Payroll failure is not an option

February 17, 2021 | David Daly 5 Mins read

Global payroll processing is never an easy task as there are many moving variables that need to be considered on a monthly basis. Employees at multinational companies around the world can consider themselves fortunate that the responsibility for their monthly paychecks being processed accurately and on time falls to the diligent and conscientious individuals who work in the global payroll department.

These talented individuals work to consistently high standards every month to ensure employees across international locations are paid on time. They do this because they recognize the importance of payroll when it comes to employee welfare and overall company morale. They instinctively know that payroll failure is not an option.

A global pandemic swept the world in early 2020, and it brought with it very challenging conditions for business-critical service deliveries like global payroll. Payroll providers, global payroll professionals and the technology supporting global payroll was tested to the limit. In this article, we will look at some of the processes and new technologies that need to be in place to ensure that global payroll failure on the due date is never really likely to happen.

Avoid the consequences

Global payroll failure is about more than a simple income tax error on a payslip or a larger error where an individual employee or a group of employees find that they have not been paid on time. Global payroll failure is more about the collective responsibility of the wider organization. Putting procedures & processes in place and ensuring global payroll professionals have the tools they need to deliver payroll consistently, every payday or pay period will go a long way to avoiding the often-severe consequences that can be associated with failing to pay an international workforce.

In many ways, it is more about prioritizing the welfare and well-being of the employees rather than simply looking to avoid employment taxes consequences or employee wage discrepancies. When organizations and business owners place employee well-being at the heart of everything they do, employee morale soars and there is often a correlating boost in productivity. It is inevitable that regular errors in payroll will result in a less engaged and less productive employees, and it goes without saying that it will be difficult to keep hold of an employee who has suffered payroll failure.

Be remote optimized

Last year, global payroll teams around the world quickly entered panic mode as many of them were alarmed to discover there was really no process in place for remote access to global payroll data, documentation and continuity payroll procedure notes across their international network.

Very quick contingency plans were put in place as payroll departments searched for technology solutions that could enable them to deliver global payroll remotely. Many companies took the opportunity to move to a secure cloud environment where a more innovative range of digital tools could be deployed to help them meet their payroll processing deadlines.

If last year was really about becoming remote ready and delivering under very challenging circumstances, then this year is more about being remote optimized. You should by now ideally be in a cloud environment and global payroll professionals across countries should be able to access all the documentation and payroll data they need to calculate and deliver payroll on time.

This is really about ensuring smooth levels of access to payroll data on any device for global payroll professionals, regardless of their location. It is also about efficiency, and ensuring they have digital tools at their disposal to communicate with other professionals and interact with the payroll data in a smart and optimized manner.

Make security a priority

Being remote optimized is also about data security and authorization levels, ensuring that only those individuals authorized and with reasonable cause to see payroll data can access, view and change it. Now that most people are working from home for the foreseeable future, it is essential that data security and information security protocols around payroll services are reviewed, optimized and observed on a strict basis.

This means using digital functionality to create and authorize specific user access and ensure that the functionality is in place to swiftly authorize somebody new or change over access rights. This enables global payroll data to remain secure while ensuring the global payroll professionals can operate in an agile and responsive manner -there may be very valid reasons to give another member of the payroll team access to specific data. Digital tools that leave an audit trail of this activity and clearly display who has access to data can help ensure security as well as prove compliance.

Talk to your providers

It is important to consider the technology capabilities of your payroll providers or vendor network. They may not have the technology in place that was designed to support the remote delivery of global payroll. This may mean that their service consistency levels are at risk and you should be looking for reassurance around their payroll continuity processes and procedures.

You will be looking for them to articulate and prove that their technology stack is robust enough to deliver in the challenging circumstances presented by COVID-19. As a global employer with multiple vendors spread across the globe, you may only be as strong as your weakest link. For this reason, you will always need a backup plan in the event that one of your providers is unable to deliver on a consistent basis. A technology platform will be needed to enable you to swap out or onboard a new payroll provider quickly.

Do an internal risk assessment

Talk to your global payroll professionals, they’re the ones delivering payroll on a daily basis -so they will know exactly which parts of the payroll process are under the most pressure and which parts represent a significant risk that needs to be addressed quickly to avoid payroll failure.

Have you mapped out a contingency plan in the event of a crisis or emergency? Are there common processes and procedures across all international locations, so that a person in a team located in another country is capable of stepping in and covering for staff absence?

Look at your internal housekeeping and administration -ensure that all documents and files are easily accessible by all the relevant people. It is now essential that they are available to be accessed in a cloud environment in any location at any time, by any authorized individual.

Take action with Payslip

If managing global payroll across multiple international locations is something your organization is struggling with, then it is important to take swift and decisive action. This does not have to mean a total overhaul of your payroll process – it is about looking around for specialist providers and payroll technology management services that can improve your current processes while also future proofing your global payroll.

Payslip’s automation and integration technology is all about helping global employers to manage payroll in a smarter, faster and better way. We do this via an integrated cloud platform that comes with a range of digital tools which are specifically designed to improve the way global payroll is delivered at multinational companies around the world.

We help companies organize and manage their payroll in a better way – we also integrate their international provider network onto our platform as part of the process. This is an important step that helps global employers ensure that their network of payroll providers are working off the same platform as them- it was interesting to note in our roundtable discussion last week, how both of our guests, LogMeIn and GetYourGuide were grateful that their vendor network were also already on the Payslip platform, removing the possibility of payroll failure during the early, crisis stages when Covid-19 first hit.

We immediately standardize data across all payroll countries and introduce automation wherever it is feasible to do so. Global payroll professionals benefit from a range of digital tools such as digital calendars, alerts & validations as well as self-serve reporting tools.

We help multi-national companies move to best practice standardized global payroll, enabling central global governance along with local country flexibility and compliance.

If you have experienced payroll failure in the past, are struggling with the management of your multi- country payroll or simply believe that there has to be a better way to manage complex international payroll, then talk to our team today who are ready and waiting to show you what this better way looks like.



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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