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Kara Sherrer Avatar

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Kara Sherrer, Contributing Writer
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Kaiti Norton Avatar

Reviewed by
Kaiti Norton, Managing Editor
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Kara Sherrer Avatar

Written by
Kara Sherrer, Contributing Writer
Read more by Kara →

Kaiti Norton Avatar

Reviewed by
Kaiti Norton, Managing Editor
Read more HR content →

What is global payroll software?

Global payroll software helps international businesses pay employees and contractors around the world. Without specialized tools, businesses must set up a local business presence in every country where their employees reside and manually process payroll every pay period. Global payroll software eliminates much of this complexity while also providing support for benefits administration, hiring, and other HR functions.

Multinational companies can use global payroll software to streamline currency conversions, tax filing, reporting, and compliance requirements in each jurisdiction. Many global payroll providers also offer EOR and PEO services, which companies can leverage to reduce manual administrative tasks and increase localized HR expertise.

Our picks for the top global payroll solutions are:

  • Papaya Global is best for flexible global hiring options.
  • Rippling is best for U.S.-based companies that need versatility.
  • Oyster is best for comprehensive global hiring and payroll.
  • Remote is best for paying international contractors.
  • Deel is the best stand-alone global payroll platform.

Jun. 12, 2024: Kaiti Norton updated the formatting of the page to improve readability.

Sep. 25, 2023: Jessica Dennis restructured the page to put our expert recommendations front and center. We also added pricing, clarified the reasons behind our choices, and reformatted the page to improve the visual flow of information.

Feb. 12, 2024: Jessica Dennis updated the pricing for Papaya Global.

We picked our recommendations with you in mind.

First, we evaluated several of the most popular global payroll solutions available on the market today. We used vendor demos, free trials, technical documentation, and user reviews from customers like you to compile our research.

We then narrowed our selections to platforms that address your top-of-mind concerns, such as contractor-only options, employer of record services, and the breadth of supported countries. As the market changes, we reevaluate our choices so you always receive the best insight for your purchasing decision.

Our picks for the top global payroll solutions

Papaya Global: Best for flexible global hiring options


Pros

  • Straightforward pricing structure.
  • Option to onboard existing local payroll partners.
  • Mass salary data updates to reduce repetitive work.

Cons

  • Separate invoicing processes for each country add up quickly.
  • User interface could be improved.
  • Integrations are limited.

Papaya Global is a global payroll solution offered in 160+ countries. Papaya Global offers an Employer of Record option as well as a global payroll platform so that you can choose which one works best for your company’s needs.

Transition support

Papaya Global offers the option to move from using an employer of record model to running your own global payroll (or vice versa) without having to switch platforms. This means you can choose the model that makes the most sense for your business at the time and make adjustments when needed.

Payroll intelligence suite

Papaya Global offers a stand-alone payroll intelligence suite add-on that anyone can sign up for. This add-on allows any company to dig deep into the analytics of its international payroll to optimize processes and make evidence-based business decisions.

Papaya Global’s payroll and payments platform starts at $3 per month, per employee (PEPM). For additional software and service features, Papaya also offers the following:

  • PayrollPlus
  • Growth Global: Starting from $25 per employee per month (PEPM) for businesses with up to four entities and 101–500 employees.
  • Scale Global: Starting from $20 PEPM for businesses with up to 10 entities and 501–1000 employees.
  • Enterprise Global: Starting from $15 PEPM for businesses with over 10 entities and over 1000 employees.
  • EOR
  • Starting from $650 PEPM.
  • Contractor Payments and Management
  • Starting from $30 PEPM.

Papaya Global has made a name for itself due to its white glove service and flexible global hiring options. If you need a global payroll solution that can grow with your international business, then Papaya Global is worth a look.

Rippling: Best for U.S.-based companies that need versatility


Pros

  • Best-in-class payroll software.
  • Over 500 integrations with third-party platforms.
  • Speedy, efficient payroll process.

Cons

  • Available in fewer countries than competitors.
  • No stand-alone payroll option.
  • Global launch is recent, so there are bound to be some kinks.

Rippling is a cloud-based workforce management solution that provides human resources (HR), information technology (IT), and finance software for companies. Rippling has made a name for itself as a domestic payroll software, but it now offers a global payroll solution as part of its HR cloud software. Rippling also offers an EOR option that is natively connected to the payroll software.

Potential customers should know that Rippling’s global payroll function is only available in 50+ major countries, which is less than some other competitors. For now, Rippling’s global capabilities are also only available to businesses that have some corporate presence in the United States; it’s not yet available for companies located exclusively outside the U.S.

HR data sync

Because everything is included in one software platform, Rippling allows you to automatically sync all HR data directly with your payroll platform. This helps to decrease redundancy and cuts back on manual data entry.

Custom workflows

Want to notify people of important changes or automate nearly any payroll administrative tasks? Rippling gives you the option to build custom workflows to speed up your payroll process and makes things easier on your HR team.

Rippling starts at $8 a month, per user, and new customers can sign up for a one-month free trial. You must contact Rippling for a quote on its U.S. and international payroll option and EOR services.

Rippling’s platform is a great choice if you’re looking for international payroll capabilities and a full HR suite. Along with IT and finance options, Rippling allows U.S.-based businesses to connect most of their software needs into one product. Even if you’re satisfied with your current software, Rippling’s huge integration marketplace makes adding to your existing tech stack for a more customized approach easy.

Oyster: Best for comprehensive global hiring and payroll


Pros

  • Payouts in 120+ currencies.
  • Single invoice for all global hires.
  • Guided hiring process prompts.

Cons

  • Monthly pay period option only.
  • Stand-alone payroll option not available.
  • Benefits administration and health care plan selection could use improvement.

Oyster is an employer of record and global payroll and hiring solution that is available in 180+ countries. Oyster’s offerings include global employment, global contractors, contractor conversion, global payroll, and localized benefits and rewards.

Companies looking to run their own international payroll, rather than outsourcing their payroll or partnering with an EOR, should know that Oyster does not offer a stand-alone global payroll platform. If you want payroll functionality, your company must upgrade to the employee plan, which costs $499 per employee, per month and includes many other features beyond payroll, including hiring support and IP protection.

Contractor conversion option

Sometimes when working with international employees, you originally hire them as a contractor, but later need to convert them to a full-time employee. Oyster offers a tool to help your company do this, reducing worker misclassification risks and ensuring compliance with global employment laws.

Support for ad hoc payments

Occasions may arise where you need to pay employees outside of the regular international payroll period, such as expense reimbursement and performance bonuses. Oyster allows you to make one-off payments as necessary without waiting for the next payroll period to roll around.

You can access Oyster’s platform and resources for free. Charges start once you start hiring and paying contractors or employees. Oyster’s pricing tiers include the following:

  • Contractor: starts at $29 per contractor, per month.
  • Employee: starts at $499 PEPM (billed annually).
  • Scale: custom pricing.

You are also eligible for discounts once you start paying over five employees.

As an employer of record, Oyster is best for companies who need assistance hiring, onboarding, and paying international talent. Because Oyster currently does not offer standalone payroll software, it targets employers with only a small global presence. However, Oyster’s free HR tools and AI assistant, Pearl, make it a competitive choice if you start expanding internationally.

Remote: Best for paying international contractors


Pros

  • Intuitive interface that is easy to navigate.
  • Fast employee onboarding.
  • Single platform for employee documentation.

Cons

  • Mobile user interface (UI) could use improvement.
  • Limited technical support options.

Remote is one of the leaders in the global payroll space, offering solutions for companies that need an employer of record, contractor management, global payroll, and remote relocation. Its contractor management services are available in 160 different countries, while its EOR services are available in 70 of them.

Remote API access

Access to the software’s application programming interface (API) allows your IT team to build custom connections, view all of your data in one place, and otherwise personalize the software to meet your company’s needs. This enables a level of flexibility and customization that’s difficult to find with other vendors.

Contractor agreement templates

Businesses can use their own contracts or leverage Remote’s localized, compliant contract templates. These templates have been vetted by experts and can be customized in multiple languages with dynamic fields to meet the business’s needs while maintaining efficiency.

Remote includes the following pricing tiers:

  • Employer of record: $599 PEPM, paid annually.
  • Contractor management: $29 per contractor, per month.
  • Global payroll: custom pricing.
  • Enterprise: custom pricing.

Remote also offers a 30-day free trial for its contractor management plan.

Remote is a strong contender for businesses that primarily rely on international contractors. Employers can manage contractor onboarding, invoice approvals, and automated payments from a single platform. Furthermore, Remote bases its pricing on the number of actively working contractors each month; other vendors often charge for all users, whether they are active or not.

Deel: Best stand-alone global payroll platform


Pros

  • Automatic reminders for each payroll period.
  • Dedicated account representatives respond quickly.
  • Easy to navigate software platform.
  • PEO services for U.S. employers.

Cons

  • Numerous features can make it hard to find exactly what you are looking for.
  • Minor glitches and bugs can sometimes cause issues with confirmation.

Deel supports hiring and compliance in over 150+ countries, with payroll available in 90+ countries. Deel also offers employer of record services in 90+ countries for companies looking for an on-the-ground international payroll provider.

However, Deel’s stand-alone global payroll option is most valuable for companies that have an established international presence and only need help managing payroll, tax filing, and benefits administration. Businesses can feel confident they aren’t paying for extra features or capabilities they don’t need while taking advantage of Deel’s powerful yet flexible payroll capabilities.

Employers can choose from 10+ payroll funding methods, and contractors can choose from 7+ payment options — including pay cards. Combined with automatic invoicing and fully managed payouts, this flexibility gives employers maximum efficiency while still meeting their and their contractors’ needs.

Employer of record

Deel’s EOR solution is integrated directly into the platform, a seamless setup that means your company doesn’t have to find a third-party partner. Deel will handle making all relevant declarations to local governments and withholding the necessary taxes.

Quick onboarding process

Deel lets your company automatically sync employee details from your existing HR platform. This means you can get international teams up and running within a month as opposed to the three to six or more months that some other platforms require.

Oyster offers the following pricing tiers;

  • Contractors: starting for $49 per contractor, per month.
  • EOR employees: starting from $599 PEPM.
  • Direct employees: free trial and then custom pricing.

Companies with up to 200 employees can also access Oyster HR for free, which includes onboarding, offboarding, reports, and people management features.

With Deel, employers can choose between hiring and paying international talent through their entities or using its EOR services. This makes Deel a flexible payroll solution that can adapt to your company’s growth and international expansion plans. You can begin using Deel’s EOR and eventually transition to managing your global employees with your own entities when the time is right.

Find your global payroll software

How to pay employees in other countries

When paying employees in other countries, you have two main options. The first is to run your own international payroll by establishing a local entity in each country and paying your international employees directly. The second is to hire an employer of record (EOR), an intermediary that serves as the employer for tax purposes while the international employees do work for your company.

Whichever option you choose, there are payroll software solutions that can help you pay your international employees quickly and easily while maintaining compliance with international laws.

Check out our top global payroll software picks in our video overview below:

How to choose a global payroll provider

Choosing how you want to process global payroll is a complex decision for any company, whether you are hiring your first international employees or have been a global business for decades. Whether you decide to hire an employer of record or process payroll yourself, international payroll software solutions can streamline things for your HR department and your international employees.

Rippling is the best platform for U.S.-based companies that need a way to manage IT, HR, and finance requirements for a global workforce. Similarly, Oyster is an excellent choice for growing companies looking for a comprehensive platform that will help them hire and pay international employees.

Deel and Remote are best for companies with less complex needs. Remote offers a flexible, affordable way to pay international contractors, and Deel is best for companies looking for a stand-alone global payroll platform.

For companies that are focused on getting up and running as quickly as possible, Papaya Global offers white glove service for international hiring and payroll support. Papaya Global also offers transition support if you want to switch from using an employer of record model to running your own global payroll (or vice versa).

If none of these sound quite right for your needs, be sure to check out the Payroll Software Guide for more recommendations.

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