How to achieve Legislative Compliance in Pan-African Payrolls

How to achieve Legislative Compliance in Pan-African Payrolls

Currently, there are numerous payroll systems that provide for multi-country payroll processing. While some have better functionality, others are superior in their compliance and alignment to the legislation in the specific African country.

"Compliance is a crucial element and in our opinion trumps functionality and indeed any other considerations."

The standard payroll approach to auditing compliance is usually limited to ensuring that strict segregation of duties within payroll teams is adhered to. It is axiomatic that this compliance check is important; however, of greater importance than the process control, is a comprehensive review of the underlying tax and social contribution calculations embedded within the payroll system. This is aligned with all organisations’ corporate responsibilities.

Any compliance audit must also include a further step. It is of significant importance that the users of the system understand how the calculations are applied. This is especially important when African payrolls are being managed, as often the lack of robustly worded legislation and interpretation notes lead to ambiguity; where the taxability of a specific remuneration component is unclear. If one understands the method of calculation, one can ensure higher degrees of accuracy and compliance.

Where the payroll department are processing payrolls in multiple jurisdictions, the problems, and the likelihood of errors, are exacerbated. This risk amplification is crucial given the dictatorial and hard-line attitude adopted by most revenue authorities and should be highlighted as “high-risk” when the compliance audit is conducted. The only method to mitigate such risk is to complete a comprehensive review of the tax and social contributions embedded within the system. This should be done irrespective of the assurances of the services providers that the said calculations are correct and compliant. This places an onerous burden on companies who do not have the necessary tax expertise available given this is not their core competency.

Some large multinationals rely on a vast and very expensive network of advisors and auditors to mitigate these compliance issues. However, cognizance must be taken of the fact that even though the delegation of the compliance has occurred, the company is still solely responsible to ensure its reputation is intact and to safeguard its status as a good corporate citizen.

One way of managing and concomitantly mitigating this risk is to adopt the following broad process:

The process outlined above may be considered to be costly and overly burdensome, especially where the company has purchased a payroll system from a provider with the assurance that the taxes and social security deductions are accurate. These additional safeguards however pale in comparison when one considers the implications of non-compliance – penalties, interest charges, possible criminal proceedings and the immense reputational damage to the company’s brand in that country.

Reliance on the assurances of the payroll platform provider are not enough; rigorous supplementary procedures must be instituted. Some larger companies may have the skills and competencies internally or within their networks to fulfill this role – for those that do not, Axiomatic is one of the providers who can assist in minimizing this risk to employers.

At the very heart of the payroll function is the accurate and timely withholding of employee’s taxes. This function is imposed on employers in each jurisdiction however these taxes have a direct input into each country’s fiscal health. Therefore, the question arises – is it responsible for a business to see taxes as a cost of doing business, rather than part of a greater social contract with society? It goes beyond just the employer’s responsibility but extends to each and every individual employee of such organisations.

For more information please 


Welcome to our website.

1. Introduction

This Cookie Policy explains how we use cookies and similar technologies on our website This policy is designed to help you understand what cookies are, how we use them, and the choices you have regarding their use.

2. What Are Cookies

Cookies are small text files that are stored on your device (computer, tablet, or mobile phone) when you visit certain websites. They are widely used to enhance your online experience by remembering your preferences and actions over time. Cookies are not harmful and do not contain personal information like your name or payment details.

3. How We Use Cookies

We use cookies for various purposes, including:

    • Essential Cookies: These cookies are necessary for the basic functioning of our website. They enable you to navigate our site, use its features, and access secure areas.
    • Analytical/Performance Cookies: These cookies help us understand how visitors use our website. They provide information about which pages are visited most frequently, how long visitors stay on each page, and whether they encounter any error messages. This data helps us improve the performance and usability of our website.
    • Functionality Cookies: These cookies allow our website to remember choices you make (such as your username, language, or region) and provide enhanced, personalised features.
    • Targeting/Advertising Cookies: These cookies are used to deliver advertisements that are relevant to your interests. They may also limit the number of times you see an ad and help measure the effectiveness of ad campaigns.


4. Your Cookie Choices

You have the option to manage your cookie preferences. You can usually modify your browser settings to accept, reject, or delete cookies. Please note that if you choose to block or delete cookies, some features of our website may not function properly.

5. Third-Party Cookies

We may allow third-party service providers to use cookies on our website for the purposes outlined in Section 3. These providers may also collect information about your online activities over time and across different websites.

6. Updates to This Policy

We may update this Cookie Policy from time to time to reflect changes in technology, law, or our data practices. Any changes will become effective when we post the revised policy on our website.

7. Contact Us

If you have any questions about our Cookie Policy or how we use cookies on our website, please contact us at

By continuing to use our website, you consent to the use of cookies as described in this Cookie Policy.