Square Payroll vs Gusto Payroll vs ADP: Choosing The Best Payroll Software

Payroll Software

As a business owner, you need things to run like clockwork to make the most profit possible. Disruptions can throw out your entire operation and cost you countless dollars in lost time and energy.

Statistics also show that 40% of businesses incur IRS payroll-related penalties, with the average penalty landing at $845. Ouch. Moreover, payroll errors are twice as likely to occur in homegrown payroll systems as they are with third-party solutions. 

First up, let’s get our teeth into the primary features of these three payroll powerhouses. All three of these solutions offer the fundamental payroll core service. However, their capabilities differ in some of their add-on offerings and extended capabilities. 

Square Payroll


Square is mainly a solid core payroll service that will allow you to set up—and even automate—all of your employee’s salaries, as well as administer employee benefits, manage hourly and salaried employees, and track sick leave and time off.

One of the handiest features of Square Payroll is its integration with other Square products.   For example, if your employees already clock in and out with your Square POS system, this data will automatically sync with Square Payroll.

Best For: Businesses Already Using Square Payment

Gusto payroll is very similar to Square Payroll in that it is cloud-based and offers a full feature core payroll process. (It also happens to be my payroll software of choice, and I find it works really well with QuickBooks.)

Gusto Payroll

Depending on your plan, employees can onboard themselves by entering their details and filling out their W-4s.  Gusto also features a powerful range of reporting features. It can integrate with various accounting applications such as QuickBooks, Xero, and Freshbooks.


I use Gusto for all my small business clients. Gusto’s capabilities, pricing, HR tools and functions make it an ideal solution for small (1-50 employees) or medium-sized (50-100 employees) businesses.

Best For: Small Businesses

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