Coordinated Strategic Planning Broadens Sweep of Operations

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Establishing detailed strategies for pursuing global payroll administration can help streamline processes, improve interdepartmental communication and minimize risk, a payroll manager said Oct. 9 at the 2014 Virginia Statewide Payroll Conference in Springfield, Va.

An organization's global payroll strategy should be aligned with its overall business strategy so that elements of the global payroll strategy can tactically advance the overall goals of the organization, said Charlotte Hodges, CPP, payroll manager of Towers Watson & Co. Communicating with other departments during the development of a global payroll strategy can enable a payroll department to more efficiently work with those departments when the strategy is implemented, she said.

“From a payroll perspective, we are very much dependent on the finance and information technology departments to function, and so we have to align to the infrastructure,” said Hodges, who also is a member of the Bloomberg BNA Payroll Advisory Board.

Considerations of how to standardize a company's payroll processes among the countries with laws governing the wages paid by the company can reduce processing time, although systems must be configured to account for factors specific to each of these countries, Hodges said.

For each country with payroll requirements with which a company must comply, the payroll department of that company should examine the electronic processing capabilities necessary for compliance and how to configure roles and responsibilities of personnel to achieve compliance, Hodges said.

Recognizing factors that a payroll department cannot sufficiently control when administering global payroll can help focus the department's efforts upon developing procedures to accommodate global payroll factors that it can control, Hodges said.

Evaluating the effectiveness of global payroll strategies pursued by payroll departments of other companies also could be beneficial for a payroll department seeking to establish or expand a global payroll strategy, Hodges said.

If any other company's payroll department needed to accommodate a similar or the same set of countries, observing the degree to which that department's strategy was effective could be especially beneficial for a payroll department exploring global payroll options, she said.