Payroll compliance: How to get it right every time

Payroll compliance: Five steps to get it right every time

Author: Simon Bradbury, Global Payroll Consultant and CEO at Global HRIS

Last updated: 30/06/2023

Payroll compliance is a huge challenge for your business. Incorrect payroll puts you at risk of penalties and these mistakes can be costly. You must comply with the latest regulations and have the right processes in place for year-end. It’s never been more important to protect your business.

Payroll compliance is even more complex when your business is multi-national. Each country has its own rules for salaries, pensions, and reporting. The specific data required varies for every country. So, you should take a proactive approach to payroll compliance.

You must avoid late submissions to HMRC, incorrect payments and internal errors. Here’s where we can support you. We’ll review your processes, increase payroll efficiency, and test your systems.

Payroll compliance affects every part of your business. From using audit trails to reviewing your processes, here are five steps to improve your payroll compliance.

1. Perform a payroll audit:

Payroll is the leading expense across any business and incorrect data puts you at risk of fines. Performing an audit should show your data is accurate and in line with the law. Aim to conduct a payroll audit at least once a year. You could keep this task in-house. Or you can outsource to the CIPP.

Always follow a clear process, so you can quickly identify areas for improvement. As and when staff roles change, you must verify pay rates. You should also confirm pay for active staff and review payroll tax submissions. Remember to keep up to date with the latest legislation, too.

Regular audits will benefit your business. Firstly, it will help you identify and correct errors. Secondly, your data will stay compliant. Finally, regular audits will strengthen your financial controls. Here’s where we can support you: we will improve your processes and work alongside your internal teams.

2. Keep accurate personal records:

Accurate record-keeping is a crucial part of any successful business. When all internal records are stored correctly, it limits mistakes with payroll. Also, it reduces your risk of expensive fines and lowers staff turnover. When your staff are paid incorrectly or late, it risks lowering morale and productivity.

All personal details must be updated as soon as they change. For example, contact information, addresses and any salary increases. Investing in the right platform can be a huge support. A self-service tool will reduce pressure, so your staff can update their own details and apply for leave.

Cleansing your data regularly will help identify and correct accuracies. Set aside time for regular data cleansing – finding inaccuracies as early as possible can lower your risk of fines. Make sure your chosen system includes the right tools to help with this task.

We will support you throughout your new payroll project – no task is too big or too small.

3. Stay up to date with legislation:

A key step in payroll compliance is keeping up with the latest regulatory changes. You must be proactive and stay up to date because any small change can quickly affect your payroll. If your business is on a global scale, you must stay on top of changing global rules. This will allow you to quickly adapt your processes.

If you’re unsure where to begin, speak to industry experts about upcoming changes. Secondly, organise training for your HR and finance teams. Even better, consider cloud-based software. This type of software is designed to keep up to date with the very latest legislation. Lean on cloud-based software, especially if your business is multi-national.

There are more benefits to cloud-based payroll. Firstly, all your employee data is centralised in one location. These include onboarding new team members, salary revisions and leave requests. Before you commit to a new system, you should consider requesting information from potential providers. You can do this via a request for information (RFI).

4. Manage employee expectations:

Each employee plays a huge role in staying on top of payroll compliance. However, getting staff to take it seriously can be tough.

All employees can request to see what type of personal data you hold. Your HR team must respond promptly to these requests. So, it’s important to have a centralised system in place. Similarly, any team member handling sensitive data must understand the risks of errors.

Firstly, make all your internal policies easily accessible. This ensures every team member knows where to easily find this information, such as how you’re handling confidential data. Secondly, invest in the right training for your staff, to avoid any mistakes.

Finally, consider investing in external support to keep your business compliant. When you work with the right payroll support, it will lower your risk of inaccurate data. Beware that any data breaches can leave you with expensive fines. So, take the time to invest in the right software.

5. Submit payroll on time:

Keep ahead of important dates, for example when payments are due and any new regulations. Create a calendar to highlight these dates and share it with each team. For example, share with your HR, finance, and payroll departments. You may find it useful to set up alerts for monthly and annual deadlines, too. Being proactive should ensure no payments are missed.

You must keep on track of tax deadlines, especially if you handle global payroll. It’s a huge task, so consider investing in additional support. Working with teams that understand global tax laws will reduce any risk.


Payroll compliance is a vital step for any business. Let our team support you with your payroll journey – find out more today.

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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