Global Payroll

Waste of Time: The Problem with Inefficient Global Payroll 

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The 2022/3 NBA season marks the 10th anniversary of the analytics revolution in basketball. While statistical analysis has been a part of basketball for many years, the turning point came in the 2013/14 season, when the NBA installed player-tracking systems in all of its arenas – and the amount of new, advanced data exploded.

As the benefits of this data emerged, teams started to rethink what matters in basketball and, perhaps more importantly – what doesn’t. They came to the conclusion that mid-range shots, which are made at only a slightly higher rate than 3-pointers – but do not reward you with an extra point – are the most inefficient shots in the game.

The result was an incredible proliferation of 3-point shooting, coming almost exclusively at the expense of mid-range shots. Between 2010/11-2020/1, the percentage of all field goal attempts that have come from beyond the 3-point arc has jumped from 22% to 39%, while the rate of mid-range shots has dropped from 31% to just 13%.

In other words: in the modern NBA, inefficient tools – like mid-range shots – quickly earn a pariah status. Unfortunately, you can’t say the same about the global payroll space.

HubSpot, Salesforce… Excel?

According to “The PwC Finance Benchmarking Report 2019-20,” 51% of finance leaders depend solely on Excel to manage global payroll. Excel, Microsoft’s spreadsheet application, was launched in 1985 – and despite numerous updates since then, there’s no doubt it’s an inefficient way to manage one of the more essential elements of any business.

The sheer volume of manual calculations needed to manage global payroll with Excel steals valuable hours from the working day – hours that could be better spent on other tasks. While other departments have long switched to modern platforms – marketing to HubSpot, sales to Salesforce – many finance teams still rely on a tool that simply doesn’t have the functionality to support today’s businesses.

Another inefficient approach to managing global payroll is soliciting the services of local payroll providers in each location. Dealing with several payroll providers at the same time often proves challenging, and most communication – including transferring files with sensitive data – must be done via email, leaving the door open for data breaches.

Relying on local payroll providers also makes the approval process for every payroll run incredibly demanding and time consuming, as finance teams find themselves scrambling to get approval for the payroll from each location under a tight deadline.

When juggling is no longer fun

These problems are only exacerbated as companies expand into new locations. With a spreadsheet-based and/or local provider approach, each location has its way of managing payroll, including preferred formats and templates, and of course, its requirements of language and currencies.

Without dedicated technology, paying your employees becomes a long, manual, error-prone process that relies on payment rails that weren’t designed for payroll payments. The funds travel through numerous intermediary banks, with added fees and slow processing at each location.As a result, CFOs are left juggling multiple data streams, struggling to consolidate all this disparate information into a single view.

When each location exists in a bubble, the finance team is similarly unable to integrate payroll data with the rest of its tech stack: HRIS tools, Time and Attendance software, and Expense Management platforms. A disjointed approach to your technology directly impacts how you do business and can complicate the simplest of tasks, like visualizing a single employee’s data.

More complex tasks, like strategic decision making, are even less feasible under these conditions. High-level decisioning relies on the ability to see the business as a cohesive whole, allowing leaders to understand the impact of opening new locations ahead of time, and to dive into the KPIs and costs of each department or location to see which are showing the best ROI.

This will take days – at best – with siloed data for each location, but can be executed in a matter of clicks with a total payroll & payment solution.

Embracing digital transformation

Adopting a total payroll & payment solution allows businesses to see both the big picture and data at the most granular level in one view. It consolidates all your siloed data streams into a single dashboard, integrates payroll data with the rest of the finance tech stack, and eliminates the risk of human error and data breaches.

More than that, though, utilizing robust technologies to manage your global payroll & payments offers a scalable and secure process – based on invaluable business intelligence – for expanding into new locations efficiently. And with the right tools, payroll becomes much more than an “administrative task”.

It takes its place as a powerful tool with profound strategic business impact. It’s kind of like shooting 3-pointers instead of mid-range shots.

Want to find out more? Schedule a demo with one of our payroll & payment experts.