Global payroll dragged down by admin headaches

4th May 2017

So, you’ve been tasked with placing a new employee in a new country for your company. Unless you’ve already got a stable established in-country presence already, with a local company HR person looking after your overseas employees, you could find yourself with a significant amount of administration to sort out.

If only countries all worked the same way!

Keeping in touch with global employees means having data organised. So, basics like employee contact details, which country they’re based in, value of their pay in the local currency, emergency information, holiday and absence records and other things are a must. Expatriates (the employees you send from your country (say the US) into another country (say France), will have different tax consequences for your company and different administrative pain points. Keeping on top of their journey is very important, especially for small companies going global.

Traditionally this all ends up in a spreadsheet, or spreadsheets, held in online folders which inevitably are difficult to find by anyone other than the person inputting the data.

And then there’s the overseas staff. They always muck things up by changing things! They’ll move home and tell you too late, or not at all, go off sick, or worse still go on holiday. No doubt they’ll claim they sent an email last week, which with time differences you find they did but it appeared in your outlook items at 4.am. Keeping on top of everything is difficult.

I read a recent report that suggested that day to day normal admin work for HR teams takes up nearly two months of every year. Add in international employees and you could be overrun with admin headaches.

Now, no company just setting out plans for world domination wants to spend thousands on expensive HR systems. Most global payroll managers just want a simple effective system that saves time and keeps them in control of expats.

The advent of cost effective ‘lite’ versions of international software seem to be the way ahead. Value driven, they often give you everything you need to stay in control, but at a fraction of the cost of a full system. And because they are cloud based they give control to HR, line managers and the overseas employee.

For the employee, they give a valuable lifeline in country back to the home territory. Giving the in-country employee the ability to feed directly into a system to update contact, absence and holiday details at any time, and get them approved by a line manager perhaps in another time zone, takes an enormous administrative weight off the shoulders of the HR/ payroll manager. And because these systems have in built security and access rights control, you only give people the permission to see and change just the things relevant to them.

IRIS FMP’s International team use Amity International, a cost-effective HR system for companies establishing an in-country global presence with one or more internationally based employees. Find out more about IRIS FMP International