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Time is Money—Simplifying International Payroll

By Kevin West

It’s safe to say that there are now more companies operating internationally than ever before. This is backed by a recent Xe survey given to Global Payroll Management Institute (GPMI) subscribers. The survey showed that 78% of respondents confirmed they work at companies with a global workforce.

There’s no denying that this brings more opportunities for global trade and cross-border mergers and acquisitions. What’s more, a global and diverse workforce fosters fresh ideas, innovation, and a better chance to connect with audiences in new, untapped markets.

But what about the challenges associated with international payroll? Amidst all this opportunity, how can organizations ensure their international payroll processes are up to scratch?


What Does ‘Good’ International Payroll Look Like?

At its most basic, for employees, it’s their salary arriving in their bank account on time, every time. For employers, it’s a reliable, efficient transfer of money, in accordance with any country-specific legal and compliance issues.

Ultimately, it’s making the process swift, seamless, and cost-effective.

Payroll professionals are still facing numerous challenges when it comes to their international payroll processes.

Of the respondents Xe surveyed, the most common challenges faced when making payroll payments were cited as the following:

  • Processing payments to multiple tax jurisdictions (50%)
  • Time taken to process and settle payments (45%)
  • Frequent errors and inaccuracies (38%)
  • Number of staff required to process and settle payments (38%)
  • Time taken to generate and submit reports (35%)
  • Compliance and regulatory obligations across multiple countries (28%)

When asked which of these challenges were top of the list to improve this year, reducing the time taken to process and settle payments was top of the list for 23% of respondents, followed by reducing the number of errors and inaccuracies (20%) and reducing the time taken to generate and submit reports (20%).

It’s clear for many GPMI subscribers, their payroll processes are not as efficient as they feel they should be. Further, over half of respondents (58%) felt it was important to be more flexible when it comes to the timing and frequency of payments—a tough ask when facing inefficient payroll processes.


There’s an Easier Way

Traditional international payment methods, such as the bank, can be time consuming, complicated, and expensive. Working with an international payroll specialist can help you consolidate and centralize control of your international payroll and keep on top of compliance and regulatory obligations in multiple countries. And outsourcing compliance and reporting also offers savings on accounting, legal, and HR costs.

By using an international payroll specialist, you’ll also benefit from an experienced pair of hands who understands the unique challenges of paying overseas salaries, and can offer customer support, no matter the country or time zone.

Global business isn’t going anywhere. As international workforces become the norm, it is more vital than ever to adapt and modernize your current payroll processes in order to deliver greater efficiencies and value to your organization.

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Kevin West is Head of Channel Sales at Xe.