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The challenges of managing payroll systems in different countries


The topic of a managing global payroll systems has been voiced by many thoughts leaders in the industry. In our previous blog, Doug Sawers, Managing Director of SD Worx UK & Ireland went into detail on the matter. This week, we sat down with David Munn, Director of Global Payroll Services, where he shares his views.

    Q: What are the challenges faced in managing lots of different payroll systems in various countries?

    The primary challenge is the sheer volume of compliance and legislation requirements. With GDPR around the corner, the focus on compliance increases exponentially. Ensuring different payroll systems are compliant with GDPR requirements means vendor due diligence once again becomes a fundamental essential for any payroll partnerships.

    No one country is the same, and even in-country there are mostly regional variations to take into account. Consequently, the complexity in managing the varying in-country requirements is significant, necessitating specialist knowledge. Whilst specialism is required, the need for process standardisation and economies of scale cannot be ignored either – efficiency and effectiveness in managing different payroll systems is also key to ensure there is a sufficient level of flexibility at the local level.

    Reporting, not just numbers, but real-time analytics, is a key driver in managing different payroll systems. Aggregating data from various payroll systems is critical, as is the means by which the aggregation is achieved. An effective technology strategy is vital to connecting payroll systems and being able to deliver global insights with regional variations.

    Q: How do you manage to tie this into a global corporate culture?

    With care and attention to detail. Creating a unique global corporate centre is challenging even in one company location, even more so where locations are dispersed. As organisations expand globally, a global corporate culture arguably lags behind other areas of integration. The main challenge in bringing together a global corporate culture is to ensure global integration but maintaining sufficient flexibility to take into account local cultural variations. A true global corporate culture requires moving away from an HQ centric mindset, leveraging organisational capability and competence from across organisational assets that incorporates diverse values and know how.

    Global corporate culture is multifaceted and borderless. Tying the challenges of managing different payroll systems in various countries into a global corporate culture requires effective communication, an appreciation and sensitivity of various cultures with an ability to leverage the best of each, whilst bringing together a diverse workforce united under common goals and clear vision.

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