Kick starting your global payroll project – 5 essential steps
Though the world is heading towards a digitalized and integrated future, global payroll in most of the organizations is still decentralized. Payroll processes in each region of the same organization function differently. A lot of organizations struggle to move past the initial stages of global payroll implementation. The lack of consistency can lead to several gaps within the organization, like...
Though the world is heading towards a digitalized and integrated future, global payroll in most of the organizations is still decentralized. Payroll processes in each region of the same organization function differently.
Implementing a standardized and integrated payroll process can be complex and time-consuming, but the outcome of the final project can weigh down all the odds. Several organizations (both small and large) still tend to disregard the need for a centralized payroll system. There can be various reasons that drive this disconnection. It could be due to the currency and lingual variations in each country or the lack of knowledge with respect to the payroll service. A lot of organizations struggle to move past the initial stages of global payroll implementation. The lack of consistency can lead to several gaps within the organization, like
Less consolidated data:
Rich data is the key to effective analysis. When strategizing business plans or analyzing the market position, consolidated data can be supportive in providing useful insights that can be converted into business opportunities. The lack of valuable and informative data can lead to poor business outcomes.
Replication of work and effort:
Having multiple information sources can lead to duplication of data records. This can be very intimidating as HR teams will need to deal with redundant data and every step in the validation process will need to be carried out a number times. This is just a waste of manpower and skill.
Lack of centralized control:
When there isn’t a channelized workflow, individual payroll processes tend to respond in unique ways, making it difficult to implement a large-scale transformation, introduce a new practice or apply a technology into the system.
Inconsistent services within the process:
Considering the organization as a whole, each region processing payrolls in different ways can be very challenging for the management. Monitoring performance and evaluating future strategies can be a nightmare. This can lead to inconsistent business processes.
More prone to errors and risk:
A system that is disconnected, with no doubt, is prone to error. And an even bigger threat to the business is a security breach. Especially when dealing with payroll, a small miscalculation can lead to great losses.
In order to overcome these glitches and establish a well-organized global payroll system; a few essential steps must be considered. They are:
Analyze payroll requirements:
Before taking a step into the actual implementation, it is best to jot down what the organization wants to achieve through the global payroll system. Collect data with regard to the pay cycle, employee information, company policies, leave practices, bonus guidelines, payroll documents, etc. Analyzing the needs versus inconsistencies that exist within the global network can lead to a seamless transition to an integrated payroll system. Understanding the basics can make standardization easier.
Construct a business case:
Building a business case is usually skipped by most of the companies, but this step is very crucial is analyzing the effectiveness of the global payroll system that is being formed. The absence of a realistic business case is what keeps a successful payroll process at stake. The vendor and management need to brainstorm and develop a feasible, well-perceived and credible business case that can project the vision of the project. A thoughtful case can deliver rewarding business outcomes.
Measure the quality of existing data:
Jumbled up data can be confusing and hard to work on. To successfully initiate a global payroll system, first, analyze the data. Not all data is rich and valuable. Data must be measured based on its efficacy; the more it can be customized locally in different regions the more valuable it is. Data that can be used to satisfy different requirements can save a lot of time and speed up the implementation process.
Setting roles and responsibilities:
Initiating a new project and that too a large one, requires the management to organize the team’s roles and responsibilities. Operating and handling a global system does need dedicated time and resources. In most of the organizations, payroll in controlled by the human resource team. Keeping in mind the limited HR staffing and their tight work schedules, designated project resources must be made available to support and assist the HR team throughout the lifetime of the project.
Meet federal and local compliances:
The federal and state laws vary from region to region. While implementing a global payroll system, it is important to constantly monitor currency variations, amendments in the legal constitution, employment law, and update systems accordingly. Tax risks and investment statements must be discussed with regional leadership and the corresponding filing must be done on time.
Delivering a successful global payroll system needs transparency within individual business units and the project vendor. Being honest and open in all aspects of the discussion increases the chance of achieving set target.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Aarathi works with Zalaris ASA, a leading provider of HR and payroll services. She loves to write and discuss the current trends around the world of HR, technology innovations and the latest buzz in the industry.