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Perfect payroll: Five tricks of the trade

Read the original article by Jean-Luc Barbier in HR Review here.

Payroll, and the importance of payroll, is everywhere. Whether in Italy, France, or in Belgium, payroll is a crucial part of any organisation. Employees are the heartbeat of an organisation, so ensuring that they are paid on time and correctly is essential. However, getting payroll right can be a challenge. With various—and continuous—legislative changes around the globe, multinational organisations need to have the right payroll in place to remain compliant and avoid heavy fines and brand damage.

Choosing an outsourced payroll provider with both global and local capabilities is a vital part of keeping payroll perfect. Here are five tips for achieving and maintaining successful global payroll:

    Prioritise payroll

    Although payroll is an essential part of any organisation, business leaders often overlook the power that payroll has in the business—especially an international company. To emphasise the importance of global payroll, HR and payroll teams should develop a business case for key stakeholders and the company’s c-suite. By outlining the need for geographical consistency, legislative compliance, and both global and local capabilities, business leaders are much more likely to understand the benefits, and consequently prioritise payroll.

      Turn to technology

      In the HR and payroll industry, technology can both simplify and improve payroll processes. Mundane tasks can be automated, complex tasks can be simplified, and spreadsheets can be reduced or replaced altogether. For example, technology can be used in the payroll department to streamline repetitive tasks, allowing HR and payroll professionals to focus on the ‘human’ part of Human Relations (while also reducing costs for the business).

        Get GDPR ready

        Whether an organisation is based in the EU or not, all organisations that handle or process the data or EU citizens must comply with new guidelines introduced by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) from May 25th 2018. Although GDPR will bring new data regulations to organisations, effecting HR and payroll professionals around the globe, employees will have new rights under GDPR. These rights include the visibility and erasure of their data, among others. Ensuring that the HR and payroll department has the right processes in place and is ready for GDPR is paramount for successful global payroll.

          Think global, act local

          For global payroll to be effective, HR and payroll professionals must be able to understand both global and local requirements. Payroll teams should use local services—managed by expert, in-country teams— in addition to an overarching global service and governance. By thinking global and acting local, HR and payroll teams can manage their global data with in-depth knowledge of the requirements and needs in each market.

            Increase engagement

            Although many organisations don’t realise, payroll can directly impact employee engagement. Being paid on time and correctly is a core part of the workplace, and getting it wrong can have a major impact on employee happiness—and consequently engagement. With social networking and employer review sites such as Glassdoor now accessible around the globe, payroll mistakes can cause long-term damage. If employees trust their employer to pay them on time and accurately, and the HR and payroll team can deliver this expectation, employees are much more likely to be engaged in the workplace.


            Global payroll can be managed effectively if the necessary steps are taken to partner with a global provider and to become compliant to global legislations and laws. Global payroll brings many direct business benefits to HR and payroll teams (and the wider business), including cost savings, a clearer view of international HR and payroll, as well as a single point of contact for your customers.

            SD Worx aims to give guidance and provide news on this historic legislation from an HR and Payroll stand point which will impact businesses across the globe. For more information please visit our GDPR Page or, please email WeAreGlobal@sdworx.com.