Companies Remain Committed To Globally Mobile Workforce Amid Increasing Complexities And Costs: KPMG Survey

Despite Tax and Compliance Challenges, Companies Will Maintain Global Mobility Efforts

Jul 23, 2013, 12:51 ET from KPMG LLP

NEW YORK, July 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Corporations worldwide continue to invest in global mobility programs despite increasing regulatory and compliance challenges, according to the results of the 2013 Global Assignment Policies and Practices (GAPP) survey, conducted by KPMG LLP, the U.S. audit, tax and advisory firm.

The KPMG survey, which polled more than 600 human resource (HR) executives, suggests a strong outlook on the future organizational use of international assignees, particularly in European-headquartered and energy sector companies, where 90 percent and 93 percent of respondents, respectively, said they expect continued or increased use of assignees. Overall, 86 percent of the HR executives surveyed expect use of international assignees to remain the same or increase over the next five years.

"In an increasingly competitive economic environment, companies are expanding business operations around the world and need a globally mobile workforce to execute their objectives," said Achim Mossmann, principal of Global Mobility Advisory Services in KPMG LLP's International Executive Services (IES) practice. "Respondents to our GAPP survey say that despite several major tax and compliance challenges related to international employment, they continue to believe the programs are worthwhile."

Global mobility programs remain popular among employees, largely due to the flexibility and adaptability they offer through a variety of assignment types. Of the HR executives surveyed, 81 percent reported that their companies offer short-term assignments, 96 percent offer long-term assignments and 47 percent offer permanent transfer or indefinite-length assignments.

Clearing Regulatory and Compliance Hurdles
The global tax regulatory and compliance environment presents challenges for corporations' international assignee programs, but KPMG's Mossmann says such regulatory and compliance challenges are not insurmountable.

"Although revenue needs among taxing jurisdictions around the world makes the effective management of a globally mobile workforce increasingly complicated, addressing tax and compliance issues head-on will be vital in maintaining the longevity of such programs," he said.

Mossmann added: "We find that the companies that focus from the beginning of the assignment on creating and maintaining the required documentation and reporting protocols -- increasingly through use of web-based technology platforms -- can help assure that employees are in compliance and the company itself has mitigated any related tax or reputational risks."

In its 15th year, KPMG's GAPP survey continues to serve as a benchmarking tool for companies to compare their global mobility programs against, providing a dynamic snapshot of global trends in international human resources.

About the Global Assignment Policies and Practices Survey
This web-based survey, 15 years after its launch, continues to provide valuable trends and insights on how global organizations administer their international human resource (HR) programs. KPMG's GAPP survey is dynamic – changing every time a new participant logs in and answers the questions. This report is a snapshot of the GAPP survey as of February 2013 for purposes of comparison. At the time of this publication, more than 600 organizations have participated. Of these participants, 33 are Fortune 100 companies and 96 are Fortune 500 companies.

About KPMG's International Executive Services Practice
KPMG's International Executive Services practice provides wide-ranging advisory, compliance, and administration services, including assistance with international assignment program operation, tax and Social Security compliance, and tax outsourcing.

KPMG LLP, the audit, tax and advisory firm (, is the U.S. member firm of KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"). KPMG International's member firms have 152,000 professionals, including more than 8,600 partners, in 156 countries.     


Bridget Carroll/Robert Nihen