Once a company has branches or subsidiaries in more than one country in the Middle East, the question of centralising administrative functions becomes a primary focus. One of the functions in the spotlight is HR and payroll. There are arguable benefits to keeping payroll local. Things like needing a smaller number of resources to manage payroll on an in-country basis, real-time response and better employee records are some of the arguments for keeping payroll local to the branch or subsidiary.

However, parking the arguments for localization, centralised systems and management of groupwide functions have numerous benefits. That is what this post will investigate.


1.  Current, real-time reporting

Having a centralised payroll process allows for easy comparison and analysis between countries in the Middle East region, giving an organisation the ability to measure the same outcomes across multiple jurisdictions. The company does an apples-for-apples comparison, ensuring that you’re comparing the same datasets and formats for meaningful results.

Additionally, getting data from numerous sources would require payroll to manually piece together reports from different countries’ branches that can be time consuming and easily contain errors. If you centralise a multi-country payroll in one place, real-time comprehensive and meaningful payroll reporting can provide instant meaningful insights, translating to instantaneous responses and adjustments to opportunities and problems.


2. Reduce overheads

Centralised payroll can save your company lots of money. You have one system that is managed in one place by one central team of specialists, instead of multiple systems to maintain and manage in multiple locations with multiple teams of specialists.

When you outsource your entire payroll to UAE and Middle East specialists,  you have a single bill to pay at the end of a month, with the peace of mind that all employees in your company are paid in their local currency, compliant with local governance and legislation, with accurate, current data collation by a team of payroll specialists who have specific knowledge of practices in the UAE and Middle East.


3. One single system

Combining various payroll systems onto a single platform eliminates multiple points of contact and their accompanying potential challenges. A single system eliminates language barriers, time differences, the use of different technological systems that would require separate integration and the accompanying issues there.

Additionally, when your employees are spread across the UAE and Middle East, a single system deals easily with multiple currencies in an efficient, accurate manner with minimal human input required. The single system can easily make bank payments across multiple jurisdictions in multiple currencies without delay or mistake.


4. Streamlined and unified payroll process

Managing multi-country payrolls in one centralised place streamlines the payroll process across different jurisdictions, saving time, resources and increasing efficiency. Additionally, having a unified payroll platform simplifies further expansion of the business. The central payroll management allows a company to expand further into the region and globally with instant customization and streamlined payroll processing logistics and solutions.


5. Reduced risk and better security

Payroll has many risks to manage. A cloud or outsourced payroll service can greatly reduce exposure to these risks, especially as a company must pay employees across multiple countries.

To name some of the biggest risks: accurate, timeous payroll processing; compliance with governance, and local and global legislation; fragmented company view that can lead to blind spots, leaving the company vulnerable; and safeguarding the security of confidential information.

A single, centralised payroll system clearly minimises exposure to all these risks. Compliance and standardisation across jurisdictions are updated and guidelines and localised protocols amended as they happen, implementing these into the local process systems in real time. Human error is reduced because a single system that is centrally managed has far fewer touch points where human data input is required. And keeping sensitive and confidential information in one central place means security of the information is easily maintained and managed.


6. Enhancing employee experience

As soon as you centralise payroll, you can simplify user processes too. Increasingly research shows that employees are more engaged if they can access their personal information, update bank details, record attendance, manage leave taking, and more, giving them some autonomy and self-empowerment. There is an undeniable correlation between happy, engaged and thriving employees and a burgeoning enterprise.

Initially investing in a single payroll system for multiple locations can seem daunting and even expensive, but the payback outweighs the obstacles and makes a strong argument for unifying a payroll system across multiple countries.

Outsource to a payroll services provider like OPS to help build a plan to centralise your multiple-country payroll in the UAE and Middle East. OPS offers bespoke, region-specific knowledge and payroll services, making us a market leader in the outsourced payroll services industry. Let us help centralise your payroll.