Global Payroll 6 min

Global payroll trends: what your business should know

Written by James Doman-Pipe
October 12, 2023
James Doman-Pipe


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If your business operates in multiple countries, then your global payroll operation is crucial.

A well-managed global payroll system helps you comply with local tax and labor laws, streamline complex administrative processes, and — importantly — pay your employees accurately and on time.

However, global payroll trends change rapidly. To stay compliant and implement the most effective processes, you need to understand the patterns and driving factors that are changing how global payroll is shaped and delivered.

In this article, we’ll look at some of today’s most important global payroll trends, and explain how your business can stay a step ahead.

So let’s dive right in.

As more and more businesses globalize their workforce, the traditional approach to payroll has evolved rapidly. As a result, it’s crucial to be aware of and understand these developments, and implement them into your own organization’s processes.

Here are some of the key trends shaping this evolution.

The emergence of cloud-based global payroll software

Cloud-based global payroll programs have simplified and streamlined employee payments across the globe, making it much easier to manage the payroll process.

Specifically, this shift to a cloud-based approach now gives your organization:

  • More accessibility points

  • Enhanced and up-to-date security

  • Simplified reporting

  • Greater accuracy calculations

  • Increased scalability

  • Easier user management

The cloud-based approach also removes the need to set up and maintain an internal software and hardware infrastructure, with your payroll provider taking on and managing the technical burden. This can create significant cost savings.

Improvements in employee onboarding experiences

One of the key trends in global payroll is the positive impact it has had on employee onboarding, with digital tools and resources taking up much of the slack. Indeed, most global payroll solutions take on and automate many essential elements of the onboarding process, allowing your company to focus on creating a personable, tailored experience for your new hire — wherever they are based.

This is crucial, as a positive onboarding experience can enhance your team members’ sense of loyalty and job satisfaction. This, in turn, helps to foster an attractive, thriving company culture, making your people feel more valued and boosting your retention rate.

Reduced risks of non-compliance

Compliance is a huge part of global payroll, with companies who fall foul of local labor and tax laws often facing penalties, fines, and reputational damage. However, with each country’s laws changing frequently, it can be difficult to stay on top of these obligations.

Luckily, advancements in global payroll technology have allowed companies to minimize this risk. Reliable cloud-based platforms — like the one offered by Remote — stay on top of law changes and updates, and seamlessly implement them into the payroll process.

Cloud-based payroll solutions also make it much easier for companies to comply with labor laws in different countries. For example, let's say you have employees in India and the Philippines. Indian law dictates that employees can work up to 10 hours per day, whereas Philippine law stipulates extra overtime pay for anything over eight hours. Platforms like Remote allow you to adjust entitlements based on these local regulations, and ensure that you are compliant in every country.

The automation of payroll processes

As in many areas of business, automation is revolutionizing global payroll. You can now process your international payroll in hours rather than weeks, saving you significant amounts of time, money, and resources.

Automation also has a positive impact on other elements of payroll. For instance, when you automate complex manual tasks, you reduce the risk of manual input errors and improve the accuracy of your data. As well as saving time and keeping your employees onside, this ensures that you stay compliant with local regulations in multiple countries.

This transformative approach to payroll processing is boosting speed and cost-efficiency — which is essential in today's competitive business landscape.

Integration-focused software

Integrated HR and payroll systems have become a game-changer for global payroll operations, making the entire process smoother, faster, and more precise. By bringing together employee data into a single central source, businesses can consolidate their HR functions, meaning less paperwork, fewer errors, and a happier HR team.

This capability can also generate valuable reporting insights, which can help you plan better and make smarter decisions about compensation.

A stronger focus on data security

Data security is absolutely crucial for payroll teams, given the sensitive nature of the information involved. As well as penalties and fines, data breaches can have serious legal consequences, especially if data is mishandled and local labor laws are violated.

Cloud-based payroll solutions are becoming an increasingly popular way to mitigate this. Proven providers like Remote have robust, up-to-date security and authentication measures in place that protect your data at every stage, and keep you compliant with regional policies such as GDPR.

Increased global mobility and relocation

As businesses globalize, so too increasingly are employees. It’s becoming commonplace for people to relocate to different countries under the same employer, and this fluid approach to global mobility is reflected in the way businesses are structuring their payroll.

This comes with its own challenges, of course, but with the help of an experienced global payroll partner, your business can mitigate them with relative ease.

The impact of COVID-19

Many of the trends above are a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has truly changed the way businesses operate — including how they manage global payroll.

The pandemic has highlighted the importance of having an agile and secure global payroll solution in place, with your company needing to be able to adapt quickly to law changes and new challenges. It has also emphasized the need to future-proof your payroll operations, which means ensuring your ability to secure your data, comply with local labor laws, and automate your payroll processes.

The right payroll solution provider can make sure you meet all these requirements, while requiring minimal time and input.

How can a global payroll solution help?

To successfully navigate these challenges and keep up with all these trends, it’s essential to invest in a proven, reliable global payroll solution. Without proper payroll management, you run the risk of failing to comply with local labor laws, incorrectly calculating tax payments and deductions from employee wages, and falling victim to data security breaches. The costs, penalties, and reputational damage associated with these consequences can add up, and cause a significant problem for your organization.

Remote is an ideal partner for managing global payroll. It provides solutions to all the challenges listed above, including:

  • Direct access to in-house, on-the-ground tax specialists in every country you hire in

  • Constant updates to payroll processes in line with legislative changes

  • One single, centralized payroll system all across the globe (with the ability to pay in multiple currencies)

  • Seamless integrations with multiple HR platforms (and API access)

  • A robust and secure infrastructure

  • Automation of administrative tasks, saving you and your team countless hours

To learn more about how your business can benefit from a global payroll solution, speak with one of our friendly experts — and see how we can help transform your business today.

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