As companies expand into new international markets, compliance with local regulations can become tedious, expensive, and difficult to manage. Each country has its own regulations in place that affect how companies conduct business in the country, not the least of which are those regarding withholdings, pay schedules, taxes, and a myriad of other payroll requirements. Selecting the right international payroll partner can help companies better navigate the difficult waters, without losing focus on their global business goals.
Choosing the Right International Payroll Partner
When considering an international payroll partner, the first question companies should ask themselves is whether to seek out a payroll partner that specializes in a single territory, or a partner that can provide payroll services on a global scale.
Payroll services that specialize in a single country are beneficial for companies looking to expand into a single international location, as they provide focused support and expertise in the target country. However, companies whose growth goals include more than one international location will benefit from selecting an international payroll partner that has vast experience in multiple markets. These providers give companies a single point of contact that provides them with guidance and expertise to help them navigate the financial requirements in all of their target countries.
Questions to Ask an International Payroll Partner
Before committing to an international payroll provider, companies should carefully vet multiple providers to determine the best fit for their unique business needs to ensure a prosperous partnership.
Six questions that every company needs to ask before selecting a payroll partner:
- Will the payroll partner guarantee certain performance and implementation targets, and offer a discount if those are missed?
Companies need to define clear, agreed-upon goals in order to help shape the relationship with their payroll partner and ensure a positive experience going forward.
- Are all services in-house or do they contract with local providers?
If a payroll partner uses third-party local providers, it is important to know how they are managed and whether or not it will affect their relationship with the international payroll provider. This will help companies understand how the relationships will work going forward.
- What is the size, composition, and investment in their global and local compliance team?
Companies need to ask where a team is located, how many experts they have in a particular market, and what they do to ensure their payroll services are compliant with all local regulations. This will help determine whether a payroll provider has the necessary expertise to help companies avoid compliance issues down the road.
- What technology platform do they use and how will it integrate?
It is important for companies to understand whether or not their current payroll systems will integrate with the platform used by their payroll provider. Clarifying this will help ensure a smooth and seamless implementation of a company’s international payroll services.
- What is the payroll partner’s experience with expatriate payroll and tax compliance?
Compliance requirements for expatriates are different in every country and it is important for companies to know the requirements in their target countries. For example, in Singapore, income taxes and social security contribution rates for expatriates and locals are different. Before selecting a partner, companies need to make sure the payroll company understands the unique requirements for each type of employee they plan to hire in a country.
- What ongoing support will the service provide to a company and its employees?
Do they offer online documentation and troubleshooting? Do companies have a dedicated representative on the account that they can call in an emergency? Do employees come to their employer with questions or do they go to the payroll service? Companies need to anticipate how the long-term relationship with a payroll provider will work and how their employees will interact with and benefit from the service.
Keep Communication Open
Once an international payroll partner has been selected, companies should focus on maintaining open lines of communication with their provider. By establishing clear goals for the relationship with a regular schedule of reporting and follow-up, companies and their payroll partners can set the foundation to build a successful working relationship.
It can also be beneficial for companies to hold an annual review of their account. This provides an opportunity to examine inefficiencies, discuss opportunities for improvement, and hear about new services that can provide additional benefits.
The right international payroll partner can help companies go global by providing expert insight to ensure compliance with payroll and tax requirements in international markets. Reach out to Velocity Global today to learn more about how our payroll services can help simplify your global expansion from the start. We offer International Payroll services in over 185 countries and provide unparalleled service to help elevate your experience.