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Steve Kelley & Katie Davies

Dec 13, 2022 · 5 min read

2023 Countdown: 6 Compliance Questions About Your Global Operations

global operations compliance

Preparing now by identifying and rectifying potential issues is important to your success in the coming year

As we come to the end of the compliance year, January can be a challenging time for leaders of global operations. These are six critical areas related to global operations compliance that you want to make sure you have well in-hand because the financial, labor, and operational implications could be significant. 

Global compliance: 6 questions to ask as you prepare for the new year

1. Are the established international business arrangements such as “payroll only” registrations or third-party employment arrangements (international employer of record arrangements) still compliant given changes to initial head counts? 

For example, if such structures were set up to accommodate one or two heads but the employee population has increased such arrangements may no longer be compliant or cost-effective. Ensuring an annual review of your international hiring structure is always recommended.

2. Have your customers or supply chains changed? 

We often find that VAT and other indirect tax compliance obligations change over time as supply chains (to customers and from suppliers) evolve. This is particularly true when the customer base includes the public sector. 

3. Are you ready and prepared for your year-end payroll, tax, accounting, and corporate filings?  

More importantly, are your third-party providers “ahead of the game” and proactively on top of these filings on your behalf? Do you know when the deadlines are and are your service providers proactively managing your expectations during the countdown period to the filing deadlines? We often hear horror stories of filings being sent for review and signature within 24 hours of when the filing is due to be made with local authorities. Most importantly, are you fully up to speed with which providers are doing what for you in this regard, and do you have complete confidence that you are on top of their agenda?

4. Are you truly on top of your data privacy obligations in the different countries in which you operate and which you potentially may be operating in during 2023

In the coming year, focus will remain on data privacy compliance, particularly in light of Meta (FaceBook) and Twitter as well as the negative impacts (circulating in media) related to social media. Remember, even if you have no legal operations in a country you can still be caught by the data regulations by simply trading there. Most commonly, this is caught through the contracting or RFP processes so not being ready to answer those critical questions can slow down the commercial sales process.

5. If you recently joined your organization and find you now have an international role, are you comfortable with what you have just inherited and the general compliance status of those operations? 

Have you had the time to take a deep dive into the operational and employment practices in each of those countries to come up with a compliance heat map of where your focus may need to be turned in 2023? 

We often hear that US-headquartered teams (be that finance, HR, tax, legal) spend a disproportionate amount of their time managing the international aspects of their business where typically the headcount numbers are lower than the domestic teams. 

6. A potential recession has put one thing in the minds of most executives: How do you preserve cash in foreign jurisdictions to fund operations?  

Is your organization impacted and have plans been considered related to cost mitigation that may impact day-to-day operations such as headcount reductions? If so, are you comfortable with how such processes need to be managed and the associated accrued costs that may already exist?   

Need assistance?

If matters related to global operations compliance are giving you any form of anxiety or, at the very least, you would like to chat about potential concerns, let us help you have a more relaxed upcoming holiday period.  Until the end of January, we’re offering a no-obligation, 30-minute opportunity to air your concerns or seek our guidance on the issues outlined above. We will be offering these sessions on a first-come, first-serve basis so please don’t delay in contacting us

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About the authors:

Katie Davies is the Executive Vice President and Chief Solutions Architect at HSP Group. She's leading the company's worldwide consulting operation, focusing on helping HQ-based Finance, Tax, Legal, and HR personnel deal with the challenges that continually arise when managing a global footprint. 

Steve Kelley is a Business Development Director at HSP Group. 

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