Square Payroll vs OnPay: 2023 Payroll Software Comparison

Learn the key differences between Square Payroll and OnPay, two popular payroll solutions. We outline the prices, features, advantages and disadvantages of each so that you can make the right decision for your business in 2023.

Square Payroll and OnPay are two popular payroll software solutions designed to simplify payroll and improve business efficiency. Square Payroll is known for its user-friendly interface and seamless integration with other Square products, primarily for small businesses. OnPay, on the other hand, offers a comprehensive payroll and HR solution for a wide range of businesses, with a strong focus on compliance and flexibility.


Square Payroll vs. OnPay: Comparison table

Characteristics Square Payroll OnPay
Payroll Yes Yes
Tax declaration and payment Yes Yes
Employee self-service Yes Yes
HR functions Limited Yes
Built-in benefits administration No Yes
Built-in time tracking Yes No
Monthly pricing $35 base fee + $5/employee $40 base fee + $6/employee

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Square Payroll and OnPay pricing

Square Payroll pricing is simple and designed for small businesses. It charges a base fee of $35 per month and an additional $5 per employee per month. This pricing structure is simple and easy to understand, allowing businesses to plan budgets and labor costs effectively.

SEE: Looking for an alternative to OnPay? Here is a comparison of the top OnPay competitors and alternatives.

The price of OnPay, on the other hand, is slightly higher. It charges a base fee of $40 per month and $6 per employee per month. This structure remains transparent and affordable for many businesses. However, it is essential to assess whether there are additional costs for extra services such as benefits administration, HR tools or integration with third-party software.

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Businesses should also pay close attention to potential hidden costs, such as implementation fees. However, both products promise to include everything you could possibly need without any hidden costs or hidden fees.

For a more detailed analysis of each product’s pricing structure and features, see our Square Payroll and OnPay product reviews.

Feature Comparison: Square Payroll vs. OnPay


Both Square Payroll and OnPay provide powerful payroll capabilities, ensuring accurate and timely payments to employees. They offer features like multiple payment options, automatic tax calculation, and direct deposit. While both solutions excel at payroll, Square Payroll is known for its user-friendly interface (Figure A), so it is particularly suitable for small businesses. OnPay, on the other hand, offers a more comprehensive solution that can meet the needs of businesses of different sizes.

Figure A

OnPay user interface showing payroll.
OnPay user interface showing payroll. Image: OnPay

Tax declaration and payment

Square Payroll and OnPay handle tax returns (Figure B). Federal and state payroll taxes are automatically calculated, withheld, and remitted, reducing the risk of errors and penalties. OnPay stands out with its tax return guarantee, which covers penalties or fines incurred due to errors made by its software.

Figure B

Square Payroll allows users to view their tax forms within the platform.
Square Payroll allows users to view their tax forms within the platform. Image: Square Payroll

Employee self-service

Both Square Payroll and OnPay offer an employee self-service portal (Figure C), which allows employees to access pay stubs, update personal information and manage their withholding. These portals help reduce the burden on HR staff by empowering employees to manage their own information, resulting in more accurate records and smoother payroll processing.

Figure C

OnPay self-service portal displaying an organizational chart.
OnPay self-service portal displaying an organizational chart. Image: OnPay

HR functions

OnPay offers a wider range of HR services than Square Payroll. OnPay’s HR package includes onboarding, performance management, PTO tracking and document storage. Square Payroll, on the other hand, offers limited HR functionality, focusing primarily on payroll. Businesses that require comprehensive HR management capabilities may find OnPay more suitable, while those looking for a simple payroll solution may consider Square Payroll.

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SEE: Explore the the best alternative to Square Payroll by 2023.

Administration of benefits

OnPay offers robust benefits administration features to help businesses manage health insurance, retirement plans and other employee benefits. Square Payroll does not provide built-in benefits administration, which can be a disadvantage for businesses that require such functionality. Companies that need comprehensive benefits management options should consider OnPay, while companies focused solely on payroll should consider Square Payroll.


Square Payroll and OnPay both include time tracking features that allow businesses to accurately track employee hours and ensure accurate payroll. Square Payroll integrates with Square’s point-of-sale system and time tracking applications, while OnPay provides a built-in time clock and supports integration with popular time tracking tools. However, OnPay does not have built-in time tracking features. Both solutions improve productivity and reduce payroll errors by keeping accurate time records.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Square Payroll

Benefits of Square Payroll

  • The user-friendly interface simplifies payroll, making it particularly suitable for small businesses and novice users.
  • Seamless integration with Square’s point-of-sale system and time-tracking applications ensures a unified workflow across functions.
  • A transparent pricing structure with a flat monthly fee and cost per employee that allows businesses to easily understand and plan their expenses.

Disadvantages of Square Payroll

  • The limited HR functions of the basic offering may not fully satisfy businesses with more comprehensive HR management requirements.
  • The lack of built-in benefits administration can be a disadvantage for businesses that need to manage employee benefits as part of their payroll solution.
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Advantages and disadvantages of OnPay

Advantages of OnPay

  • Comprehensive payroll and HR services meet a wide range of business needs and offer an all-in-one workforce management solution.
  • Robust benefits administration capabilities allow businesses to tailor their offerings to attract and retain top talent.
  • A tax return guarantee covers penalties or fines incurred due to errors made by OnPay’s software, thus ensuring peace of mind for businesses.

Disadvantages of OnPay

  • A more complex interface and feature set may require a steeper learning curve than simpler payroll solutions like Square Payroll.
  • A base fee and cost-per-employee pricing structure can become more expensive as your business grows, especially compared to flat-fee pricing models.


For a reliable comparison, we analyzed the features, prices, pros and cons of Square Payroll and OnPay by reviewing customer feedback and product specifications from the official documentation.

Does your organization use Square Payroll or OnPay?

The decision between Square Payroll and OnPay depends on your organization’s unique needs, priorities, and level of comprehensiveness of your payroll solutions. Square Payroll is ideal for small businesses looking for simplicity and seamless integration with Square’s point of sale system. OnPay is suitable for businesses that require a comprehensive payroll and HR solution with powerful benefits administration.

When choosing the right payroll software for your organization, carefully consider factors such as comprehensiveness of services, integration capabilities, pricing structure, and overall ease of use.

Source: https://www.techrepublic.com/article/square-vs-onpay/