Aligning International HR and Payroll

aligning international hr and payroll


2024/25 Payroll Legislation Guide

The facts, figures, thresholds and allowances for 2024/25, in one handy guide.

We live in a truly global world and your team doesn’t even need to be in one country anymore. But with a global workforce comes a multitude of responsibilities. Enter: international HR and payroll.  

Being a global player means your HR team will be managing a global team across your entire employee lifecycle, and your payroll will be responsible for compensating your team members and contractors, who may be working in different locations all over the world. It’s no mean feat because with global operations comes huge legal, financial and people obligations. 

Why is international payroll and HR alignment important?

Aligning your international payroll and HR teams can make things more efficient, more simple, and more accessible—especially for your people. For starters, you’ll considerably reduce your burdensome, time-consuming admin. Then you’ve got global employee experience to think about, which can be considerably enhanced by aligning your payroll and HR.  Bringing the two together can also reduce time to serve customers. Standardised, centralised, and aligned processes save time and money. You’ll be winning all round! 

Aligning international HR and payroll: the challenges

Local labour laws and regulations

The first and most obvious being drastically different labour laws and regulations in each country or region you operate in. Local labour laws demand your compliance with statutory employee benefits, tax, paid time off, and minimum wage (to mention but a few!). 

Ever changing currency rates

Your global HR and payroll departments will be at the mercy of frequent fluctuations in currency and exchange rates which can wreak havoc on salaries and benefits. At best, you could be making the best of the situation, but at worst, you could lose precious money. And of course, you’re never going to know which! Keeping up to speed with ever changing  exchange rates is key in order for you to navigate potential difficulties. Keep your ear to the ground and have solid plans in place to stay ahead of the game. 

Cultural differences

You’re going to be dealing with people from all walks of lifebackgrounds and cultural beliefs when you operate globally. It’s just part of the rich pageant of global working. And this wonderfully diverse bunch is each going to have their own idea of what good work is and what good pay is. What’s important in one culture (for example, observing religious holidays) may not matter one bit in another country. Where one culture values silence and lack of eye contact, another may value directness and chatter. Local and national rules and laws may vary hugely with different cultural traditions and values, so getting to grips with this as part of your international HR and payroll strategy will stand you in good stead. 

Varied payroll cycles and methods

Operating abroad means you’ll likely encounter all manner of payroll cycles and methods for the different locations you operate in. There’ll be different payroll reporting deadlines. Different systems. Different obligations. This can be tricky to navigate, especially if your systems are disparate.  

Payroll and HR alignment: the benefits

Streamlined operations

When it Your teams will spend considerably less time with complex admin tasks and having to sort things out on an individual-system level. This means more efficient, streamlined operations which save time and money. 

Enhanced compliance

When everything is together on the same page, in one easy system, everything will simply be more straightforward. Aligned HR and payroll will make complying with international laws and regulations an absolute cinch.  

Improved employee satisfaction

Everything in alignment equals fewer mistakes. And what do fewer (or no) mistakes mean? Happier employees! When your people are paid on time, in the right amount, they’ll be much more content than if they weren’t. And that alone is worth it.  

More accurate budgeting and financial planning

It’s so much easier to plan for your budget and finances when you have all the appropriate figures in one place. Being armed with all the numbers from both departments makes for a much simpler budgeting and financial planning approach.  

Achieving payroll and HR alignment


First up, assess! You need to know the lie of the land –  what’s there, what’s working, what’s not and what can be improved considerably. Auditing your current HR and payroll processes, across all of your operations will show you where you’re currently at and what you’re contending with.  


Creating a unified global HR and payroll framework makes for complete consistency across the board, with all your documents and processes. Take, for example, the employee contract. A bothersome thing to contend with, especially when working across multiple countries with different providers. Having one, uniform employment contract makes things so much simpler and more streamlined for your HR and payroll departments.  


Integrate it all together! Using an integrated HRIS solution (that caters to international operations) will enable you to keep all your records up to date, keep you compliant, save time, help with your strategy, and also offer your people the choice to self-serve.  


Make sure you’re making allowances to meet specific local needs and regulations. It’s all very well having a unified, global system – but that system still needs to cater to differing local regions who will each have their own rules and regs.  


Knowledge is power! Make sure your HR and payroll teams are given thorough training on the new systems, processes and country-specific regulations. A well-trained team is a confident team who will get it right from the outset.  


It goes without saying that you should stay ahead of the game! You should constantly be reviewing and adjusting your processes as laws and regulations constantly change and as your company expands.

International HR and payroll alignment as standard

The benefits of integrating your HR and payroll are clear. It just makes sense! So now we’d love to show you how it’s done!  

Cintra Global offers a suite of international payroll and global HR solutions, which aligns your global payroll and HR as standard, so you don’t have to! Not only that, but our team has the know-how to bring it all together, no matter how big the challenge. 

Get in touch today to have a chat about just how easy, and time-saving global HR and payroll can be! 

Picture of Danielle Nicholson
Danielle Nicholson
Danielle is our Communications and Content Manager, leading the content strategy for Cintra. Outside of her passion for all things copywriting, she loves being on the water in a kayak or taking long walks with her Golden Retriever!