Payroll was never simple. There have always been pressures and complexities. Then things went global. Which, in many ways, is great. Global expansion works really well for your organisation for loads of reasons. Things like:
- greater brand recognition
- access to new markets
- growth opportunities
- wider talent pool for hiring
- insights into new innovations in design and technology from the other side of the globe.
But all this expanding doesn’t make life easier for those of us in payroll. Every new territory means another set of rules, another new way of working and another complicated set of spreadsheets!
An army won’t march on an empty stomach. Employees need paying, offices need to be registered and legally fit for business and the books need to balance. And when it comes to global payroll, things can get complicated if you’re working with multiple partners in multiple locations. Time to call in a single global payroll partner to keep all those plates spinning.
What is a “single global payroll provider”?
Before we dive straight into the single global payroll model, let’s backtrack for a couple of seconds and just establish a couple of payroll things.
There are a few different ways to deliver payroll. The first distinction we need to make is between an in-house and outsourced payroll model.
For some companies it could make sense to keep payroll all in-house. But only a very big company with a lot of employees, or a very small company with very few processes to perform, could begin to find it cost effective to use its own systems and teams.
For an organisation with fewer employees, but spread over lots of different locations, outsourcing could be the logical solution. Especially if you choose an employer of record for all those locations where you don’t hold your own entity or license. If that’s all news to you, you might want to hit up our blog all about Employer Of Record.
Outsourcing has a lot to offer. However, even this comes in a couple of guises:
Individual, local outsource teams, one in each of your locations
Great when you’re only onboarding a handful of people in one place, or where it’s vital to have a payroll team who speak the local language and can communicate with your hires in their mother tongue. Some far flung countries have convoluted tax laws and benefits laws. In person dealings with the local authorities may be mandatory to ensure everything is done swiftly and all is compliant with the local laws.
A single global outsourced provider
More and more companies are beginning to look at the “single global payroll provider” as the answer for all their payroll processing. Those words ‘single provider’ already sound good. This model can offer payroll and management services for all employees in multiple countries all around the world.
But why is this one contract, one provider option such an attractive choice?
All the benefits a single global outsourced provider offers…
1. Consistency: One provider, one system
Using one single provider will keep everything centralised, across all your locations. There are always going to be slight differences in the way some countries operate – using a lunar calendar month for global payroll payments for example, or some countries may have deep seated cultural traditions of certain bonus or holiday payments – but for the most part, standardising processes ensures every employee is paid in the same way, regardless of where they are in the world. This streamlined approach can lead to greater accuracy and reduce processing errors.
2. Compliance: One world, 100 ways of doing things
Don’t worry. We know that different countries do things differently. International laws and regulations around pay and benefits can be especially challenging. But a single provider payroll team combines the best bits of local and global. The right global payroll provider has all the knowledge to handle all those unique payroll quirks and legal aberrations in all your various regions.
And here’s the best bit: because they’re global themselves, their international knowledge is invaluable. No country operates completely alone. Your company data needs to move around your corporation, and still stay compliant wherever it goes. It’s your payroll provider’s job to make sure employee data is compliant not just in the worker’s home country, but everywhere it’s going to be processed too.
No compliance cracks in this system. It’s like having a multi-country compliance passport for every transaction. Diplomatic status for wages!
3. Cost: The umbrella effect
Consolidating all your payroll functions under one provider can save you money. Admin costs go down when it’s just one company doing all the processing and there are bulk deals to be had when you’re working in multiples. Added to that, you reduce in-house payroll team hiring, training and running costs and there are no individual licenses to buy. Individual contracts with any number of separate payroll suppliers are not only time consuming to negotiate but also expensive to execute. Which leads us neatly on to…
4. Time: We live in a fast-paced world and we’re always time poor
Payroll is complicated and to do well it’s always going to be time consuming. There are multiple processes involved, so many details to check to always keep compliant. Nothing is going to change that, but streamlining things by using one payroll vendor is going to help. Knowing one global payroll provider is in place and responsible for all your payrolls across your global organisation frees up all your local HR teams to focus on other tasks and projects.
5. Data: A neat filing system is always satisfying
One provider overseeing every process will make for a nice, tidy presentation of your data in every location. Roll out the same functions, handle each process in the same way and you will have a unified system everywhere. With both people and information flying round the world, this makes it so much easier for your teams to access what they want in any location. If everything is laid out uniformly, there is only one system to learn.
6. Control: the ultimate spreadsheet
Everyone likes to feel on top of it all and having one global provider will help. With all the tricky, nebulous aspects of payroll in play and updating constantly – payments and benefits, employee status details, local laws and global payroll compliance requirements – your international payroll can seem like a constantly spinning web of processes. Your one chosen global payroll partner has all the information at their fingertips and can provide comprehensive overviews when you need them. You can keep on top of all the numbers all the time. Vital when you’re budgeting and forecasting.
7. Risk: minimise those bumps in the road
There’s no room for errors in payroll. Your employees deserve a smooth, accurate payroll and the powers-that-be demand a smooth accurate payroll. Your global teams need to know they’re operating to the letter of each local law at all times. Using one provider can mitigate the risk of errors. Plus, a single input of information is not only more efficient, but it also lessens delays and the potential for mistakes.
Time to take the plunge
A single global payroll provider is obviously a great option when your business is operating across the world. All that’s left is choosing the right partner. A partner that not only operates across all the same continents as you do, but one which is scalable.
You’re growing, you’re going places. Just Payroll Services can come along for the ride with you as our fully managed international payroll services are available in over 100 countries.