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Survey Shows the Challenges of Global Payroll

By Adam Sheffield

There are two main components to successful global payroll: timely payments and local compliance. The latter increases in complexity with each country a company operates in.  

Compliance management results in faster growth and better business security. Unfortunately, global payroll professionals are exposed to greater risk due to the complexity of increasing government regulations. 

Noncompliance with local labor and payroll regulations can result in severe penalties, which can be a major setback for a growing company. This is illustrated by a recent survey conducted by Global Upside among 84 participants currently running international payroll, which found that global compliance was their most challenging task (see Figure 1).

Figure 1—Survey Results Show Biggest Challenge

Business Without Borders

Successful global operations hinge on having order in your global payroll process. If your company is going to be successful in today’s technologically advanced world, it must have a timely payroll system. Companies will need to work with global experts to establish a framework that identifies optimal payroll delivery models best suited for scale, complexity, and regional footprint. 

The number of employees a business has in each country provides valuable insights into the possible payroll scope and available systems (see Figure 2). For large countries, it is common to leverage a multi-country enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform or payroll providers with expertise in multiple regions. The increase in complexity for HR and payroll laws is why one system is necessary to handle all the international business laws and compliance (see Figure 3). 

Figure 2—Survey Results Show Employees in Multiple Countries


Figure 3—Survey Results Show Single System Most Important


Centralize and Consolidate Vendors

As companies rapidly expand into global markets, they often hire various vendors for a wide range of services and countries (see Figure 4). This quickly becomes cumbersome to manage multiple vendors across the world, even for something as streamlined as payroll. Some countries may require employees to be paid weekly, while others may have monthly payment requirements. In addition to monthly payroll, some countries require extra vacation or holiday pay, payroll deductions, various processing times, taxes, and these requirements are changing constantly.  

Regardless of the circumstances, managing various vendors to ensure payroll runs smoothly is a daunting task. Consolidating under one vendor guarantees international payroll will never be an administrative burden.

Figure 4—Survey Shows Company Payroll Models


Find the Right Global Payroll Partner

To ensure accurate and timely global payroll, businesses need to form lasting partnerships with global operation experts. Finding the right global growth partner can help businesses stay compliant with international payroll laws, while ensuring global employees are paid on time (see Figure 5).  

Regardless of your growth goals, every business will need to find a partner that is flexible, with enough expertise to provide a customized approach. 

Figure 5—Global Payroll Vendor Attributes


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Adam Sheffield

Adam Sheffield is the Chief Revenue Officer of Global Upside, a conglomerate of brands offering the most comprehensive accounting, human resources, payroll, global expansion, and HR technology solutions in the market. As CRO, Adam directly oversees global sales across all companies under the Global Upside umbrella.