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Global Payroll Reporting Is Essential for Informed Decision-Making

By Fidelma McGuirk

Reporting_InsideDetailed and comprehensive global payroll reporting has become important for global payroll operational oversight. Consolidated global payroll reporting is needed to create a clear view of what is happening. This view is needed both at a country and regional level these days because of companies scaling into new regions at a faster rate than ever before. Any reporting needs to contain payroll cost information, trending statistics, and predictive analytics so that both global payroll managers and business leaders are in possession of actionable business intelligence.

Crucial Cost Analysis

Most multinational companies around the world are data-driven organizations that require accurate, real-time payroll reporting to drive key strategic decisions, manage payroll processes, and measure success.

Global payroll is simply one of the largest expenses at an organization, so it is crucial that leadership teams have access to accurate, up-to-date information regarding in which countries the most money is being spent. They need to examine this information for crucial cost analysis and country comparisons, as important decisions that could have major implications for an organization must only be made using information that can be trusted.

A lot of crucial payroll data that can help deliver genuine business insight is housed within the global payroll department. Companies today are now tasked with the tricky challenge of finding the best way to extract this data from payroll systems, so that it can be interpreted in a meaningful way. Many believe that innovative technology is the solution.

Effective global payroll reporting is needed to develop a complete picture around payroll processes and costs. This same reporting can also help global employers achieve full visibility and control over their multi-country global payroll processes.

Reporting for Decision-Making

Global payroll reporting at a basic level should establish key facts and metrics while also answering the question of who is getting paid what amounts and where. But global payroll has become complex, and many companies use multiple vendors, each employing different data sets and workflow processes.

More in-depth and comprehensive reporting is needed to get answers to more detailed questions such as the following:

  • How many employees do we have under management in each of our international locations?
  • How much does it cost to pay them (split by individual country, region, or pay period)?
  • How many new people joined and how many have left in the last month, quarter, or year?
  • Why did global payroll cost the company less/more in the previous quarter?
  • How do the country payroll cost figures compare to this time last year?
  • What is the total difference in global payroll spent between certain countries, such as the U.K. and the United States?
  • How do I know I have met compliance obligations in a particular country?

Detailed global payroll reporting lets you drill down into the data and filter by key metrics, so you are in position to get answers to these questions.

Shape Strategic Direction

The global payroll department also needs to be in a position to supply relevant reporting up the chain—this way it can move away from the common perception that it is a back-office processing function and become viewed more as a strategic partner, a function with a role to play in business growth.

C-suite executives and business leaders need information that helps with decision-making around scaling into new countries or, conversely, moving away from a current location. Global payroll data, reporting statistics, and predictive analytics can all impact such crucial strategic decisions.

Right now, the global pandemic that has dramatically altered the business landscape and the future of office locations is far from certain. Remote workers or office buildings in more financially advantageous locations will be attractive, and leadership teams will be very keen to view any data and statistics coming from global payroll reporting that may provide pointers to where money can be saved and what might be the optimal locations for hiring a global workforce or remote employees.

Payroll data can tell many stories if standardized, consolidated, and liberated through smart reporting and analytics tools associated with innovative technology platforms. That is why more global employers are turning toward advanced technology that can meet their demand for centralized visibility and consolidated, real-time global reporting to inform strategic and predictive leadership decisions.

Reporting for Compliance

Compliance is a key issue for global payroll, and there is a clear need for accurate reporting to prove that a company is meeting its obligations across the full range of international countries. Companies are 100% responsible for their own compliance, but the nature of global payroll means they often rely on local expertise and insight, especially when it comes to accounting for local country nuances and regional tax laws.

Multi-country global payroll operations are complex, and it can be difficult to keep track of whether you are compliant in an individual country. Payroll reporting can be used to prove compliance obligations have been met and items like overseas tax returns have been filed with the appropriate local or international agency.

Consolidated reporting can add value to any risk management process in place at a multinational company when it comes to gaps in the multi-country compliance process. Both high-level and granular reporting are needed to provide the kind of visibility necessary to ensure compliance—after all, if you cannot see what is happening with your global payroll, then it is not possible to be confident that you are also compliant.

Vendor Management

Global employers often need several different local payroll vendors to help them process their multi-country global payroll. Sufficient reporting is needed to track payroll in specific countries and also help assess the performance quality of the different vendors supplying your international payroll services.

It is not easy to keep track of who is doing what and judge the quality of the delivery against service level agreements (SLAs). Key performance indicator (KPI) reporting on individual payroll providers can provide insight into SLA management and service quality levels. KPI and performance monitoring reports can be useful assessment tools when it comes to renewing contracts with local vendors and payroll providers.

Multiple audiences and stakeholders will be very interested in global consolidated payroll reporting as it contains essential data needed for important business and strategic decision-making. Multinational companies that want to be progressive and forward-thinking now need to ensure that this essential payroll management reporting is available in their organization to all stakeholders and business leaders who need it.

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Fidelma McGuirk

Fidelma McGuirk, founder and CEO of automation technology company, Payslip, has more than 20 years of experience scaling international business and leading multi-national teams and global HR and IT functions. McGuirk identified the need for an automation and integration technology solution to help multinational employers standardize and centrally manage their global payroll. McGuirk founded Payslip in Westport, Ireland, in 2016, and it now has teams and clients across the U.S. and EU markets. McGuirk is the recipient of the 2020 Global Vision Award from the Global Payroll Management Institute (GPMI). She received her bachelor’s degree in business and German and master’s degree in business at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, and University of Regensburg, Germany.