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International Payroll

The saying goes “think global; act local”. This underpins many multinational corporate strategies. The ability to provide a global service with the flexibility to adapt to local nuances and regulations provides real competitive advantage in today’s increasingly global marketplace.

This perspective is increasingly apparent for payroll professionals as more organisations are making the move from disparate local, national or regional payroll provision to one global payroll service.  This affords the flexibility for an organisation as it expands into new geographies, minimises risk and increases payroll transparency and control. However it is not without its challenges...

The first step towards a truly global operation is to review your existing processes and operations (local, national, even regional) and get as complete as possible an understanding of how they relate to each other and how optimised they are in the first place. This act of discovery provides the foundation to build a robust plan as it clarifies the current position and identifies key gaps, priorities and fit with an organisation's international payroll strategy.

In our experience it's all about pragmatism rather than purism, where customers focus on regional compliant payroll execution with the aim to deliver quick wins which in turn drive further momentum and success.

It's a statement of the blindingly obvious, but not all countries have the same compliance framework or taxation philosophy that we have in the UK or US. This is not about being right or wrong, it's simply different. Many providers seek to over-simplify this as part of their sales pitch and use SAS70 and SOX bullet points on the omnipotent Powerpoints as a panacea for peace of mind.

Whilst these form part of a framework, it's also equally important that providers have a documented compliance framework and can demonstrate regular audits for payroll provision. For those using in-country payroll providers it's equally imperative that the appropriate anti money laundering and compliance checks are made on the owners regularly – this compliance know how tied to 100’s of years tacit knowledge and insight provided by a market leader like Ceridian.

The need for clear reporting is of course one of the major drivers behind a move to a global payroll solution. With a compliant system in place, an organisation can retrieve consolidated employee and payroll information much quicker and with significantly less human involvement than is the case with disparate regional systems; again, this helps with compliance and audit challenges as well as more obvious productivity benefits.

Furthermore, comparisons and evaluations of effectiveness between different countries (or regions, or localities) can be done on a true “apples-to-apples” basis, while monitoring factors like compensation, taxation and absenteeism can be carried out across the organisation using proven web tools. The relevant metrics for a global payroll operation don't vary significantly from those used to measure the success of payroll on a domestic scale. What is of particular relevance to any global payroll operation is, of course, the ability to analyse metrics on a country-by-country or region-by-region basis.

The shaping of global payroll strategy could be particularly daunting to the uninitiated... validating global compliance, ensuring cost transparency & certainty and managing risks for key stakeholders throughout change are key challenges to name a few.

However, by partnering with a market leading provider you will immediately access the expertise built on 1000’s of payroll implementations across 100’s of countries, minimizing your risk and increasing certainty of project success.

To find out more contact 0800 0482 737 or send us an email.

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