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Business checklist: Expansion into the APAC region

As the business world continues its post-covid realignment, companies, and enterprises are increasingly expanding their horizons, both literally and metaphorically.

However, this is not necessarily as straightforward to accomplish as it might seem, as moving into new markets can pose a number of challenges — cultural, legal, linguist, and regulatory, to name but a few.

This is undoubtedly the case for enterprises who want to establish a presence in the Asia-Pacific (APAC), and while there is a certain degree of uniformity with regard to political stability in the region (albeit under very different economic systems), there is nevertheless quite significant diversity between each country’s business cultures.

Doing business successfully anywhere in the Asia-Pacific, therefore, requires an agile approach, and an appreciation of the business and political cultures encountered.

As Papaya Global, a global payroll company explains, any business planning for success in a new market, in particular anywhere in APAC, should therefore take the factors discussed below into account when planning and executing an expansion program.

Identify opportunities and align strategy 

Although it is an obvious question, it is also an easy one to overlook — what are the market opportunities an expansion into APAC represents? Expansion for its own sake is unlikely to be successful unless appropriate market opportunities have been identified and a clear strategy formulated to take advantage of them.

As an example, a key reason many enterprises want to have an APAC presence is to be able to take advantage of opportunities created by the formation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). This is a regional free trade agreement between Australia, New Zealand, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, Japan, Laos, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, South Korea, and Malaysia, and covers trade in goods, services, and investment, with particular reference to e-commerce and technical cooperation.

However, any business planning to expand into APAC should be looking closely at RCEP and its implications for operations. For instance, will it present the business with opportunities for reaching into multiple markets simultaneously, or will it expose it to greater competition, the challenges of which it is not set up to meet?

This is just one example of the way in which expanding enterprises need to think and plan strategically — will being in APAC increase your access to customers in these countries, with greater exposure to global trade resulting in the growth of the business, or will more competition in practice actually mean that development stalls and opportunists contract?

How will you build on local talent?

One of the most appealing aspects for many enterprises to developing a presence in APAC is the access to an enormous talent pool. To be best placed to take advantage of the opportunities this presents, it is important that accurate and honest assessments are made of the current ‘home’ talent available at all levels of the business, and identifying shortfalls and gaps that need to be addressed.

At the same time, however, a relocating or expanding business also needs to understand the specific challenges that operating in a different culture can present and, crucially, how a local workforce can most effectively be managed.

Asian countries within the APAC region can have very different workplace structures, hierarchies, and customs in place (both when compared to European businesses and each other), and failing to recognize this can mean that valuable human resources are either lost, or not given the chance to fulfill their potential.

Therefore, clear-headed assessments should be made as to whether or not you have the management capacity in place to successfully lead a foreign workforce (or if you have to bring it in), how well you understand the cultural and workplace practices in a new location, and how attractive your employment offer will be to the best local talent, in comparison with your competitors.

Is your business set up to operate in APAC?

Any business that wants to operate in multiple locations simultaneously needs to have structures in place that will enable some important functions of the business to be conducted remotely.

For instance, when beginning operations in new countries, leaders need to ensure that robust reporting procedures are established and in place in advance so that there is minimal disruption to beginning operations in the new locale.

If this requires investment in new technologies, this should ideally be done ahead of operations commencing, as too much focus on setting up processes and procedures can put an unnecessary and unwanted handbrake on more important aspects of operations.

An essential question for expanding businesses, therefore, is to determine how these functions can most effectively and efficiently be performed, and whether an in-house or outsourced solution is required.

Get to grips with the regulatory environment

When a global business relocates part of its workforce to a new region, and/or hires workers locally (either on-demand or as contract hires), ensuring that it remains in compliance with local employment laws, taxation and other regulations regarding workers’ pay and conditions is essential. In addition, there are important obligations regarding the protection of sensitive personal data, which will vary according to the jurisdiction.

Adhering to the various employment regulations and data protection laws in different countries in the APAC region can unquestionably be a burden, but it is nevertheless essential, and so any enterprise looking to engage a workforce in this part of the world needs to take specialist advice re: compliance as early in the expansion process as possible, as these obligations will have a significant impact on planning and implementation.

The right payroll model is the solution 

Following on from this, it is important that a company with workforces in multiple locations is using the right model for the delivery of payroll services. An effective global payroll system can help significantly in the management of a dispersed workforce, where different currencies, languages, pay cycles, and regulations all need to be accommodated simultaneously.

For instance, a wholly-owned model might make sense, where payroll is managed locally by a team who are employees. Alternatively, relocating or expanding business might opt for an aggregated model, where payroll is managed by a global payroll provider working in partnership with in-country partners (ICPs), who are locally-based service providers.

Payroll is a very significant function for businesses wherever they operate, but for enterprises with a global workforce in multiple APAC countries, ensuring the smooth operation of payroll is fundamental to be able to operate successfully and with goodwill.

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Top 5 reasons to outsource payroll – Ultimate guide

When it comes to running a business, whether big or small, payroll processing can sometimes feel like a war. Payroll processing is a lot more than what it looks like. In addition to getting your employees paid on time, payroll involves the calculation of tax deductions, paid and unpaid leaves, employee benefits, bonuses, and much more. It requires attention to detail and scrutiny if you want to avoid fines and complaints. This makes it quite clear why payroll managers are highly-trained individuals with years of experience because the job isn’t that easy!

Instead of learning the art of payroll yourself or hiring internally, outsourcing payroll is a great option for start-ups, small businesses, and medium-sized businesses alike. Outsourcing isn’t a new concept and has already proven to be beneficial for organizations. It is both a time and money-saving exercise. Why not spare yourself the pain of spending sleepless nights with spreadsheets staring into gridlines and numbers by outsourcing it.

Even though it might sometimes seem hard to make changes to the ongoing business processes, there has never been a better time to outsource your payroll. Payroll systems these days are generally cloud-based, and hence extremely agile. It can easily scale up or down as the business needs to change. For repetitive tasks, these can be automated, leaving your resources to focus on being the best in your business space that you can be.

If you’re still skeptical about outsourcing your payroll, here are a few reasons why you should.

  • Outsource payroll – It’s always quicker.

Whether you have 10 employees or 100 employees, payroll processing demands significant time and attention. When you consider the time spent processing and managing payroll, outsourcing to a trusted service provider may seem attractive. Time is money, after all.

  • Outsource payroll – It’s always secure.

Using email for sensitive documents is inherently unsafe and opens the door to hackers easier than many might think. Similarly, the use of spreadsheets and out-of-date technologies, combined with a lack of proper security across all areas of the company, creates the risk of a data breach and violation. A secure portal protects your employees’ sensitive information.

  • It ensures payroll tax compliance.

This is a big one. One of the most daunting tasks for small to mid-sized businesses is complying with laws, regulations, and mandatory rules, especially when various government agencies are involved. An effective and experienced payroll provider will ensure that your payroll process complies with the current rules and regulations.

  • It’s automated and remote.

Cloud-based payroll software can be run anywhere with internet access. Now with people working remotely, there’s no need to be onsite, no need for a person to manually type in hours or print checks, and no need for anyone to be involved with paying employees. Employees input their time, the system tracks it, and they get paid automatically with necessary approvals in place.

  • It’s customizable.

Whether we’re experiencing a pandemic or other critical business issues, there’s no reason to pay for things you don’t need. With unpredictable times and changing business needs, it is always flexible to add or subtract services.

Outsourcing payroll can be successful as both a short- and long-term solution for organizations.

Procloz would be more than happy to assist you with payroll outsourcing. We will be happy to provide you with a customized solution that meets all of your business’s requirements. We’ll help you remain compliant and efficient, with outsourced payroll services that help your business thrive.

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Procloz hires Gaurav Soni to lead Finance & Business Partnerships

Procloz, a leading local Employer of Record & PEO services company in India, is pleased to announce and welcome Gaurav Soni. He will be leading Finance, Business Partnerships, and Business Expansion at Procloz, further strengthening Procloz’s service capabilities.

“2020 was a year of investment in our service capabilities along with infrastructure, and 2021 will be the year of investment in our people. We are aiming to build Procloz as a preferred service provider for Contingent Workforce Solutions in India & Australia”, quotes Amandeep Singh Wasal, Founder of Procloz.

In line with Procloz’s growth plans, Gaurav will be instrumental in increasing its bottom line and establishing key business partnerships. “I have known Aman and Niraj for more than eight years and pleased to see the growth of Procloz in the last few years. I am looking forward to building a strong team of partners and consultants to help deliver services for our clients”, explains Gaurav Soni.

Procloz was established with a core vision to help boost organizational growth by managing local employment, payroll, compliances, and tax challenges for expanding businesses. We deliver compliant workforce solutions through our multi-country employer of record and managed payroll services. We cater to a wide variety of industries and help organizations employ and manage their workforce more effectively. We use different technologies and compliance and service partners whose vision and values align with ours to provide a seamless service experience to our clients and their employees. Procloz also helps with in-country business setup, policy documentation, social security, tax registration, recruitment & HR Services.

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