min read

Workday vs Square Payroll


When it comes to managing human resources and payroll, choosing the right Human Resource Information System (HRIS) is crucial. Workday and Square Payroll represent two prominent solutions in this space. 

Workday is a comprehensive finance system that provides not only HR management but also financial management processes. It’s designed to move businesses forward by offering deeper insights and minimizing manual transaction processing. On the other hand, Square Payroll is an online payroll service that simplifies payroll processes, making it a trusted solution for small businesses looking to manage payroll efficiently.

In this comparison, we will dive into the features, similarities, differences, pros, cons, and ideal use cases for both Workday and Square Payroll. This detailed analysis will help you determine which tool might best fit your needs.

Workday Overview

Workday is a robust enterprise solution that combines HR and financial management to help businesses streamline processes, gain better insights, and enhance strategic growth.

Key Features

  • Unified HR and Financial Management: Workday’s integration of HR and financial data offers complete visibility and improves decision-making.
  • Advanced Reporting and Analytics: Leverage real-time data analytics for comprehensive insights into workforce and financial metrics.
  • Global Compliance: Ensure compliance with international regulations and local labor laws.
  • Talent Management: Manage recruitment, onboarding, performance, and development through a unified talent management suite.
  • Payroll Management: Streamlines payroll processing across the globe while ensuring accuracy and compliance.

Square Payroll Overview

Square Payroll is specifically designed to make payroll management easy for small businesses. It handles everything from wages to tax filings, providing a straightforward solution for managing payroll.

Key Features

  • Automatic Payroll Calculations: Calculates salaries, wages, overtime, and tax withholdings automatically.
  • Tax Filing and Payments: Handles federal and state tax filings and payments on behalf of the business.
  • Employee Self-Service: Allows employees to access pay stubs and manage tax forms through a self-service portal.
  • Integration with Square POS: Seamlessly integrates with Square point-of-sale systems for easy time tracking and payroll calculation.
  • Benefits Management: Supports workers' compensation, health benefits, and retirement plans.


Both Workday and Square Payroll are designed to simplify and automate HR and payroll tasks. They offer employee self-service capabilities, ensuring that employees can manage their information independently. Both solutions emphasize compliance and accuracy in payroll processing, helping businesses avoid costly errors and legal issues. Furthermore, each tool provides integration capabilities to ensure smooth data flow within an organization’s ecosystem.


While both tools aim to simplify HR and payroll processes, their scope and target audiences are different. Workday is an all-inclusive enterprise solution that combines HR and financial management tailored for large businesses and global enterprises, offering comprehensive analytics and advanced management features. On the other hand, Square Payroll targets small businesses, focusing primarily on payroll with simpler, user-friendly features and seamless integration with Square’s POS system.

Workday Differences

  • Extensive Analytics: Advanced data analytics capabilities provide deeper insights into financial and HR metrics.
  • Global Reach: Features tailored for global compliance and multinational businesses.
  • Comprehensive Talent Management: Detailed modules for hiring, onboarding, and performance management.

Square Payroll Differences

  • Focus on Small Businesses: Simple and straightforward payroll processing designed for smaller operations.
  • Integration with Square POS: Specialized integration for businesses already using Square’s point-of-sale systems.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: More affordable for small businesses compared to an enterprise-level solution like Workday.

Pros and Cons



  • Comprehensive solution combining HR and financial management.
  • Advanced analytics providing real-time insights.
  • Robust talent management capabilities.
  • Global compliance support.


  • High costs, potentially prohibitive for small businesses.
  • Complexity in implementation requiring significant time and resources.
  • May offer more features than needed for smaller operations.

Square Payroll 


  • Easy to use with a simple, intuitive interface.
  • Affordable and cost-effective for small businesses.
  • Seamless integration with Square POS.
  • Automatic calculation and filing of taxes simplify payroll management.


  • Limited features compared to comprehensive HRIS solutions.
  • Not ideal for larger businesses with complex HR needs.
  • Less advanced analytics and reporting capabilities.

Use Cases


Workday is ideal for mid-to-large-sized enterprises looking for a comprehensive solution that can handle both HR and financial management. Businesses with a global presence will benefit from Workday’s compliance features and advanced analytics. It’s suitable for organizations aiming to gain deeper insights and streamline processes across HR and finance.

Square Payroll

Square Payroll is best suited for small businesses that need an affordable, easy-to-use payroll solution. It’s particularly advantageous for businesses already using Square POS systems, such as retail or small hospitality services. Square Payroll helps small business owners manage payroll efficiently without needing extensive HR management features.


When comparing Workday and Square Payroll, it's clear that both tools serve different needs and audiences within the HRIS landscape. Workday provides a powerful, all-in-one solution for larger businesses needing comprehensive HR and financial management capabilities. Its advanced features and global compliance make it the go-to choice for enterprises seeking to optimize both HR and financial processes.

Conversely, Square Payroll is tailored for small businesses requiring a straightforward payroll management tool that is easy to use and cost-effective. Its integration with Square POS and automatic tax filing make it a strong contender for small business owners.

Ultimately, the choice between Workday and Square Payroll should be based on the size of your business, the complexity of your HR needs, and your budget. For enterprises seeking a comprehensive, integrated approach, Workday is likely the better fit. For small businesses focused on simplifying payroll processes, Square Payroll offers the necessary features without overwhelming complexity or cost.

Key takeaways 🔑🥡🍕

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