3 in 5 multi-national companies* are failing to secure their employees’ payroll data, report finds

  • 61% confirm they still transmit confidential employee information via email
  • 1 in 4 also fail to modify their security procedures for cross-border communication

* with employees located in more than 6 countries.

Released today – [4 October 2016] – the 2016 Global Payroll Management Survey interviewed 165 multi-national companies to determine how organizations are set up to manage global payroll and what protocols are employed to facilitate confidential data movement across borders.

Commissioned by TMF Group – a global provider of business services operating in over 80 countries – and compiled by Bloomberg BNA, the report surveyed senior decision makers from a broad mix of organizations ranging in size from those operating in just two jurisdictions, to those present in more than six.

Data security

Nearly half of all respondents (49%) said they still use the inherently insecure medium of email for payroll-related communications, with this figure rising to nearly two-thirds (61%) for those organizations operating in six or more countries.

Furthermore, despite strides in implementing more secure data transfers, nearly a quarter of respondents (23%) said that they do not modify their procedures for cross-border communications for security purposes.

Balancing global with local needs

The challenge of maintaining global consistency of payroll reporting and management while staying secure and compliant with local requirements was also explored.

Respondents were asked to rate the degree of difficulty of several key global payroll activities using a scale from easy to difficult. The five areas rated as most challenging (somewhat difficult/very difficult) were as follows:

  1. Working with multiple payroll suppliers across different locations
  2. Ensuring payroll operations are compliant with local rules and legislation
  3. Creating management reports from disparate cross-border payroll data
  4. Authorising and controlling the payroll process
  5. Following multiple and varied payroll approval processes

Commenting on the findings, Deborah Williams, Head of Global Business Services at TMF Group, said: “It clearly follows that the greater the number of countries in which any organization operates, the harder it becomes to co-ordinate payroll activity and maintain a consistent global approach. However, the number of large organizations still sharing payroll data over email – and the inherent risk that carries for a business – was quite a surprise.”

Williams continued: “For an organization to balance its need for centralized global reporting, while also meeting local in-country requirements, can prove a complex challenge.

“Add to that the complication of working with multiple payroll providers in multiple languages and currencies and it is easy to see why over half (56%) of the organizations surveyed are looking to engage technology-based solutions to deliver payslips or pay advice to their employees in future.”

To download the full report, visit http://www.tmf-group-global.com

How Secure Is Your Payroll Data_TMF Group