Global Payroll

Your one-click journey from payroll complexity to payroll simplicity.

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Key findings of the Global Payroll Complexity Index

Europe continues to dominate the Index for payroll complexity

Fastest movers come from the growth economies

Heightened anxiety around data ownership – who should / should not see data

GDPR has spurred rise in local and regional data protection legislations

Wider integration of payroll intelligence into business planning

Increase in complexity (adherence to rules) in growth economies

Rise in reward-led salaries

Increased use of robotics and process automation

Frequency of tax and legislative change is the umbrella challenge globally

Survey scope and volume




Geographic scope






Single Country

Survey respondents

“There is nothing simple about managing payroll in Switzerland. We have 26 tax authorities and around 100 governmental social security carriers (AHV) – all of which utilize their own reporting forms and have variations in the data they require from taxpayers also for payroll related information”.

“I have just 330 employees, but they’re in 38 states with 48+ local tax jurisdictions. Registering, account set up and continued maintenance for all the jurisdictions is my biggest headache as a one-person department.”

“If I managed payroll in Quebec, I would rank payroll complexity in Canada 9 out of 10. As I don’t, I give it a four.”


Expanding global economy

Countries in Eastern Europe, South America and Africa have all increased significantly in payroll complexity. Their rise as international business centers has meant a complete overhaul of people and data laws, regulations and legislation. This alignment has created the greatest movement in the history of the Global Payroll Complexity Index

Evolving workplace

How we work and the way businesses are now structured has had a major impact on how people choose to be rewarded. The process, time and compliance challenge this presents to payroll teams has seen the need (and cost) of processing unique payroll calculations climb faster than in any previous Global Payroll Complexity Index.

Changing people

To attract the new skills needed to succeed in the global digital economy, payroll teams are now having to manage salary packages that combine cash with benefits, reward programs and bonuses. Organizations in emerging economies have been forced to address minimum wage rates, working time regulations and collective bargaining agreements. The revelation of the gender pay gap in the UK has promoted a wider review of further workforce gaps across the world.

Rise in innovation

Traditional salaried and shift jobs are being automated faster than ever. The high risk, time and cost of managing high volumes of data, and the increased frequency of payroll, has contributed to the rise in robotics and automation in payroll processes. India is leading the way with new technology integration. Payroll automation is on the agenda in Europe, US and Australia in the next two to five years. The investment in cloud payroll processes is now equal, if not higher, than for on-premise solutions.

Recognition for data protection

GDPR is also going global. Its influence is making governments around the world accept that they have an obligation to protect the digital identities and rights of their citizens. Regulatory bodies across the world have tightened command and we have seen a rise in GDPR modelled legislation coming into play.

Analyzing data

The value of payroll data has pushed it on to the boardroom agenda. Beyond protecting it, business leaders are asking for real-time reporting, to the micro-level. The investment in analytics tools looks to run in parallel with the integration of HR and payroll processes. This single source of people data is set to change the future paths of many organizations in the next decade, according to the Global Payroll Complexity Index.

Expert opinion



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