Transforming payroll with a digital transformation officer

March 21, 2023 | 5 Mins David Daly

Digital transformation is revolutionising the way multinational companies manage their payroll. By sourcing a digital transformation officer to change how global payroll is delivered and managed, organisations can reap a number of benefits. These include improved efficiency through automation, increased transparency through standardization, and enhanced processes through innovative digital tools.

Replace manual processes with automation.

Organizations that rely on manual processes to deliver and manage payroll are at a significant disadvantage. Not only are they more likely to make errors, but they also miss out on the efficiency and cost savings that can be achieved through automation.

Digital transformation officers who are tasked with changing payroll for the better should therefore look to replace manual processes with automation and new technology wherever possible. This will help to improve accuracy, reduce costs, and free up time for global payroll professionals that can be better spent on other tasks.

There are a number of ways to automate payroll processes and workflows, such as using software to automate data entry or integrating payroll systems with other business applications like HCM systems, finance software and local country payroll provider systems. The goal should always be the same: to minimize the need for manual intervention, eliminate tedious and time-consuming work, boost payroll data accuracy levels and increase overall operational efficiency within the payroll function.

By automating as many payroll processes as possible, digital transformation officers can help to make a significant difference to how multicountry payroll is delivered and managed within an organization. Not only will it make life easier for global payroll teams and managers, but it will also help to improve accuracy and efficiency while reducing costs.

Standardize the data and processes across countries.

As more and more multinational companies look to digital transformation officers to change how they deliver and manage global payroll, it’s becoming increasingly important to standardize the data and processes across countries. Doing so can help to ensure accurate payroll data at all stages of the payroll process, as well as improve visibility and the streamlining of payroll operations across all countries.

There are a number of ways to standardize data and processes across countries. One way is to develop a central repository for all payroll data. This repository can be used to store employee information, pay rates, tax information, and other relevant data. Having this data in one place can make it easier for payroll professionals to keep track of payroll data and information changes.

Another way to standardize processes is to use standardized pay element formats. This can help to ensure that all payroll teams and local country payroll vendors are using the same methodology for calculating payroll costs across all payroll countries. Standardized data paves the way for consolidated payroll reporting which can also make it easier to compare payroll costs across countries and identify any areas where there may be discrepancies.

Standardized processes also involve global payroll professionals in different teams around the world working in the same way. This can be achieved by managing global payroll from a digital technology platform which receives standardized data in from multiple sources such as in-house payroll software, human resources systems, time and attendance software, benefits systems and financial accounting applications. Each team member, regardless of location, will see payroll data in the same format and perform payroll related tasks using the same digital tools. This is what a single way of working across all payroll countries looks like in daily practice.

Define the level of detailed global payroll reporting and analytics needed.

In order to optimize global payroll, it is important to have a clear understanding of the level of detail needed for data-driven reporting and analytics. This will vary depending on the specific needs of the organization, but there are some general guidelines that can be followed in transformation projects.

First, it is important to understand the data that is available. This includes both labor cost data and data related to specific pay elements such as bonus, tax, overtime and pension contributions. This data should be organized in a way that makes it easy to access and understand. Ideally, it needs to be consolidated across countries so leadership teams can get a real-time global view as well as an individual country view.

Once the data has been gathered, it is important to define the key performance indicators (KPIs) that will be used to measure success. These KPIs should be aligned with the overall goals of the organization. For example, if the goal is to reduce costs, then KPIs might include measures such as cost per employee or cost per hour worked.

Once KPIs have been defined, it is important to develop a system for tracking and reporting progress. This system should be designed to provide timely and accurate information about KPI performance. It should also be flexible enough to allow for changes in KPIs over time.

Global payroll data and reporting needs to offer both a macro and micro view-this is the kind of information demanded by C-Suite executives and business leaders for informed decision-making. They need to see global level macro figures to understand how much payroll is costing the organization, and they also need an ability to drill down into the micro level pay element details that often tell the real story behind the high level data. CFOs for example will be very keen to get a handle on the company’s largest expense, which is global payroll- and they will need real time multicountry reporting to provide this level of insight and analysis.

Introduce innovative digital transformation tools for global payroll professionals.

Digital tools can help global payroll teams and professionals to eliminate data entry, reduce errors, and manage daily payroll tasks in a smarter and more efficient way. What we are talking about here are digital dashboards, platform communication tools, reporting and analytics as well as digital compliance calendars that enable them to keep track of the various different compliance obligations across countries.

A digital transformation officer should be interested in helping global payroll professionals manage their day so that the payroll service becomes a fully digitized business processes, in a similar manner to other departments such as human resources and sales. Payroll processes are a business-critical service after all and therefore global payroll professionals should be equipped with innovative technology and the latest digital tools that help them do their job in the most efficient way possible. Digital technology should be used in any digital transformation initiatives in payroll to ensure payroll teams are operating at the highest level.

Look into a Global Management strategy covering all countries.

A global management strategy is vital for multinational companies in order to ensure the accuracy and compliance of their global payroll. There are a number of different factors that need to be considered when developing such a strategy, including the specific needs of the organization, the countries in which they operate, and the local regulations that need to be adhered to. A digital transformation officer should be speaking to global payroll managers and HR professionals about what kind of management strategy is needed for the payroll function to operate at its highest level.

An important part of any global management strategy is the development of a central repository for all payroll data. This will allow for easier access and analysis of the data, as well as provide a single source of truth for all stakeholders involved in global payroll. A global payroll technology solution such as a global payroll control platform can provide such a central repository for data consolidation and centralized management. This will enable global payroll managers to manage all of their countries from a single location.

From the perspective of a digital transformation officer, when it comes to payroll, it is important to remember to include a global management strategy. Automating and digitizing payroll data flows is hugely important as is standardized process and comprehensive reporting. This kind of digital transformation strategy will go a long way to solving a lot of the complexity in global payroll delivery today, but it won’t solve all of it.

Companies need a global view and a management solution that covers all of their payroll countries and all of the data flowing in from the multiple sources involved in payroll delivery today: local country payroll vendors, human resources systems and benefits data. Only a management solution that is truly global in nature can cover all of the data from all of the sources in all of the countries. If this is included in the digital transformation plan for the payroll function, then it can have a genuinely transformative effect on global payroll delivery and management at multinational companies around the world.



For more information about our Global Payroll Control Platform contact us today.


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