In that time, he watched changes wrought by technology and regulation turn the business world on end several times, creating challenges – and opportunities.
The sea change that created Fiducia Global Solutions was the Internet.
“With the Internet, barriers to entry to international trade are much lower,” Toland said.
“Before, it was mostly only the really big companies that could afford to do the travel and outreach necessary for international work,” he said.
Now smaller companies can easily make contact and do deals in foreign countries, and then at some point many begin expanding their operations there, he said.
“But when they do, they run into the same employment complexities that the big companies do, except that they don’t have the scale to be able to devote the resources to it.”
In going after that opportunity, Toland met Annette Messler, veteran CFO, HR expert, kindred problem-solver and self-named “mad accountant.” They recognized in each other the complementary skills needed in this complex arena, and together created Fiducia Global Solutions.
Fiducia’s approach, Toland said, is “right-sized.”
“We can customize the services to meet the needs of smaller companies just starting out, or larger ones expanding or needing to address one area,” he said.
That modular approach means Fiducia’s teams of specialists can design a payroll system so the business owner can run everything in-house, outsource everything to Fiducia, or order a hybrid system where Fiducia handles a piece of it and the company handles the rest, “but it’s all in one database, and all reported out of one system. It’s very smooth.”
And that’s not an easy thing to do, he said, given the complexities of expatriate employment.
“When you’ve got a company in Canada that has U.S. expats going over to Great Britain, they’re paid in Euros, while you have to file taxes in U.S. dollars and report back in Canadian dollars to the general ledger.
“Plus there’s reporting required for allowances for travel, housing, education for the kids.
It can be quite a challenge for a company to make sure all those currency conversions balance one another, but Fiducia’s system takes care of that.
Toland and Messler have made it their mission to think of everything payroll, currency and HR-related that any client might need. And that extends beyond exchange rate risk and rounding issues.
“The U.S. and Mexico are major trading partners. But what are the legal questions going into Mexico? We have outside counsel that can address those,” Toland said.
Fiducia is prepared to deal with the many different requirements that working in multiple countries brings, he said. The United Arab Emirates, for instance, requires a salary information file. Fiducia customized the system for one of its clients so they could file the forms directly to the UAE.
“These services make us fairly unique. There are other payroll services, and even other international payroll services, but they are mostly limited to just that – payroll,” he said.
Fiducia’s clients can’t use a ‘one-size-fits-all’ system, Toland said. One size does not fit all, and in fact it fits fewer and fewer.
That’s why Fiducia is built to be nimble.
“We enjoy listening to the specific needs that a company has and designing solutions for them,” Toland said. “That’s what we’re really good at.”