The global payroll professional`s guide for a payroll RFP

July 28, 2022 | 5 Mins David Daly

Change is already underway in terms of the way global payroll is delivered and managed at multinational companies around the world. Global Payroll professionals are convinced there has to be a better way to deliver payroll and of course they are correct, there is.

A technology solution in the form of a global payroll control platform is the future of payroll delivery. Manual data entry and excel spreadsheet inputs badly need to be replaced with automation and integration technology, especially at the pre-payroll stage where inputs and validations currently require a lot of work.

Global payroll managers and professionals, on the lookout for a technology solution and a better way of doing things, are often required to create an RFP (Request for proposal) for suitable vendors to complete, as part of their search for the ideal solution to the many and varied complex payroll related challenges they face.

In this article, we are going to look at a few things that should be part of an RFP and highlight some key considerations to think about when putting together this document which often forms an important part of the procurement process.

We understand that busy payroll professionals will struggle to find the time to put together and RFP that accurately reflects their global payroll needs both now and in the future. We have included a useful, downloadable RFP document that you can use as a guideline when designing your RFP as part of your search for an urgent payroll solution.

Consider product range

Multi country payroll management is complex and nuanced, so make sure to ask questions around the product range of any solution provider you are approaching.

Look for experience and deep payroll expertise and check if it is reflected in a broad product offering.

Can the solution provider meet all of your payroll requirements with a flexible range of payroll management products?

Do they have innovative digital tools such as dashboards and systems alerts that can help you process payroll faster.

Does their product range include a systems integrator that can help connect data flows from your own software as well as HR systems and HCMs? Data has become crucial to payroll, especially in the pre payroll stage where it needs to be properly formatted, cleansed and standardized- then securely transported out to your network of local country payroll providers.

What does the payroll workflow look like-can they offer a platform demonstration that will show how they process the data from your system and your network of providers, inside a secure and modern payroll workflow that will serve to introduce much stronger operational efficiency to the way you deliver payroll across all of your countries?

What about the employee experience, do they offer an employee self-service portal, which could hugely reduce the administrative burden on HR and payroll teams by enabling company employees to access their payslips and pay related data from any location, anytime they want?

A solution that suits your vendor strategy

When submitting RFPs, it is inevitable that you will receive responses from service providers or aggregator models who will tell you that what you need to do is reduce the number of vendors in your network. There will be sales talk about how they will do all the work, so you don’t have to and how everything comes packaged in one neat single contract.

But nothing is ever really that simple-no aggregator has blanket country coverage so you will always need to engage with local vendors. You may also have built up relationships with existing vendors that you don’t want to lose (and you will have to surrender these if you enter the aggregator model).

So, use the RFP to gain insight into vendor management and strategy. Ask if you have choice and control over your vendors, will you be able to interact and communicate with them for rapid query resolution? Can you swap out or change providers if you need to? What if you want to move quickly into a new country or territory, can you on-board a new provider- can they help you source and vet new vendors in countries where you have no contacts? All important questions, especially if you are a growing organization with plans to scale rapidly over the coming years.

Scope and size

When filling out an RFP, it is useful to ask yourself’ what do I want and need from my payroll delivery process right now and also in five years’ time’. This is about considering scope and size- how many employees do you currently need to provide payroll for and in how many countries? Are these figures likely to grow in the near future, if so can the vendor solution scale in line with your growth plans?

Also, consider size and scope in terms of the make-up of your globally dispersed workforce. These are workforce management considerations- you need to know if the solution provider has a payroll model that can cover your entire workforce: full-time permanent employees plus an extended workforce – EORs, contractors and remote workers.

This is especially important as we enter a new era for the global workforce. Remote and hybrid working are firmly embedded in a lot of organizations today and this has introduced new payroll related complexity. Hiring and recruitment processes have changed as location is no longer the issue it was before the pandemic. Now, your organization is likely to hire a mix of workers from around the world based on its specific needs, so you will likely end up with several different employee types and this means you require and innovative, technology driven multi country payroll process that can pay the entire workforce and easily accommodate rapid new hires of all employee types. Asking these scope and size questions will help you gain insight into the crucial technology capabilities that you will need for delivering payroll.

Don’t forget about the implementation

This is rapidly becoming one of the most important areas of the RFP to focus on-as a global payroll professional who will be working in whatever new system you choose to undertake on a daily basis, you will want full reassurance that the subsequent implementation will be handled in a diligent and professional manner. Ask if they have client implementation and customer success teams.

The industry is currently filled with cautionary tales of people who have succumbed to the sales talk and ended up purchasing a payroll technology solution, that simply didn’t come with any implementation support. The end users, which is you guys, the global payroll professionals, were pretty much left to figure out how the whole thing worked by yourselves. Inevitably, in this situation, it is usually discovered that a lot of the sales talk didn’t quite live up to the hype.

What you need is full professional support & training and a comprehensive implementation program that is fully mapped out with guidance from industry experts who have been there and done it with companies just like yours. The ideal scenario you are looking for is a vendor who can show you a road map or implementation playbook that has been used before with customers like you, detailing how the implementation and client onboarding process will play out.

In the RFP, you can ask a lot of questions about the implementation: average length of time it takes to get a new country up and running, training and support, trial runs, query resolution, support hours and languages as well as the size of the team. What you want to end up with is a global payroll technology solution that can solve your current challenges while also making you growth ready for future scaling.

Only, a purpose-built digital platform can provide this so it is very likely that it will also need expert implementation and full system training as part of the package- we recommend that you make sure did you get clear answers on what the solution providers approach to this is. Many companies today are finding out, to their deep regret, that the lack of implementation is resulting in an onboarding failure and months of time wasted on a solution that does not deliver what it promised-this scenario is to be avoided as it means a major waste of time and resources as well as the purchasing costs involved. Clear and pointed questions in the RFP will help you get an understanding of what is out there in the market. Remember,

The above are just a few considerations, there is so much more we could talk about-compliance, data security, cloud tools, system authorizations, reporting, partners and subcontractors – the list goes on. Download our RFP template below for more information. Or better still, talk to our team today who can advise on the global payroll model and technology solution that will best fit your needs.

 

 

For information on the Payslip Platform contact us today. 

 

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