As the Asia-Pacific Region (APAC) continues to act as a magnet for organizations looking to expand their footprint on the global stage, cloud-based human resources tools are available to help them streamline and deliver innovative human resources services.
Home to more than four billion people across more than 50 nations, the Asian continent with its huge population of well-educated young talent and a growing middle class of hungry consumers, is a high-potential growth source for multinational companies globally and local companies expanding regionally. At the same time, Asia remains a complex place to do business. It is a heterogeneous region which comprises developed countries including Japan, Korea, and Singapore and developing countries such as Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam. For companies expanding their business footprint from the US or Europe, the shift is more than one large geographical step, especially when it comes to the all-important payroll, and related human resources processes and systems.
The general perception of the payroll function is simple: pay people the right salary at the right time. However, the reality is that payroll plays an important part across all functions of a business, especially to an organization that is expanding globally. Delivering timely and accurate payments to employees has a direct impact on morale and engagement. It directly links to an organisation’s credibility as an employer of choice. When mistakes are made, the employer risks upsetting employees and might also be fined by authorities. Leveraging real-time data through cloud technology delivers increased visibility into an organization’s compliance status – providing centralized access for statutory filings and the ability to maintain records more easily online.
As more organizations expand into Asia, alongside navigating language, culture, and diverse tax laws, compounding the complexity, they often find that each country has different processes and laws governing payroll requirements; multiple legal and employment administrative systems, and in addition, frequent changes made to employment governance laws and regulations. Ensuring all employees in a multinational company are paid when they should be, and in accordance with all relevant laws and regulations is no mean feat. The regulatory environment in Asia is constantly evolving as economies continue to expand and greater emphasis is focused on employee-centric labor regulations.
Traditionally, data management has been a huge challenge for global human resources services (HRS) and payroll teams. The first issue: Data integrity. The flow of data between global human capital management (HCM) and payroll software is critical for both functions to perform their relevant duties effectively, but the data residing in their corresponding systems of record are often out of sync – taking too long to process changes such as promotions, terminations, and bonuses, leading to data discrepancies that can require excessive workarounds. According to data research from Tricor and Orisoft, more than one quarter of global organizations admit to not being able to clearly state employee counts and total associated costs, while 6 out of 10 cite compliance as their top challenge. Furthermore, these organizations deal with an average of more than 20 human resources and payroll systems and vendors around the world.
It’s hard to overstate the importance of being cognizant of local legislation. Failure to plan for and comply with changing employment legislation can result in costly fines and loss of workforce. Last year alone the Philippines made more than 30 amendments to existing labor laws. Simply Googling “Asian HRS solutions” for a one-size fits all answer is not an option for an organization wishing to expand into Asia. In Indonesia, for instance, the severance package for employees working more than 10 years can be as high as 35 times the basic salary when terminated or upon retirement. For China, employment and statutory compliance regulations can vary from city-to-city and from province-to-province, creating unique and complex challenges. To navigate business expansion in Asia organizations need a partner that can provide multiple solutions to manage the extensive labor laws and regulations and provide robust, effective and cost-effective ways to meet the rapidly evolving demands of doing business.
Cloud-based unify|HRS provides a multi-purpose One-stop solution
Launched in June 2018, through a combination of the Tricor Group’s market-leading managed services with mature human resources software and outsourcing platform Orisoft Technology, the integrated cloud-based solutions unify|HRS suite (V10) consists of a full-range of HR functionalities covering payroll and time attendance (alongside a broad suite of modules including workforce planning, recruitment, onboarding, employee leave, correspondence, OT requisition, claims, learning and development, performance appraisal and career planning and succession).. Meanwhile, solutions offered by unify|HRS can streamline human resource workflow, allow instant access to all employee records, integrate personnel, payroll, and benefits information, and electronically safeguard data. In addition, analytical capabilities aid decision making with data-driven evidence.
Significantly, the combined strengths of Tricor and Orisoft, which collectively represent more than 30 years of human resources expertise and a client base of more than 3,000 companies in 20 countries, unify|HRS offers a single contact point software and services solution. Clients can choose the solutions and applications that best suit their needs that meet unique country and jurisdiction requirements and combine these with professional services from Tricor Group, including executive search and HR consulting services as required — from a complete outsourced payroll service that fully manages all obligations surrounding payroll — from first input to statutory submissions and payments, clients can choose the solutions and applications that best suit their needs.
Starting the journey
The cornerstone of successful integrated HRS solutions suite is its ability to deliver up-to-the-second, 24/7 services including risk and compliance solutions. Organizations need to be aware that the potential of HR technology goes beyond digitizing standard processes. For example, system scalability. A scalable HRS system will ensure long-term usage with the flexibility to make upgrades and modifications as needed. It is also crucial that cloud-service HRS providers that host data at their own sites have more control than those that rely exclusively on off-site client data storage.
Size and experience matters, organizations embarking on their HRS cloud journey are advised to engage with a multinational organization with extensive local presence in Asia that has the personnel with the deep understanding of different governments’ statutory compliance requirements to help their clients seamlessly amend their systems when necessary. In addition to being the single contact point for solutions and services, the HRS provider should also have extensive integration experienced with third-party multinational solution providers such as SAP and Workday. Organizations expanding their businesses into Asia can avoid potentially costly financial and reputational mistakes by working with a provider that instead of tailoring services to meet price-points adheres to high-standards and best practices while providing the expertise to identify and solve pain-points.
Solving challenges with unifyI HRS
Mainly as a result of the “big data trend” in business as a whole, HR data and analytics are being rightfully referred to as the “the new oil”, which contribute to forming better and more effective fact-based decisions across the key elements of the HR function’s responsibilities ranging from recruitment, employee engagement, performance management, well-being to training. The marriage of technology and HR processes opens a wide world of “big data” opportunities whether it is pulse surveys measuring employee engagement, feedback management or assessment. Currently, many organizations are using disparate, often manual processes that have no way of connecting to each other. While legacy HR management systems like customized in-house solutions are able to handle simple, often single function processes, they lack the capability to correlate multiple functions, which are pivotal for strategy formulation, whereas the unify|HRS seamlessly provides end-to-end enabled platforms that effectively integrated with third-party finance applications; business applications; workforce planning, talent management and business intelligence applications; and human capital management tools from the likes of SAP, Workday, Oracle, Infor and more. It connects to other business-critical applications via standardized API integration, and also supports government e-submissions and bank auto-filing.
As the cloud is fast becoming the “new normal”, for hosting business operating systems, including HRS platforms that hold highly sensitive information, concerns organizations have about Cyber-security are understandable. For Tricor, cyber-security is the number one priority. A mature and certified approach to security is built into every aspect of unify | HRS, which includes robust back-up mechanisms and strong safeguards to keep critical systems online 24/7.
In today’s technology-driven, global environment – where increasingly businesses are collecting and transferring personal data across national borders – employee privacy and data protection have become critically important. While many multinationals are working to make their human resource management systems operate at a global level, more and more countries are initiating privacy legislation that restricts the free transfer of personal information – including employee data – across national borders. With unify|HRS data can be correlated from a single source, rather than from disparate systems across global operations, making the handling of data simpler and less likely to be exposed to mishandling. This can help organizations navigate the tricky balance of regulatory demands, employee expectations, and organizational objectives. A single source HRS system such as unify|HRS can help ensure compliance with everything from large-scale international laws, for example the European Union-implemented General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to a minimum wage increase in one country or jurisdiction where an organization operates.