Say goodbye to payroll pitfalls: Going global in 2017

13 December 2016

As the business world becomes ever more disparate and global, it comes as no surprise that managing payroll across multiple markets is presenting more challenges than ever before. To delve into the issues at hand, the SD Worx Global solution and services (GSS) team recently conducted pan-European research to gauge a better understanding of the key payroll challenges impacting modern multinationals, as well as the changes that industry professionals want to see in the New Year.

No Single Source of Truth

Most significantly, the research showed that the majority of global organisations are yet to achieve one single source of payroll truth, with nearly two-thirds (65%) still using multiple payroll systems around the world. The implications that this presents in terms of increased cost, reduced efficiency, poor accuracy and elevated business risk are very real.
Worse still, more than 5% continue to manage their payroll via manual processes only – a statistic that makes those of us now benefitting from automated payroll recoil in horror.

Building the Business Case for Global Payroll

So with 90% of payroll and HR leaders recognising the business benefits of a global payroll system, why is it that less than a third (29%) of organisations have one single system of record in place? Is it a case that this message has not yet been placed highly enough on the top table agenda? In short, the answer is yes – there is clearly still work to be done on that front.
Here are three key business risks to highlight when building your business case for global payroll in 2017:

1. Inaccuracy

Staggeringly, well over half (56%) of the payroll professionals we polled admitted to ongoing problems with payroll accuracy across different geographies. At best, this creates a headache for the payroll department, but at worst, it leaves your business exposed to legislative compliance issues that could prove very costly if not identified and resolved.

The solution
Modern global payroll solutions are created with local understanding and a global outlook, ensuring that strong local service levels are maintained. Through working with in-country consultants, it also guarantees that local legislation is understood and incorporated into the global system so that concerns about compliance become a thing of the past.

2. Inconsistency

Inconsistencies with the provision of high employee service levels across different geographies was also cited as a top concern by 42% of those surveyed. Amidst today’s war for talent, talent acquisition and retention are creating greater challenges than ever before for HR leaders, and this becomes more difficult still if they’re working with inconsistent data that fails to provide global visibility and insight.

The solution
Automation is key to payroll accuracy, and using one single provider across all markets is the quickest way to achieve global consistency. Why? Quite simply, automation removes the possibility for human error and a global system enables data to be captured consistently across all geographies, thus eradicating inconsistency and the arduous task of trying to collate and comprehend inconsistent data sets at reporting time.

3. Cost creep

More than a third (34%) of the respondents we polled indicated that their current payroll operations are too cost-heavy. This is a common problem for multinational organisations using multiple payroll providers around the world because it creates silos across different markets, hindering the ability of payroll professionals to accurately assess expected cost.

The solution
An effective global payroll process is essential to the smooth-running of any multinational business. Not only is it key to optimising employee experiences, it also saves your HR team time and hassle, freeing them up to focus on strategic HR planning. Having one single solution which federates the systems of payroll per countries will also both minimise hidden costs and cut surplus costs through improved efficiencies and streamlining of processes, leaving you with greater certainty and peace of mind.

To learn more about our research findings, please download our infographic, or to discuss how best to build your business case with a member of the SD Worx team, please get in touch. Alternatively, you can read more about how global payroll can get your New Year off to a more cost-effective and stress-free start, in our most recent whitepaper.