3 business case reasons for global payroll transformation

May 5, 2022 | 5 Mins David Daly

The global payroll function at most multinational companies around the world is badly in need of a digital transformation to ensure more innovative processes and digital technology is used to drive payroll success across multiple countries.

Global payroll professionals have been asking for a digital upgrade for a long time now-the administrative burden created due to business expansion and companies moving into new territories and countries means that global payroll professionals are under increasing pressure to deliver their duties on a daily basis.

There is a strong requirement for a digital platform solution where they can leverage digital technology and innovative digital tools to help them manage and deliver global payroll across several different countries in a faster, smarter and better way.

Some of the more progressive organizations now understand the value of digitally upgrading the global payroll service department, as they recognize the business-critical nature of payroll and how a payroll system failure or inaccuracies with payroll can be damaging. Some have turned to digital transformation project managers to look at global payroll as part of a wider digital transformation project they are running across multiple departments such as payroll, human resources, and finance.

In this article, we will outline 3 core business case reasons why a global payroll transformation is necessary and justifiable at multinational companies, especially those with scaling ambitions.

Speed and efficiency

One clear business case justification is the huge increases in speed and efficiency associated with a digitally transformed payroll operations function. At many organizations today, global payroll is still delivered via manual spreadsheets and email transfers – this is a slow, cumbersome, and difficult way to work, it is also risky from a data protection and cybersecurity perspective – it is simply unsustainable in 2022 for any organization.

A digital transformation of the payroll management department would involve the automation of any repeat or recurring process in global payroll delivery-this would lead to massive speed and productivity gains inside the global payroll strategy team. They would benefit from the additional time back which would allow them to focus on high priority tasks as well as more analysis related work.

Automation can result in the bulk upload of thousands of payroll files which can then be checked and validated in seconds-the payroll teams would then only need to check the anomalies that the automation highlights-it is not hard to see how this is a much more efficient process than manually entering thousands of lines via spreadsheet.

Speed and efficiency can also happen when digital tools are used to improve payroll processes- digital calendars to track activity, compliance calendars, notes and systems alerts plus other communication and collaboration tools can really help to apply structure and discipline around day-to-day delivery and management of global payroll.

Compliance and data security

The burden of proof when it comes to global and local country compliance lies with the global employer. The nature of global payroll operations is that several local country payroll providers and local expertise is required to ensure that people on the ground in the various countries get paid accurately and on time.

Global employers require visibility over how and when these local providers are meeting local compliance obligations. When a company has staff in multiple countries and regions, where local compliance differs in each one, it can be very challenging to get visibility and operational oversight from a compliance perspective. The question of how do you know you are compliant in a particular country is often raised, and many have no clear answer. Digital compliance calendars as part of a global payroll control platform can really help tighten controls and increase visibility and transparency when it comes to this crucial subject.

Data security and information protection is another significant concern at global payroll departments- the nature of global payroll data is very sensitive and contains a lot of private information that needs to be protected in line with industry-leading data security standards. It is for certain that these standards cannot be met in an environment that relies on spreadsheets and email transfer.

The only way to achieve the level of security needed from a compliance and data security perspective is to operate inside a secure cloud-based payroll platform environment where access to data and authorizations can be controlled and monitored. The risk of a data breach is far less likely inside such an environment, and the international employee base would certainly feel a lot more reassured if they knew there were strong digital protections in place to safeguard and protect their personal and pay related data.

A clearer business case has emerged here-the avoidance of reputational damage due to a compliance failure or data breach and the subsequent financial penalty that would likely accompany such lapses in security.

Supporting business expansion

Every company wants to grow, but not every company is in a position to do so. Growth inevitably requires significant recruitment to hit the ground running in new countries and territories and to carve out new revenue and market share, you are going to need to hire and pay people on the ground quickly and efficiently.

Such a recruitment process will need to be supported by powerful and agile technology in both the HR and global payroll departments. If you are unable to set up new local country payroll providers quickly and efficiently, then you will struggle to pay any new hires. The result of this, is that the competition can swoop in and take up this market share simply because you did not have a digitized global payroll process capable of keeping pace with the company’s scaling ambitions-this is a hugely unsatisfactory situation that all companies will be keen to avoid.

The business case here is to create a situation where the global payroll department is an enabler to the growth and scaling that you want, and that the digital platforms and technology stacks are in place to move in line with these scaling objectives. A global payroll control platform capable of onboarding new local country providers swiftly in days and weeks instead of months can turn out to be a significant advantage when it comes to supporting business expansion and achieving growth efficiency.

Cloud based digital platforms are often capable of scaling in line with business needs-moving global payroll into such environment therefore makes business sense, especially when not having it in this environment can be a roadblock or chokepoint for growth and scaling.

Global payroll professionals often talk to us about the difficulty they have in outlining and presenting a clear business case for digital transformation in global payroll. The above are just three examples of clear business case reasons-there are several more. One thing you could begin to do today, is request a demo of our global payroll control platform to see how our innovative and agile digital tools can transform global payroll delivery and management at your organization in a much faster period of time than you might have thought. The business case is something we can assist you with and there are clear benefits and return on investment metrics associated with our platform that can help when it comes to informed decision making.


For information on the Payslip Platform contact us today. 




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