Global payroll continuity in a time of crisis

March 18, 2020 | David Daly 5 Mins read

A Global Concern

A pandemic is currently sweeping the globe, one with stark implications for businesses across the world. While there is huge uncertainty surrounding how long the Covid-19 health crisis is likely to last, there is no uncertainty about the implementation of business continuity procedures. Most multinational companies around the world have by now taken some form of action and referred to business continuity procedural documents.

Some companies are better positioned than others to deal with a crisis situation such as the one we are experiencing at present. Some are fortunate enough to have the kind of infrastructure needed to respond effectively to their customers while others simply do not have the financial resources to have a genuinely effective business continuity process in place. The current global situation will be a genuine test for both.

In terms of global payroll, some immediate challenges present themselves during times like these and payroll teams at multinationals everywhere may be facing these issues and more:

  • Remote access to payroll data and procedural documentation
  • Visibility of team actions, specific workflows and overall process
  • A payroll provider or ICP unable to meet requirements and SLAs
  • A need to switch tasks between team members across countries and time zones

 

Global payroll services must keep going

Business continuity is a process designed to help you operate as you would normally do as best you can in very challenging circumstances. Companies want to be able to continue to service their customers as normal and be available to support any queries they may have. Remote working tools such as video conferencing, instant chat tools and other communication& facilitation apps can be very valuable in situations like this. While businesses everywhere will be adjusting their profit forecasts and dealing with genuine worries around growth and stability, it will be a huge help to get up and running with daily business tasks as soon as possible. Official (and ideally, tested) continuity procedures and strong communication tools are a major help when it comes to this.

Businesses should also ensure their continuity procedures account for some of the following:

  • Emergency operations and communications
  • Ensure key processes are not dependent on any single person
  • Ensure employee access to stable internet connection
  • Make collaboration and status tools available

The most obvious continuity method is for multinational companies to enable their staff to work from home as needed while providing them with the tools they need to effectively carry out their daily duties from non-office-based locations. Twitter, Google and Indeed have already taken this step in an attempt to minimize business disruption and reassure their customer base.

 

Technology for global payroll continuity

Many people are now learning that cloud -based technologies often better position companies to handle a major work management adjustment. The Payslip platform is a cloud based one which also includes many features that can be useful during a business continuity process such as;

  • remote access to data
  • task switching functionality
  • calendar notifications
  • internal messaging tools

Global payroll is essential in everyday business life but becomes even more important during a time of crisis as people look for reassurance that it is possible to be paid on time, accurately and via normal payment channels.

Standardized data along with a centralized process helps enormously when processing global payroll across a number of different countries- this is particularly relevant as most companies today have a global workforce along with a geographically dispersed global payroll team.

Such a structure can actually be an advantage during Covid19 continuity measures as Payslip helps you spread responsibilities across countries by switching the work from one person to another. If you have standardized the global process in a way that allows for local country flexibility, you can switch task ownership, allowing a colleague based in another country to drive the global process if needed.

 

Automation brings control

Automation it is also a huge help during business continuity; by its very nature, it means that tasks are automated and require limited input from people. Payslip is an automation and integration technology that helps businesses carry out their global payroll in an automated fashion. With such automation in place, it is easier to see where tasks are allocated and what areas require additional resource. Informed decisions can be made, and tasks switched or allocated elsewhere to cover resource absence. This is the kind of cloud-based technology that is so useful in a time of crisis as it frees up time for payroll professionals to focus on some of the many other tasks that need looking at.

 

Greater need for reporting

Payslip technology allows for the central governance of internal processes in the payroll department- this has huge relevance when high level visibility over a global operations function like payroll is more crucial than ever.

During a time like this, there will be a greater demand for consolidated global reporting and statistical analysis as leadership teams require access to accurate real-time information so that they can make effective strategic decisions based on reliable data.

This level of global reporting can help teams assess payroll costs at local and regional levels- such data is crucial to informed decision-making at a time of business continuity urgency. The Payslip platform was designed to deliver an innovative payroll process which helps leadership teams plan for the future. Business continuity procedures do not have the luxury of only addressing current business needs- future planning is part of it too.

 

Switching: Roles, Tasks or ICPs.

Staff availability is a common issue during business continuity processes.  Payslip technology provides flexibility here and allows payroll teams to switch work and tasks across teams and countries, preventing any disruption to global payroll schedules. Making key data readily available to different team members is another key feature of the platform, where access and authorization can be allocated instantly. Our Payslip clients are using the facilities on our Employer Management Portal to easily switch action ownership from one person to another across their geo distributed team –this is especially helpful during business continuity when team members are likely to become temporarily unavailable.

Sometimes, during a crisis, an in-country payroll provider may not be able to meet their obligations and there is a requirement to switch and quickly on-board a new provider- the Payslip platform uses advanced integration technology to ensure a new or backup payroll provider can be introduced quickly. This helps to avoid harmful disruption to services or even the suspension of services.

 

De-risk global payroll

During business continuity, the issue of risk management will be uppermost in the minds of leadership teams in multinational companies. Payslip’s digital technology eliminates many of the common risks associated with processing international payroll by standardizing data and applying automation to any repetitive tasks and workflow processes. Effective risk management is crucial for data security, governance and compliance across global payroll operations. Payslip help reduce risk and add some much-needed control around what can be a complex payroll eco-system populated with multiple vendors and local country experts. International employers who wish to manage their payroll processes, people, data and reporting from one central platform can benefit from this technology.

 

Empower your people

Employees need to feel reassured, valued and empowered during a business continuity process. Payslip technology features an employee self-service portal which allows employees to access their payroll data and information anytime they need it. Payslip helps employees remain focused on their roles and also ensures payroll colleagues do not have to handle time-consuming data requests.

 

A technology partner for payroll

Payslip is a technology partner helping the global payroll industry adapt, change and improve. The ability to adapt and change is needed more than ever when business continuity procedures are in operation. We understand the kind of challenges payroll departments face when business continuity procedures are in place and we meet these challenges with innovative technology and payroll expertise. Talk to us today and learn more about how our automation & integration technology can help your payroll team operate efficiently during this global challenge which is impacting businesses everywhere.

 

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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