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GPMI Webinar Review

Webinar Maps Steps to a Global Payroll Aggregator Model

By Kerry Cole

Implementing an aggregator model will increase control of an organization’s global payroll operations and can provide cost savings, but getting there requires a firm grasp of your requirements.

During the GPMI webinar “Global Payroll: Implementing an Aggregator Model,” Joe Almodovar, Senior Director of Global HRIS, Payroll, and Knowledge Management with global management consulting firm AT Kearney, unveiled the lessons he learned about using an aggregator.

In an aggregator model, the user interface looks and operates the same no matter where across the globe the user is located, Almodovar explained.

Behind the scenes, however, the aggregator effectively sub-contracts the actual payroll processing to its network of in-country partners (ICPs)—entities that provide local expertise in cultural and regulatory norms by virtue of their operation in a single location.

Prior to finding an aggregator, AT Kearney’s payroll offices in 10 Asian countries managed themselves.

“We don’t want 10 files coming back to us,” he said. “We want one file coming out of that common user interface that will consolidate all 10 countries and then move it to our finance and HR systems."

AT Kearney’s primary purpose in seeking an aggregator was tightening payroll controls.

 “Once we eliminate manual entry and let the system do the work, it prevents manual manipulation of any of the data, files, or reports,” Almodovar said.

The wide-ranging webinar covered vendor selection, implementation, and lessons learned. Among his key takeaways, Almodovar urged his audience to:

  • Prepare scripted requirements for vendors to demonstrate. “If you let a vendor come in for demos, they want to show you all of their great bells and whistles,” he said. “What we’ve found over time is that you will spend too much time on things that have no value to you and your processes. We lay out some scripted demos, scenarios, and processes and ask the vendor to demonstrate that in their system. It really does save a lot of time and effort.”
  • Take the time to map each country’s current payroll process in detail. “We found that there are many non-core payroll processes that were provided by the local payroll vendor,” Almodovar said. “That was a surprise, and it really complicated disconnecting from the current local vendor and moving to the aggregator.”
  • Consider each country its own unique project with its own project plan, issues list, and change management process. “Our senior leaders looked at it as one project, but it really was 10 projects with 10 sets of challenges and 10 different implementation teams,” he said. “You have to make sure you manage that as part of your change management and as part of your communication. Make sure they’re not looking at this as one project, or the expectations will be different.”

GPMI Director of Instructional Design and Learning Development Nicole Smith hosted the webinar, which is available on-demand.

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