Top 5 things to look for in a Global Payroll Provider

We asked our clients to identify the key attributes they looked for in a payroll provider and they highlighted the following...

If you are setting up payrolls outside of your home country, there are some initial hurdles which will need to be overcome quickly: setting up a bank account so you can pay your local employees and suppliers - and be paid by your customers, is one of the first. Running parallel to your business needs will be local compliance rules and regulations.

Many clients come to us with a lack of international knowledge, limited in-house resource and multiple overseas operations in the group's portfolio. They engage with F&L because of our experience in helping companies of all sizes and industry sectors expand their businesses across the globe.

We asked some of those clients to identify the key attributes they looked for in a payroll provider and they highlighted the following as the things they valued most when deciding to work with F&L:

  1. "I wanted the process to be straightforward to avoid set up delays"

Selecting an overseas payroll partner who has streamlined processes for engaging new clients can reduce some of the initial delays you might experience in setting up. Payroll providers who themselves partner with local third parties such as banks, bookkeeping and insurance providers (or, going one step further, offer those services in-house) have the added benefit of being able to coordinate set up tasks and ensure each aspect is handled quickly and efficiently.

  1. "I wanted to see that you have local and international knowledge and experience"

If you are choosing an overseas payroll partner to handle your affairs in a new jurisdiction, then it is imperative that they have a good understanding of local compliance issues and deadlines, as well as an ability to see beyond "number crunching".

If you are (or intend to be) a global operation, you will want to know that your outsourced support team can see your business for the complex operation that it is, so choosing a provider who can support you across multiple borders is the most appropriate choice.

  1. "I needed to be kept informed of what's going on"

Response times are key. They allow you to make the right decisions quickly about your local employees, cash flow and where your business is heading. Managing separate overseas relationships (particularly in numerous time zones) can mean you spend more time liaising with individual local service providers than obtaining the answers you need.

Determine how quickly your queries need to be responded to, how quickly work can be turned around and how much your local service provider can do to take the pain out of multi-territory processing and reporting.

  1. "Compatibility with existing systems and formats was absolutely essential for us"

Choosing a provider who offers online payroll (and other) support with a compatible interface between you and all the different elements of your business and countries of operation is a must for any progressive organisation relying on real time data.

Flexible payroll providers will offer a solution - adopting existing systems and formats (mirroring social security, tax and accounting reporting/processes globally).

Having one main point of contact for international coordination, who you can rely on when you have problems or queries is another valuable quality to look out for when selecting an overseas payroll provider.

Try to establish early on what their capabilities are in terms of the formats they can work with, the applications they can use and what local requirements there are.

  1. "I had to be assured my data is secure. You would think that would be standard but it appears it is not"

It is always important to ask questions around where important data is stored, what security processes are in place for managing data about your employees, business, customers, suppliers and distributors - and what measures are in place to reduce the risk of data loss or security breach. Any overseas payroll provider should be able to provide reassuring answers to these questions.

Whether you are looking for an overseas payroll partner who can offer central coordination and local delivery or you would to explore how we can help based on your specific circumstances, please contact us. Our experts have been helping multinationals of all sizes to manage their worldwide payroll, tax and accounting needs for over 25 years.

Contact us today to find out how we can help you.

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