Business case for global payroll transformation

May 21, 2020 | David Daly 5 Mins read

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Many global payroll departments today are looking for a global payroll solution that better meets their needs. They have found that the current processes in place are not sufficient to meet the day-to-day demands of global payroll operations. At this moment, like every business function, global payroll is operating under the additional burdens in place due to COVID-19. Delivering global payroll remotely brings a new set of challenges and some of these challenges have served to highlight again what is not working very well in their current setup. In this article, we will examine a range of things that can be used to create a solid business case for global payroll transformation. You may be also interested in the assessment toolkit  we have added to help you outline and articulate a business case.

Additional workload

Payroll professional are under increasing pressure to deliver payroll services along with additional reporting requirements. Many of these reporting requirements come from areas of the business who are curious to learn about how payroll data can help inform their strategic decisions. This is a perfectly valid thought process as there is a huge amount of actionable data flowing through payroll teams every day. Right now, COVID-19 means that there is a significant demand for payroll cost analysis as well as predictive analytics, as leadership teams look to control costs during this crisis. However, this data is often in non-standard format and is being extracted from multiple vendors across multiple countries and territories. The lack of standardization makes this process slow and difficult.

Transformation

Global payroll transformation is required to keep pace with changing business needs in companies that are undergoing rapid growth and expansion. Payroll needs to deliver on many fronts and is currently not supported by the technology and processes in place at many multinational companies around the world. If a department is asked to do more, then it makes sense that this department be given the tools and resources to deliver more. So, a justifiable business case exists. In the case of payroll operations, this means investing in new technology and software to make this key business function more agile and responsive to trending business needs.

The Business Case

The case for global payroll transformation here is two-fold, firstly payroll needs to transform simply to become better, faster and more efficient at delivering day-to-day services. Secondly, payroll needs to supply data driven insight to business leaders in order for them to make important strategic decisions. The current model in place at many multinationals make delivering these two a real challenge. For a transformation to take place, a business case often needs to be presented. Money, time and effort will be needed to implement change and business leaders need to be convinced that this is a valuable investment that can deliver long term rewards. Our assessment toolkit can help you anticipate questions they might have.

Agile and responsive payroll

Introducing a new global payroll model to a business can immediately make the payroll department more agile and responsive. Better technology, standardized data and automated processes will save time and money while also introducing a much larger degree of control and visibility around payroll operations. New technology will certainly introduce operational efficiencies and allow for more detailed and informed reporting. The right software can empower payroll professionals to do their daily jobs better and add value to the business overall by responding quickly to requests for new or additional reporting. These benefits should form a core part of any business case when it comes to justifying the digital transformation of a global payroll department.

Employee Morale

This area is often overlooked in the business case for digital transformation, but it is an important one to consider- you may find that your local HR Department is a useful ally when it comes to support here. Global payroll transformation benefits both payroll professionals and overall company employees. Professionals get to work with technology that helps them do their job better. Employees get to access their pay related data whenever they want to or need to. Also, the employee experience when accessing this data can be the same across different countries and regions if you deploy the right technology. Employees get to feel empowered and in control while payroll professionals are no longer spending valuable time accessing and sending data to employees. The business case here is that empowered employees are happier employees, and this is something that lends itself to increased productivity and better staff retention statistics.

Lower costs in the long term.

Any business case which can outline how an alternative solution will be cost effective and save a business money in the long term has a good chance of receiving a positive response. Implementing a global payroll solution requires investment, but if done correctly, the initial outlay will be offset by the long-term cost saving gains. When tasks are automated and efficiencies are introduced, a corresponding reduction in labor costs can be seen. This coupled with increased productivity makes it a worthwhile investment and justifiable business case. Automation and standardized data ensure that better reporting is created at a faster pace- in the long term, this is something that will require less man hours and less people. Investing in a tech-led global payroll solution means moving away from manual processes which have proven costly to multinational companies in the past. Money is saved, time is saved, and productivity is increased-transforming payroll is an investment that makes sense from a number of angles. The financial section of our assessment toolkit will help you consider how a new solution will help save on costs.

Speed and Efficiency

Through the automation of repeat tasks, payroll technology can process payments quicker with a reduced level of manual input, which has the added effect of reducing the risk of errors in the data. Not only do you get a faster, more efficient payroll process, but you also get a safer process where sensitive employee data is much less likely to be compromised or subject to human error. The business case here is about supporting a process that introduces speed and efficiency while also eliminating significant risk from the payroll process. This speed and efficiency also apply to the way in which reports are created and delivered. Reports can be auto scheduled and delivered quicker, while requests for information can be answered in faster and better ways with intuitive software that helps payroll teams to respond quickly.

Visibility and Control

One of the common concerns that many payroll professionals tell us about is the lack of visibility and clarity over their payroll operations. When you are dealing with multi country payroll providers, it is often a challenge to get a clear view of what is going on with your payroll expenditure. This is due to non-standard data and a lack of consolidated reporting tools. Payroll managers are often not in a position to supply the accurate reporting necessary to provide a clear understanding of where money is being spent and why.
Introducing a global payroll technology can really help in this area- you can benefit from standardized data that will lead to better and more comprehensive reporting. The data will be standardized, in real time and ready to be extracted on request or via a scheduled reporting mechanism. This means the big picture can become a lot clearer and a lot more accurate. Reporting can be filtered by country or region and, with the touch of a few buttons, payroll professionals are in a position to answer how much money is being spent in a particular area. The business case here presents two advantages-payroll professionals will benefit from more visibility and control and leadership teams have quick access to real-time data that helps with decision making.

Future positioning

In the modern digital economy, multinational companies like to scale quickly in order to seize opportunities in the market. An agile and responsive payroll operation set-up is necessary to keep pace with this level of quick decision making. A company with broad ambitions that include expanding into new territories and regions must have in place a global payroll solution that is prepared for the future. A solution where new employees can be onboarded quickly and where any data produced in a new country can be standardized quickly for efficient reporting. Investing in a global software solution can put any multinational in a strong position to act quickly and decisively when it comes to executing a strategy around future positioning so your business case should highlight this.

Key Focus

The business case for global payroll transformation is solid-here are a few other things that your case reasoning should focus on.

  • Mention the operational gains, how the process of delivering global payroll will be much more efficient under the new model.
  • Talk about the benefits of new technology- focus on ease of use, security, remote access, task switching across countries and the ability to onboard a new provider quickly should the need arise.
  • Focus on moving away from awkward manual processing to faster and more agile automation.
  • Discuss the numerous benefits that come with the standardization of payroll data.
  • Include a section on how payroll transformation will align with the strategic directives of the overall company- a new global payroll solution will ensure that this department is much better equipped to be a strategic asset to the business.
  • Honorable mentions should also go to compliance and governance.

It is clear that there now exists very strong case for global payroll transformation. This transformation can happen a lot quicker than you might think should you choose to partner with the right technology provider like Payslip. Our platform will make payroll operations more agile and responsive, as well as being more cost effective in the long run. It can also provide the level of consolidated reporting and key business intelligence to help position companies for growth.

Take a look at the attached assessment toolkit and talk to our team today who will be happy to talk you through the ways in which our automation and integration technology can provide an alternative global payroll solution that can transform your current operations.

Using Payslip, we can manage all our payrolls across nine in-country vendors on one platform. When the global Covid-19 pandemic arose, it was not an issue from a payroll perspective, and critically getting everyone paid. The Payslip platform enabled continuity for our international payroll service including the fast and seamless implementation of the Payslip Employment Self Service during this time.

Colin Smith

Payroll Manager, LogMeIn

With business and employee growth rates of above 50%, we rely on our vendors to deliver on time, every time. Payslip’s workflow automation, enables Phorest to manage our payroll provider process – data driven, real time and transparent. Payslip saves us time so we can focus on our business growth.

Ana Kelly

International Payroll Manager, Phorest

Bus case template download