ROI & Cost ContainmentExplore how to evaluate the effectiveness of your payroll data and gain support for addressing key data issues.  




Building the Business Case for Better Global Payroll Data

Whether your company is expanding to another country, hiring international talent or attracting global customers, you’re part of the growing business trend to operate internationally. This global expansion has helped organizations be more innovative and competitive, but it also brings a new layer of complexity to business operations – particularly for payroll.

Global payroll practices

In the March 2015 issue of PAYTECH, Aaron Hurst, vice president of global solutions for Ceridian, discusses the important role that data plays in streamlining and automating global payroll operations.

“Corporate initiatives often focus on getting the right provider, with the right service levels, with the right technology, all at the right price,” Hurst writes in the article, The Devil’s in the Data. “But companies often fail to ensure that quality data management practices are implemented as payroll initiatives are rolled out. And, as has been proven time and time again, bad input leads to bad outputs.”

Read on to examine how Hurst’s advice can help you assess your global payroll data and develop a business case for improving its quality.

3-step evaluation of your payroll data

The first step of improving your payroll data is assessing your processes for gaps and areas of improvement. To do this, Hurst recommends that organizations take three important steps:

  1. Do your research. Understand the payroll data inputs required in each country. Compare this list against the data stored in your current system to identify which additional inputs are needed.
  2. Identify your data. Identify the current sources of truth for all required data categories in each country. Understand how you collect this data, especially the information tracked outside of your HR system.
  3. Automate your processes. Identify instances where spreadsheets are used for data management and investigate the cost of automating your data collection processes. Be sure to consider workflow capabilities that allow for custom approval processes, data validation and employee self-service.

The business case for better global payroll data

Once you know what data areas need attention, you can start developing a business case that highlights these risks and the organizational benefits of addressing them. Hurst’s recommendations provide an outline of the key topics you should address in your business plan.


Global payroll resources

How reliable is your data? Hurst explains that the majority of global HR systems do not include payroll-specific data, which causes employee data to be manually stored at each location. Storing sensitive employee data in emails and spreadsheets creates an insecure environment and makes your organization susceptible to cyber security threats. To gain support for integrating payroll data into employees’ HR records, demonstrate the inefficiencies and vulnerabilities that result from manually storing employee HR and payroll data in numerous locations.


Workforce management is another source for important payroll data, but Hurst highlights the inaccuracies that can occur when this information isn’t controlled by Payroll and is tracked with outside spreadsheets and manual processes. Specifically, tremendous inefficiencies with time and attendance can occur when an employee’s gross pay is unable to be verified and approved by Payroll before employee deductions are made. Within your business case, demonstrate the cost of manual workarounds related to workforce management.


The final element of data Hurst discusses is payroll elections. He highlights the need for payroll to automate employee deductions for private insurance elections, car allowances and bonus payments. However, this automation isn’t possible when the data is stored in spreadsheets at each location. Examine how your organization tracks employees’ payroll elections and highlight the real-time costs of these processes.

Transforming your payroll

How could your organization be transformed by a more efficient, streamlined payroll process? Your business case for improving your payroll data should answer this question and use numbers to back up your claims. Since an effective payroll strategy has a ripple effect on the organization, it is an effort worth prioritizing.

“Global payroll deployment strategy requires a thoughtful, collaborative approach with in-country teams to ensure success and is the foundation for best-in-class payroll delivery to a global employee base,” Hurst said.

For more information:

  • View Ceridian’s SlideShare presentation on the 5 Challenges & Strategies of Global HR
  • Read the article The Devil’s in the Data: Optimizing Global Payroll Delivery Through a Data-Driven Approach
  • Download Ceridian’s checklist for Selecting a Global Payroll Provider
  • Learn about Dayforce Global Solutions