Optimizing Payroll Software for Large Companies: Payroll Options for Enterprises

Enterprise companies face unique challenges when trying to identify the best option for optimizing their payroll systems. OutSail helps large organizations navigate the pros and cons of: integrated HRIS & Payroll, standalone payroll, global payroll or outsourced payroll.

Brett Ungashick
OutSail HRIS Advisor
January 17, 2024
Payroll shopper hitting toggles on screen

Large companies face unique challenges when it comes to payroll management. With complex organizational structures, diverse employee bases, and global operations, they require payroll software solutions that can cater to their specific needs. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the various options available for optimizing payroll software for large companies, including integrated payroll with HRIS providers, standalone payroll solutions, global payroll management, and managed payroll services.

I. Integrated Payroll with HRIS Providers

One-Stop-Shop Solutions

Large companies often prefer the integration of payroll with Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) providers due to the numerous benefits it offers. Companies like Workday, SAP SuccessFactors, and Oracle HCM Cloud offer integrated payroll modules that streamline payroll processes and simplify data management.

Advantages of Integration

Integrated payroll solutions offer a wide range of advantages, including:

  1. Streamlined Processes: Integration eliminates duplicate data entry, reducing the risk of errors and enhancing efficiency.
  2. Unified Data Management: It provides a centralized platform for HR and payroll data, making it easier to track and manage employee information.
  3. Real-Time Updates: Integration allows for real-time updates to payroll data, ensuring that decisions are based on the most current information.

Suitability for Different Business Sizes

While integrated solutions work exceptionally well for large enterprises, mid-sized companies may find them too complex. For organizations of this size, solutions like Dayforce and UKG Pro offer a balanced approach, providing essential HRIS and payroll capabilities without overwhelming complexity.

II. Standalone Payroll Solutions

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Best-in-Class Providers

Standalone payroll solutions are a viable option for large companies that prefer specialized payroll services. Providers like ADP and Dayforce are renowned market leaders in standalone payroll software. Their solutions are known for their robust payroll processing capabilities.

Integration Capabilities

Standalone payroll solutions stand out due to their ability to seamlessly integrate with major HRIS vendors. This integration allows large companies to retain their chosen HRIS systems while benefiting from best-in-class payroll functionality. It's the perfect blend of flexibility and specialization.

Choosing Standalone vs. Bundled

The decision between standalone and bundled HRIS payroll depends on various factors, including:

Factors to Consider:

  • Complex Payroll Needs: Evaluate the complexity of your payroll requirements. If your organization has unique payroll needs, standalone solutions may be a better fit.
  • Desire for Specialization: Consider whether you require specialized payroll services that standalone providers excel at.
  • Integration Requirements: Assess the level of integration needed with your existing HRIS systems.
  • Scalability: Think about your organization's growth plans and whether the chosen solution can scale with you.
  • Budget: Take your budget into account, as standalone solutions may have different pricing structures.

III. Global Payroll Management

Multinational Payroll Challenges

Large companies with a global presence face the intricate challenge of managing payroll across multiple countries. Each country has its own regulations, tax laws, and reporting requirements, making global payroll a complex endeavor.

Global Payroll Aggregators

To address these challenges, specialized solutions like Blue Marble, Papaya Global, CloudPay, and activpayroll have emerged as global payroll aggregators. These platforms provide a centralized hub for managing payroll across different jurisdictions, simplifying compliance and reducing administrative burdens.

Benefits for International Operations

Global payroll aggregators offer several key benefits for large companies with international operations:

  1. Compliance Assurance: They ensure payroll compliance in every country of operation, reducing the risk of costly non-compliance issues.
  2. Error Reduction: By centralizing payroll data, these platforms minimize the likelihood of errors associated with manual data entry and calculations.
  3. Consolidated Reporting: Global aggregators provide a consolidated view of payroll data across regions, streamlining the entire payroll process.

IV. Managed Payroll Services

Outsourcing Payroll Operations

Managed payroll services have gained popularity among large companies looking to further streamline their payroll processes. These services involve outsourcing payroll operations to third-party providers with expertise in specific payroll systems. It allows organizations to focus on their core activities while leaving the complexities of payroll processing to experts.

Finding the Right Managed Service Partner

Selecting the right managed service partner is crucial. Large companies should look for firms with extensive experience in handling the payroll software they use. These partners can provide valuable insights, optimize processes, and ensure compliance.

Pros and Cons

The decision to outsource payroll processing comes with both advantages and potential downsides:


  1. Administrative Efficiency: Outsourcing reduces internal administrative burdens, freeing up resources for strategic initiatives.
  2. Accuracy and Compliance: Expert providers ensure accuracy and compliance with ever-changing tax and labor laws.
  3. Scalability: Managed services can easily scale with your organization's growth.


  1. Reduced Control: Outsourcing may result in reduced control over the payroll process.
  2. Security Concerns: Sharing sensitive payroll data with a third party raises security considerations.

Factors to Consider:

  • Cost Analysis: Compare the costs of outsourcing with the potential savings in time and resources.
  • Security Measures: Ensure that the chosen service provider has robust security measures in place.
  • Service-Level Agreements (SLAs): Review SLAs to understand the level of service you can expect.
  • Provider Reputation: Check the reputation and track record of the managed service provider.

V. Making the Right Decision

When making decisions about optimizing payroll software for large companies, consider the following factors:

  • Company Size: Large companies have unique needs that may differ from smaller organizations.
  • Global Presence: Assess the geographical scope of your operations and the complexities involved.
  • Specific Payroll Needs: Evaluate your organization's specific payroll requirements, including industry-specific regulations.
  • Integration Requirements: Determine how important integration with existing systems is for your processes.

Seeking Expert Advice

When it comes to big companies and their payroll software needs, getting advice from payroll experts is a smart move. They can help you find the right solutions tailored to your unique needs. Payroll isn't just about numbers; it's about keeping employees happy, staying compliant, and running things smoothly.

Ready to find the perfect HR software for your business? Try Outsail. We help you find the right software for free, making software buying easier than ever.


Optimizing payroll software for large companies is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. Different organizations have unique payroll needs, and the right solution depends on various factors.

Integrated HRIS solutions offer convenience and efficiency, standalone payroll solutions provide specialization, global payroll aggregators simplify international operations, and managed services offer outsourcing options.

By carefully considering their specific requirements and seeking expert guidance, large companies can tailor their payroll solutions to meet their complex needs effectively. In the ever-evolving landscape of payroll software, customization is the key to success.

What are the challenges large companies face when optimizing their payroll systems?

Large companies face challenges such as complex organizational structures, diverse employee bases, and global operations, requiring payroll software solutions that can cater to their specific needs.

What are the options available for large companies to optimize their payroll software?

Large companies have various options, including integrated payroll with HRIS providers, standalone payroll solutions, global payroll management, and managed payroll services.

What are the advantages of integrated payroll solutions with HRIS providers?

Integrated payroll solutions offer streamlined processes, unified data management, real-time updates, and suitability for different business sizes, making them a preferred choice for large enterprises.

How do standalone payroll solutions differ from integrated solutions, and when should they be considered?

Standalone payroll solutions offer specialized payroll services and seamless integration with major HRIS vendors. They are suitable for large companies with complex payroll needs or a desire for specialization.

What challenges do large companies with global operations face in payroll management, and how can they address them?

Large companies with global operations face challenges such as varying regulations, tax laws, and reporting requirements across different countries. They can address these challenges with global payroll aggregators that provide centralized payroll management across jurisdictions.

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Meet the Author

Brett Ungashick
OutSail HRIS Advisor
Brett Ungashick, the friendly face behind OutSail, started his career at LinkedIn, selling HR software. This experience sparked an idea, leading him to create OutSail in 2018. Based in Denver, OutSail simplifies the HR software selection process, and Brett's hands-on approach has already helped over 1,000 companies, including SalesLoft, Hudl and DoorDash. He's a go-to guy for all things HR Tech, supporting companies in every industry and across 20+ countries. When he's not demystifying HR tech, you'll find Brett enjoying a round of golf or skiing down Colorado's slopes, always happy to chat about work or play.

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