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Why it’s time to rethink payroll

Fidelma McGuirk, CEO - Payslip

A company’s payroll department controls everything from paychecks and tax law compliance to new and existing employees’ paperwork and records. Beyond administrative day-to-day tasks, payroll can also help a business scale into new countries, and an agile and responsive payroll technology platform that allows for the rapid onboarding of local payroll providers is necessary for global growth. 

Payroll technology can –and should – be viewed as a strategic growth enabler and a facilitator of global scaling. While global payroll costs can be quite steep, the data produced from the payroll department is crucial for executives to make informed decisions on key business strategies such as global expansion and hiring tactics. A suite of advanced payroll reporting tools can produce the necessary data surrounding total labor costs, country comparison reporting, year-over-year labor cost comparisons, gender pay gap reporting, variance reporting, employee trends, and more.  

While payroll aids in many different aspects of decision-making, the CFO and financial operations team especially benefit from payroll data. Centralized payroll technology featuring innovative reporting tools enables a high-level overview of labor costs across all locations the organization is operating, and this data can be useful for country comparisons to see where labor and staff costs differ, drill down into pay elements including bonuses and overtime, and receive a clear understanding of where money is being spent. Predictive analytics also allows for visibility into what labor costs will likely be for the company in the coming years.  

Human resources (HR) executives also benefit from payroll technology, allowing them to obtain a full, clear picture of employee data by enabling a two-way data flow between HR systems and payroll systems. The payroll technology also produces valuable information regarding local country elements including unique tax laws and social security items specific to the area. Payroll technology also produces metrics around gender pay gap reporting and diversity analytics. This will help keep the HR department aligned on the company’s overall values and mission statements in these particular areas. 

While data is important for strategic decisions, it also streamlines the payroll process and provides global payroll managers with greater visibility and control around multi-country payroll, leading to overall operational efficiency. A centralized platform allows global payroll teams to have a single platform view of all countries within the payroll network, which payrolls are due, which are complete, and, if applicable, which are having payroll issues. The unified platform brings all of the local country vendors together under a single umbrella, reducing complexity, increasing visibility and control, and providing digital audit trails to help prove compliance. 

A unified platform also allows for standardized data and processes across all locations, meaning that everyone is working within the same data structures as opposed to receiving data from multiple systems or following a different process in each country. This paves the way for consolidated reporting in a single currency and easy data comparisons between countries. Since global payroll professionals use the same tools within the unified platform, swapping tasks between team members in different countries is an easy and efficient process. 

In order for C-suite executives to take advantage of payroll data, it’s recommended to invest in a unified technology platform. Without it, executives will struggle to retrieve the data they need to make strategic decisions and, because the data will have to be pulled from different sources, there won’t be a clear picture of the total cost for employment for the globally dispersed workforce. The unified payroll platform will aid in making decisions about the future of the company, especially when it comes to the financial health of an organization. Businesses can place more value on the global payroll department by supporting it with financial investment, the same way companies have supported the sales and technology teams in recent years. Invest in a cloud-based payroll platform to maximize the security of sensitive information and allocate digital transformation budget to global payroll, HR, and technology stacks to allow for data flows between the three departments, which will aid in the quality of reporting when it comes to decision making. 

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