Global payroll implementation: How to reduce costs

All businesses are always on the lookout to reduce costs. Payroll is the largest and arguably most important cost for your business. Reducing your global payroll costs too quickly could damage your business. Also, inaccurate payroll may cost your business valuable employees.

Many businesses have faced difficulties over the last few years – it was unknown how Brexit would affect global payroll. Despite this, they have continued to grow internationally faster than ever before. As your business grows, so does your payroll risk. Your global payroll can quickly become complicated. You will work with employees across the globe, many of which will require round-the-clock support. You will need to support different time zones and regulations wherever data is processed. Similarly, data requirements are prone to change and vary by country.

Processing payroll in-house requires lots of attention to detail, especially if you have recently expanded into new regions. It can put a lot of pressure on your team, too. A great alternative is to outsource your global payroll. There are lots of benefits to an outsourced provider. A few include improved data security and a reduction in process errors.

Standardised Global Processes

However, this isn’t without risks. Global payroll providers have a standard set of processes and these are implemented for every new customer. If you change your payroll without knowing what you need from a provider, it will become an expensive process.

Your business needs to be ready for the change. If you implement a new process – and run it at the same time as existing projects – further changes may be required. Your outsourced provider will charge you for these new requirements (through a change request) and this can get expensive. Also, all of these changes will require more resource from your payroll team.

Fortunately, there are a few ways to prepare your business. Set time aside to plan what you need beforehand. Above all, this will help you find the right payroll solution for you. These preparations will also save your business money in the long-term. Payroll is not an area where you should cut costs. Instead, it’s important to avoid quick fixes and find the right support.

Our consultants are available to support you at every step of your payroll journey. We will work with you to identify your specific process requirements. Furthermore, we will manage your payroll transformation and test your data.

How to reduce costs for your global payroll implementation:

Identify your needs

Firstly, work out what your exact requirements are for your new provider. Review your existing in-house resources, the volume of work now and in the future, and how these changes could affect your business.

It is difficult to keep visibility on every new process for your global payroll. These will often vary for each country. You should create a detailed step-by-step summary of every process your payroll teams carry out. Above all, this will highlight the areas of your payroll that will benefit from external support.

Be sure to dedicate time and resource to carry out this first step. If there isn’t any resource available internally, you should consider external support to carry out this step. It is an important part of the process that will reduce your costs in the long-term.

We specialise in global payroll implementation and will support you at every step. We’ll manage your project so it remains within your budget and delivered on-time. We will work with you to identify any areas of risk and improvement for each of your processes.


Define your global processes

Before you begin the outsourcing process, you should first ensure your processes are standardised across your payrolls.

One of the most effective cost-saving methods is to set up your processes before you outsource your global payroll. You should define what these global processes are and set them up before you begin the outsourcing process. This is an important investment for both your HR and payroll. It will improve your team’s productivity and overall reduce the cost of your outsourced project.

There are a number of ways you can implement these global processes, including investing in a global HR information system like Workday or SuccessFactors. Both of these HR systems work hand-in-hand with your chosen payroll software.

Storing up-to-date payroll and HR data in one system will eliminate any payroll errors and reduce the time it takes for payroll runs. It will also reduce your time spent on data entry because all processes are standardised and in one area.

Before you approach an outsourced provider, it’s important to standardise all global processes. When you set up new global processes after a payroll project has begun, you risk your provider charging you for a change request. These are an expensive cost that you may not have budgeted for.

We will support your team to define and set up your global HR and payroll processes. It’s a worthwhile investment before you commit to outsourcing your payroll.


List your requirements

Thirdly, make a list of all the payroll features you need from your new provider. These may include data entry, running reports or training for your in-house team. There are several, different payroll models to choose from.

As a starting point, look for payroll providers that can meet all your requirements. You should make another list of benefits you may want to add as your business expands. It will benefit your business in the long-term if your provider is able to meet these additional needs.

If you decide on exactly what requirements you need, it can help reduce the costs of your new provider. Once you finalise your needs, you will have an idea of which payroll model you need. The model you choose will depend on how much visibility and control you want to retain. As an example, a fully-managed service will mean every part of your payroll process is outsourced.

It can be a difficult process to choose your new provider, so we will offer you continued support throughout the transformation.


Keep in regular contact

Outsourced payroll involves a huge organisational shift. It can affect your company’s culture and will completely change your processes. It may also leave stakeholders feeling concerned about the impact of this change.

As with any change, every relevant team member needs to be involved in the decision making and ‘buy’ into the new process. Unfortunately, without this, it will not work. Set time aside regularly to catch up with each team separately. It will provide an opportunity for internal teams to raise any concerns. As well, it gives you time to share any important updates as the change progresses.

Don’t underestimate the importance of good management for your transformation. We specialise in project management and are available to support you with your new payroll journey.


Do your research

Before you commit to a new payroll provider, set time aside for market research. Be aware of hidden costs in outsourcing. When quoted a figure, be sure to ask about any additional changes. Don’t be tempted by a cheaper initial cost – it could end up being more expensive overall – especially if any process changes are required.

Finally, read reviews and check testimonials. Aim to learn as much as possible about your prospective provider. Also, check their credentials and ask for information about their data security. A good payroll provider will always be happy to answer any questions you have.


A simplified global payroll has lots of benefits for your business. It can reduce costs and set a standard across every country. Here at Global HRIS, we will support you at every step. So, get in touch today to find out how we can help you.

Find out more about how we can help you by calling Global HRIS today on +44 161 317 2903 or get in touch through our website.
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