Taking on a global payroll transformation involves a tremendous investment of time, resources, and expectations. Such a project brings with it many benefits, but some, understandably, take longer than others to realize. That’s why it’s important to know what you can expect after just the first year to help you understand the changes, report on your progress, and maintain momentum for what’s to come.
Before switching any enterprise technology, you'll need to know your current costs, set clear and measurable goals, and take a baseline measurement of your performance on the existing system. With those figures documented, you can easily evaluate first-year improvements in the areas of cost and value, service, and compliance—and continue documenting concrete gains into the future.
Cost vs Value
The majority of global organizations rely heavily on manual processes to run payroll, for everything from data collection through to filing payments. However, a modern, cloud-based payroll platform will enable you to automate much of your data input via integrations with related systems. Looking at the percentage of input that is automated versus manual after the first year will give you a clear measure of improvement and cost savings.
Many of our customers are able to shift up to 85% of their data input to automated workflows during implementation, which is a tremendous gain in terms of time and costs. Processing payroll for 1,000 employees can mean collecting 4,000 pieces of data every month, and automating 85% of that is a significant gain. If you’re processing payroll for a global workforce of 100,000 employees, those savings can be transformative for your organization, just in the first year.
Understanding employee experience with payroll is key to assessing the efficacy of any system, and there are several objective ways to measure success when it comes to servicing employees. These include whether they are paid on time and accurately, and how long it takes to resolve any errors. Then there are the less quantifiable benefits of switching to a modern system, such as making payslips available online or enabling employees to update their payroll information independently via a HRIS integration.
After your first year with a new system, you should see measurable improvements in the level of accuracy and timeliness with which you’re processing payroll, with a reduced rate of error and shorter calendar window. Additionally, employees should report an improved experience, whether that means easier access to payslips and information, a faster response time to queries, or fewer issues reported.
After your first year with a unified global payroll solution, you should have an easier time assessing your compliance risks. Most global payroll systems use a different provider for each country or region in which their customers operate and then aggregate that information into their own system. The result is payroll information that looks the same on the surface but includes data that is gathered, processed and protected very differently, depending on how all those different providers run payroll.
It’s likely you understand the challenges of assessing risk in that environment. It may even be a key reason for your switch to a unified global platform. Comparing your compliance risk on the aggregate system versus your newly unified solution after one year can be staggering. Greater visibility into your data, customized reporting, standardized controls and streamlined statutory filing will result in clearer, more traceable, better protected payroll. Rather than being responsible for ensuring certifications for dozens of localized providers around the world, you’re now dealing with one global solution that has all the required documentation. Even if unique compliance challenges persist, you should have less risk after just one year.
The first year with a new global payroll solution can bring tremendous changes to your organization, with effects that reach well beyond your payroll, HR, and finance teams. Whatever your goals for improvement, the key is to begin with a baseline measurement of your important performance metrics before implementing your new solution. This information will help you set and manage expectations appropriately, and understand and report on improvements accurately. Reassessing those baseline numbers every year will reveal substantive gains over time — and hopefully validate your business case for making the change in the first place.