As HR and Finance teams know, even managing local payroll with its many intricacies, changes, and updates is a complicated task. But when a business expands overseas, the question of managing a successful payroll system holds even more challenges. Local laws and regulations in multiple languages can present significant barriers to the in-house management of payroll operations.
As businesses globalize, many payroll managers are outsourcing their global payroll operations, entrusting a global payroll technology that integrates with local payroll provides/in-country partners (ICP’s) to globalize their payroll. Working with a global payroll platform has many benefits to both the payroll team, employees and the wider business. From data protection to employee satisfaction, a strategic and scalable global payroll platform is essential to profitable business growth.
Security and compliance
As payroll software develops the ability to house more and more data, and businesses onboard more and more staff, the issue of data storage becomes hard to ignore.
In tandem, concerns around data protection are increasing. Recent high-profile security breaches have left employees and businesses feeling nervous. This is reflected in the introduction of the GDPR in Europe, which is matched by equivalent laws and regulations worldwide in its protection of data privacy.
As a business, the risk of non-compliance with local laws carries serious consequences. For example in Europe, failure to follow the GDPR could land large businesses with a fine of €20m or 4 percent of annual turnover, whichever is greater.
Just as every country has its own unique data protection laws to abide by, so do they have individual employment laws and tax laws which must be understood and complied with for successful payroll management. For example, France works a 35 hour week. Anything extra worked is classed as and paid as overtime. But only up to 46 hours across 12 consecutive weeks, after this, it constitutes a day off.
Global payroll providers, as well as ensuring regulatory compliance, take steps to guarantee data security. These include minimizing manual processes in data entry and maintenance, operating a centralized system that is less likely to suffer security breaches, and offering real-time visibility so that attacks or errors are spotted early.
One of the most complicated aspects of payroll is the fact that laws are constantly changing. The recent focus on the gender pay gap, for example, has led to changes in the way payroll systems operate. As a country’s economy and workforce grows or adapts, new developments can mean monthly updates that must be applied to payroll runs. For example, in Poland, international expansion, development of legislation and a host of new tax laws and social security payments has made payroll in the country extremely complex of late.
Knowing, understanding and applying regulations like this on a country by country basis would be time-consuming and confusing. Global payroll providers remain up to date of changes and have local experts on hand to do the job.
For payroll teams, knowing the minutiae of every locale into which your business is expanding may seem an insurmountable task. Consider, for example, countries such as Belgium and Switzerland, with four and three official languages apiece. Setting up successful payroll in locales such as these is time-consuming and difficult.
What are the minimum wage requirements in the target country? What are the social security contributions? Even the days of the working week vary from country to country. Monday to Friday in the UK becomes Sunday to Thursday in the Middle East. With local payroll providers, you have a team of local linguists and cultural experts to navigate these nuances for you. This service is useful for any business expanding overseas, but for those expanding into more than one country at once, it is priceless.
With global payroll technology platforms integrating with the local providers, payroll teams have the power to take local data from all providers and collate it on a global scale. Rather than a range of different reports showing different information in different formats, with a global payroll platform, the business has access to a summary of payroll data in an easy to read format. This allows finance professionals full visibility of the workforce, their skills, and their progress, promoting agility and productivity. With global visibility, Payroll, HR and Finance teams can undertake efficient data analysis, decision making, human capital management and strategizing.
In unpredictable times, flexibility is one of the key attributes successful businesses need to nurture. In a survey, 54 per cent of CEOs and CFOs said that Brexit was a top-three reason for uncertainty in their industry. On the other hand, technological advancements open doors for businesses in terms of new markets, new customers and new opportunities for growth and to lead core business processes.
The beauty of global payroll technology is that it is scalable. If you are looking to broaden horizons and expand your business internationally, you have a multi-country payroll platform ready to absorb new team members, regardless of their location. With no complicated new legislation to learn or systems to set up, your HR and Payroll management teams can focus on their core roles, for example, hiring and strategizing, not getting their head round local tax laws.
That said, if Brexit has you feeling cautious, your provider will scale down alongside you. Thanks to global payroll data analytics, scaling back will be considered and efficient.
International payroll software is an instant way to improve employee efficiency and payroll processing. Teams are no longer bogged down with lengthy data management tasks or learning complex local laws. The system runs smoothly in the background with improved accuracy and efficiency.
From payslips to tax filing, audits to data management: all your payroll needs will be handled automatically by your payroll software solution. Plus employee self-service options will allow employees themselves to update details such as contact information, absence and expenses.
This allows payroll teams to streamline the less skilled aspects of their role in favor of focusing on pressing business needs. With the payroll function taken care of, they can step up and deliver strategy for the business as a whole.
With an efficient system, employees can rely on you to pay them the right amount at the right time. Timely payment is a key factor in employee engagement and will give your big or small business the professional edge that will reduce turnover and attract top talent.
Employee HR services will be greatly improved by self-service elements. For example, employees can amend their own data as part of a more inclusive user experience. As ever, employee experience is paramount, and a multi-country payroll system is set up to deliver an exemplary service regardless of the location or role of the employee.
Setting up multi-country payroll systems can be time-consuming, confusing and full of risks. Whether it’s landing a fine or alienating new hires, errors or hiccups can be costly. With a global payroll function run by a service provider, HR management becomes efficient and productive. With world-class data analysis functions and the free time to make the most of them, payroll teams become a vital strategic hub of the business, working to maintain profitability and agility in an ever-changing business environment.
To learn more about how Payslip can globalize your payroll contact us today!