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Perspectives

2018 payroll operations survey

Trends in operations, technology, outsourcing, and compliance

Our 2018 payroll survey explores payroll outsourcing trends and how disruptive technology solutions—led by cloud and robotics—are fundamentally transforming traditional payroll operations.

Payroll survey executive summary

The survey targeted experienced professionals in a wide range of industries who lead or are directly involved with the payroll function through in-house processing, outsourcing, or a shared services function at their respective organizations. Explore the results of the 2018 Payroll Operations Survey. The companies ranged in size from fewer than 10,000 active employees to approximately 200,000 active employees. This year we expanded the number of companies to include a wider range of organization sizes. Where logical, we’ve broken down the responses by groupings (smaller to larger organizations) to make the data relevant for different company populations.

We’ve also taken a broader view into the systems and service delivery models within each of the global regions: North America (NA); Asia Pacific (APAC); Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA); and Latin America (LA), providing insights into the similarities and differences among them. One of the key themes from a global perspective is that many global organizations don’t have complete visibility into their global payroll operations but are looking to gain better understanding of holistic operations.

Crucial takeaways from the payroll survey

Online payroll self-service functionality is widely used, with 83 percent of respondents offering the ability to view pay statements online.

Top three areas for improvement:
  • Compliance and controls 
  • Payroll accuracy
  • Integration of various technology

Full payroll outsourcing is more common outside North America. But satisfaction with the payroll outsourcing arrangement is higher in North America.

Global companies report challenges in three areas:
  • Employee mobility and determining tax withholding
  • Reporting of local payroll taxable income
  • Year-end processing

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The bottom line

Through the lens of payroll operations, the prospective future looks to be inspiring. We can see new technology and management enabling a brand new level of information exchange across systems and service delivery models within each of the global regions. From a global perspective, though many organizations don’t have complete visibility into their global payroll operations, they are looking to gain better understanding of holistic operations.

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