Our global payroll survey deep dive-in quotes!

November 23, 2021 | David Daly 5 Mins read

As you may be aware, we recently conducted an extensive global payroll survey to get the views of industry leaders and global payroll professionals from a range of different industries. The results were interesting, and informative-we have posted three separate blogs covering some specific results and you can view the full webinar for yourself here.

But here we’re going to take a different approach here and discuss some quotes from two people who really know what they’re talking about when it comes to all things global payroll related- Pete Tiliakos, HR technology and research director from analysts Nelson Hall and Mary Holland, CCO at Payslip.

We were delighted that Pete could Mary at a webinar last week to go through some key findings from the survey and discuss the implications in detail. Below is an extract of some key quotes from both Pete and Mary, together with our views on what they said.

65% want to manage payroll on a single platform

Pete Tiliakos

“I am surprised you didn’t have a higher number here”

We tend to agree with him! Although 65% is a pretty significant number. it shows that there is a lot of appetite out there to manage global payroll on a single platform with visibility and control and move away from the complexity and ‘flying blind’ approach of multiple systems, disparate data and limited reporting. One platform with a single dashboard view of all global payroll countries is what global employers want to feel in control of their global payroll processing, delivery and management.

“Companies want a complete control center over their payroll operations. A single platform is absolutely critical to getting a modern and future proofed payroll environment”

“We are seeing people invest in a very dynamic cloud-based payroll control centers, enabling real time and globally harmonized data sets and use experience”

Pete echoes our views here and says it is very much what he is also hearing out there in the market when discussing global payroll with vendors, industry leaders and investors. This is simply the future of payroll, because it is the most sustainable way to deliver it and the best way to handle both the current complexity and a whole new level of complexity that is coming down the line thanks to the changing nature of the global workforce, arising from the ‘work from anywhere concept ‘brought about by the global pandemic.

 

Mary Holland

“I also look at it as being a single platform to have secure data privacy- with clear visibility on who is exchanging payroll information, when and how-and this is something that has not been available in the past.

A single platform is also great for business continuity-this is something that many did not think about a lot, but since COVID, it is now very much on their minds.”

Mary is a keen advocate of data privacy & security and points out how a single platform in a secure cloud environment is a much safer way of handling sensitive global payroll data and keeping track of who is interacting with it and for what reasons. She also correctly points out the area of business continuity-in the past, this might not have been such a big thing, but a global pandemic has changed everything and there is now zero room for any type of complacency when it comes to business continuity procedures and operations at global organizations.

 

40% say automation would have the most positive impact

We are huge fans of automation here at Payslip, we talk to global payroll professionals all the time who tell us how burdened they are with excessive data inputs and constant checking and validating of payroll information. They strongly sense that there has to be a better way-we are always pleased to tell them that there is a better way, and it is called robotic process automation.

Pete Tiliakos

“Digital capabilities like RPA and automation are all having a profound impact and are going to drive some game changing results for what has traditionally been a very manual process.

It lets payroll professionals focus on the value-added tasks and analysis that they need to be doing, such as process improvement initiatives- automation fundamentally enables professionals to add more value back to the business and become strategic advisors.”

Delighted to hear Pete talk about this as we have always felt really strongly that global payroll professionals have a lot to offer when it comes to the strategic direction an organization takes. Freeing up their time by replacing manual inputs with automation allows them to focus their energies and skillsets on high value work like analysis and reporting.

“I think that firms really need to recognize that the power of the data that they have in global payroll has really been untapped–they are really under-utilizing a very rich data set that can be very beneficial in a strategic environment, mostly because they lack the platform environment that can enable all of this.

Access to data creates a lot of agility- there is power in data-when innovative technology can give you this data on demand and in real time, from a single trusted source, things come to the surface that might not previously have been seen.”

Pete also alluded to the concept of automation being used to quickly produce and share data with the people who needed so that it can be leveraged in important ways. He talks about this data being an untapped resource-which is a good way of looking at it- trapped or hidden data is data that cannot be used. Global payroll is a rich resource of crucial company information especially around cost management, tapping into it via automation and reporting could be very beneficial in the long term- but first you need a platform in place that uses automation and reporting as standard.

 

Mary Holland

While Mary with the below quote feels that automation is the path forward for the global payroll function to be able to help other areas of the business and become a value-add department, on top of their core business critical delivery function.

“Automation helps payroll to share what they have and also continue to look at ways to help the business, sometimes it is as simple as delivering the data they need to make a decision”

 

38% describe their payroll to HCM data flows as ‘limited’

Next, the conversation turned to data flows are rather the lack of them, between HR systems such as HCM and any existing payroll technology. Pete was not surprised by this figure; in fact, it was very similar to the figure he had when conducting extensive analysis recently on behalf of Nelson Hall.

Pete Tiliakos

“40% of buyers told us that they still had a lot of work to do when it comes to integrating HCM and payroll”

He also talked about how critical integrations really are for global payroll and core HR functions, especially when it comes to the integrity and reliability of the data.

Bi -directional integrations are such a critical piece of this as they connect all the critical parts in not just payroll, but the HR landscape.

Without integrations, you’re going to have a degraded data flow that makes your compliance more manual, and it impacts the reliability of the data.”

Pete finds it interesting that some really big companies are continuing to use some legacy technology instead of looking to invest in innovative solutions-this is probably related to the initial cost of the legacy technology-some organizations feel because they have spent all this money they better get use out of it! But there is a real danger of these companies falling behind the curve when it comes to innovative integrations and dynamic data sharing software. He wonders out loud just how long they can afford to do without it and how many opportunities they might be missing because of their decision to persist with a legacy investment that is either, no longer fit for purpose or simply not capable of delivering on their future needs.

“There is still a number of very big firms who really need to address core HR systems, and some are still riding out past investments which are not going to be sustainable.

I would emphasize that any modern solution you are going to invest in needs to be and should be, connected in a way that brings other solutions and data together- this is super-critical.

It really is important that any payroll solution is very tightly integrated and comes together in a centralized way that really drives bi-directional data on the back end and a really quality user experience on the front end.”

Also noteworthy is how both Pete and Mary, brought up the subject of the employee experience at various points in the discussion. They both felt that these three survey results, which they placed under the microscope in this webinar, also have relevance in the customer experience.

Pete talked about the importance of backend integrations and data flows when it comes to the front-end customer experience of the employee-this could be in the shape of access to their data and information. If the data is in two different systems, a HCM and a piece of global payroll software, then it needs to flow together in a seamless way for the employee to be able to access what they need.

While Mary felt that strong automated processes would help support the transfer of accurate data from different systems into a front facing portal that employees can access 24/7 in any location-she referenced the fact that a lot of employees today have a great deal of choice now over who they choose to work for-and many want to feel that they are working for a digitally advanced organization that has the kind of tools and instant access  which offer a similar user experience to many of the digital tools that they use in their personal life-  as it creates engagement and fosters trust.

 

Pete Tiliakos

“Global employers can have the best of intentions, but if you don’t get the payroll right, and people don’t trust the data, and the transparency is not there-this erodes trust, especially in the area of the employee experience”

 

For information on the Payslip Platform contact us today.

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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

Payslip as a technology platform has added a missing piece in our payroll set-up. As an international company with offices in 16 countries, it’s important to us that every employee at GetYourGuide has the same great experience when accessing their pay data.

At the same time, we work well with smaller local payroll providers, supporting us with direct local expertise in their countries. We were able to combine those two elements by placing the Payslip platform in the middle, to simplify reporting and communication with local providers, and to have one simple employee-facing solution across all locations.

Julian Fichter

Head of HR, GetYourGuide

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

Payslip positions your team for success, and allows you to onboard hundreds of people when you need them very quickly and efficiently, in the same way for each country. The uniformed approach empowered our payroll teams to keep pace with our business.

Payslip also made our payroll process entirely transparent, which is invaluable to our payroll teams as we continue to grow and scale at such a rapid pace.

Travis Saville

HR Systems Lead, Wave