How to make the business case for automating and centralising global payroll How to make the business case for automating and centralising global payroll

How to make the business case for automating and centralising global payroll
30 Sep 2015

Prior to centralising any effort, leaders will often ask one key question: “How much value will such an initiative add to the bottom line?”

This has been true for almost every discipline, from finance and supply chain, to manufacturing and human resources. Surprisingly, companies fail to ask this question when it comes to managing their global payroll operations - often the greatest expense line item.

Typically, opportunities to enhance payroll come to prominence only when things go wrong. But why wait for a costly mistake or reputation-damaging error to make the necessary improvements? For companies looking to centralise and streamline their global payroll operations, the time to start is now. One of the biggest challenges in achieving such progress, however, is the need to create an effective business case for why payroll needs to be improved.

Silos: Why it all goes wrong

Most global companies manage payroll partly in house and also in consultation with local or regional outsourced providers. They generally use multiple software systems with data dispersed everywhere, making it difficult to access information or generate important insight about how the payroll operation affects business.

Through this approach, careless mistakes and fraud can occur and it becomes harder to secure data and adhere to the various privacy laws. Moreover, paying for multiple software licences and managing software in-house is expensive, particularly with respect to maintenance fees, new hardware and staff training.

Impacting the bottom line with the right technology platform

To overcome those challenges, businesses are increasing cloud-based technology investments and trading licensed on-premise solutions for a cloud-based platform. Such a delivery method fosters automation for greater business continuity and enables the centralisation of resources and farflung software operations to cuts costs and increase enterprise productivity.

It can also provide greater control, combining the many steps involved in global payroll into a single cloud-based workflow, while ensuring all tasks are completed at the right time and by the right person. It should bring the various parties, including payroll staff, customers, partners, in-country payroll agents and public and private institutes involved with global payroll and payments, into a fully collaborative process.

From a technical standpoint, a centralised cloud-based global payroll solution is hosted and maintained by a single provider responsible for all maintenance and upgrades, eliminating the need for expensive patching to software on site.

The information is held in a protected environment and can be accessed from all computers, laptops, tablets and smart phones at any time from any location.

Building the business case

Organisations looking to adopt a centralised, cloudbased approach to global payroll should begin by comprehensively examining existing processes. Consider questions such as: “How many steps are in the payroll process?” and “What tools, staff members and regions are involved in the process?” They not only help identify opportunities and challenges, but ensure the detailed understanding of processes and help align the project roadmap to business requirements.

It is also important to highlight to key stakeholders and decision-makers how the move to such a solution can improve operational costs, risks and efficiencies across three main categories:

Staff and overhead expenses

Determine what you are spending on overall remuneration for these resources, whether there is duplication or an opportunity for better resource allocation. Consider how much money is being spent on training and retraining internal staff on technology as well as the complex rules and regulations of payroll itself. At the same time, it is important to show how a centralised and integrated approach to global payroll can help payroll teams spend less time and resources on the process and create greater accuracy and risk avoidance.

Technology

What is the annual expense for payroll hardware, software, communication, infrastructure and support costs? It is also important to think about how much time and resources are spent supporting payroll systems rather than contributing to revenue-generating activities as well as the costs of integration.

With one global platform, it is possible to integrate financial and HR systems of record as well as time and attendance software and expense reporting systems. Single interfaces and connected software create huge economies of scale and the simplification and streamlining of global interfaces.

Vendor management

Think about the number of vendors that need to be managed and the time required working with multiple providers. Also consider the cost of resources responsible for managing those relationships, from creating and managing service level agreements (SLAs) to audits, legal support and retainer fees. As with most things, until you take a deep dive, you’ll likely overlook much that makes up the true costs, both financial and opportunistic, that lay the foundation of the business case for change.

Overall, many companies fail to get the greatest ROI when it comes to their payroll investments because they only look at payroll when something goes wrong. Top-performing companies are centralising and automating as much as possible and embracing the right global payroll practices, from a holistic and long-term strategy to scalable tactics for managing all software operations. This leads to greater enterprise visibility, cost reductions and improved compliance across the globe on each payroll run.

Contributed by CloudPay.

Prior to centralising any effort, leaders will often ask one key question: “How much value will such an initiative add to the bottom line?”

This has been true for almost every discipline, from finance and supply chain, to manufacturing and human resources. Surprisingly, companies fail to ask this question when it comes to managing their global payroll operations - often the greatest expense line item.

Typically, opportunities to enhance payroll come to prominence only when things go wrong. But why wait for a costly mistake or reputation-damaging error to make the necessary improvements? For companies looking to centralise and streamline their global payroll operations, the time to start is now. One of the biggest challenges in achieving such progress, however, is the need to create an effective business case for why payroll needs to be improved.

Silos: Why it all goes wrong

Most global companies manage payroll partly in house and also in consultation with local or regional outsourced providers. They generally use multiple software systems with data dispersed everywhere, making it difficult to access information or generate important insight about how the payroll operation affects business.

Through this approach, careless mistakes and fraud can occur and it becomes harder to secure data and adhere to the various privacy laws. Moreover, paying for multiple software licences and managing software in-house is expensive, particularly with respect to maintenance fees, new hardware and staff training.

Impacting the bottom line with the right technology platform

To overcome those challenges, businesses are increasing cloud-based technology investments and trading licensed on-premise solutions for a cloud-based platform. Such a delivery method fosters automation for greater business continuity and enables the centralisation of resources and farflung software operations to cuts costs and increase enterprise productivity.

It can also provide greater control, combining the many steps involved in global payroll into a single cloud-based workflow, while ensuring all tasks are completed at the right time and by the right person. It should bring the various parties, including payroll staff, customers, partners, in-country payroll agents and public and private institutes involved with global payroll and payments, into a fully collaborative process.

From a technical standpoint, a centralised cloud-based global payroll solution is hosted and maintained by a single provider responsible for all maintenance and upgrades, eliminating the need for expensive patching to software on site.

The information is held in a protected environment and can be accessed from all computers, laptops, tablets and smart phones at any time from any location.

Building the business case

Organisations looking to adopt a centralised, cloudbased approach to global payroll should begin by comprehensively examining existing processes. Consider questions such as: “How many steps are in the payroll process?” and “What tools, staff members and regions are involved in the process?” They not only help identify opportunities and challenges, but ensure the detailed understanding of processes and help align the project roadmap to business requirements.

It is also important to highlight to key stakeholders and decision-makers how the move to such a solution can improve operational costs, risks and efficiencies across three main categories:

Staff and overhead expenses

Determine what you are spending on overall remuneration for these resources, whether there is duplication or an opportunity for better resource allocation. Consider how much money is being spent on training and retraining internal staff on technology as well as the complex rules and regulations of payroll itself. At the same time, it is important to show how a centralised and integrated approach to global payroll can help payroll teams spend less time and resources on the process and create greater accuracy and risk avoidance.

Technology

What is the annual expense for payroll hardware, software, communication, infrastructure and support costs? It is also important to think about how much time and resources are spent supporting payroll systems rather than contributing to revenue-generating activities as well as the costs of integration.

With one global platform, it is possible to integrate financial and HR systems of record as well as time and attendance software and expense reporting systems. Single interfaces and connected software create huge economies of scale and the simplification and streamlining of global interfaces.

Vendor management

Think about the number of vendors that need to be managed and the time required working with multiple providers. Also consider the cost of resources responsible for managing those relationships, from creating and managing service level agreements (SLAs) to audits, legal support and retainer fees. As with most things, until you take a deep dive, you’ll likely overlook much that makes up the true costs, both financial and opportunistic, that lay the foundation of the business case for change.

Overall, many companies fail to get the greatest ROI when it comes to their payroll investments because they only look at payroll when something goes wrong. Top-performing companies are centralising and automating as much as possible and embracing the right global payroll practices, from a holistic and long-term strategy to scalable tactics for managing all software operations. This leads to greater enterprise visibility, cost reductions and improved compliance across the globe on each payroll run.

Contributed by CloudPay.