Global Payroll Challenges 2020

January 21, 2020 | Yana Todorova 5 Mins read

How to Solve Global Payroll Challenges in 2020


A new decade has arrived and payroll professionals in multinational companies around the world are faced with a series of complex challenges. These challenges are likely to require technology-based solutions capable of empowering global payroll teams to meet new demands being placed upon them.

So many companies today have ambitious growth plans- things move so fast that it is often difficult for payroll teams to keep pace. Expanding into new countries due to growth initiatives brings with it many payroll challenges for payroll operations. Maintaining compliance when you go global can be difficult if your payroll processes are not set up correctly.

Deciding to adopt a global payroll solution is seen as forward thinking behavior because it can provide a payroll process that is centrally managed and one which gives payroll professionals full visibility and greater control.

However, becoming a global business presents both opportunities and challenges. Here we discuss some of the challenges that multinationals face when implementing global payroll and how to overcome them.


Achieving global compliance


Expanding into new territories means having to deal with local, country specific regulations and nuances. Concerns over compliance, taxes, penalties and fines have traditionally been the main inhibitors preventing firms from moving to a global operation. Maintaining compliance can be difficult when you have employees in multiple countries. Every country has different rules and regulations, and require different types of information to be submitted, in different formats, and at different deadlines. Keeping track of all these can be time consuming and, in some cases, requires additional resources. It is also likely that data requests around real-time reporting will only increase as companies need to prove they are compliant. A global payroll software can help you implement digital technology to solve these problems, putting the business in a strong position to meet its compliance obligations while scaling rapidly.


Global Business vs. Local Payroll


Payroll operations are regulated locally, and every country and state will have their own guidelines that must be adhered to in order to remain compliant. Local payroll providers can provide specialised local knowledge. Your payroll process will also need to accommodate local laws, reporting requirements, taxes, currency, and language. It can be very difficult to be “local”, especially when your organisation is headquartered in another country.

Political changes can create unforeseen challenges and the introduction of new laws around tax and financial reporting is a common hurdle. A good example is the United Kingdom and it’s complex, protracted negotiating of its exit from the European Union which is still lingering 3 years after the results of the referendum.

An agile payroll process mixed with local expertise and clear, consolidated payroll reporting is necessary at all times to navigate political, legal and regulatory requirements.




This is a key area- data arriving in different formats from different regions of the world causes problems when it comes to establishing clear reporting. A lot of manual intervention is required, placing additional pressure on the already stretched resources of many payroll services departments. Many payroll teams state that most of their time is spent keeping pace with employee payroll deadlines and they have no free time to focus on other business demands. Standardizing the data will reduce time, save costs and improve efficiency but innovative technology and a willingness to invest in a new approach is required to make this a reality.


 Technology and Integration


Integrating your global payroll into your Human Resource Information System (HRIS) or Human Capital Management System (HCM) can be a complex project. This is usually due to a lack of standardized data, collected from multiple different systems across a range of different countries. A technology solution is required to integrate these two systems in a way that users of both systems can access and analyse the international payroll data flowing between them. This integration solution must also be capable of standardizing data, automating processes, and delivering comprehensive reporting. A global payroll management software is a way to bridge the gap between international payroll and your HRIS in order to get a clear and consolidated view of HR and Payroll. This solution should also be scalable, allowing companies with ambitious growth plans to on-board new locations in a seamless fashion and quickly hire new employees.


Getting accurate, real-time reporting


Just as local legislations vary across countries, so do systems, processes and reporting when working with local payroll providers/in country partners (ICPs). If there is a single payroll system which integrates with the ICPs, the organization can retrieve crucial data quicker and with significantly less human involvement. The single source and format of the data will help businesses get a global understanding of their payroll operations and employment tax obligations.

Introducing a global payroll technology will provide visibility over global payroll by producing comprehensive and customizable payroll reports. These reports will be easy to access and share and can even be scheduled to run automatically at pre-selected times. Such an agile payroll process would save time, greatly reduce manual input and eliminate a lot of risk.

Global payroll software is the answer when it comes to connecting centralized and localized payroll teams on one unified system across several payroll providers, countries and payroll teams.


Cost and execution


Cloud based technology has significantly improved things in terms of overall cost and time management. Global payroll software has become an accessible and very worthwhile investment. It does however require a change in attitude and a commitment to structure change at several levels of payroll operations.

Partnering with the correct technology partner can make a real difference when it comes to processing and execution times. Software can be deployed relatively quickly, and it is possible to receive a fully managed end to end payroll solution in a short space of time. This will require commitment, but it is time well spent to end up with the reward of a streamlined and standardized payroll process that will reduce costs over the long term.


Security and data privacy


Data breaches are never far from the news and they can be very costly when it comes to both financial and reputational damage. There is no excuse for any kind of relaxed attitude when it comes to data privacy and security. This is especially important in payroll processes where sensitive employee information is handled on a daily basis.

A global payroll software solution will automate process wherever it can, meaning there is less room for human error and unnecessary access to confidential data. If implemented correctly, your employees’ information will be in less hands and stored with better technology, keeping it safer than ever before.

Implementing a global payroll management software will help when storing employee data and give companies the tools and resources required to meet the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).


The start of a new decade is the ideal time to think about global payroll challenges and priorities. Multinational companies everywhere now have the opportunity to futureproof their payroll operations for the next decade and beyond.

Get in touch today to learn how Payslip’s can solve payroll challenges and help companies scale to meet any growth plans they may have.


For more information on reporting and analytics available on the Payslip Platform contact us today!


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