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Introducing Rippling Global

Sriram Ganesan, Sachin Bhat, and Tomer SchwartzOct 20, 2022

Rippling is going global.

Nearly everything you do with Rippling for US employees is now available for your workforce across the globe.

As part of this launch, roughly a dozen Rippling products—from overtime policies in our time tracking product to employee IT inventory management—can be used by your employees in 50 different countries.

But the pièce de résistance is payroll.

Introducing the world's first native global payroll system

How is a “native” global payroll system different from what you use today?

With Rippling, you can pay employees who work in different countries and tax jurisdictions in a single pay run. Each employee is paid in their local currency. Just click “Submit” once—and Rippling calculates net pay and taxes in milliseconds, in our own tax engine.

Your global pay runs can now include:

  • Hourly and salaried employees
  • Bonuses and commissions
  • One-off items, like taxable employee stock options exercises

It’s flexible, too. You can run payroll off-cycle and, if you make a mistake, correct historical pay runs. Plus, whenever you make a change in Rippling, like a termination or a raise, it immediately takes effect within payroll, scheduling or prorating as necessary.

In short, Rippling Global Payroll works like the very best payroll systems you’ve used in the United States—but it seamlessly includes employees in other countries as well.

This sounds obvious. Of course it should work this way.

But no other service on the market does this today. Why not?

Because the existing “global” payroll and employer of record (EOR) companies are faking it.

The last few years have seen a pandemic-fueled explosion of vendors that help businesses pay employees globally.

These EOR companies are easy to start for growth-hacking entrepreneurs because, behind the scenes, they’re not building native payroll and HR software. They claim to offer global payroll, but in truth they’re payroll aggregators. Secretly, they outsource most of their product and technology for paying employees to third-party vendors, country by country.

These payroll aggregators—the entirety of the global payroll and EOR market as it exists today—take your employee payroll data and ship it out to local, subcontracted vendors in each country. Then, armies of operations staff manually submit your pay runs in those systems. In many cases, this staff is manually entering your data or making changes in those systems. Then, they manually download reports from each pay run and ship that data back to you for review.

Why is this payroll aggregator approach bad for clients?

First, it’s error-prone.

Our competitors’ accuracy is limited by their employees’ diligence and care. Maybe they can get it right 99% of the time. But when humans are shuttling data back and forth between systems, it’s never going to be 100%.

Second, payroll aggregators have a “lowest common denominator” problem.

When you rely on integrations with dozens (or sometimes a hundred) subcontracted payroll vendors, you can only offer the features and capabilities that each of your subcontracted vendors support.

Rippling controls the product experience end to end, which makes it easy for us to add features and make improvements. Our competitors need to wait for each of their vendors to build new capabilities—or they risk further process fragmentation by supporting features in some areas but not others.

How these problems impact your business

These twin problems—data pipelines that rely on people, not software, and the "lowest common denominator" effect—stem from payroll aggregators’ “original sin”: outsourcing payroll to local vendors. And we believe they explain the mystifying limitations that you bump into as a client of these companies.

The specific issues will vary from service to service, but often include:

  • The need to finalize compensation changes weeks in advance of a pay run (some competitors require 45 days)
  • The need to return and “review” gross and net pay amounts days after submitting a pay run (instead of seeing them in real time)
  • An inability to pay hourly employees, commissions, expense reimbursements, stock options exercise tax withholding, and dozens of other one-off items
  • Limited reporting, and substandard integrations with accounting systems
  • An inability to have multiple pay schedules within a country or to move employees between pay schedules
  • An inability to prorate compensation for new hires, departing employees, or for changes that take effect in the middle of a pay period

We’ve compiled a list of questions to ask your prospective global payroll or EOR vendor to help illustrate some of these differences.

Hire people globally in 90 seconds

In addition to our global payroll service, we are also offering our own native employer of record (EOR) service, which allows you to hire employees globally, even if you haven’t set up entities in a particular country.

EOR services are a useful way for companies to scale global hiring early on, when they may have only a few employees in a given country. As companies scale, however, it often makes sense for them to spin up their own entities and begin managing these global employees directly.

A critical advantage of Rippling’s EOR is that it’s built on top of our native payroll rails, which means that when the time comes, you can move from our EOR to Global Payroll through your own entities—in minutes. 

With other EORs you’ll need to rip out and replace systems to accomplish this.

It doesn’t matter if you need to hire a single contractor abroad or already have a team of full-time employees in Hamburg. Rippling eliminates all the complexity of hiring internationally, and supports every stage of a company’s growth, so you won’t have to switch systems as you scale.

Global Infrastructure-as-a-Service: Everything you need to run a global workforce in one place

In addition to building these global foundations, we’ve globalized all the features that are critical to running a workforce anywhere. Here are just a few examples:

Global HRIS: Rippling dynamically adjusts your hiring and onboarding flows country by country. You’ll select an employee’s work location, and Rippling automatically knows which data to collect from that country. So, when you hire someone in the US, Rippling asks for their 9-digit Social Security Number. But if you hire someone in Germany, Rippling knows to collect their 12-digit Sozialversicherungsnummer instead. This takes the guesswork out of your global administration work. More importantly, it brings all of your employee data around the world into a single system.

Global reporting: When you manage your entire workforce in one system, reporting becomes easier and more effective. You no longer have to export data from a dozen systems into Excel to get the answers you need. With Rippling, you can report on every piece of employee data around the world—salary, equity, expenses, survey results, and thousands of other data points—in a single system. Rippling even converts currencies inside of reports, so you never have to whip out a calculator.

Global Benefits Administration: Rippling makes it easy for your new hires abroad to enroll in benefits, like GRSP savings plans in Canada and private medical coverage in the UK. We partner with top local brokers to bring you directly to the source. And if you already have a preferred broker, no problem. They can also integrate your plans into Rippling Benefits Administration, so you can manage deductions, employee changes, and open enrollment easily and online.

Global time tracking: Rippling Time & Attendance syncs seamlessly with Rippling Global Payroll, so you never have to track or enter hours outside your HRIS. And because we have our own T&A system, we’re able to automate things like overtime compliance. For example, an hourly employee in Ontario will receive 1.5x base pay after 44 hours worked in a week, while another hourly employee in British Columbia will receive 1.5x base pay after 8 hours worked in a day.

Global policy management:  Rippling lets you design policies that you can apply companywide or to groups of employees in specific locations. For example, you can design a global PTO policy that gives all employees 3 weeks of vacation + 1 additional day per year of tenure. Or you can design country-specific policies, like offering your employees in the US 401(k) matching up to 4% and offering your employees in India meal coupons up to ₹26,400.

Global compliance: We’ve built global compliance rules into every product throughout Rippling to help you protect your business. For example, we’ll prevent you from hiring a 24-year-old employee for less than £9.50 per hour, so you don’t run afoul of the UK’s minimum wage law. We’ll also flag if you’ve added an employee to a non-compliant sick leave policy in France and provide guidance on how to fix that policy. And we can automatically enroll employees in compliance courses, like Anti-Harassment Workplace Training, in countries where they're required.

Global expense reimbursements: Rippling lets you easily reimburse employees around the world in their local currency, right in payroll. When an expense is created, Rippling detects the currency of the submitted receipt, displays the amount in the reviewer’s local currency, and converts it into the employee’s own. Rippling even flags mismatches between the transactions that employees enter and the receipts they upload, regardless of what currency they’re in.

Global holiday calendars: When you hire people, they’ll be automatically added to their country’s default holiday calendar, which you can easily customize. And because everyone is working in one global HRIS, your team will never have to Google the next holiday in Mexico, Serbia, or Australia.

All of these global capabilities are available today for select beta companies and available broadly on Jan 1, 2023. For now, Rippling’s global capabilities are only available to businesses that have some corporate presence in the United States—it’s not yet available for companies located exclusively outside the US.  

On a personal note, Rippling has been a global company since the beginning. From day 1, we’ve had offices in both Bangalore, India, and San Francisco, CA, at a time when this kind of global footprint was much less common.

For years, we struggled with many of the same issues that you likely struggle with—separate systems for employees in different countries, inelegant payroll aggregator vendors, challenges automating reporting and our accounting close across multiple underlying systems.

Our CEO, Parker, manages much of this himself for our own global company. He has been running payroll globally for our own company for months, paying roughly 600 people outside the US in 11 different countries. What used to take our finance team weeks with other systems now takes him less than ten minutes, twice a month.

We can’t wait for you to hire and pay your first person overseas, so you too can experience the magic of Global Workforce Management.