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The 2011 Payroll Operations Survey

Summary of results


Deloitte conducted a survey of professionals directly involved with the payroll function across industries. The survey was taken by 48 companies, both domestic and international, having fewer than 10,000 to over 100,000 active employees. It explores aspects and issues associated with U.S. and global payroll operations in the areas of Systems & Technology, Operations, Compliance & Taxation, Governance and Training & Continuous Improvement.

Survey highlights:

  • Organizations continue to explore the appropriate place for payroll. The payroll team typically reports to Finance (42 percent), followed by HR (40 percent) and then by Shared Services (14 percent).
  • 25 percent of the respondents have some global component of operations.
  • Only 13 percent of global organizations surveyed have a global payroll strategy while approximately 40 percent plan to develop one.
  • 92 percent indicate that they offer some form of online employee self-service, helping to reduce manual entry and the collection or production of paper form.
  • 79 percent outsource some aspect of their payroll operations but the outsourced services utilized vary greatly among companies.
  • Only 13 percent operate payroll as a decentralized function, while 60 percent are centralized and 23 percent are a combination i.e. centralized in the U.S. but decentralized in the other global regions.
  • Direct deposit continues to be a dominant payment method, but pay cards are offered in 19 percent of the responding companies. This is an alternative to printing live checks with a growing trend towards more use of paycards.
  • A small but growing number of companies either use Software as a Service (SaaS) or are considering it as an alternative technology enabler to the traditional outsourcer model and in-house enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.

Download the report below for the complete results.

As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.

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