The 3rd Annual Global Payroll Management Forum at the APA’s Annual Congress last May in National Harbor, Maryland, attracted payroll professionals from all over the world. As a source of progressive payroll education and enhanced networking opportunities, the Forum provided the right venue for those who wanted to compare how companies organized their global payroll systems, and how they tracked performance.
Global Providers on Hand
Global payroll is a growing field, and payroll professionals are being challenged as never before with the business, legal, financial, and cultural complexities. At the Global Pavilion in the Expo, vendors were on hand to answer questions and discuss services with attendees, many of whom were wearing their Global Payroll Management Institute (GPMI) ribbons.
“It’s hard not to network here,” said Max van der Klis-Busink, RPP, the first recipient of the GPMI’s Global Vision Award.
Van der Klis-Busink is the Payroll Manager at Shell International BV in the Netherlands. He said he is always looking for people who relate to global payroll.
“It’s so easy, especially at the Global Payroll Management Forum,” he said. “Everybody walks in there because all the providers are there.”
At the Global Pavilion, attendees discussed data security and the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the EU.
Plenty of Global Workshops
Dan Maddux, GPMI President, noted that the Annual Global Payroll Management Forum featured 33 workshop sessions on global payroll, 13 of which were country-specific on compliance. These included workshops on Canadian payroll taxation issues, compliance in Southeast Asian payroll, and payroll in countries such as France, India, Japan, the Netherlands, and South Africa.
“Participants could have attended a webinar at home, but by coming to the Global Payroll Management Forum, they are able to meet with subject matter experts, ask questions, and be with their peers to discuss the same countries they are doing business in,” Maddux said.
The many possible configurations available when companies “go global” impact the number and type of vendors they use, depending on the numbers of employees in a country, and the number of countries where they are employed. As they drive decisions made by payroll directors, there is one constant: despite the multiplicity of challenges—they must pay their employees accurately, on-time, and in compliance with the local rules and regulations.
Van der Klis-Busink pointed to the ability to spend his time wisely.
“You can cherry-pick your sessions by looking at the Global Forums and Global Payroll: Country-By-Country education tracks,” he said, noting that he went to a lot of sessions on metrics and KPIs (key performance indicators) to address his questions on what the leading companies are doing to measure their performance. “I want to know how we can make payroll more efficient when we have disparate systems.”
Nicole Hoffert, CPP, Tax Manager, Global Payroll Services-Regulatory Specialties at Wells Fargo Corporate HR, agreed. Although she has a number of online resources at her fingertips, Hoffert said there is nothing as valuable as coming together in person to share best practices and talk about different legislation.
“We live in this on a daily basis,” she said. “That is valuable expertise to pass on to people because you know exactly how you have applied it, what’s worked, and what hasn’t worked. Maybe some different groups have been audited, so they know exactly what the governments are looking for.”
Empowering a Global Workforce for Employee Retention
The competition for a reliable workforce means that payroll has a role in sharpening an organization’s competitive edge by maintaining employee satisfaction. Satisfaction begins with a timely, accurate paycheck. But that’s not all.
Employee expectations are influenced by the digital experience. They want and expect to have more control over their payroll profile, including how, where, and in some cases even when they get paid.
The changing role of the global payroll professional was discussed during a morning executive panel, “The State of Global Payroll: Facts, Fears and the Future for Your Organization,” moderated by Mary Holland CPP, Global Director, Strategy, Development, and Training at GPMI.
The message, echoed by each of the panelists, was that on top of everything they do, payroll professionals are defined by a trio of capabilities—leadership, change management, and communication. This means that the director of global payroll has an increasingly more important voice at the table with finance, human resources, IT, and strategic business development.
Join in Next Year
Expect to find the vitality, camaraderie, information, and education again next year at the 4th Annual Global Payroll Management Forum, May 14-18, 2019, in Long Beach, California. We hope to see you there!
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Frank J. Mendelson is an Acquisitions Editor for the Global Payroll Management Institute. He has been working with the American Payroll Association since 2009 as an editor for PAYTECH magazine, and has presented workshops at the Annual Congress on effective communication.