Emerging Trends in Centralisation of Global Payroll

Reprinted from Global Payroll-Match 2017: The official magazine of Global Payroll Management Institute

  1. What emePriyankan Goswamirging trends or significant issues have your attention in global payroll?

The most significant trend in recent years is that organizations are starting to move toward a centralized or standardized model for managing global payroll, as it has proven to drive efficiency and scale. Industry leaders are starting to accept the usefulness of a single solution to global payroll in terms of technology and are backed by a single service provider.

At the same time, payroll is increasingly taking an employee-centric approach and has moved from being a traditional bridge between the HR and finance functions to a more strategic tower that defines business decisions and employee morale. One key challenge that we witness, of course, is the resistance to change, which is coupled with decisions resulting in the continuation of an old school of thought, rather than opting to optimize and standardize one’s processes through a wholesome global payroll strategy.

  1. As the role of the global payroll professional grows, what are key qualities you look for when hiring?

For me, more than anything else, it’s attitude. One may not have experience, but if one has the right attitude, the job gets done. Top that off with skill development and an appreciation for good work, and one can get the job done better than ever before. Add some mentoring and the right dose of motivation and that person can move up the ladder. That’s what is important in a growing yet challenging industry like the global payroll business. Having said that, of course, I look out for people who are good with numbers as well as communication. I look for people with integrity and the ability to learn quickly.

  1. What resources do you use to stay current on the latest trends and legislation in global payroll?

Decisions of payroll and compliance should be based on multiple sources. Articles and information are available in resources such as this publication, Global Payroll because the information comes from peers or leaders in the industry who have a lot to share in terms of experience and knowledge.

At Neeyamo, we take feeds from three types of sources. The first is an independent in-house compliance and research division that scans through several documented databases and resources for changes or updates in legislatures; the second is pre-qualified in-country experts or compliance partners who share reports on legislature changes, and the third is reliance upon updates from global advisory firms.

Here, the rule of thumb is to cross-validate any legislature change made with all these sources and update our systems as needed. If even one source implies a different story, we then investigate to ascertain the facts. We will contact a country’s appropriate authoritative body directly when needed.

  1. Is it possible to have a single global payroll solution and service?

I feel certain that the question “Can there be only one technology solution to global payroll” will soon become one of the past. It has already become a reality. It is just a matter of time before everyone starts moving in that direction.

  1. What are some of the considerations a company should ask to determine if there is good fit with a prospective vendor?

In today’s terms, I would recommend the following: Delivery capability, including quality and ability to transform and transitions.

  • Delivery capability, including quality and ability to transform and transitions.
  • Technology capability one needs to evaluate the technology being used. It will determine  the level  of automation and standardization one can achieve by selecting the vendor.The  Level of scalability  of the vendor to meet your growth or accommodate dynamic changes in  your organization. At the  same time, it is important to have culture fit to one’s  organization.
  • The Level of scalability of the vendor to meet your growth or accommodate dynamic  changes in  your organization. At the same time, it is important to have culture fit to one’s  organization.
  • Commercial proposition and benefits including the value-adds that the vendor can bring in.

Try to ascertain an answer to the question: “Would I be one among 5,000 customers or would I be one of their special 100?” It is equally important that you feel cherished as a customer.

  1. Share any thoughts about how your approach to change management has helped to make a successful organization.

The key to designing and driving change is to work collaboratively with the stakeholders who would be impacted by the change. For any org-level change such as centralizing global payroll, we follow what we refer to as the “Study-Analyze-Recommend” process and we carve out the blueprint to manage the change accordingly.

Taking global payroll centralization as an example, one can get started by conducting a high-level understanding of current as-Is processes in applicable countries to identify the actual scope for standardization.

This can involve charting out the localized centres where payroll is actually managed such as regional offices, shared model, etc. During this period, one needs to go through existing documents containing process maps and process documents to help understand the As-Is processes and identify and document existing best practices.

One also needs to identify immediate issues and challenges that need focus. Issues such as existing vendor-related risks like contract expiry, people related challenges like attrition, unionized agreements, planned holiday of key resources, and audit findings, etc. It is important to identify historical or recurring issues that needed to be accounted for.

Next, analyzing the data streams must include taking stock of the different technology/systems that are used for upstream and downstream processes such as movement of time and leave data and commissions, etc. This also needs to identify key control points and enablers for each process/data stream. It also is important to have clarity regarding the people involved in roles, activity, and effort.

Once one has detailed insights into these areas and every affected stakeholder is identified, a collaborative solution can be created and effectively implemented.

  1. What are some of the unique aspects of running an efficient and effective global payroll operation? 

Well, global payroll operations, especially if you are a service provider, can sound a bit complex because of its sheer nature. As such, I have great respect for global payroll leaders who have carved out their niche in the industry over the last couple of years.

However, the operations can be well managed if the whole complex piece is broken down into smaller structures. For example, your entire operations can be sub-grouped into different teams such as global payroll implementation, payroll delivery with regional-or country-specific teams, project management office (who also manage risks), compliance team, technology and configuration, partner management, help desk team, etc. These teams can be further broken down by client needs (if you are a service provider) or regional specific teams based on location being operated from; but the key to managing the whole gambit is to make sure every single team member sees the big picture and works in sync by being aligned to the overall organizational or business goal. Leadership with integrity and continual improvement is of utmost importance. I would say that the mantra to successful operations management is to effectively manage the four pillars—people power, process excellence, customer delight, and risk mitigation.


The Global Payroll Management Institute (GPMI), www.GPMInstitute.com, is the world’s leading community of payroll leaders, managers, practitioners, researchers and technology experts. Subscribers connect with each other through networking discussions, collaborative opportunities, and access to education and publications dedicated to global payroll strategies, knowledge, research, employment, and training. GPMI also publishes several global payroll texts and white papers as a benefit to subscribers. Get more information at www.GPMInstitute.com


Getting more from the Benefits Module in SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central

by Vijay K & Sarayu Raghavan, 20 June,2016

Does your organization hire an in-house masseuse to help you relax just after you’ve had a really exhaustive day at work? – does that sound a little too exotic? While I’m certainly aware of companies that provide this as an allowance, let’s look at an employee benefit that sounds a bit more realistic. How about paid-education – according to a recent report by PWC, the millennial generation is committed to their personal learning and development and this remains their first choice of benefit from employers. In an effort to retain their best talent, several companies have out together an entire menu-card of benefits for their employees to choose from. However, most often than always, they are left disappointed to find that employees are often unaware of the benefits on offer or worse do not use it because they think it is complex to apply for.

SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central (EC) comes with an easy-to-use Benefits module, which allows HR admins to easily configure benefits on SAP SuccessFactors to help employees to use the benefits quickly and easily.

In this whitepaper, we offer insight into:

  1. Different benefit types with examples
  2. How to setup custom benefits in EC
  3. How you can create visibility for the benefits within EC

The Benefits Module in Employee Central

Benefits in SuccessFactors Employee Central are organized into 7 broad types:


Figure 1–The 7 categories of Benefits in SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central


A brief explanation of the types of benefits with examples


Workflows can be configured for all benefit types for both “Enrolment” and “Claim”. Benefits like Birthday gift (Australia) can be configured for auto enrolment based on Employee’s birthday on the system which can also be regulated by initiating a workflow.

SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central benefits are country specific and some are pre-configured for example a Christmas Gift for Brazilian employees as shown below –

Table 2

Figure 2 – Benefits screen for an employee showing current enrolled benefits, claims and eligible benefits for enrollment (Country specific Benefits – Brazil)

Eligibility for a benefit can be further controlled by setting up rules to identify employee groups that are applicable: e.g. under a certain age group or employees who have served X months in the company, using business rules. This ensures that the benefit is available only to those employees who qualify

Creating custom benefits in SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central

Since the benefits module is based on Meta Data Framework (MDF), it is easy to create custom benefits that are unique to your organization. Your administrator (or anyone with the right privileges) can help set it up in 9 steps as outlined below –

9 steps


How can organizations make the benefits more visible to employees?

  • Publicity Plan : Create a publicity plan – Build a custom portlet and time it to specific groups of employees, so that they see it when they login.
  • E-mail Reminders : Send emails with auto-enrollment workflows, so that employees can be automatically enrolled in things like a health check or a free dental check-up.
  • Auto-enrollment : Mandatory benefits can be auto-enrolled for employees.

Creating reports in the benefits module

You can build reports using Employee Central to track enrolment, pending signups that help you “nudge” employees to use the benefits. Reports can be created using Online Report Designer (ORD). A few sample reports below –


Figure 6 – Sample SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Benefits Reports in System

How can Neeyamo help you with benefits for Employee Central?

The Neeyamo Consultants can help you design and administer Benefits effectively. We take work out of managing benefits by providing custom reports for internal analysis and government compliance at your fingertips.  The visibility of benefits data has a lot of compliance norms- We use the Roles Based Permissioning framework to keep a check on the information visible to employee, approver, and auditor. To run a simple yet effective Global Benefits – please reach out to irene.jones@neeyamo.com.





The 3 P’undamental Principles of ensuring HR Compliance

Global HR Complaince

Global HR Complaince

by Anika Panwar, April 27, 2016

A New York City restaurant chain was asked to pay nearly $1 million as back wages and damages following an investigation by US Department of Labor. Some states in the US have minimum wages as low as $4.00 while others have in excess of $10.00. Some of these minimum wages have been enacted as recently as January 1st this year while others are yet to be rolled out. If a single compliance parameter in just one country can have such a high degree of complexity, variability and punitive potential, how can one ensure compliance across the HR universe in a multi-national setup?

Change is inevitable, they say. This is more so in the world of HR. The diversity in labour laws can be daunting for any HR manager, leave alone the landscape and frequencies of change in labour laws.  More than ever, the HR function now understands their crucial role in establishing and driving a strong compliance-driven organization. With vast number of compliance laws/ regulations, HR managers often find themselves in violation, leaving their companies open to penalties.

Federal, state and local laws can be complex but the solution to deal with these complexities may not necessarily have to be that troublesome. Listed below are some simple yet potent principles that any organization can follow, irrespective of its size/ industry –

  1. The People Principle: Keeping abreast and ensuring your organization complies with all the laws and regulations can be a gruesome task. It requires a talent pool with not mere skill and knowledge, but people with appetite to constantly stay apprised. Organizations need to invest in hiring the right talent combined with strong internal compliance training programs to keep their workforce up to date on the most current compliance obligations or even simpler.
  2. The Platform Principle: A robust compliance management system can make your compliance seem as easy as remembering your user name and password! It keeps you on track with the latest updates in laws/ regulations but also acts as your single source of truth for all legislation that pertains to your workforce. Example, Equal Employee Opportunity Act (EEO) sets reporting and record-keeping requirements for employers to demonstrate compliance with EEO rules (U.S). Compliance platform will track the necessary information to comply with record-keeping requirements and can generate required reports in the specified formats for all your countries in-scope. It also facilitates audit and control of requisite compliance.
  3. The Partner Principle: It’s particularly tough for a small/ mid-sized organization or an organization with multi-country operations to stay on top of the myriad of laws and regulations. According to a U.S. Small Business Administration survey, an SME spends approx. 80% more per employee on federal regulatory compliance than large companies. The key is not to just find any/ multiple vendors but to find a global partner who can enable rapid inroads into new countries.

Follow these quick tips and implement them all the way through. And if you aren’t really convinced that these potent principles are not that simple, talk to our specialist or drop a mail to irene.jones@neeyamo.com to schedule an appointment.