The value of time saving automation in the monthly payrun cycle.

January 22, 2021 | David Daly 5 Mins read

Global payroll has always been a time sensitive deliverable and that is never likely to change. The urgency to meet deadlines is always present and global payroll professionals need to meet these deadlines across different regions and time zones.

They will always remain conscious of time and a common complaint in global payroll departments is the limited amount of time they have within each monthly payroll cycle to carry out their duties.

For several years now, global payroll professionals have pointed to the lack of innovative processes that could help save time and reduce the pressure around monthly payroll cycle tasks. They want helpful digital tools designed to save time by processing repeatable tasks in a faster way in each pay run.  This would result in some valuable breathing space while also creating more room for quality control and better execution of global payroll delivery.

They’re really not asking for a lot and the business-critical nature of global payroll means that they really should have been supplied with time saving digital tools long before now.

In this article, we will explain the role that automation can play in global payroll delivery and highlight the ways in which it can save crucial time in the payroll process.

What is automation?

Automation is the process of using machine learning software or robotic processes to automatically enter and validate data or apply automation to any repeat process workflows. The most common software is usually some form of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) which is a technology that configures computer software to copy the actions of a person performing a digital task manually to execute a process.

How does it help?

In the case of global payroll, the software could be configured to perform both the data inputs and the data file checks. It could also be configured to highlight unusual activity or variances while handling mass data entry of payroll information via automation. RPA can move files and folders, copy and paste payroll information data, fill in forms and extract data for reporting purposes. Without RPA, this could take anything from a number of hours to a number of days.

With this, automation can help dramatically reduce the level of manual input required because multi-country global payroll files could be uploaded in bulk, then checked and validated in minutes. Global payroll professionals would be relieved of the burden of manual entries or cumbersome spreadsheet uploads- they would immediately benefit from valuable time being reintroduced into the monthly payroll cycle, enabling them to focus on priority payroll tasks now that they are free of time-consuming manual processes.

Other ways automation can help by include:

Using RPA, global payroll teams can automate repeat, rules-based data input processes, so they create time in the monthly pay cycle to focus on higher-value work.

Why does it matter?

It matters because global employers have a responsibility to improve the delivery of multi-country global payroll. Long-serving global payroll professionals deserve to benefit from advanced technology and digital tools that empower them while improving payroll processing efficiency and accuracy.

It matters because automation improves compliance-anything that de-risks a process by removing the likelihood of human error and reducing any reliance on error prone material like excel spreadsheets, by default improves compliance. Multinational organizations are under increasing pressure to meet ever changing international compliance regulations –those who fail in this regard are subject to financial penalties along with reputational damage – business leaders keen to avoid compliance failures should immediately recognize the value of automation.

It matters because progressive companies have a mandate to scale – the global payroll department needs to enable scaling and not be a blocker. Business leaders do not want to hear that global payroll set up in a new country is likely to take weeks or months – instead, they want a scalable and repeatable process in place where automation can be duplicated and new countries can be set up quickly and efficiently to pay new employees. Global payroll must be equipped with technology that enables them to participate in an agile, responsive and fast-moving global organization. Automation technology can help them become the key business resource they wish to be.

Is it the future?

Yes, companies only want to scale up, they want a global payroll function that is ready to support. They don’t want a payroll team that is too busy fighting daily fires, manually entering and checking data and payroll settings, swapping sensitive files via email and operating with legacy technology no longer fit for purpose to run payroll.

Multi-national employers are looking to unify disparate groups including payroll, HR, and IT to create a cohesive global eco-system. They are moving away from traditional models because the limitations of legacy systems are pushing employers toward a new, modern technological offering. They are looking for technology that can provide automation, standardization, robotics, while empowering their payroll professionals to work in smarter, more efficient ways, and creating opportunities for payroll departments to add strategic value to the company.

This is the future for progressive and ambitious companies. This kind of future means it is no longer acceptable to have valuable expertise investing time in data entry, checking and validation. There is a better way to deliver payroll services where data flows are integrated, and automated validations happen via RPA and machine learning.

Global payroll innovation has often fallen behind due to lack of leadership and executive sponsorship. Covid-19 only served to make payroll delivery harder for companies who did not have automation in place.

A post-COVID-19 future will likely be one where automation becomes the norm for payroll software- it is crucial that multinational organizations recognize this reality and act now to prioritize the digitization of their global payroll departments. It is time to move them over to a cloud-based platform featuring automation among a range of different innovative tools for running payroll in a better way.

Automation on the Payslip platform

Payslip provides Automation & Integration technology that delivers standardized global payroll management to multinational employers. We operate a cloud-based platform which identifies where automated workflows can be introduced to replace manual data inputs and save time.

Our technology integrates with the HCM and other key data systems to ensure an automated flow of data from these systems directly into the payroll platform. These data inputs and payroll calculations are automated as bulk data uploads allowing numerous manual tasks to be replaced. Our platform enables structured and automated data flows across global employer payroll platforms, their in-country provider network as well as any post-payroll systems in use.

Payslip automates the workflow end to end, captures, automates and protects the data in its original and changing form, delivering a single view tracking of data transformation from inputs to outputs and visibility of how it changed, who changed it and why.

Payslip automation software can help global employers move from a manual process to a scalable payroll with common workflow steps and automated actions for any repeatable, recurring or predictable data flows.


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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