Best Global Payroll Software Today

Best Global Payroll Software

Whether it’s because Indian employers see foreign graduates as being more job-ready or simply wanting more native English speakers on their team, it’s increasingly common to see overseas hiring. It’s easier too, given that the global pandemic propelled businesses and employees around the world into work-from-home set-ups, creating both the infrastructure for this along with the workflow and cybersecurity understanding.

But, there are still some limitations to hiring abroad for companies. First and foremost, workers in other countries will be legally required to pay taxes in their local jurisdiction, which can create a headache for the company in India. Secondly, it can be expensive to frequently pay wages in a foreign currency, whether it’s the company or the employee that takes on the burden of exchange. Even just reconciling the different currency accounts can be tricky.

This is why the role of global payroll software is becoming all the more important in today’s business climate. Such software aims to manage all of an organization’s payroll around the world in one system. Currency exchange is no longer an additional headache, communication and reporting are centralised, but most importantly, the responsibility of taxation, legal compliance, and bureaucracy are taken on by the payroll company.

How global payroll software works

The challenges of hiring abroad are often underestimated. Regulations conflict with one another, there are data restrictions, benefits discrepancies, legal differences in working conditions, and tax liabilities that create many moving parts.

International payroll software simplifies all of this for you. However, there is a distinction to be made here, as not all global payroll companies offer all of the HR and hiring solutions. The HR solutions mean that the payroll company is a PEO (professional employer organization), meaning they actually hire the employee for you.

This is how the responsibility for legal and taxation compliance is outsourced, because the worker is not technically hired by the Indian company, but instead by the payroll/HR platform – they themselves will have a presence in each country that they hire in (or will use close partners). This may create issues surrounding creative control, company culture, and so on, but ultimately it’s a fast and lightweight process for connecting with overseas workers.

Whilst such PEO companies (and EOR; Employer of Record) offer payroll solutions, not all global payroll software does the HR side of things. But, the payroll solutions solve a headache in both situations, as labour cost analytics are centralised, KPIs are clearer, and global reconciliation is much easier. Furthermore, the API integration that is commonly offered makes for great cloud integration and 3rd party partnering, though native data visualisation is usually very impressive.

Top 3 global payroll software providers

With the help of this list, below is a summary of the top 3 payroll software providers.

Papaya Global

Despite only being founded in 2016, Papaya Global is very much becoming the industry leader for global payroll and HR solutions. The cloud-based platform is a PEO, meaning they hire the employees on your behalf, handle the paperwork, and create a unifying workforce management system.

Papaya is generally considered the best global payroll platform that does hiring internationally, in part because of its slick user interface and onboarding process, along with its extensive in-country partners that make hiring and payment easy. They can also organise work permits if the employees are invited to come work in the company’s office.

Papaya supports local employees in over 160 countries, providing local-language payslips, an online employee portal for tracking paid time off, attendance, and so on.

The cost of Papaya Global (USD)

For just the payroll services, it costs $20 per employee per month.

Contractor management & IC Compliance is $25 per employee per pay cycle.

For the Employer of Record services, it costs $650 per employee per month.

Oyster HR

Oyster is another US company that was founded as recently as 2020. It’s quickly gaining traction for its claim that, whilst self-admitting Papaya as being great for large corporations, Oyster is focused on nimble startups.

Whilst subjective, Oyster’s claim is that they have the superior platform when it comes to ease of use, as well as having self-service HR tools and a highly responsive team. It’s easy to speak to an expert or use a demo before committing, and its India pricing is lower than many other countries.

The cost of Oyster HR (USD)

Lite pricing starts at $29 per contractor per month.

Business pricing, which includes end-to-end payroll, full-time hiring with legal/tax compliance is $399 per employee per month.


Similar to the other two, the 2018-founded business came about when its two founders struggled with hiring international workers during a bootstrapped startup. Deel focuses a lot on automation of accounting and HR workflows, as well as offering way more withdrawal and payment options than Papaya. Furthermore, Papaya has a one-day turn around for their email-only support; Deel has 24/7 in-app support plus a dedicated account manager.

Deel also claims that Papaya doesn’t have a presence in every EOR market (instead, they pass you off to an external partner), whilst Deel does not. However, functionality and services are fairly similar between the two companies, both with fantastic reporting and advanced integrations.

The cost of Deel (USD)

Hiring contractors costs $49 per contract per month, but a $99 premium can be added on for additional protection against misclassification risk and covering up to $25,000 if misclassification cases arise.

For hiring on your behalf, there is no transparent pricing.

Hansica Kh.