National Payroll Week – Stacey Radford speaks to Billy Hayes – Reward & Payroll Director

We’re thrilled to shine a light on our dedicated payroll professionals, commemorating our involvement in National Payroll Week 2023!, We’ll explore career paths through thought-provoking questions, sharing personal experiences, achievements, and wisdom gained. We aim to highlight the pivotal role payroll plays in our organisation, showcasing that at Oakleaf Partnership, every payroll professional’s journey is both essential and impactful.

How did you first get into payroll?

Much like many others, I fell into payroll. My career began at Abbey National Bank, now known as Santander.

What strategies do you employ to ensure accurate and timely processing across all international payrolls?

I’m a firm believer in automation; payroll should be as seamless as possible. It’s essential to have a robust process in place, utilising advanced technology. It’s equally vital to employ skilled managers who can develop and harness the best software available.

Can you share an example of a complex international payroll you’ve navigated, and how you handled it?

I’ve set up and managed payrolls in various countries, each with its unique challenges and legislative requirements. Building and maintaining relationships with local providers is crucial. I ensure I’m well-versed in the legal requirements and always strive to research the best practices for each market.

How do you stay current with changing global payroll laws and regulations?

I’m a member of numerous organisations, attending seminars and networking with professionals worldwide. These platforms are pivotal for enhancing my knowledge. Additionally, I consistently take online courses to master any market I work within.

What steps do you take to streamline communication and collaboration between HR, finance, and other departments when managing global payrolls?

I hold fortnightly catch-ups with all stakeholders as a baseline. This ensures that every department is equipped and informed to navigate the dynamic landscape of global payroll.

In your view, what are the key challenges when working with global payrolls, and how do you address them?

The varying legislations present a significant challenge. While I strive for a unified process where feasible, the global market often demands flexibility. Despite this, I maintain consistent processes to minimise errors, adapting them to local market governance when necessary.

As technology advances, how do you see automation and AI shaping the future of payroll processes?

Many professionals find AI daunting. However, I believe it’ll be invaluable for payroll leaders. While it’s imperative to embrace AI, it will never substitute for a competent payroll team. Personal touch remains paramount in the payroll world. With evolving legislation and the growing recognition of payroll as a vital department, AI will enhance and uphold our reputation for excellence.

In your opinion, what skills or qualities will be essential for a Payroll Manager in the evolving landscape of international payroll?

Flexibility, adaptability, a keen eye for detail, and an eagerness to learn and embrace emerging technology are paramount.

What advice would you offer to Payrollers aspiring to enter the international payroll market?

While I jest with “Don’t do it,” payroll is increasingly being recognised as a genuine career. With developments like furlough schemes and auto-enrolment, a robust global payroll team has never been more crucial. My advice: thoroughly understand legislation, start at the grassroots, find a mentor, and progress organically. Payroll can be demanding, but rewarding. With experience, challenges become more manageable. One crucial tip: never cut corners. Payroll is paramount. A message for businesses: invest in your payroll team. Failing to do so now could incur significant costs and damage your reputation in the future. Payroll is CRITICAL!

Stacey Radford

Stacey Radford

Senior Consultant - Payroll

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