Payroll consolidation is one of the many concepts businesses inevitably come across when entering the global payroll space. Very often, running a multi-country payroll means managing various different payroll providers and a number of different payroll systems, which ultimately results in little to no transparency and data visibility, low payroll efficiency, and incoherent, non-standardized data.
Finding a way to merge all the payroll processes and data streams is therefore crucial to remain in control. That’s where payroll consolidation comes into play. But what does payroll consolidation actually mean? What sets it apart from payroll aggregation? And how can businesses combine payrolls on a global scale?
The word consolidation can have different meanings depending on the context. What they all have in common is the idea that different components are merged together to form one single unit. This is exactly what happens during payroll consolidation.
Payroll consolidation refers to the process of centralizing multi-country payroll by combining the different payroll vendors and systems an organization uses to manage payroll across all geographies into one single centralized platform—instead of using disparate systems which deliver non-standardized sets of payroll data for each geography.
With regard to payroll data, payroll consolidation means that data from different vendors and systems is standardized and automatically entered into a central dashboard to provide a detailed overview over global payroll expenses.
Another term which is frequently used in this context is payroll aggregation—or payroll aggregator, to describe the service delivery model of the payroll vendor. While the idea of both payroll consolidation and aggregation might be similar (i.e. a multitude of different in-country payroll partners is integrated into one central system), there are slight differences with regard to the level of integration.
Payroll aggregators may provide a customer interface which shows the collected data from all their local payroll providers, but they usually offer a lower level of payroll integration with regard to processes and data. Global payroll consolidation, on the other hand, relies on the use of an advanced technology platform which not only collects the data but also standardizes it while providing a centralized and coherent data source accessible to the client.
Unified global payroll solutions often also come with distinct reporting features which enable business leaders to efficiently track global payroll costs and draw comparisons between different countries. Advanced solutions for payroll consolidation further offer an API through which the platform can be integrated with other workforce management tools.
In the 2022 Market Guide for Multicountry Payroll Solutions, Gartner states that “many application leaders are looking at strategic consolidation of payroll operations through unified multicountry payroll”. But when is the time for a business to move towards a consolidated payroll?
Put simply, payroll consolidation only becomes interesting for businesses once their payroll operations span multiple countries and/or entities. This may be the case after several mergers and acquisitions in foreign markets or after having set up several local payrolls with different in-country partners.
Basically, as soon as it gets difficult for an organization to handle their multi-country payroll and maintain data visibility across geographies, it’s time to think about payroll consolidation.
Increasing data visibility is an important factor why payroll consolidation is highly beneficial for multinationals as well as for any other organization with operations and employees in different countries. There are two main reasons for this.
First, data transparency enables companies to effortlessly track global payroll costs and create detailed reports. Second, better insights into payroll costs pave the way for well-informed business decisions. For example, global payroll data analytics can be used to manage available in-country resources better and cut unnecessary costs.
But there are many more reasons for global businesses to consolidate their payroll into one unified solution. One of them is the fact that global payroll consolidation enhances compliance and data security. Consolidating global payroll means that all the payroll data is collected from different providers via automated data flows and transferred onto a secure cloud space.
As both transfer and storage of the payroll data happen in one highly protected system, the risk of data breach or theft is minimal. As for compliance, the improved reporting makes it easier for companies to ensure working hours, overtime, PTO etc. are in line with local regulations.
Another major advantage of payroll consolidation is that it significantly reduces payroll errors and frees payroll and HR teams from repetitive manual tasks involved in payroll processing. Not only does this increase overall payroll efficiency, but it also allows businesses to use available resources better.
Here’s an overview of the different advantages of payroll consolidation:
Increased data visibility and transparency
Less manual work and thus fewer errors in payroll
Reduction of global payroll expenses due to less admin work and more efficiency
Easy access to data to inform business decisions
Fewer payroll security risks
Enhanced employee experience
In a nutshell, payroll consolidation is the answer to many global payroll challenges faced by multinationals.
Companies that manage their global payroll with a traditional approach, i.e. relying on external service providers without using a cloud-based software solution to consolidate them, face multiple problems. Different data formats, different systems, manual data handling and too many points of contact are just some of them.
At Lano, we have developed a software solution which is designed to simplify global payroll. With our global payroll solution, it’s easy to manage multiple local payroll providers by integrating them with our platform. Plus, we work with a network of top-tier in-country payroll vendors covering over 170 countries all over the world in record time.
Once all your new and existing payroll partners are connected to the Lano platform, our software automatically collects the payroll data from each vendor and then standardizes and consolidates it so that you can visualize payroll data for your entire global team on one single screen and access it whenever you need it for your reporting. No unmatched data formats, no excel sheets, no email exchange and no manual data input needed. What’s more, you can use the Lano platform to communicate directly with your service providers to solve problems faster.
Interested in knowing more about how Lano can help you with your global payroll?
Book a demo with our experts to learn more.
The Lano Academy is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Lano Software GmbH disclaims any liability for any actions you take or refrain from taking based on the content contained in this article.
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