International Payroll Processing: All You Need to Know

International payroll processing has become quite challenging for companies in various countries. Understanding the local laws, taxes, currencies, time zones, and payment methods are critical. Besides, creating an efficient global payroll system that is compliant globally becomes even more of a challenging task.

Here we are discussing seven components that stand unique in terms of global payroll and four methods to tackle the gap in payroll management irrespective of your business size or approach to the global expansion.

What Does International Payroll Mean?

It’s a process of paying to foreign employees or independent contractors for their roles and responsibilities in the company. But it becomes a complex process to add the foreign employees and independent contractors to the already existing process of payroll. This generates the need of aligning yourself with the employment laws, tax laws, and other financial realities of any or all the new countries where your employees stay.

7 Components Unique to Global Payroll Management

international payroll management company

International payroll is more difficult to manage than payroll processing within a single country. When it comes to paying foreign employees, a number of factors–seven in total, as outlined below–come into play.

1. Local laws and regulations

The laws in the new market differ from country to country. This becomes a big challenge to the company in the global expansion. Everytime you  choose to hire an employee or a contractor, the factors that are needed to be in compliance are—tax rates, deadlines of the taxes,  statutory employee benefits, minimum wages, maximum weekly working hours, and so on.

2. Employee compensation across different countries

Before operating in a new market, determine the timing, the kind of method, and the amount to be incurred in the international payments.

When? Different countries have different unique periods of pay, which means you have to pay international employees according to their own country’s period of pay. You need to prepare the process according to the week, month, or even on a daily  basis. As per the agreements and laws  of local employment.

How?  The payment method will also differ from the existing local payment method. The different options available are paper paychecks, direct deposits, money transfers, and digital wallets. These can have different exchange fees as well as processing times.

How much? Every country has its own market stand rates and laws. You need to understand those before seeking a candidate in a new market. It is  better to calculate  the local taxes and fees that will be coming out of the gross salary of a foreign employee before making an offer to  that employee. Make sure you offer a competitive, and attractive take home to your employees. 

3. Domestic and international tax laws

Payroll taxes are complicated, especially when differences between countries are considered. Every country has federal and regional income taxes, but the amounts vary greatly. Your company will be responsible for compliance with tax regulations in the United States and anywhere you hire employees: if you forget to fill out a form or pay a tax, you will face tax penalties. Independent contractors are responsible for their own income taxes (and should be aware of potential tax treaties between your country and theirs and fill out Forms W-BEN or W-8BEN-E to avoid double taxation).

Fortunately, most countries have digitized tax filing to make the process easier. Payroll software with tax-related features will allow you to comply with multinational tax rules from your own country.

A tax-compliant payroll procedure is essential for worldwide expansion, especially if you manage a significant number of employees in multiple countries.

4. Employee benefits

Employee perks are an important component of an employee’s remuneration package. A good plan can assist you in attracting and retaining global talent.

In most countries, employers are required to provide social security. It involves paying for employees’ healthcare, pension contributions, disability, unemployment insurance, and worker’s compensation injuries. Many nations mandate employers to give paid yearly leave for employees (often up to 30 days per year) or to cover the first month of a pregnant employee’s pregnancy leave while the government covers the remainder.

Once you’ve determined the obligatory remuneration, go on to perks: work-from-home stipends, wellness stipends, cryptocurrency payroll, and other modest benefits make your company more appealing to potential employees.

5. Bank charges and exchange rates

International payroll necessitates the transfer of funds across borders, which incurs expenses. For example, if you use SWIFT transfers (a major messaging network between banks used for secure international money transfers), each multinational transfer costs roughly $25-50.

Currency exchange rate changes are another source of difficulty for multinational businesses. Employees must be paid in local (fiat) currency in several nations. If the exchange rates between the currencies you and your employees use shift in an adverse direction, it may have an impact on your payroll budget.

6. Data security

In 2018, the EU revised the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to impose stronger data privacy rules. Data security has become a major concern for businesses, particularly those with big, worldwide workforces. Your payroll data is becoming more available to more employees, and you must comply with regulations wherever you hire.

Reducing hazards entails removing all superfluous employee data and unencrypted emails. If you outsource payroll, a third-party firm will have access to your employees’ personal information. You must have a strong Data Processing Agreement (DPA) in place: a contract between you and the payroll service that ensures your data is handled properly and in accordance with the GDPR, and that you have legal protection in the event of a breach.

7. Expanding the company’s HR department

When it comes to extending your business, setting up your foreign payroll is only the first step. As your firm expands, you’ll need a staff to handle employee management, administration, onboarding, and other tasks.

Reduce your HR burden by utilizing strong automated systems such as an HRIS, HRM, or ERP. Your team will spend less time on mundane activities and more time on improving employee experience and human capital management. Some of the most sophisticated HR systems have built-in payroll software (or integrations with other payroll software), allowing your team to access real-time data in a consolidated tool.

How Can You Manage International Payroll?

global payroll services

Do you want to know if you can manage your foreign payroll on your own? Payroll administration for small firms can easily include an additional country, but as your staff increases, the procedure gets more complex and time-consuming. Let’s have a look at the  different ways  to manage the global payroll.

1. Use a simple payroll software

Payroll software is a cloud-based service that allows you to arrange, monitor, and deliver payments to your employees automatically. The majority of these technologies are scalable: they can deliver payments and generate pay stubs (or payslips) for big teams in a matter of seconds.

International payroll software is your best option if you want to outsource and automate the global payroll process while still maintaining some level of control, responsibility, and monitoring. These technologies expedite the procedure while still leaving you alone in charge of your own payroll operation.

2. Outsource to a global payroll service provider

Global payroll outsourcing companies s are third-party companies that specialise in processing clients’ payroll. Their responsibilities include making payroll payments to your employees, processing and maintaining payroll records, handling payroll taxes, and other duties.

If you employ this form of global payroll service, you won’t have to learn about the vast array of payroll policies and regulations that exist around the world. You delegate responsibility to payroll professionals, give them access to your personnel data, and trust that they will pay salaries, taxes, and other responsibilities on time and accurately. Many payroll services have extensive coverage, so you don’t need to choose a different payroll business for each country where you hire. 

The most  important thing is  to  look into the fees and word  of mouth of  the service provider and check the contract before signing. The quality of the service  provider depends upon the pay you provide.

3. Take EOR in the Picture

Employer of record refers to a third-party corporation that can engage a local employee on your behalf without requiring you to establish a local legal organization in the host nation. Employers of record are in charge of your payroll, as well as payroll taxes, employee contracts, timesheets, and employee benefits, among other things.

To hire global personnel without an EOR, you must establish a foreign subsidiary. This process is time-consuming and costly even for a single country, let alone a global one. EORs provide a speedier and more cost-effective solution for teams wishing to acquire overseas staff. Furthermore, several EORs provide services for hiring international contractors.

4. Regulate Money Transfer Via Money Transfer Companies

Money transfer firms are organizations that allow you to transfer money overseas, usually at a low price and in a variety of currencies.

If you merely need a solution for international money transfers, try services such as PayPal, Payoneer, Revolut, Western Union, and Wise.

Money transfer businesses, on the other hand, only solve a small portion of the challenge. They do not manage actual payroll (including taxes and employee benefits), and they do not ensure compliance with local regulations. As a result, money transfer is not the ideal solution for organizations concerned about international hiring.


The cost of paying your foreign staff should not be an impediment to global hiring. Figuring out the appropriate payment option or how to handle numerous currencies and bank costs on your own may be confusing, which is why a service like payroll outsourcing is the ideal choice for most businesses.

A top payroll outsourcing company in India makes it simple to pay your team. With a single click, you can pay your whole staff in their local currency and via their preferred payment method. Payroll management also provides a variety of local payouts to help you simplify your foreign payroll process.

I hope you enjoyed reading the blog.


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