Payroll: the new driver of growth efficiency

September 29, 2021 | David Daly 5 Mins read

In the past, leadership executives may have tended to look outside the business for something to drive growth and take them to the next level as an organization. They may have looked at acquiring another business, an innovative piece of technology or even considered changing course and creating a new product line.

But they almost certainly did not consider was leveraging their global payroll function to help them achieve a positive growth rate in a more structured disciplined and organized fashion. for too long, payroll has been overlooked as an afterthought, something that they will look at a future date once operations are up and running in the new country or market they had their eye on.

This of course, almost always turns out to be a somewhat short-sighted approach- the up and running simply doesn’t happen without global payroll. When growing and scaling up, you need to enter new markets and territories-to do this, you need people on the ground creating, promoting and selling your product or service. And these people need to be paid on time and accurately each pay period if you want to avoid significant problems.

In this article, we’re going to look at the ways in which out performers and more innovative organizations are looking at the global payroll function as the new driver for growth efficiency and examining ways which they can leverage technology to make this function an essential part of their scaling strategy.

Out of the box thinking

While we agree, that prioritizing global payroll for growth efficiency is out of the box thinking, we also have to counter that it is also an entirely logical approach so perhaps it is not very out of the box at all, and instead should be something of a starting point for all businesses with scaling ambitions.

Put simply, get your payroll operations in order and they can facilitate growth. Go a little further, and actively choose to make global payroll foundational to growth, then you can introduce a model for scaling success and growth efficiency that can be duplicated over time. When your payroll is truly set up to support growth and scaling, then there are very few limitations to the level of growth and scaling that you can do. This is exactly what the C-Suite and leadership teams want to hear-they want to know that they can move as an organization, with speed, agility and decisiveness into a new market or territory and carve out new revenue streams and market share, safe in the knowledge that their global payroll function is ready to help them hit the ground running and pay new employees in these new countries.

So, if this isn’t necessarily truly out of the box thinking, then why is making global payroll foundational for executing a growth agenda, not seeing widespread adoption? Tradition is one reason; global payroll has been overlooked in the past or viewed as an administrative function. But that view has changed in recent years and the global pandemic has truly elevated global payroll to a business-critical service delivery. Now, the importance of this business function is being recognized a lot more and leadership teams are starting to ask the right questions, namely, what other advantages could we start to see if we started to prioritize this function and supported it with technology investment?

High growth companies tend to be those who don’t hesitate to break with tradition and choose disruption or innovation ahead of the old way of doing things. The old way of doing things is worrying about global payroll later and rushing ahead with an ambitious growth agenda. The new, better and more innovative way of doing things is prioritizing global payroll delivery right from the start and ensuring that it is foundational for efficient growth plans.

As we emerge from a pandemic and look for economic growth, new initiatives and ways of doing things need to be considered more. This may involve looking at new technologies to ensure higher productivity and better operational control over business-critical services like global payroll.

Unleash the potential

Global payroll can be a business ally and key driver for organizational growth but only if it is supported and prioritized. Business leaders can choose to support it via a technology investment in a global payroll delivery platform designed to harmonize global payroll operations and introduced new levels of efficiency.

This is about unleashing the potential of global payroll by a technology platform that is designed to solve the current complexities around global payroll delivery while integrating with some of the key players in the payroll ecosystem such as human capital technology stacks and financial accounting software.

As soon as a business moves to a platform that integrates all three of these, they will then be operating from a global payroll platform designed to support efficient growth. They will have a platform that can be scaled in line with their ambitions and have a system in place that can be reliably duplicated across any new countries that they want to conduct business in.

This is a move away from a time consuming, slow and legacy technology dominated global payroll processing model. And a move towards and innovative, agile, faster and smarter way of delivering a business-critical service. Once this potential is unleashed via a global payroll technology platform, a company then has the solid foundations and correct methodology in place that it needs to execute a continuous and ongoing growth strategy.

The time is now

It is important to stress some urgency here-the time really is right now to change to a global payroll delivery platform. Why? For one thing, the vast majority of the business world is moving to a hybrid working culture with remote work likely to be part of almost all businesses in the future. This is already in evidence across the United Kingdom and appears to be taking hold in the U.S. economy also.

This move will likely prove to be of value in the long term to organizations when it comes recruiting the right talent, but it will bring immediate additional complexity onto an already burdened global payroll department.

The uncomfortable truth is that the legacy technology that is currently being used at many companies to deliver global payroll is not sufficient to handle the complexities of payroll delivery in the here and now, and is nowhere near ready handle the new complexities associated with hybrid working and remote delivery.

Employees spread across dozens of locations, taxation complexities, new worker contract arrangements, changing HR policies, new benefits and compensation models and new country specific labor laws are all in the pipeline as the world adapts to this new hybrid model as we emerge from a pandemic. Legacy technology, spreadsheets, manual inputs and sensitive payroll information being transferred via email is no longer going to cut it in this new normal we are rapidly heading towards.

A global payroll technology platform featuring automation is needed now more than ever for growth efficiency. Without it, companies will face more complexities, have less visibility and control and will inevitably struggle to keep up with compliance demands. The challenges of managing a multi country, multicultural and geo-dispersed workforce need to be faced with a technology stack that was designed specifically to manage them.


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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