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Battle for the Best Payroll Service Software: Deluxe vs. Square

Top10.com Staff
Deluxe vs. Square
There are several choices of payroll service software packages out there, but which one is right for your business, and how do you know if you're getting the most for your money? We compare 2 of the leading companies, Deluxe and Square.

Deluxe and Square are 2 companies that service the small to mid-sized business community, offering a wide range of payroll services and features to make doing business easier, faster, and more efficient than ever. While they each have their own strengths, both bring a lot to the table. In this hands on comparison, we pit these 2 top industry names against one another to see how they compare.

Payroll Services

Payroll services are important for any business that doesn’t want to drown in the legalities and time-consuming nature of the task, and both Deluxe and Square systems take care of payroll with efficiency and legal prowess.

Deluxe works with professional payroll specialists who know everything about the tax systems and regulations of your area, including deductions, labor laws, and premium calculations. This company handles all federal, state, and local filings, workers’ comp claims, and all year-end filing. Additionally, there are no industry limitations and payments can be made via direct deposit, checks, or payroll cards. Deluxe’s eChecks are compatible with many check software options such as QuickBooks and Peachtree.

Square has full integration with employee accounts, importing timesheets automatically and sending payment directly to the specified payment method. It also takes care of taxes and offers a flexible payment scheme, so employers only pay for the number of employees working that month.

Winner: Deluxe

Deluxe Deluxe Visit Deluxe


If your transactions aren’t secure, your business won’t last long, so you need to make sure that whichever software is handling your accounts has the safest and most reliable security protocols in place.

Deluxe began as a check service, so its security is better than the best. It offers features like chemical alteration detection, heat sensitive ink, and anti-theft holograms. Plus, Deluxe holds CPSA certification, which means all software is rigorously tested for the highest standards of ethical and security worthiness. While Square offers merchants chargeback insurance, fraud detection, and account takeover detection, Deluxe’s 150 years in the finance industry makes it a shoo-in for this category

Winner: Deluxe

Dashboard/Ease of Use

How easy it is to use a system will certainly affect the way you do business. Both companies offer online accounts that are run via a clean user interface, but there are some differences.

Designed expressly as a mobile POS, Square allows you to run your business while on the go. Both their online and mobile platforms are beautifully set up, and the functionality is fast and smooth, offering all the features a desktop version would. Features include employment and inventory management, virtual terminals, invoicing, and even customer engagement management.

While Deluxe has a smooth UI and makes for a good experience, it can be overwhelming if you're not already familiar with the system. There is certainly a learning curve that doesn't exist with Square's platform, as Deluxe offers so many services and functions. Just finding your particular niche or desired feature can take some time. Once you get the hang of the system though, it is easy to use, fast, and extremely exhaustive.

Winner: Square

Square Square Visit Square

Additional Features & Business Offerings

This is a tough category to evaluate because both companies offer a huge range of features. The aisles and aisles of colorful features are like walking through a candy store, and you can tip the buckets into your giant bag of treats, but you'll select which features are better based on your business model, industry, and individual business needs.

Deluxe offers a wide range of business solutions including print marketing, retail packaging, social media marketing, website design, logo design, check printing and business supplies. It makes starting and managing a retail business easier than it’s ever been, and gets major points for that. Deluxe can take a business and build it from the ground up, making it into a living, breathing company with a competitive edge.

Square also has a tremendous marketplace that's bursting with options. It offers everything from Ecommerce to inventory, booking, and employee management. Since these 2 services are really branching off in different directions, it's hard to compare their features in a head-to-head style. However, when compared to others in their industry, Deluxe has the more feature-rich suite, nearly unmatched by anyone else in the field.

Winner: Deluxe

Reporting & Analytics

Square has amazing analytics and reporting tools that’ll give your company tremendous insight into how business is going. Some of the best analytics features include:

  • Real-time data reports so you can see what’s hot and what’s not right now.

  • Customer insights that let you analyze who’s spending, how often return customers appear, and what your audience is saying about you.

  • Powerful reporting that covers every aspect of your business including multiple locations, employee stats, and bookkeeping details.

Comparatively, Deluxe has rather weak reporting tools, not giving you nearly the depth and breadth that Square’s services provide.

Winner: Square

Deluxe has a complex pricing structure that is based on the services you select. Pricing can range anywhere from $300 up to almost $1,000 depending on what you want to get out of the service. Pricing will vary based on the features you need, how often you want to use the services, and where you want to go with your company.

Within its industry, Deluxe is competitively priced, but if you’re looking for a quick and easy solution for your restaurant or small transaction business, then Square definitely has the better service. Square is a competitively priced option for small businesses, though it can get quite prohibitive for bigger ticket items. Even still, having no monthly or annual fees makes this company a great option.

Deluxe doesn’t publish its pricing schedule. Instead, it tailors its prices according to services rendered and quantity.

Winner: Square

Bottom Line

It’s really hard to compare these 2 comprehensive software options. Deluxe has the benefit of more than a century of experience under its belt. It delivers secure, strong, and reliable functionality, taking a brand new company and turning it into a professional, working business in no time at all. Square has plenty of great options, though, and it’s particularly suited for smaller businesses such as freelancers or online retailers that do infrequent or small monthly transactions. Because of its long-standing reputation, wide business offerings, and great payroll services, Deluxe wins this battle.

Overall Winner: Deluxe

Deluxe Deluxe Try Deluxe

Top10.com Staff
Top10.com's editorial staff is a professional team of editors and writers with dozens of years of experience covering consumer, financial and business products and services.