Global Payroll 9 min

Global payroll automation: what your business needs to know

Written by James Doman-Pipe
James Doman-Pipe


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As your business grows internationally, managing your global payroll can become a huge challenge.

You need to stay on top of the rules and regulations of more and more countries, and navigate an increasingly complex series of processes. There are more administrative tasks, more calculations, and more reports — and the stakes are higher if you make errors.

Which is why automation is such a game-changer. By using software that automates many of these processes, you can save time, money, and resources, and run a payroll operation that is more accurate and secure than a manual approach.

In this article, we’ll go over the benefits of payroll automation, and provide some handy tips on automating your own payroll processes.

So let’s jump right in.

What is global payroll automation?

Payroll automation is when you use software to perform complex or repetitive payroll tasks on your behalf. It reduces the administrative burden and enhances your security against fraud or data loss, making the entire global payroll process more efficient.

Crucially, automation ensures that your payroll is compliant with local labor and tax laws, as well as any changes or updates to these laws. It also helps eliminate discrepancies, and reduces the likelihood of mistakes occurring through manual input errors.

What are the benefits of global payroll automation?

Automation is becoming the preferred solution for global companies as it’s cost-effective, and a more efficient way to handle the complexities of international payroll processing.

Here are some of the key benefits of automating your payroll.

Quick and easy payments

Global payroll automation enables you to pay your domestic and international team members in minutes. With a single platform for managing your people's payroll information, you can streamline the entire process — regardless of location or currency.

This also ensures compliance with labor regulations around the globe, while minimizing the costs associated with foreign transactions.

Simplified reporting

Global payroll automation simplifies your reporting by consolidating all of your employment data into one secure, cloud-based hub. This eliminates the need for manual processes and makes it easier to access accurate information quickly.

With this technology, you can easily view up-to-date global employment details in real time — all from the same place.

Global benefits planning assistance

Preparing a global benefits program for your business can be a daunting task, but automation streamlines the process by providing access to unified employee data and user-friendly tools. This allows you to create and manage tailored benefits plans in different locations, while remaining compliant at all times.

In addition, automation allows you to track your employees’ participation in real time, helping you to allocate your resources more efficiently.

Cloud-based efficiency

Cloud-based payroll technology is another effective way to increase efficiency. Automated non-core processes — such as payment tracking and tax filing — can be managed quickly and accurately with a cloud solution like Remote’s.

This eliminates the need for manual data entry and the inefficiencies associated with legacy systems, and also provides the scalability to add new countries without worrying about complicated integrations and system updates.

Global equity incentive management

Managing stock options and equity incentives for a global team can be difficult without payroll automation. The right automated solution can simplify the process of granting, tracking, vesting, and canceling equity awards by providing an efficient way to track employee investments across different countries.

Additionally, with automated processes in place for managing stock options or grants of restricted stock units (RSUs), you can ensure that your international teams receive proper tax guidance and filings on these incentive programs.

Payments for employees and contractors

An automated global payroll solution makes it easy to pay both employees and contractors, whether they’re based domestically or abroad. This is especially valuable, as tax structures, payment methods, and other legal factors differ significantly for these work arrangements across the globe.

With automated payroll, you can easily stay on top of these compliance requirements while avoiding costly errors or delayed payments.

Simplified time and leave tracking

Automation allows you to simplify your PTO, time, and attendance tracking, giving you an accurate picture of your team members' time and leave across the globe. It can also help ensure that your people are getting the correct pay in accordance with international labor laws, without having to manually track such information.

Streamlined tax filing options

An automated system enables you to quickly and easily calculate and withhold taxes in accordance with local regulations, reducing the risk of non-compliance. You also get a centralized hub that houses all of your employee data, making it easier to file taxes quickly and accurately.

Automation also reduces the human errors associated with manual tax filings, while providing real-time insights into your global payroll operations at any given moment. This allows you to make informed decisions about your company’s finances without having to wait for month-end reports or other delays.

Around-the-clock support

One of the biggest benefits of an automated global payroll solution is access to around-the-clock support from your partner provider.

With the right automated payroll provider, you can get answers to questions when they are needed most. You don’t have to worry about potentially missing important deadlines due to time zone differences or language barriers: you can receive support, no matter where in the world your people are located.

How do I automate global payroll?

So, now that you know about the benefits of automating your global payroll, how do you actually do it?

Here are the steps:

Find a payroll provider for your business

To automate your international payroll, the best option — especially for smaller businesses — is to outsource or use a global HR provider, like Remote. This will give you access to experienced experts who will handle your global payroll across multiple countries, and ensure compliance and accuracy from the onboarding process onwards.

Before you select a provider, be sure to do your due diligence and choose one that is trusted, reliable, and meets your specific criteria.

Secure your HR data in one platform

Before you start automating, ensure that all your HR data is secure and accessible in one platform. Having this information stored centrally allows you to quickly access employee records across different countries, reducing the time spent manually gathering files for each location or employee.

A centralized database of information will also make it easier to meet your compliance obligations, as you can keep track of the regulations from different jurisdictions without needing to update multiple systems at once. This helps reduce the amount of time your team spends on manual work, and ensures there are no errors when processing payments overseas.

Lean on your global payroll partner for expert advice

Your global payroll partner should be a source of knowledge and expertise when it comes to compliance. They should always understand local regulations, tax requirements, holidays, wages, and other critical details, and provide relevant, actionable advice whenever it is needed.

By relying on your global HR partner for this advice, you don’t need to spend money and resources on building out a team of in-house experts. It’s all there in one place. Make sure you lean on this, and leverage the local expertise of your provider’s tax and legal specialists.

How long does it take to automate global payroll?

The time taken to roll out payroll automation depends on:

1. the specific requirements of your organization; and

2. the complexity level of your existing payroll infrastructure.

Generally speaking, it can take anywhere from between six weeks to a few months to switch to an automated global payroll solution. Note that this process includes implementation, onboarding, data migration/transformation, the training of stakeholders, and any necessary customizations you may require.

The key is to select an experienced partner who understands your specific needs, and can work with you every step of the way — from initial setup right through to launch day.

How do I select the best global payroll automation solution for my business?

To choose the right global payroll software, consider three key factors:


Scalability is important because you want your payroll partner to grow with you. If you outgrow your provider, you will need to change further down the line, which can be a costly, time-consuming process.

Automation capabilities

As we’ve discussed in this article, automation is critical as it will save your business time and money. Look for software solutions that maximize automation wherever possible, while still ensuring compliance, accuracy, and security at all times.

Customer support

Finally, look for a solution that provides genuinely helpful customer support. A good vendor will provide ongoing assistance throughout each step of the process, and provide training materials, self-serve solutions, and a 24/7 help desk.

Global payroll automation with Remote

Remote’s global payroll solution is designed with all of these things in mind, with our platform allowing you to:

  • Consolidate and streamline your payroll processes

  • Minimize time-consuming administrative tasks

  • Ensure compliance with local tax and labor laws

  • Reduce payroll costs

  • Access 24/7 support

Remote’s automation capabilities take on all the heavy lifting for you, allowing you to focus your time, money, and resources elsewhere.

To learn more about how you can benefit from global payroll automation, speak with one of our friendly experts — and discover how exactly we can transform your business today.

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