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Strength in numbers: The importance of partnership in payroll

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/MaximP)

International expansion comes hand in hand with business growth. Organisations that provide services in different regions and seek to build a permanent local presence must incorporate an immaculate payroll system for their employees on a global scale.

For example, if you have employees across 20 countries, then your business needs to build a network of local providers that you can trust and rely on to deliver your payroll consistently. The challenges usually lay in the coordination of a myriad of time zones, multiple languages, different cultures and legal requirements. Because of this, finding a payroll provider whom you can work with seamlessly is vital to the success of your business.

The answer could be as simple as finding an integrated network of providers through payroll partnerships.

An international payroll service provider reduces the complexity of choosing many single providers in local markets and works with the best providers in each country or region. For example, if an organisation is based in Europe, the Middle East and Africa but decides to expand into the Asian market, that organisation can use the payroll partnership network to cover its payroll in the Asian market.

By using the partnership network, the organisation knows that it is working with the best provider in that region and can expand its current payroll contract to include that new region. The organisation therefore still has a single payroll contract, and a single point of contact, but has successful payroll in multiple regions. This simple, unified format allows the business to flourish without the complexity of dealing with many layers of administrative work, rather focus back to its daily operations and revenue activities.

The benefits of partnerships

However, there are many misconceptions about a single, international provider over a range of local payroll providers. Although the organisation will have a single contract, HR and payroll teams do not need to go from something flexible to something rigid overnight. Multinational organisations could remain lean and continue to reap the benefits of outsourcing payroll.

Compliance: An international payroll partnership network can also aid multinational organisations with their compliance. One of the biggest benefits that payroll partnerships bring is the one-time compliance solution for the employees across the globe. This is achieved without having to get in-house employees to travel to different regions and learn local legislations. The partnership can take care of all the employees you have in all jurisdictions the business is located in, without needing multiple, local providers.

Working with an international partnership network means that there is no need to worry about the burden of staying compliant across borders. Although other companies will provide local services, these networks can customise the sale or approach and bring in a number of partners. You may need two regions, or ten, or fifteen, and, no matter what, the services can be tailored to the needs of each specific region. Rather than a ‘one size fits all’ option, the partnership network will provide a tailored service to meet all of your specific requirements.

Reporting: Using multiple, single providers means in-house teams receive multiple, single reports. However, by working with a payroll partnership, the HR and payroll results are collated and shown on a single, clear dashboard. This provides in-house teams with an overview of the results, and also provides them with the ability to deep-dive into local results too.

Continued expansion: International payroll partnerships are formed from the best local providers in each country and all of them can help their clients in their expansion needs. The local knowledge, including centralised and harmonised services, and the personal care to the customer, should be the key aims for international payroll providers. To continue to grow internationally, these partnerships give in-house teams the possibility to speak locally with people who speak the local language (not only idiomatic, but also legislative) and get global information and knowledge.

The future of payroll partnerships

Although international payroll partnerships provide simplicity for in-house HR and payroll teams, payroll will always require a combination of global and local services. There will be room for both partnerships and local players in the payroll market of the future, with each as important as the other. Globalisation needs localisation too. 

In the future there’s going to be room in the market for multiple approaches. Customers are increasingly understanding that payroll from multiple providers is time consuming. Yet, with an international partnership, even though you buy from a global partner the deal is crafted in a specific region or country. For example, instead of one country provider, you will work with one regional provider.

In terms of the services that both local providers and international partnerships will provide, the future of payroll is going to be about growing Software-as-a-Service payroll, as there are fewer local providers that are offering on premise solutions. The customer now has access to the cloud solution, so the future of the payroll network in general will certainly be more cloud based. Ultimately, as the world continues to evolve and become more complex, it is hard to remain current if you are not close to the ground.

There is no doubt that there is strength in numbers, even for payroll. For multinational organisations in particular, choosing one payroll provider that works with other providers in a durable partnership is a fool proof way to reduce the stress of multiple payroll providers. From monthly payroll to reporting, a payroll partnership that covers multiple geographical regions will reduce the range of complexity that international payroll causes.

The Payroll Services Alliance
Image source: Shutterstock/MaximP

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The Payroll Services Alliance was formed in 2010 to fulfil the needs of international companies for harmonised global payroll. We are now a well-established association of seven strategic partners who are leaders in their geographic regions—SD Worx, Aditro, Elanor, Ceridian, Ascender, F2A and Seresco.