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Mastering the Language of International Payroll

( 5 min read )

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25 May 2023

Written by
Chris Welch

Director of APAC at Ebury Mass Payments

Payroll payments are the lifeblood of any business. It’s the engine that helps turn the wheels of an organisation smoothly by ensuring that employees, contractors, partners and suppliers are paid accurately and on time. However, navigating the complex world of international payroll requires more than just crunching numbers – you also need to ‘speak’ the language of payroll. And having a business partner who speaks that same language is critical to making your payroll operations run like a well-oiled machine.

Breaking down the language

What exactly does ‘speak’ the payroll language mean? It goes beyond knowing the technical jargon or understanding the intricate details of tax codes and labour laws. It means knowing the nuances, complexities and challenges of managing international payroll effectively. Becoming fluent in this language comes from years of specialisation in the industry.

Choosing a business partner who can truly speak the payroll language lays the groundwork for good communication and understanding between both parties. With this foundation, you can have meaningful discussions, make more informed decisions, and implement changes with ease when it comes to international payroll payments.

Smoothing out operations

Speaking the same payroll language enables you to align your payment strategies and processes in three ways:

  • Establishing consistent payroll practices
  • Ensuring compliance with local laws and regulations
  • Streamlining payroll operations for maximum efficiency

The resulting long-term benefits include time- and cost-savings and avoiding potential legal issues in the future. An experienced business partner that overcomes these challenges, and understands the sensitive, time-critical delivery of international payments, is worth their weight in gold.

Navigating the risks

International payroll payments come with several potential risks, including costly transaction fees, intermediary bank delays, compliance queries, and currency exchange volatility. The right business partner works with you to identify these risks, devise contingency plans and address issues before they escalate.

For example, some of the problems most often highlighted by prospective partners are that payments to exotic currency markets are notoriously delayed and/or their payment provider has not communicated a plan to address the payment. These issues generally occur due to poor payment rails (that haven’t been optimised for payroll) and the provider’s lack of knowledge of international payroll requirements. In other words, they don’t speak the language of international payroll.

Working with a proactive business partner who is experienced in making payroll payments to these markets, and uses payment rails optimised for payroll, will help you avoid these issues. During the implementation process, they can guide your team on the steps that will be taken to ensure payments are delivered on time and in full, thus helping you to build trust and credibility with your underlying clients and fostering a positive business relationship.

Completing the puzzle

So how do you ensure that you choose a business partner who speaks the same payroll language?

Here are a few key steps:

  • Choose a reputable and experienced international payment provider who specialises in payroll. Look for certifications, industry expertise, awards and a proven track record in supporting payroll operations.
  • Clearly communicate your expectations and requirements. Make sure your business partner understands your business model, pay structure, funding operations and any unique payment needs you have.
  • Establish regular communication channels and check-ins to discuss payment-related matters. This can include regular meetings, updates and reporting to ensure that you and your business partner are always on the same page.
  • Invest in ongoing training and education for your team and your business partner. Stay updated on the latest payroll laws, regulations and best practices to ensure your payroll operations are always compliant and efficient.

Understanding and speaking the language of payroll is critical for effective payroll management. Having a business partner who can do the same can be a game changer for your business. It helps you proactively resolve any issues, enhance employee trust and ensure that your payroll operations are running smoothly and efficiently.

The information provided herein is general in nature and should not be construed as financial or investment advice. The information provided here is not legally binding. The information, data or views expressed here is for the exclusive use of the recipient and is subject to changes without any notice. You may ask the support team or your dedicated relationship manager to provide additional information regarding Ebury products.