From performance management to service delivery: the changing shape of multi-country payroll

This Special Report examines the changing shape of the multi-country payroll sector, assessing trends and developments that impact the way organizations tackle the challenges of managing their international payroll operations.

The report begins by examining the drivers for multi-country payroll initiatives, and then explains how:

  • The supplier market is evolving into what Webster Buchanan Research characterizes as a third generation of service delivery, with a focus on greater quality of execution and the emergence of a more granular range of options. This is underpinned by a combination of newer technologies and changing service delivery models, including Software as a Service and the evolving aggregator model
  • This evolution also enables multinationals to shift from the sometimes elusive search for a single global provider to a more pragmatic focus, taking advantage of techniques and platforms that enable them to build a strategy with a small group of core providers where appropriate
  • Even as many multinationals struggle to gather and analyze data from their international operations for core metrics such as accuracy, timeliness and cost, the focus in reporting and performance management is starting to fall on more nuanced analysis. Pioneering organizations are achieving greater levels of granularity in their operational reporting, as well as contextual information that moves analysis from the ‘what’ to the ‘why’ and the ‘how’
  • Beyond operational payroll data, developments in performance management will enable a growing number of international payroll functions to feed more strategic information to the broader business. In particular, the availability of real-time payroll data will provide business managers with a richer, up-to-date understanding of the dynamics of their international payrolls, from overtime costs to taxation
  • Multi-country payroll is still a relatively immature sector compared to domestic payroll in countries such as the US or UK, and the pool of senior practitioners who have driven through major initiatives is limited. Inexperience in different stages of the multi-country payroll cycle – from initial planning to driving through transformational change – is likely to create challenges for many organizations for the foreseeable future
  • While much of the focus in multi-country payroll projects inevitably falls on tackling operational challenges, these efforts can also feed strategic improvements that may underpin a business case for investment, from improving business scalability to performance management. For example, initiatives designed to automate and standardize international payroll processes may be rooted in improving operational efficiency, but have a strategic by-product in terms of generating data in standard formats that can be aggregated and analyzed

To read the full report, click here or follow the relevant link on the left (GPRN membership required)


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