How Square Payroll Plans to Save SMBs Money and Time

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    For many small to midsize businesses (SMBs), payroll has always meant dealing with the big companies like ADP, Intuit or Paychex. Their systems are often more difficult to master and not geared toward small companies with less than 100 workers. Not to mention, these systems are also costly and don’t focus on paying hourly employees, which can be the bulk of the employees for smaller businesses.

    Recently, Square has kept to its promise to “become a comprehensive platform for small businesses” by launching a new service, Square Payroll. The company is now far more than just a payment processor, and SMBs are benefitting from the expanding list of services and the savings.

    Lauren Myrick, director of merchant products for Square, told Forbes that the company saw a need for better payroll tools.

    “In talking to merchants there was a theme of how scary it was to hire and pay employees. Most solutions were not really focused on hourly employees, but on salaried employees. Could we do for payroll what we’ve done for small business financing or credit card processing?”

    Square Payroll integrates with financial software and online forms. The platform handles taxes, calculates withholdings and automatically files and processes documents for SMBs. The service specializes in setting up hourly employees, but works for salaried employees, too. As reported by ZDNet, employees can simply clock in and out through “integrated time cards on the Register app.” That data is imported into the Payroll service and can be used to calculate pay and taxes. The service allows employees to enter their tax information and direct deposit data when they are set up on the system. Federal and state payroll taxes are then automatically filed via the service.

    The service costs SMBs $20 per month, plus $5 per month for each employee. Testing of the service began in California, but it will be available in other states soon.


    As Steve Ziganti, a San Francisco wine and spirits shop owner, told Streetfight, setup and use saves him plenty of time.

    “All I have to do is open time cards, import time cards, and then hit pay and automatically everyone is paid, taxes are withheld, and the money drops from my account into theirs. I just did payroll now while on vacation. It took me all of five minutes and I paid some 20 people.”

    The Square company started its services based on a simple way for SMBs to process credit card payments. It has ensured that these businesses, which are often limited on staff and not as tech savvy as some, can use its products with ease and without too much headache or help. It seems that the Payroll service is no different.

    Kim Mays has been editing and writing about IT since 1999. She currently tackles the topics of small to midsize business technology and introducing new tools for IT. Follow Kim on Google+ or Twitter.

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