As the world embraces Cloud HR which promises to genuinely transform HR service delivery and finally deliver on the promise of HR for decades, the pinnacle for many HR, Finance and Payroll professionals has now become a global payroll solution. The solution will use the best-fit payroll engine in each country, it will be fully integrated into a global personnel administration and organization management engine, featuring a single Self-Service tool with accurate reporting and analytics - and ideally all managed by a single vendor, yielding a single source of data truth, statutory compliance and process standardisation.
Today, achieving the Holy Grail has become possible with the evolution of Cloud technology, the maturing of (some) vendor global payroll solutions, enhancements and maturing of the service delivery models and staffing ratios, plus the sensible and significant investment in global payroll integration technologies.
Of course, global payroll projects are still seen by some as high-risk ventures. Get it right and the organization will reap substantial economic, process and cultural benefits; get it wrong and you may end up paying your people incorrectly or perhaps not at all, with the risk of causing substantial damage not just to business finances but also to your external reputation and employee engagement. Add to this a natural reticence among business leaders to take on payroll projects - after all, there is little glamor in global payroll, often taking several years to be deployed successfully and loaded with risks and stress. It really is the only technology project where 100% perfection is simply demanded, not rewarded!
That said, there has been a renaissance and renewed interest in exploring global payroll solutions in recent years as a result of Cloud HR technology and a maturing market. Many organizations are now recognizing the possibility that mature global payroll (outsourcing) solutions can deliver significant financial savings, with a substantial reduction in risk, a potential for process standardization and greater adherence to compliance standards. The caveat to this is that projects must be planned and executed well; plus there is much to gain from working in partnership with a proven vendor that has trodden the path before. Fundamental to this is the development of a robust business case that will highlight opportunities for global payroll.
In the experience of Alight, the development of a Business Case for a Global Payroll Outsourcing solution needs agreement on a clear set of resolute and immutable “rules of engagement”. These nonnegotiable ideals are the bedrock of a successful global payroll project, including:
- A single global Employee & Manager Self-Service portal
- Inclusion of Payroll, Personnel Administration, Organization Management and Reporting
- Acceptance that a number of small countries will seem uneconomic if reviewed individually
- Senior global executive mandate in support of the project with the willingness to enforce change
- Willingness to challenge, align and standardize business processes where required
- Acceptance that global payroll is a complex and challenging project where 100% accuracy is mandatory
- Investment in a significant Change Management program within the overall project
- Willingness to sacrifice functionality for ease of use and integration
- Delivery of a genuine, global â€œSingle Source of Truthâ€ for all reporting
- Defined step-increase in Employee Engagement and Satisfaction
- Defined improvement in payroll accuracy and statutory compliance
- Pre-requisites for successful global payroll require strong project management where risk mitigation and adopting the right implementation sequence is key
This guide defines the key factors driving global payroll and sets out an approach to the development of an indicative business case that will act as a starting point for any organization with an ambition to implement global payroll.