In my previous blog, I’ve shared some of my views about SAP’s Single Touch Payroll (STP) solution and some considerations to keep in mind whilst implementing it to your existing payroll process.
For today’s entry, I will share some technical details for SAP’s STP solution which includes its minimum system requirements, configuration and implementation.
SAP have been talking about the upcoming STP solution and its system requirements in the past 12 months, and now that it’s almost here, it is confirmed that customers are indeed required to be on a minimum SAP HR Support Pack Level in order to load up this new solution.
For customers who are a long way behind on their SAP version, now is the time to start planning for this work. The table below gives you a guide on the minimum level you need to be in based on your existing SAP release. In all cases, the May 10th sync point is the minimum HR level requirement.
SAP is delivering the STP solution to their customers as part of their normal upgrade process. However, this is not the complete solution as does not include the ability to physically transmit the file to the ATO via a secure encrypted process.
In order to meet this requirement, additional functionality will be required. SAP’s recommended approach is to use their SAP Cloud Platform Integration (SCPI) solution. You may learn more about SCPI and check out their standard pricing here. However SAP have agreed on special pricing to enable customers to quickly migrate to STP. You should speak to your sales representative or partner to discuss this further.
While the ATO does not require the use of SCPI, organisations are expected to comply with its requirement: transmissions and communication should be secure and encrypted following the EbMS3/AS4 protocol. Should you decide to take up SCPI, you will likely need a Test and Production SCPI system as the minimum requirement.
As you can see, the few steps listed above can quickly start to be a larger project. For most customers, this will involve preparing for the following requirements:
The development environment is where you will initially install the system upgrades and configure the new STP solution. The following gives you some high-level guidelines of what will need to be done here.
- Upgrade system to minimum HR Support levels
- Install STP solution. NOTE: If you upgrade the system to the latest HRSP level, then you will not need to install a separate STP update
- Modify your Schemas, Wagetypes, ABN Details and Setup connections to the SAP Cloud Platform Integration solution
- Development Unit Testing of the above
- Test Migration of Clusters to create new STP data
- Testing of the Payroll runs
- Testing of the STP Data Creation Reports
- Once happy with the solution, plan to migrate these changes to Test
The Test environment is where you can test the STP solution with more up to date employee data. It would be a good idea to factor in a copy of your production environment prior to commencing this project so that you can test the entire process including the payroll results conversion on your recent (2019) data. Otherwise, you may be needing to create test data to simulate what will occur in production.
- Copy the production system or Clone data from production (If you have a tool to do this)
- Upgrade the environment to the latest support packs (As per development)
- Import configuration transports
- Conversion of the payroll clusters
- Test the STP file creation process
- Setup of the SAP Cloud Platform Integration solution and liking this to test
- Test the encrypted transmission to the ATO
- Test the execution of Payroll runs
- Retest the STP file creation
- Retest the transmission to the ATO
Production – Go Live
Once everything is completely tested, you will then have the option to go live with STP. This will often be done across a weekend as there is the need to upgrade the SAP environment, convert the payroll clusters and perform some additional testing. During go live, you will have steps such as the following:
- Upgrade the environment to the latest support packs
- Import Configuration Transports
- Convert the Payroll Clusters to be ready for STP
- Perform Additional Testing
The remaining steps then will be part of your normal payroll process. For example: Next payroll run, you will create the first STP file for transmission to the ATO and transmit it.
Upgrading your HR Support packs as well as configuring and testing STP may not be a huge change but it will involve some time and effort to complete. Planning ahead is vital to streamline this process. As part of this preparation, we recommend that you also look into the following key activities:
- Review and modify your payroll business process
- Plan for your STP project’s resource with consideration to variables such as configuration, data validation, testing reporting, and finalisation
- Check your SAP HR support pack level and planning for the upgrade if required
- Explore and finalise your file transmission options:
- SAP Cloud Platform Integration (SCPI) is the easiest option
- You can also explore the services provided by your clearing house such as Click Super and Plum
- Find out more about ATO compliant gateways
Upgrading the HR Support Packs can also bring in a lot of new functionality on top of the STP solution. This may also require more extensive testing to ensure that there will be no impact on your production payroll.
So, here’s Part 2 of my 3-part blog series. Once again, if you’d like to view Part 1, click here. We’re publishing Part 3 next week, where I’ll talk about the importance of STP reconciliation and how SpinifexIT’s Easy STP solution can make this process faster, better & easier.
Are you a current Easy Payment Summaries user?
We’ve got great news for you! You can avail of our Easy STP upgrade for absolutely NO COST! Our Easy STP solution will be available after October 11, 2018 once SAP releases their STP solution. E-mail us at info@SpinifexIT.com or message our support team through our Customer Care Portal to learn more about the update.