Imagine this: you’re an HR Director managing teams across the world. You have team members in Europe, Australia, and all across Asia while the majority are in the United States. Each team works under different awards and benefits, not to mention the complexities of each locale’s legislative compliance requirements. Add the cultural nuances associated with how people prefer to access their information - and just like that, the myth that is global payroll has been busted.
With a geographically diverse workforce, the reality for many organisations is that their level of integrated HR technology is the key driving force for efficiency and productivity on a global level. However, it’s the in-country expertise that accompanies those systems that gives them a competitive edge on a local level. Not only do they need to remain efficient and cost effective, but they need to remain compliant and relevant to their ultimate audience, their employees.
Whilst our people may be situated in different offices, the need for regulatory compliance expertise is a challenge when attempting a “one size fits all” model. While expanding an organisation’s global reach is vital, taking a local approach to payroll is equally important.
Our CEO Marjukka Maki-Hokkonen says “Whilst globalisation continues in many areas, it is still very much like a dream when it comes to payroll. There has been a misconception that whilst companies are being globalised and operating globally, so too can their payroll function. You might think global, but you have to act local”.
By partnering with a local expert that can contribute to a global strategy, Marjukka believes we can continue to better serve our employees - “Whilst we have connectivity and understanding of our global workforce, there still remains that local part, which is often better addressed by regional players, such as Ascender, who really understand their region”.
Whilst we have connectivity and understanding of our global workforce, there still remains that local part, which is often better addressed by regional players... who really understand their region.
The nature of work faces its greatest period of disruption. Distance is no longer a boundary – and while this has its benefits, the variety in people's circumstances and work environments adds to the complexity of HR and payroll functions. Now more than ever, organisations need their systems to talk to each other.
Despite this, some organisations continue to move forward without an automated payroll system, which particularly with a global organisation, could pose a high risk of regulatory non-compliance. Marjukka attributes this resistance of automation to the competing priorities of a business: “What tends to happen is that there might be competing priorities in the business that overtake global payroll. If the payroll is working – yes it might be a bit costly and lacking automation – but if it’s fundamentally working, you will typically meet resistance in that situation. A lot of the time all that is needed is for somebody to take ownership and make the initiative toward the adoption of a more mature, automated, payroll system”.
When looking to the future, the evolution of technology and the strengthening of capabilities such as software integration and artificial intelligence only increases the value delivered by regional payroll and HR players. The connectivity enabled by technology means they can deliver a true localised solution, but on a global scale.
Achieving the right balance between the local and global aspects involved in payroll is imperative to its success. By building systems with a global outlook and local knowledge in mind, organisations can benefit from the efficiency gains of a global model, whilst maintaining the risk mitigation of local legislative expertise. A modern, bottom up payroll services approach.