3 ways to reduce complexity in global payroll delivery

April 27, 2022 | 5 Mins David Daly

Delivering multi country global payroll at a multinational organization today is filled with challenges and complexities. In many ways, this is simply the nature of global payroll-it was never a particularly easy task, but the growing nature of companies means that more people need to be hired in different locations and paid accurately and on time.

This results in several new local country vendors and payroll providers, more data feeds required to come across from HR systems like HCMs and continuously increasing volumes of data, usually input, checked and validated via excel spreadsheets or other laborious forms of data entry.

So, where does this leave global payroll professionals?  The answer is drowned in data and working very hard to keep a handle and who is getting paid, where and when in each of the countries on their books. In 2022, the level of payroll process complexity has reached an unsustainable level-a global pandemic came along and swept the globe, forcing global payroll to be delivered in a remote environment, and now new complexity has come into play in the form of hybrid working, remote working and the various pay element and taxation nuances that are linked to this new normal of ‘work from anywhere’ concept.

In this article, we’re going to look at three ways that multinational companies can implement quickly to reduce the complexity in the delivery and management of day-to-day global payroll.

Automate- and put an end to complex spreadsheets

Global payroll professionals should not be manually inputting, checking and validating global payroll data or duplicating data across from HR software into payroll systems. This is hugely time-consuming, laborious and is also risky in terms of payroll accuracy and compliance. The likelihood of human error is significantly higher when a global payroll professional is responsible for literally thousands of lines of excel spreadsheets.

There is a better way- a global payroll solution which leverages robotic process automation to do all of this heavy lifting in payroll services. With this technology, bulk payroll files can be uploaded and then checked & validated in seconds. Thousands of payroll calculations can be approved and moved swiftly via automated processes into the relevant systems for payroll processing and payment.  It is not hard to see how this would make global payroll management for international payroll a lot easier.

This would free up time for global payroll professionals to focus on other work and create some much-needed breathing space inside every payrun cycle. Right now, at too many global companies, payroll professionals are just about keeping their heads above water due to the large manual element of their day-to-day duties.

These professionals would welcome the addition of automation technology to handle the input and checking and also to ensure automated data flows occur between HR systems and payroll. This would ensure that they then only need to focus their attention on the actual anomalies that the automation technology would highlight. They would have much more time to do analysis and reporting work, where they could spot valuable trends and actionable business insights related to global payroll data and processing.  Automation technology is out there and is being leveraged by other business critical departments within organizations, so now is the time to be using it in global payroll.

Global first clarity: 1 Process for all countries

Another great way to reduce complexity is to adopt a global first approach to your multi country global payroll model. This means implementing a data model where you bring all of the various payroll related data in from all the various disparate systems and then categorize and standardize it at a global level.

This results in a single way of working across countries and jurisdictions in the payroll function-when data is standardized and in the same format across all of the countries-global payroll delivery quickly becomes smoother, faster and more cohesive. Global payroll professionals are able to quickly adapt to new country payrolls as the process is essentially the same for all of them-this is because the data in the global payroll system has been standardized at a global level.

This is hugely beneficial in terms of global payroll harmony and execution excellence at payroll departments-payroll operations simply run in a faster and better way with standardized data and a single way of working across all of your countries. It also serves to future proof the payroll delivery process- when a company expands into a new region or country, the payroll team has a standardized playbook that it can refer to and it simply duplicates the standardized data and processes across the new countries as in when they come on board–a huge amount of complexity associated with setting up and paying employees in new countries is therefore dramatically reduced.

Reporting- bigger picture insights crush complexity

One of the great problems associated with the complexity of global payroll delivery is the lack of visibility, clarity and control around exactly what is happening and how much money is being spent in each individual country on payroll alone.

When data comes in from disparate systems and multiple different sources in a non-standardized way, it means bigger picture insight reporting is practically impossible to extract and deliver.

When you have standardized data and processes however, you can easily extract reporting in a standardized and digestible format. This immediately gives you clarity into what is happening, allows you to compare labor costs across countries in a standardized way and in a single currency, so global payroll managers, stakeholders and leadership teams can see the bigger picture.

This is all connected to the global first data approach too- multiple stakeholders need access to global payroll reporting, consolidated on a country level. When reporting is consolidated and comprehensive it offers both the macro view, where you can see what is happening across all of your countries and understand the costs, and it also offers the micro view and enables you to drill down into the specific pay elements that tell the story behind the costs. With this level of clarity, actionable business insights and bigger picture awareness-the complexity around payroll melts away into the background and you are left with costs in a constant known state and a sense of control over what is happening with one of your largest business expenses.

These are three ways you can immediately reduce the complexity around global payroll delivery and management. If you are in a growing organization with ambitious scaling plans, then the sooner you implement these three methods for reducing complexity, the better. Key to all of this is moving over to a global payroll control platform and operating payroll in a cloud environment, where you can digitize and standardize your processes while leveraging best in class digital tools which were designed specifically to manage global payroll needs in a faster, smarter and better way.

The technology, process and expertise to get you started are available right now here at Payslip. We specialize in helping companies who are trying to manage complex payroll via manual systems and looking for a solution. Our team of experts is on hand right now to show you just how quickly you can be up and running on our platform-talk to us today.


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