How to unify global payroll reporting in a single secure dashboard

Immedis' iConnect software can give your business a global understanding of its payroll, explain Barry Flanagan and Patricia Khalifa

July 26, 2018

As companies expand overseas, it’s not uncommon for local payroll departments to be working to completely different reporting and compliance standards, using widely divergent systems and processes. Immedis helps businesses get a global understanding of their payroll and employment tax obligations with its cloud-based payroll management software iConnect; directors Barry Flanagan and Patricia Khalifa discuss the complexity that businesses face, and how iConnect can help. Watch the second half of this interview to find out how Immedis can give payroll departments two days back every payroll cycle.

World Finance: Barry, just how much can payroll requirements vary from country to country?

Barry Flanagan: Well the basics remain fundamentally the same; you usually have a gross pay, deductions, and then net pay. However once you get into the detail, there is just a huge variety.

So you go from regimes which actually don’t deduct tax at all like Saudi Arabia, to regimes that have a flat tax like Bulgaria. In Belgium for example, accountancy firms won’t actually process a payroll because it is so complex: there are such a huge amount of social insurance deductions there you have to go to a very specialised firm.

France is just about to bring in a system whereby they actually withhold at source. Previously it was quarterly withholding in arrears, and Singapore would have also had arrears – but it’s the following year that you pay your tax.

So while broadly they all follow the same pattern, the variance between jurisdictions is enormous.

World Finance: And with all these varying reporting and compliance standards, there’s no easy way for companies to get a global understanding of their payroll.

Patricia Khalifa: Exactly. I mean, typically what we see is that organisations deal with multiple vendors or suppliers in each different country that they operate in. And what that brings is a lot of complexity. Each different country and each vendor that they work with will have different reporting formats, different standards of how they supply information.

While that may be okay on a local level, for regional or global level directors it’s a real headache to make any sense of that information. And what happens is, the payroll team then has to spend huge amounts of time unpicking that information to make sense of what’s actually happening at a company level.

This is a big issue because the payroll team has a finite amount of time to play with. The payroll calendar can’t change – information has to be supplied at a certain time, it has to processed and reviewed and checked, and payments need to be made to people’s bank accounts at the same time every month because they’ve got their bills to pay.

So a lot of time being spent trying to make sense of information from lots of different countries is just time that payroll teams don’t have.

World Finance: So how does Immedis unify all of this data and give companies a centralised, global understanding of their payroll?

Patricia Khalifa: Our global payroll platform iConnect is a cloud-based platform, and it integrates with organisations’ HR and finance systems so that data flows securely into our software to manage the payroll.

The platform is a payroll-management software tool, but it’s also a business intelligence platform. And what it does is, it consolidates global payrolls across the world into one single view, giving single oversight into what’s happening in any country around the world.

What that means then for a CFO is that on a single dashboard they can see the overall company’s gross to net pay, they can see employer contributions, pensions, and healthcare at a global level. And what that really allows you to do – because it’s standardised on a single company currency – a CFO can actually see in real time what’s happening in the business from an employee and payroll perspective.