The disruptive forces of globalization, increasing legislative complexity and the accelerating pace of digital technology are prompting organizations to find new ways to operate their payroll function accurately and consistently across all regions in which they conduct business.

In our third bi-annual edition of the EY Global Payroll Survey, we explore how these challenges are impacting organizations, as well as the solutions they are using to address them. We also delve into the choices providers are making to respond to the challenges their clients face and whether the steps taken are enough to meet growing needs.

Our findings suggest that as companies expand their global footprint to chase new revenue streams, more companies are considering the payroll implications at the outset.

We also note a move toward a global shared services environment in an effort to address the payroll process more efficiently. Whether this is causing more payroll organizations to rely on in-house resources, we cannot be certain, but it is a notable trend to watch. What we can be certain of is that payroll organizations report a reduction in process standardization resulting from either organizational transformation spurred internally or via mergers and acquisitions, or resulting from an increased visibility into their global payroll operations.

Meanwhile, advances in robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence (AI) and chatbots, among others, are enabling payroll functions to automate repetitive processes that have historically consumed considerable time and resources. However, survey results indicate that while HR is slow to seize the opportunity, payroll providers are leveraging digital technologies more and more to deliver global solutions to their clients. Unfortunately, this shift does not appear to lead to increased client satisfaction with the services being provided.

Overall, the trends we are seeing in the 2017 edition of the EY Global Payroll Survey suggest a path of ongoing transformation that continues to change the face of payroll as we know it. Please read on to explore the data yourself, learn more and download our report.