Global payroll platform integrations will be key in 2021

January 8, 2021 | David Daly 5 Mins read

The new year is upon us and it is always a good time to examine some of the key things likely to influence global payroll processing and delivery for multinational organizations. Global payroll is something that is increasingly of interest to people outside the global payroll department and there is now a larger number of stakeholders interested in the manner in which global payroll is delivered.

This should not be a surprise, considering the global payroll is often the single largest expense on the company books. Ensuring that it is delivered and processed in the most optimized way possible is something that makes business sense and therefore, key influencers across the business such as the CFO and the CIO have begun to take a larger interest in this business-critical service.

Unsurprisingly, technology plays a major role in the delivery of all business-critical services and global payroll is no exception. Platform integrations is something that will be on the minds of all stakeholders in the global payroll process in the coming year. Technology platforms have the potential to dramatically alter the way global payroll is delivered, bringing significant benefits around speed, agility and efficiency as well as cost savings. In this article, we will examine the importance of paying close attention to platform integrations and look at ways in which the right kind of integration can deliver major benefits to global payroll processing.

Why the need for integrations?

To manage it all in a better way is the short answer! Global payroll processing has become very complex in the last decade, largely due to companies scaling at unprecedented rates. This level of scaling activity has resulted in a need to pay new employees in new regions and countries and set up global payroll data very quickly.

As a result of this, global payroll teams have needed to establish contact with local country providers as well as tax and legal experts to ensure that the new country payroll is compliant and functioning to agreed standards. New countries mean new employees to be paid, new local laws to be considered, new pay run elements to be factored into the monthly cycle and local payroll providers to calculate and deliver the payroll.

What is the result of all this payroll processing activity? A complex network of disparate systems, local payroll providers, time zones & currencies, and different processes being followed in different countries. This level of complexity needs to be managed with control and visibility, and it has been pretty well established that existing levels of technology have proved insufficient to deliver the effective management required.

So, there now exists a pressing need to manage the global payroll function in a faster, smarter and better way. It has become clear that the strongest way to do this is via a platform integration with a global payroll specialist. This specialist or technology partner can link a global employer’s disparate software and payroll processing systems and ensure secure, standardized data flows between the various systems needed to deliver multi country global payroll.

What do platform integrations offer?

Platform integrations fix immediate problems and enable the secure flow of data between multiple, separate yet interconnected systems in a multinational organization. The human resources department is often a key player in global payroll, so there is a need for data to flow between the two systems.  A smooth and efficient data flow will ensure the correct calculation and delivery of global payroll while also facilitating the kind of real-time global payroll reporting that is now needed today. This reporting needs to operate with consolidated data and provide a comprehensive overview of key global payroll metrics such as labor costs, filtered by country, entity or pay- run element.

Integrations can also solve a key challenge around standardized data: global payroll today is characterized by non-standard data and processes. Essentially, global payroll professionals are forced to attempt to deliver global payroll using data that is different in each country. Integrations allow for a global first data approach -this means standardizing the data so that a single format can be applied to all countries across multi country global payroll via a payroll platform. In such a scenario, payroll teams are operating from the same data playbook and similar or identical reports can be pulled for each country because the data structure and format is the same. As a result of this, global payroll becomes faster and more efficient.

Global payroll platform tools

Another major benefit of integrations is the access to innovative digital tools that makes things faster and easier. In the case of global payroll operations, integrating into a cloud environment will ensure that all authorized global payroll professionals have remote access to all the payroll data they need to do their jobs. They can also share a common digital global calendar for clear visibility and task monitoring-they can know what every other member of the team is doing and work towards key dates in the calendar. They can even switch tasks between different team members in different countries.

Other tools such as document repositories, dashboard views and in-system alerts & approvals can help to streamline and speed up payroll delivery. Above all, digital platform tools that result from integrations lead to payroll professionals feeling empowered. They can see what they are doing across all payroll countries and resolve issues before they become a problem. This is a new level of visibility and control the payroll professionals have been asking for over the years at multinationals, small businesses and even startups.

Integrate to Automate

A common feature of global payroll calculation, validation and delivery is manual input and an over reliance on excel spreadsheets and manual databases. When you consider the technology advancements that have consigned manual input to the history books in other departments, you may find it surprising that it still happens in global payroll. Sadly, this is still the case at many organizations today as the level of investment in new technology or payroll software has not happened.

Automated processes can be put in place when you integrate with a technology platform. These automated processes can save huge amounts of time otherwise spent on manual input, checking and validation. Automation and machine learning mean that such tasks can now be automated and data can be uploaded in bulk, checked and validated in a matter of minutes. Along with the hugely significant time saving benefits this brings to payroll delivery, it also immediately strengthens payroll accuracy by eliminating the likelihood of human error. This brings with it the subsequent benefit of tighter compliance controls -anything that improves accuracy also improves compliance by default.

Digital Transformation

Integrations represent an important step in the digital transformation of the global payroll department. An integration is an indicator the company is interested in innovation and points to a progressive attitude towards digital technology. Significant productivity gains can be measured quickly when integrations take place, and many companies report a significant return on investment as a result of key system integrations.

Cloud deployed integrations now have widespread availability, and it is not difficult to make a business case and justify the investment. Integrations link systems and software, helping to connect people, processes and technology for widespread business gains. HCMs or HR systems and global payroll software need to be aligned to deliver equal benefits to both departments. Workflows and data processing between these two departments is linked and any integration technology that automatically validates any shared data should be welcomed.

Integrations and Risk Management

Data security and information protection is a major priority at all organizations- anything that can help manage risk around data is always likely to be supported. Data protection officers and compliance managers at global organizations will therefore be interested in how integrations and payroll solutions can reduce risk and improve security.

As mentioned, integrations can help introduce automation which de-risks global payroll data by limiting or eliminating the likelihood of human error. Standardized data and process helps to speed up data collection while also providing much needed transparency and visibility around data flows between departments.

Integration platform tools help global payroll professionals better meet significant compliance deadlines- these will always vary across country and region so the more visibility and transparency the better.

Sensitive employee payroll and personal data is far more secure when housed in a cloud deployed environment. Tools associated with integrations can restrict access to this data but also providing a clear audit trail detailing who accessed the data, when they changed it and for what reason. In this case, integration functionality can help introduce accountability along with much tighter protocols around data security and compliance. This will help to significantly de-risk internal and external processes around data security and information protection.

 

The Payslip platform

Companies who require automation and integration technology solutions for global payroll management choose to integrate with the Payslip platform. Our technology helps multinational employers to centrally manage their global payroll with control and visibility- by automating payroll processes, standardizing payroll data, and consolidating payroll reporting.

Payslip is the only Integration & Automation platform designed specifically for global payroll management. Our integration solution enables structured and automated data flows between global payroll, HCM systems, finance, and local country payroll providers. Global employers can connect these systems using our platform which serves to unify these disparate groups to create a cohesive global payroll eco-system. Our technology provides automation and data standardization while empowering payroll professionals to work in smarter, more efficient ways.

 

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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