Building the Business Case for Global Payroll

6 March 2017

Managing payroll across multiple markets is becoming increasingly complex as the world becomes ever more global. To better understand the payroll challenges impacting modern multinationals, the team at SD Worx recently conducted pan-European research to identify what changes industry professionals want to see over the coming year.

One source of truth

The research revealed 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. This creates lack of visibility, from which the repercussions include; increased costs, reduced efficiency, poor accuracy, and elevated business risk.

Yet more staggering, more than 5% of international businesses continue to use only manual payroll processes – an unimaginable thought for those of us now benefitting from the greater ease and accuracy that automated, global payroll systems can deliver.

The payroll agenda

Even though 90% of payroll and HR leaders recognise the business benefits of having a global payroll system in place, less than a third (29%) of organisations have one single system of record. Why might this be? Is it perhaps because payroll is wrongly still being given low priority on the business agenda? Simply put, yes. There is still much work to be done to move payroll up the value chain and gain that all-important top table buy-in.  

So what should you be focussing on when building your business case for global payroll in 2017? Here are three key business risks to outline when putting your proposal together:

1. Inaccuracy

Surprisingly, more than half (56%) of the HR and payroll professionals polled admitted they are continually blighted by payroll inaccuracy. Not only does this create a headache for the payroll department, it also leaves businesses exposed to legislative compliance issues that could lead to at best, a hefty corporate fine, and at worst, jail time for your company’s Executives.

The solution

Successful modern global payroll systems are built with both a global outlook and local understanding in mind. The former ensures pan-geographic consistency and visibility, and the latter guarantees that local service levels are met, and relevant legislation is adhered to. Concerns about compliance can therefore become a thing of the past

2. Inconsistence

Another top concern for those surveyed (42%) related to inconsistencies with the provision of high employee service levels across different geographies. Finding – and retaining – great employees and the best workforce is now a growing challenge for HR leaders around the world amidst the global war for talent. This is made even more difficult if inconsistent payroll data sets are causing your company to pay its employees incorrectly or with delay. That does not bode well for maintaining an engaged and productive workforce.

The solution

The key to achieving payroll accuracy and minimising global inconsistency lies in adopting a one single, automated payroll provider that can cover all geographic markets. Why? In short, automation reduces the possibility for human error whilst also offering significant time and cost savings. A single global system can also ensure that data is captured and analysed consistently across all countries, meaning that business leaders can act on intelligence rather than insight.

3. Cost Creep 

Over a third (34%) of survey respondents also suggested that their current payroll operations are too expensive and have a negative impact on the HR department’s value in bottom line terms. Global organisations that use multiple payroll providers around the world often struggle with payroll cost creep as geographic silos make it difficult to accurately assess probable expenditure.

The solution

Global payroll systems can greatly reduce cost creep. An effective global payroll process will reduce hidden and surplus costs and will streamline processes by providing much better clarity around a company’s ongoing payroll spend. This leaves you with peace of mind. – ensuring no nasty surprises

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 2017 off to a more cost-effective and stress-free start, in our most recent white paper.

Are you attending HR Tech World London? The SD Worx team will be on stand 204 and will be available to discuss how global payroll services can improve your multinational business.