5 reasons decentralized payroll costs you more than you think

Bearded man counting money doing payroll

Navigating the (almost) post-pandemic climate poses a number of challenges to all businesses, the most important being keeping your finances afloat without having to reduce your workforce. In fact, according to Forbes Councils member John Schwarz, it might be the worst way to handle a recession, as, on top of driving your remaining employees close to burnout, it also brings the added challenge of an untrained workforce.

What to do then, for global businesses that need every iota of talent they helped develop and train to stay, while finding ways to optimize resources? A solid first step is centralising your payroll. While you may argue that decentralising your payroll is cheaper and leaves you with a certain leeway, doing so will cost you more than you think. Here’s how:

1. Keeping up with different contacts will cost your staff precious time

While you may be looking forward to lightening your staff’s workload to gain efficiency, and choose the more affordable option of different payroll organisations to service each country, this is where decentralised payroll backfires.


With different service providers, comes the need for internal staff to communicate with each vendor from each country, implement the necessary follow-up processes and make time for these interactions, which costs them considerable time and energy, and in turn, costs you money.

2. Internal payroll will cost you either through overstaffing or IT investment

If your ideal model of decentralised payroll means creating an internal department in each of your company’s country branches, the pivotal nature of this function requires hiring employees, as well as a replacement staff to discharge the essential duties if the main employee is absent, which inevitably results in over-staffing.


Of course, to remedy this resource-consuming problem, many digital platforms make payroll easier and more readily accessible if someone is off-site. However, these technologies come with a hefty price tag that is often far out of the budget of a small company, with the added cost of training each employee to use the software.

3. The cost of non-compliance comes in fines

Compliance risk is multiplied for any global company. Not only must you respect the laws of every country – you must also be able to keep up with the new and changing amendments and reforms. In South Africa, for instance, the Income Tax Act exempted emoluments for long service (under R 5000) from the definition of “gross income” as per the South African Government Gazette of January 2022. Whether it implies new deadlines for fees, or new reporting or registration standards, failing to adapt your processes will be sanctioned by fines.


Conversely, hiring adequate staff in every country to handle this task will cost you much more (with the added disadvantage of extensive communication because of the different contacts in each entity) than hiring a dedicated payroll service provider.


4. Payroll fraud will cost you time and money

Bias and personal interest are the major risks of delegating payroll to local branches, as compared to centralising payroll processing with an independent professional organisation. As a global business, you will not be able to monitor office politics as closely, which is precisely the point of delegating tasks.

However, in the unfortunate event of fraudulent payroll managers generating more salaries than you actually have registered employees in a specific branch, to genuine errors of cutting ex-employees off the system, or even managers enabling employees to padding hours or purposefully inflating their timesheets, your business will stand to bear the costs.

The independence of a unified payroll service provider is a priceless tool in conducting the key function that is payroll. Indeed, above and beyond settling payments, you want your payroll management company to come up with objective evaluations of productivity as compared to expenditure, and detect any anomalies promptly, and uproot problems before they branch out.

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5. Errors and miscalculation might drain your resources

Should you choose to contract with the most competitive local payroll service provider in each country, you would still, in practice, be paying unnecessary costs. As professional payroll providers need a number of software and digital tools, you would be paying the cost of multiple licences and updates instead of a single one. Most importantly, dealing with different platforms and standards inevitably increases the risk of error.


In contrast, investing in internal payroll staff for that function will leave you with fewer resources than you would dispose of with a professional payroll service provider, leaving a wide margin for human error – one of the biggest would be overpay. If underpaying costs you employee experience and talent (which are, nonetheless, rectifiable solutions), overpaying, if it is not detected on time, represents costs that can often only be recouped through court proceedings, if at all.

For your payroll outsourcing needs, think Africa HR Solutions

As a unified professional payroll service provider, Africa HR combines fail-proof cloud technology with the experience of professional staff with high ethos to deliver a comprehensive range of payroll functions: from preparing a payroll calendar to generating custom reports and handling medical insurance and other benefits, we are the central point of contact that also allows you to save on technology, besides offering attractive benefits  packages, thanks to economies of scale, via our trustworthy vendors.

Your journey to Africa with us starts here!


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Grant Geraghty is the longest-serving member of the Africa HR team. This resident subject matter expert and client champion is responsible for gaining a deep understanding of our clients’ unique HR needs in Africa and providing tailored solutions that align with their business objectives. Grant collaborates closely with our clients to ensure that their requirements are properly implemented, providing ongoing support and guidance throughout the process.

Grant brings a wealth of experience to his role, having served as Africa HR’s longest-serving employee. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree, with a major in Economics and Business Finance, from the University of Natal in South Africa. Additionally, he has completed a certification program in Payroll and Tax Administration from the University of Cape Town, further enhancing his expertise in HR operations and compliance.

His commitment to delivering exceptional service and his extensive knowledge of HR in Africa make him an invaluable member of the Africa HR team.




Kevina Takoordyal has a BA Hons Business Management from the University of Glamorgan, UK, with MBA in leadership and Innovation, MBA General, PMP Certified, and Agile Scrum Master. She currently works as the Head of Operations at Africa HR Solutions Ltd with more than 20 years of proven leadership capabilities in Operations, Business Development, People Management, Process Optimization, and Project Management in the Financial Services, BPO, Banking Industry, and Heath Care Industry. In Senior leadership roles with an international footprint across Europe working and extensive Pan- African experience from a compliance, finance, and operations angle, Kevina comes across with a panoply of cross-functional skills. Kevina also serves on a few Boards, Non-Independent Executive at MioD and for NGOs on a voluntary basis, a coach and mentor to aspiring female leaders across Africa and Mauritius.

Kevina is a firm believer in Servant Leadership with a strong focus and commitment to uplifting others, with the ability to deliver through a highly engaged – diverse team, and works towards consistently synergistic value creation. While being a focused and adaptive thinker and Kevina is actively participating in panel discussions on Innovation, CX, Digital transformation.

Kevina serves as Project Assessor for the National Youth upskilling program. She has been recognized as Global Talent in a few companies, Ceridian, and International SOS Ltd whereby she has been awarded a few scholarships and had the opportunity to be mentored by Senior Vice President in the US. Award Winner in various fields and at a national level and recognized including Super Achiever Leader Award in Africa in 2016, Awarded Africa Women Leader 2018.



Head of Finance & Business Support

Viloshna is an experienced finance professional with 18 years of expertise in strategic financial planning, financial analysis, cash flow management, systems and controls implementation, financial reporting, and continuous process improvements. She currently serves as Head of Finance & Business Support, where she has successfully automated and leveraged the financial reporting system capabilities to ensure efficient company operations.

Viloshna’s background includes senior roles in a multinational pharmaceutical company and a large listed Mauritian conglomerate. Her meticulous attention to detail and strategic thinking have streamlined financial processes, making her a valuable addition to any finance team. Viloshna is a qualified finance professional with an FCCA qualification and an MBA, bringing valuable expertise to any organization.

In her current role, Viloshna leads the company’s Treasury and Payments function, including the fulfillment of the company’s cross-border payments into Africa. With her strong educational background and extensive experience, Viloshna consistently demonstrates her ability to optimize financial operations, minimize risks, and improve profitability. Her expertise in financial reporting and process improvements make her a valuable asset to any organization.



Head of Legal & Compliance

A qualified lawyer who joined Africa HR Solutions in July 2020, Mark Du Preez has experience working in private practice for a reputable law firm in South Africa. He also played commercially focused roles at a leading private bank, wealth management company, and outsourcing firm in South Africa and Mauritius.

Mark has played a pivotal role in Africa HR Solution’s risk mitigation strategy, which positively impacted P&L performance over the years.

He currently leads the Partnerships function of the company including relationships and oversight with in-country partners (ICPs) across Africa.

Alex Daruty - Africa HR Team


Head of Commercial

Alex has more than 15 years of experience in the global, strategic development of both enterprise and consumer brands in categories including technology, transport, enterprise software, entertainment, and travel.

With experience in roles on both agency and corporate side, he has worked across international brands and has led the development and execution of multi-discipline campaigns across EMEA, NORAM and Asia Pacific.

His focus is on driving meaningful business impact through brand differentiation and building high-functioning, digitally oriented, and analytically driven capabilities. He is motivated by working with, and developing dynamic people, teams, and organizations.

He leads, manages, develops and mentors the Key Account Management department, including line management responsibility for the team of Key Account Managers and Key Account Administrator who represent the Company as the primary communication link between all relevant stakeholders, including clients, third party in-country partners and internal functions.

Originally from Mauritius, he holds bachelor’s degrees in International Business, Finance and Management from the University of Nevada, Reno.