July 13, 2023 Managed Payroll Support, Payroll, Payroll & Tax Support, Payroll Support

Global Payroll Implementation Tips, Part 2: Transforming Your Vision into Action

Global payroll implementation requires careful consideration, research and completion of a multitude of tasks before successfully reaching a go-live date. We covered a major piece of the pre-planning phase in Part 1, where we provided tips for defining your global vision. Once you have navigated system choice, overseas partner relationships, the cross-culture employee experience, the types of reporting your team requires access to, secure banking transactions (and much more), you are ready to proceed. Read on to learn four additional keys to successfully managing your global payroll implementation.

Determine Who is in Charge, Encourage Participation, Identify Skill Gaps

When implementing a human resource payroll system, establishing strong project management and involving individuals across the organization is crucial. You may have dozens, if not hundreds, of stakeholders across the globe. Tax and compliance differences, language barriers and local customs can have an impact on what features and functionality should be included in a new system. Therefore, it’s particularly important to make sure that you get active input and participation from stakeholders and end users to avoid falling short of your global employee experience vision.

When the project begins in earnest, your vendor will outline the tasks and responsibilities assigned to the client. To assure clarity, establish explicit guidelines regarding the roles and responsibilities of each team and team member—it is important that everyone involved can actively participate and effectively articulate perceived needs despite language or technology barriers. Be open to discoveries that can create opportunities. For example, while one location or component of your company may manage payroll in a traditional way, another may have found a more efficient way that could benefit the entire company. For best outcomes, these opportunities for improvement or process clarification should be identified as they are discovered.

Since some items on the project timeline may require the involvement of multiple individuals, it is imperative to have a clear understanding of who is best suited for each task. Each member of the internal team should be aware of their own responsibilities versus tasks that will be handled by the vendor. A detailed and comprehensive plan ensures that all tasks, whether internal or vendor-related, are completed within the expected timeframe. If skill gaps or other barriers are identified during this process, bring in skilled third-party talent or translators to make sure your tasks and communication are on track for success.

Set Clear Implementation Priorities and Deadlines

Global payroll implementation entails a significant amount of work, encompassing both broad, high-level thinking about the company as a whole and tedious, time-consuming tasks covering small details that can greatly influence outcomes. Every task, regardless of its nature, plays a critical role in the process. 

Your team will likely be juggling implementation responsibilities in addition to their regular duties. Executive and senior management can prevent burnout by recognizing the need for additional support for those involved in the project. An effective balance establishes clear deadlines for each deliverable and activity assigned to team members, along with an understanding of the effort required for each task so that the entire team can effectively plan to meet deadlines even if that means bringing in skilled support.

Set a Realistic Timeline

We’d all like to get to the finish line as quickly as possible, but it’s important to make sure you don’t bite off more than you can realistically chew. The shiny features and functionality of a new system plus the push to bring locations online ASAP can create a strong desire to tackle every task all at once, but it’s a good idea to move slowly in assessing and reevaluating what can realistically be accomplished within the given deadline with each assigned team. 

Failing to accurately assess the scope of each stage of the project can result in missed deadlines, blown budgets and, potentially, undesireable outcomes. The choice to bring on experienced third-party project management can greatly increase the odds of obtaining best outcomes, meeting deadlines and assuring the right decisions are being made to ensure long-term satisfaction among stakeholders.

Build for Differences

Including different employee perspectives when implementing a global payroll system organization-wide is essential to success. Not only can diverse perspectives uncover unique challenges and requirements specific to each region or country, but they will also ensure that the system is tailored to meet local needs and compliance regulations for widely dispersed employees. Insight from a wide sampling of employees can also help identify implementation choices that will better support organizational growth over time.

Seeking employee input from various departments and levels of the organization nurtures a sense of ownership and engagement, supports change management and promotes system outcomes that are more likely to align with your organization’s global culture. Including a diverse range of perspectives also promotes cross-functional collaboration and knowledge sharing, generating ripples of connection that can spread across the organization. All this can lead to higher adoption rates, less post-implementation end-user frustration and a smoother implementation overall. 

Define Your Global Vision with Wise Consulting by RSM

If you are still struggling to define your global vision or get your top questions answered, or if your team has been blindsided by an unforeseen project obstacle, our experienced global payroll consultants are here to help. Our results-driven payroll professionals have years of experience working with client teams to ensure global implementation success for companies large and small. To discuss your unique project with a member of our team, call our office at +1 800 654 4550 or email us at hcmhelp@wiseconsulting.com


This document contains general information, may be based on authorities that are subject to change, and is not a substitute for professional advice or services. This document does not constitute audit, tax, consulting, business, financial, investment, legal or other professional advice, and you should consult a qualified professional advisor before taking any action based on the information herein. Wise Consulting Associates LLC, its affiliates and related entities are not responsible for any loss resulting from or relating to reliance on this document by any person. Internal Revenue Service rules require us to inform you that this communication may be deemed a solicitation to provide tax services. This communication is being sent to individuals who have subscribed to receive it or who we believe would have an interest in the topics discussed.

Wise Consulting Associates LLC, is a wholly owned independent operating subsidiary of RSM US LLP. Wise provides system and operations expertise in human capital management, workforce management and payroll management technology and compliance.

©2023 Wise Consulting Associates LLC. All rights reserved.

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