In the Spotlight: Compensation
When BGRS manages a client’s compensation services, they are responsible for managing relocating employees’ assignment-related expenses and accurately reporting it for tax purposes. Susan Rand, Vice President of Compensation Services, brings extensive expertise to her role as the leader of BGRS’s Compensation Services Team and offers some fresh insight into this critical function.
What are the biggest benefits of having BGRS manage a client’s compensation services?
Susan: It is a natural progression of our partnership. If a client asks us to take on managing their assignees’ compensation, we are already working with this client and talking to their employees. When our consultants talk to their employees about other relocation related services, it’s an easy transition to also discussing their assignment allowances. Our consultants become the single person that employees communicate to about their benefits.
For the client, the advantage is we are familiar with their mobility policies. We also have a lot of the financial data on their assignment already. By having our team manage compensation services we can truly be that one stop shop for everything that’s happening financially on assignment.
In addition, we can help benchmark their practices against our whole book of business. We can offer insight we’ve gained from working with all of our other clients. Not to mention, we are a cost effective solution for data gathering. We aren’t a tax provider, but we can gather the data needed to complete the tax reporting and do it at a reduced cost. Lastly, and possibly most importantly, clients can finally get a complete picture of their spend. If they want to know how much they are spending on mobility costs plus salaries, bonuses, shares, local country payments, etc. they can get it all with BGRS.
What role does your team play in helping clients when they begin working with BGRS?
Susan: In many cases, we are like archaeologists helping our clients unearth their organization’s processes, and we become their exploration partner. For example, the client contact may not know how their data is currently being reported locally in China. They may not know who in the organization has that information or where they send reports. In a case like this, where the client contact is not sure how the compensation data is being tracked, we get on the phone with their team and find out the root of the whole system. Our team will host a call, ask all the right questions, and figure out what is happening today, and ensure all the reports start coming through BGRS. This way BGRS can start to track and report accurately.
During implementation one of the goals is often to help the client get to a standardized way of delivering mobility. Nevertheless, we have decentralized clients and we effectively support them. For example, they may not have a global tax supplier in place, that’s not a problem. We’ll just talk to each one of the different countries and find out what their needs are in each location. Of course, if there is a desire to standardize, we can help the client centralize the process, standardize reports, and the entire process can go through BGRS.
How are Compensation Services delivered uniquely at BGRS?
Susan: The biggest difference is in how we structure our compensation team to support our clients. Our team handles both global compensation and the U.S. payroll reporting function. Files that touch the U.S. are handled seamlessly by one client team.
We have a single team that works on the client’s business – they own the client relationship from a compensation perspective. That team becomes the expert on the client company, the mobility policy, and the compensation process. We maintain a high level of client accountability on the team with a director, manager, and team of financial experts. They are fully accountable for everything compensation related for each client.
Can you tell me what makes your Compensation Services Team special?
Susan: Our diverse team makes us much stronger as a whole. We have team members that have backgrounds in accounting, finance, payroll, internal audit, and tax. We also have, depending on level and roles, team members who come over from client services; they bring a holistic view of the entire relocation process to the team.
A lot of what makes the team special is more intangible. Our function is about precision, and we simply can’t make mistakes. When it comes to my team and the work we do, our work involves people’s pay and earnings. The team really feels and understands what they touch every day and how it impacts their customers. In order to get what we do right, we have to understand exactly what it means to get it wrong and how that impact flows across the organization. As a result, we bring our expertise and our passion for excellence and service to work every day.