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Simplified SAP Payroll and SuccessFactors Reporting At Your Fingertips
Simplified SAP Payroll and SuccessFactors Reporting At Your Fingertips 1024 512 SpinifexIT

Easy Reporter seamlessly integrates with SAP’s Payroll Control Center. Automate and optimize your key HCM processes with this powerful combo.

Find out more about SpinifexIT's Easy Reporter and Payroll Control Center Combo

Complete the form below to request a copy of the webinar or book a quick 15-minute discovery call.
 

Benefits of using Easy Reporter

Access reports quickly with easy-to-use tiles

Use pre-delivered reports to reconcile Payroll

Future-proof your
payroll processes

Always display the latest info across all reports

Implement your Payroll Control Center 85% faster

Nail your Audit & Compliance (eg. GDPR) reporting requirements

Frequently Asked Questions, answered!

What is the implementation time for Easy Reporter?

Easy Reporter doesn’t require a full implementation that takes days, it is simply a matter of receiving and applying a set of transports from our team. Once the transports are provided, we will set up a training plan. This spans a couple of days for your Superuser, and another day for your Admin.

Do you have any pre-delivered reports for UK Gender Pay Gap reporting?

We do have some standard reports, and they work fairly similarly to the SAP standard. They have a bit more flexibility built in. To see the full list of our reports, send a request to [email protected]

With the Easy Reporter file output options, can we send a file directly to our pension provider?

Yes indeed. Easy Reporter provides the ability to output files via email as you saw or for a more secure option you can also upload the file directly via FTP. In both cases, you can also leverage your own encryption tools within Easy Reporter to further secure your data.

What is the minimum enhancement pack needed for Easy Reporter and Payroll Control Centre?

Payroll Control Centre requires Enhancement Pack 7 with HR Renewal 2.0. Easy Reporter is tested down to a much earlier enhancement pack level. However, if you want to integrate with the PCC then of course you need to be up to date.

Do we need to have Payroll Control Centre already implemented to use the Easy Reporter functionality?

Yes, because we integrate into the PCC framework you will need to have the basics implemented in order to make use of the Easy Reporter integration. The good news is that using Easy Reporter means that the implementation time can be dramatically reduced. We provide all the same RDS exception checks as the standard SAP RDS, and as you can imagine it is much much easier and faster to adapt those to your requirements or build new checks

SAP Payroll Control Center Deployment Made Easier
Find out easier ways to accelerate your Payroll Control Center Deployment
Find out easier ways to accelerate your Payroll Control Center Deployment 1024 512 SpinifexIT

Get your Payroll Control Center up and running in no time with a powerful rapid-deployment solution. Optimize this process by 85% with this powerful Payroll Reconciliation and Reporting Combo.

Find out more about SpinifexIT's Payroll Control Center Rapid Deployment Solution

Complete the form below to request a copy of the webinar or book a quick 15-minute discovery call.
 

Payroll Control Center RDS at a glance

Use multiple methods of
validating data & payroll

Reduce PCC
Implementation Time

Future-proof your
payroll

Set up your PCC without
technical assistance

Easy-to-use
Web Reporting

Empower your
Payroll Team today

Your Easy Single Touch Payroll Just Got Better
Your Easy Single Touch Payroll Just Got Better 810 356 SpinifexIT

You asked, we delivered!

Many of our new and existing customers have started using Easy STP, our powerful reporting and reconciliation solution for the Australian Single Touch Payroll requirement which went live last October, to streamline their own single touch payroll reporting process.

We’re now in the process of releasing an improved and updated version of Easy STP which includes new features and functionalities based on our customers’ initial feedback and suggestions. This new version includes several new reports, small changes to existing reconciliation reports, and two of the most top requested features which I’d be glad to share with you on the update below.

Easy Single Touch Payroll February 2019 updates

Pre-reconcile Your Single Touch Payroll Using Test Run Results

The Challenge: One of the challenges that we have seen with customers reconciling their Single Touch Payroll solution has been related to the timing of this reconciliation.

The recommended approach from SAP is to produce the STP Submit Event file afterexiting Payroll. This essentially means that until you exit Payroll, there is no physical data held inside of SAP to reconcile back to the Payroll Results tables.

The workaround would be to either set the STP functionality to be able to run prior to exiting pay (Not recommended by SAP), or to run the STP reports in Test mode, then download the results into a local excel file for reconciliation. The option of downloading to a local file would mean a much more complex process to run pre-reconciliation.

We have had many customers ask about how they can follow SAP’s recommended approach but still reconcile their STP prior to exiting payroll. This would give the opportunity to fix any major concerns before even running Bank Files or Finance Postings.

Our Solution: The good news is that SpinifexIT has been able to address this business process by building into our Easy STP solution the ability to include the Test Run results into the reconciliation reports.


Enter Easy STP’s Test Run Mode

Essentially, this means that as soon as you have run the Payroll Run and have Payroll Results, you can now use our existing reports to reconcile to the Single Touch Payroll Test run values.

With this new feature, Easy STP will be able to simplify your Single Touch Payroll reconciliation process by triggering a call to the SAP program to calculate the STP figures and reconcile their values. This new process eliminates the cumbersome (and often error-prone) process of downloading STP reports in Test Mode and then addressing issues before exiting payroll.

Bonus Functionality – Reporting on the STP Submit Event Logs

Another improvement we’re adding into Easy STP is the ability to report on the logs produced when normally running the SAP Single Touch Payroll – Generate Reporting Data transaction. This gives you better options to report and distribute these details out to your internal teams for faster resolution.

View Log reports in Easy Single Touch Payroll
View Log reports in Easy Single Touch Payroll

For more information on the Easy STP Solution, please check out the resources below:

  1. Meet Easy STP – Watch our Webinar and see SpinifexIT’s Single Touch Payroll solution in action. If you have any questions about this session or if you’d like to request a separate demonstration for you and your team, email us at [email protected].
  2. Single Touch Payroll is Nearly Here for SAP Payroll – a handy blog post that summarizes the Single Touch Payroll Process and how SpinifexIT’s Easy STP solution can help optimize this
  3. Are You Ready For SAP’s STP Deployment – What are the required steps that you need to take to prepare for the STP roll out? Read the blog to learn more
  4. Reconciling Single Touch Payroll – Published 1 day before SAP’s STP roll out. I’m sharing some considerations during Go Live and how our Easy STP solution fits in the process.

Visit our booth at Mastering SAP HR & Payroll in Sydney on March 19 – 20, 2019

We will be sharing information about our booth number so you can easily find us, but for now, we’re inviting you to #ComeSeeSpinifexIT next month. We’d be very excited to show you our Easy STP solution in action during the exhibit.

Spinifexit for employee central
How to get the most out of Employee Central?
How to get the most out of Employee Central? 1024 512 SpinifexIT

During the last few months of 2018, we have had the opportunity to check in and reconnect with some of our customers to see how they are using our solutions and where else can we add value.
One of the questions often raised while discussing the possibility of moving to Employee Central Payroll (ECP) was, “Do we still need add-on solutions when we have Employee Central Payroll?”

most-common-question-about-employee-central

As a solutions provider and having over a decade in the development and implementation business within the SAP HCM area, we believe that the answer is yes, and I’d be happy to explain in my blog why this is so.

Developing flexible software solutions for SAP

The Employee Central Payroll solution, whilst being a new cloud-based deployment option, has the same underlying architecture as the core SAP Payroll solution. The key difference between On-Premise and ECP is that the Employee Data is maintained via Employee Central. 

The ECP solution though, has been designed with better options for integration with SuccessFactors Employee Central. This helps to accelerate and improve the implementation of Payroll.

SpinifexIT’s SAP-certified solutions can add further value and help companies maximise their existing investments by providing easy-to-use solutions that can also be deployed into the Employee Central Environment.

SpinifexIT has been providing software add-on solutions to SAP On-Premise for over 15 years. With thousands of deployments of our software products, SpinifexIT is the team to look to before spending time and effort in many of the common processes around Payroll. Our solutions can run in both on-premise, cloud and hybrid setups, giving our customers a huge advantage.

What is it like to move to Employee Central?

Moving to Employee Central can be a complex process. It involves the full data migration process (check out Brendon’s blog to learn more about this), integrating to SAP and potentially changing your existing Payroll solution and configuration, rebuilding your reports and interfaces, adding your custom functionalities, acing your parallel runs, and finally, setting up your BAU processes which includes Employee communication and support. All these with a usually thin and inflexible timeframe. I go through this in detail here.

Using Employee Central Payroll

Employee Central Payroll has many common processes you see within most payroll solutions. These run normally around a weekly, fortnightly or monthly process. Like many payrolls, this revolves around data input for the payroll, validation of data and pre-checks, running payroll and verification of results, and then often creation of reports and interfaces. On top of these items are often additional items such as queries from employees on their pay, adhoc reports and requests for information, and even throughout the year, various adhoc reconciliation activities such as Year-End, or even just Month-end processes.

SAP have recently introduced the Payroll Control Center solution, which puts a lot of control around many of these processes.

The HCM environment is quite a complex environment and as many of these processes are dependent upon the specific customers requirements- many of these need to be setup specifically for the customer which may involve manual processes such as Excel Spreadsheets or the development of custom reports.

So how can SpinifexIT solutions help?

spinifexit-solutions-for-successfactors-employee-central

SpinifexIT’s easy-to-use solutions can help companies who have implemented Employee Central Payroll to…

  • Streamline the creation, automation and distribution of their Reports and interfaces without the need for a technical guru. It’s straight forward, point-and-click, drag-and-drop features not only allows you to easily recreate your existing reports, but also build new ones in no time.
  • Vastly reduce the implementation time of your Payroll Control Center and use additional functionality which includes drilling down into payroll results, linking of reports into the Payroll Control Center and allowing the user to setup their own exception rules with no technical knowledge
  • Securely copy and scramble Employee Payroll data to make Payroll testing activities more efficient
  • Reconcile per-pay and year-end payroll information in compliance with local legislation
  • Easily address pay-related questions and issues and troubleshoot on the fly
  • Create and distribute full employee lifecycle documents which include Total Compensation / Rewards statements, Salary Breakdowns, Overpayment Details, Benefit Letters, and more

But do we really need all of these?

spinifexit-results-optimising-hcm-payroll-employeecentral

Many SAP customers go without any additional software in their system and they can still run their payroll department with the base solutions that SAP provides. It will work just fine.

However, for companies who want to get the most out of Employee Central Payroll without investing additional time, cost and effort, our solutions can help you in terms of maximising what you currently have while optimising your existing processes.

Aside from these time, effort and cost savings, our solutions can also help companies keep their data and results more accurate and improve their employee services and communication.

The above gives some high level areas that might be able to be streamlined in your SAP Payroll Environment. These are relevant for ECP and also for On-Premise customers though. If you would like more details about some of these areas, you can read more in the following blogs:

If you have any questions in this area, feel free to reach out to me by replying to this post, or send our team an e-mail at [email protected].

SpinifexIT Happy new year it is
Happy New Year! Or Is It…
Happy New Year! Or Is It… 1024 512 SpinifexIT

It’s a familiar refrain in payroll departments across North America — year-end payroll processing is just no fun! So why does it have to be so difficult?  In this article, we will explore the common headaches, and how to nip them in the bud – targeting those organizations that run SAP payroll systems.

To start the conversation, I will first provide some pointers regarding wage type configuration.  If you create new wage types during the year and then do not realize until year-end that you did not configure the taxation correctly, well that can be a big problem.  Or perhaps it’s not a new wage type that’s the issue, but existing ones because a tax authority has changed regulations and you needed to change your configuration accordingly…but failed to do so.  

The second item concerns issues with your Tax Calculations – those scenarios where taxes are not computing correctly, and you end up with out-of-balance cases or taxes stopping at the wrong ceilings.  These are all things that you want to catch during the year, right away, not at year-end.

The third topic we will discuss is Employee Master Data – for example, ensuring new employees have supplied valid social security or social insurance numbers, or that employees who moved during the year have gone through the appropriate steps to have their addresses updated.

And finally, those year-end manual adjustments; items like noncash benefits that need added to employee YTD taxable amounts, either using infotype 221 or maybe just by making entries directly into SAP’s US Tax Reporter module.

So now let’s take a deeper dive into each of those areas.  

Wage Type Configuration

Whoever in your organization that is responsible for creating wage types – which might be you – is no doubt very familiar with table T512W.  Cumulations, evaluation classes, and processing classes are all a part of that configuration – and I have listed below for you the processing classes that have an impact on how wage types are taxed (in the US) plus a couple of cumulation classes to be aware of. So, at a minimum, I would suggest your wage type configuration script include these items.

    • PC 64 Alternate Formula indicator
    • PC 65 415 limit category
    • PC 67 Work Tax Proration
    • PC 68 Payment type for tax calculation
    • PC 69 Taxable/nontaxable contribution
    • PC 70 Work Tax Proration (salaried)
    • PC 71 Wage Type Tax Classification (This one is critical)
    • Cumulation /102 (401k wages)
    • Cumulation /114 BSI Base Wages

For Canadian payrolls, the specifics are a little different; below are the tax-related wage type configuration items I suggest staying on top of:

    • PC 52 Cumulation into gross WTs for Workers Compensation
    • PC 65 Definition of Earnings subject to Health Tax
    • PC 69 Definition of Workers Compensation assessable earnings
    • PC 72 Derivation of GST and other sales tax for income tax
    • PC 84 Definition of PPIP Insurable Earnings
    • Taxable Wage Cumulation WTs:  /102, /103, 104, 105, /112, /113, /118, /119, /120, /121, /122, /130, /131, /132, /140, /141, /142, /152, /153, /154, /158, /160, /161, /162, /163, /164,

I would also propose that whatever mechanism you use to request a configuration transport be moved through the landscape, that it require the attachment of a test matrix.  Even well-qualified super users doing the config should be required to test their changes before implementing into production.

Along with that, I recommend some sort of signature approval be required.  This may mean something different to you as compared to other organizations, depending on how your SAP support teams are structured, but there should be some individual required to review and provide signoff.

Finally – perform regression testing for any changes made – do not fall into the trap of just testing for the expected changes.  And when I say regression testing, here is what I mean:  Run your payroll process prior to the change, followed by a report with the pertinent results, then apply the changes; followed by repeating the process so you can compare before and after results.  And make sure your regression test population – if not a full employee population – contains a good cross-section of different employee types, work schedules, and tax authorities.

For my final recommendation regarding wage type configuration – we all understand that sometimes you need to adjust configuration due to outside forces – like a tax authority creating a new regulation regarding certain types of employee payments.  To keep on top of any changes like that which could affect your configuration, here are a few suggestions:

  1. Maintain a membership in organizations such as the American Payroll Association or the similar Canada Payroll Association.  That will give you access to website announcements regarding tax reg changes, plus the opportunity to attend both local and national chapter conferences.
  2. Another way to keep up is to subscribe to any mailing lists deployed by various tax authorities, which will allow you to have information pushed out to you instead of needing to remember to go check for updated info all on your own.
  3. And last — periodically reviewing your configuration in the system is always a good idea.  Reviewing your SAP US Tax Model configuration (tables T5ute/y/m) in addition to the wage type configuration I mentioned above, just every so often, is a good idea to make sure nothing has slipped by you.

Tax Calculations

In this area, there are a few periodic audits I would suggest doing, throughout the year, starting with a review of your Social Security, Medicare, FUTA & SUTA tax results (for the US) and the Canadian counterparts of CPP/QPP/EI/QPIP/PPIP.  For instance, compare the Employee Withholding and Employer match amounts to see if they are in sync; plus perform tests to determine if the actual tax amounts recorded equal the taxable wages multiplied by their respective rates.

In addition to these checks, don’t forget to verify the accurate calculation of the additional US Medicare surtax for those people earning over $200K per year, and confirm that all taxes with ceilings (e.g. CPP/QPP/EI, US Social Security, US FUTA/SUTA) are stopping at the appropriate maximums for the year.

And finally – there are two tables that are maintained in SAP regarding US State Unemployment rates and ceilings – those being tables BTXRATE and T5UTX, plus the same data is entered directly into the BSI software application.  You will want to make sure and verify that the values in all those places are in sync with each other.  From a Canadian perspective, constants used in the tax calculations are stored in tables T511K and T5KTC (as updated every year by SAP via HRSPs) – be sure to confirm your system has been updated timely every year.

Some more best practices to head off tax calculation issues are  – if you use SAP’s Tax Reporter module for generating US forms such as W2’s, 941’s, and Unemployment reports you should be generating test runs for these forms, on a monthly or quarterly basis, and when you do, always check the log that is produced for any errors or warning messages. I also suggest you periodically perform “three way” reconciliations between Tax Reporter, general ledger postings, and payroll cluster results.  

In a similar manner, you can run the Canadian T4 program, RPCYERK0, multiple times during the year in ‘test’ mode, confirming results and watching for error messages and employee rejections.  

Employee Master Data

Moving to Employee Master Data, let’s cover some of the best practices you should be following as you perform some audits.

First off, audit those employees claiming tax exemption – perhaps even contacting those employees to verify the data is correct

Next, I would suggest auditing resident, work, and unemployment tax authorities – info types 207, 208 and 209 for the US, and info types 461, 462, 463, 464 for Canada – in a few different ways:

  1. Compared to the employee’s address (SAP info type 6)
  2. Compared to other system data that might indicate location, like perhaps personnel area or cost center
  3. Compare the values across the info types to each other – obviously there are legitimate reasons as to why for some organizations they do not have to agree – but know what would make sense for your employee population and look for that.

And finally – audit the SSN/SIN’s found on info type 2, to make sure all employees have valid numbers.

Taking it a step further – extend your audit process to include contacting your employees to have them validate the data you have on them, such as SSN/SIN, addresses, tax exempt statuses. And of course, include in your notifications the instructions for getting any incorrect data corrected – and if employees can correct it themselves via an ESS portal, all the better!

Manual Adjustments

The last topic mentioned in our opening discussion was Manual Adjustments.  I have a few best practices to share, starting with…. JUST DON’T DO THEM 😊

But since that’s probably not feasible…..do incorporate as many adjustments you can into your regular payrolls to minimize the number of off-cycles that are necessary, and reconcile the info type 221’s that get created versus the ones picked up and actually processed in payroll – make sure there aren’t any yearend adjustments entered but not pushed all the way through.

As much as possible, I strongly recommend you work with your stake holders to limit the need for these adjustments – good luck with that, right?  But if you can convince the business units to adopt practices that are payroll process friendly, it will relieve some of the headache for you.

Here’s one example of a business practice you can influence – consider using fiscal year cutoffs rather than calendar years when possible, to alleviate having all the work come down at year end.  For example, I used to work at a company where the employees all had the use of a company vehicle. Those employees had to log any personal use of the car and provide that data to us annually so that an imputed value could be computed and added to their payroll results.  Company policy set the year for those accumulations to be Dec 1 through Nov 30 – giving the payroll department time to record the adjustments during December, instead of a last-minute rush in January.

And finally, if you use US Tax Reporter, you know there is an option to directly enter in adjustments, via manual table entries, forcing adjustments onto the forms – like W2’s – without ever flowing through either master data or payroll calculation.  It’s a great tool and has its uses – but I would suggest doing so sparingly and keep your documentation to justify the entries made and provide an audit trail.

So where does SpinifexIT come in?

Now that we have walked through some of the biggest yearend challenges and offered up some suggestions for meeting those challenges, I of course want to introduce you to a Spinifex product that was built to handle these issues very efficiently.  That product is called Easy Balance and we have both a US and a Canadian version.  


Easy Balance is basically a suite of reports specifically geared towards payroll tax audits and validations.

For example, Easy Balance includes reports that audit for undesired negative results, like for instance in tax amounts, which will result in an error when running your W2’s or T4’s.  Easy Balance reports deliver results at a high level as well as including the ability to drill down into specific numbers, to easily locate what exactly is creating an issue. Other functionality delivered by EB allows you to validate the configuration of your wage types, in terms of how their taxability has been set up, addressing those wage type concerns mentioned earlier in this discussion.

Easy Balance Functions can be categorized under these four major topics –

  1. Validation of tax-related configuration
  2. Pre-delivered exception reports – for example, whose fica wage, multiplied by .062, does NOT equal the tax withheld?  Or, for Canada, employees whose province for health tax purposes does not agree with their province of employment.
  3. Reconciliation between US Tax Reporter, Payroll results, and even the General Ledger postings
  4. Correspondence, like the Address/SSN verification just mentioned, as well as documents explaining US W2 results to the employees

Regardless of your reporting tool of choice, the suggestions we have mentioned today – as implemented at check points all throughout the year – will hopefully ease some of the year-end stress experienced by your payroll department.  And if you would like to utilize a reporting tool built especially for these needs, my final recommendation is that you check out Easy Balance!

Your SpinifexIT representative will be happy to demonstrate the features of the product as part of a no-cost demonstration, so that you can see for yourself what we can do to help you have a “Happy New Year”.


Spinifexit blog reconciling single touch payroll
Reconciling Single Touch Payroll
Reconciling Single Touch Payroll 1024 512 SpinifexIT

Reconciliation Considerations

Over the last 15 years, one of my key roles included working with customers in relationship to the Payment Summary process, and in particular, the reconciliation and additional reporting of their Payment Summary data. Just about every SAP customer has had a process to validate the Payment Summary figures. Most of them do this at year end but a large portion of our customers also reconcile on a per pay period basis.

With Single Touch Payroll, you may ask the question of whether there is still a need for Reconciliation, and how you should do this.

The short answer is Yes, there is still the need for Reconciliation to be done.

As the STP solution is still based on Wagetype Configuration and Employee Data (Very similar to Payment Summaries) and given that there is now the need for Transmission to the ATO on a weekly basis, there is still the need for Reconciliation.

To understand this need, the following declaration is part of the new STP process, and as you can see, there is the need to declare that the data is correct prior to transmitting this through to the ATO. 


Most customers I have worked with over the years would be reluctant to just sign off the transmission file without any sort of validation. 

A simple example of what could go wrong is that if a wagetype is not flagged for STP, then it will not be reported to the ATO. Without some form of Reconciliation this can go unnoticed.

The following will give you some areas of reconciliation that we believe will be required:

I Go Live

Initially, during Go Live, there is the need to validate the STP Process. This is not only to check that the support packs have been loaded correctly, it also finds out if your configuration is completely setup and if this process works with your own employee data. 

Some of the areas that you would want to have validation checks are as follows:

  • Verify the STP Mid Year Go Live conversion of the existing Payroll Results over to the new Clusters
  • Validate that the Payroll Run is calculating and updating the STP Cluster tables correctly
  • Check that the STP Reporting process that takes the payroll cluster information (From the new ACRT, SETP and SABN tables) and creates the data for transmission to the ATO

The best approach I can suggest is to ensure that your Payment Summary Reconciliation is up to date so you can compare the original Payment Summary values to the STP values (in the STP tables). NOTE: This is not a 1 to 1 mapping, but should give you an indication that the STP configuration and calculations are correct.

II Normal Pay Runs

Once you have gone live, you would want to have a process to check your STP figures back to what the employee has been paid. Keep in mind that even if everything balances at Go Live, during the normal year, there can be new configuration put into your system, new wagetypes used during payroll, and new scenarios too. (eg. You may have a retrospective pay over the last 2 years that might not report correctly)

Much like Payment Summaries, when customers need to print the final year statements, there is the need to verify the figures in the STP file. It is so easy to miss a wagetype, have a wagetype that is configured to be included in the wrong STP catagory or not flagged for inclusion in STP reporting.

In order to reconcile, most customers have a process where they want to validate the Payments made to the Employee at leave match to what is reported during the STP processing.

Some examples of the reconciliation process include:

Verifying the STP Figures

  • Identifying wagetypes that are paid to the employee (running wagetype reporter is a common process to get these)
  • Mapping these to the STP payments calculated – You might download the STP report data to an excel file
  • Including STP Override values

This is quite a manual process however, as there is the need to keep registers of what wagetypes have been paid to the employee, and build up an extensive Excel Spreadsheet or create other processes.

Either way you reconcile, it is important to have a method to verify your STP figures and of course, the simpler you can make it, the less overhead to you on a per pay period process.

The following items are some things I would recommend when looking to create a reconciliation process.

  1. Think about the aim here and ensure you are following a smart repeatable process
  2. Keep in mind that you need to do this for every pay period so try to make it an easy process
  3. Consider all of your payroll areas and their various frequencies
  4. Remember, employees might transfer payroll areas so make sure your process will cater for this
  5. If you have multiple ABN’s then ensure your process considers this
  6. Ensure that you include terminated employees
  7. Decide on whether you will include the ability to override figures and include this in your process

This is an area that SpinifexIT has worked in for many years, and as part of the new STP solution, we have altered our Easy Payment Summary Reconciliation Solution to also cater for STP.


Meet Easy STP

Some of the areas our Easy STP solution supports include:

  • Configuration Validation – Check the STP Wagetype Configuration and Report ABN Configuration
  • Pre Checking of Master Data – Checks against the employee to ensure data is correct prior to creating STP file
  • Reconciliation Reports – Reconciliation reports for go live (Checking of the STP conversion) and also ongoing Pay by Pay Reconciliation Reports
  • Reporting on STP – Further reports are delivered to report the STP and help reconcile across the entire company
  • Analysis of STP values – Reporting at Employee level with drill down into how the STP values are calculated and from where (Includes overrides)

Existing Easy Payment Summaries customers will receive our Easy STP solution as part of the normal upgrade of our solutions.

Summary

SAP’s STP solution will be released on the 11th October 2018. Now is the time for you to start to plan for your solution’s upgrade and implementation Whilst as a SAP customer, you do have a deferral until May of 2019, we would not recommend waiting too long as there will be quite a lot of work to do.

As part of this preparation, we recommend that you discuss with SAP the option to use their SAP Cloud Platform Integration and also ensure that you involve your technical teams in regards to the SAP HR Support pack upgrade.

For many customers, this also is a large project as upgrading the HR Support packs can take in much new functionality on top of the STP solution, so testing can be quite extensive to ensure that there is no impact on your production payroll.

I will continue to create blogs such as this during the next 6 months. Please visit our STP page on the SpinifexIT website to keep updated with any relevant information.

SpinifexIT blog Are you ready for saps stp deployment
Are you ready for SAP’s STP Deployment?
Are you ready for SAP’s STP Deployment? 1024 512 SpinifexIT

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.

Easy STP

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.

Additional Requirements

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.

Easy STP

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:

Development Environment

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

Test Environment

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.  

Easy STP

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 hereWe’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 [email protected] or message our support team through our Customer Care Portal to learn more about the update.

Easy STP
SpinifexIT blog single touch SAP payroll is here
Single Touch Payroll is Nearly Here for SAP Payroll
Single Touch Payroll is Nearly Here for SAP Payroll 1024 512 SpinifexIT

After attending the latest SAP Single Touch Payroll (STP) update session this week and also after using the pilot STP solution, I thought I would write up some detail on what I think of it.

What is Single Touch Payroll?

Single Touch Payroll is a new initiative by the ATO to effectively replace the Year-End Payment Summary process with a new process that reports payments on a per pay period basis.

Single Touch Payroll requirements

This means that there needs to be an STP transmission file containing all of the employees’ pay details created per pay period. This file is then transmitted to the ATO using a Secure Transmission. For this part, SAP are proposing to use their SAP Cloud Integration solution.

STP was set to go live on 1st July 2018 for organisations with more than 20 employees, however, SAP have obtained an exemption for their existing SAP Payroll customers until the 31st of May 2019 – which is roughly 8 months away.

SAP STP Design

After working with SAP Payment Summaries for over 20 years, I was very interested in what is new with Single Touch Payroll and what the impact for existing customers would be to transition to this. I was initially wondering if this would be a large transition for existing customers, or a large implementation.

Luckily the STP solution seems to have been designed with this in mind.  For an existing customer already configured and using Payment Summaries, the transition work should be minimal. There are a few key differences however and these are important to consider during an implementation

Configuration

  • Wagetype Configuration.  STP, like Payment Summaries, requires you to nominate the specific wagetypes that are to be reported during the STP. Previously, for Payment Summaries, this used an Evaluation Class 11 to identify these wagetypes. Using a similar approach, STP will use a new Evaluation Class 13.  The wagetypes must also be culminating to the CRT (Year to Date table) in SAP. These wagetypes need to be reviewed and set up correctly before running the new STP process.
  • ABN Details.  SAP have kept the same approach as the Payment Summary solution here and have reused the same table (T5QGP) to hold the ABN details for the company.  Some additional fields have been including Intermediary Details. We would suggest reviewing all of your ABN details as part of the transition to STP.
  • STP Transmission Settings.  New settings have been added for the transmission side of STP.  These are held in the table view (V_T50BK). Items such as the Auskey ABN, BMS identifier and ports for the transmission need to be setup here.
  • Payroll Schemas. STP will now be calculated during the payroll processing and the results will be stored in new Payroll Cluster tables:

SABN – Holds the ABN Details when running the payroll

ACRT – Holds the Year to Date values at ABN level

AETP – Holds any ETP Payments calculated Year to Date

STP Processing

The wagetypes to be used during the STP processing are stored during the payroll process. This updates the SABN, ACRT and AETP tables.

Single Touch Payroll

Source: SAP Payroll Webinar by Vikas Pandey

After the payroll process, there are a few additional steps:

  • Generate Reporting Data – This transaction (PC00_M13_STP_GEN) is used to generate the data that is used to create the transmission file to the ATO.  This will read the SABN, ACRT and AETP tables and then create both a company and Employee files containing the information summarised and ready to be transmitted to the ATO.  This report allows you to view the Employer, Employee, Allowance details and any error messages that are generated during the STP run. The following tables are updated by this process:
  1. T5Q_STP_ER – Employer Details
  2. T5Q_STP_EE – Employee Details
  3. T5Q_STP_PAY – Allowance Details
  • STP Declaration and Submission – This transaction (PC00_M13_STP_VIEW) allows you to select the run from the above step, view the details going into the STP run and create the Declaration that these values are correct.  This Declaration needs to be completed before proceeding to transmitting the data and is a required step by the ATO.
  • Transmission to the ATO – The final step is the Business to Authority transmission (Transaction PB2A).  This is where you will transmit the STP data to the Tax Authority using the SCI (SAP Cloud Integration) solution.  It not only allows for transmission, but also receives any errors back from the ATO after the file has been validated.
Single Touch Payroll

Summary

In summary, the SAP STP solution is not far away.

 With a planned release date of October 11th, now is the time for customers to start to plan for the solution’s upgrade and implementation. Whilst you do have the option to defer until the 31st of May 2019, we would not recommend waiting too long as there is still a lot of work to do.

I will follow up this blog with a further overview of the System Requirements, Configuration, some considerations when upgrading. I will also talk about SpinifexIT’s newest solution, Easy STP, and how it enhances the usability of the standard SAP STP solution.

Single Touch Payroll


#ComeSeeSpinifexIT

Are you a SpinifexIT Customer who would like to learn more about our Easy STP solution first hand? If so, I’m inviting you to join our Customer Days scheduled across October and November. You may click here to view the schedules and agenda. Customer Days are FREE events for SpinifexIT Customers. Visit the link now and register to reserve your spot if you haven’t yet.


SpinifexIT Kim Rawlings joins bloody long walk challenge
SpinifexIT’s Kim Rawlings joins this year’s Bloody Long Walk
SpinifexIT’s Kim Rawlings joins this year’s Bloody Long Walk 1024 512 SpinifexIT

Kim Rawlings, SpinifexIT’s National Consulting Manager based in Australia shares her experience after participating in this year’s Bloody Long Walk, a fundraising event held annually to raise awareness about Mitochondrial disease and a challenge to find a cure for it. You may learn more about the Bloody Long Walk and what it aims to accomplish by visiting their about page. Kim recounts her experience below.

Kim Joins the Bloody Long Walk as part of “Nikki’s Army”

I participated as a part of a small team in the #BloodyLongWalk event last Sunday, August 26, 2018. It is a 35-Kilometre walk which started at Yarra Bend, going through Fairfield, and then finally finishing at the iconic St. Kilda Sea Baths. These events are held annually in each state of Australia. “Nikki’s Army”, our team of four, raised over $2,600, with SpinifexIT contributing $300 towards that goal. 

kim rawlings bloody long walk challenge

Not only was this a personal challenge for myself but the main focus was to raise awareness and much needed funds for the Mito foundation that supports sufferers and their families affected by Mitochondrial disease. Never heard of it? Please read on….

What is Mitochondrial Disease?

Mitochondrial disease (also known as “Mito”) affects 1 in 5,000 people, making it the second most commonly diagnosed, serious genetic disease after cystic fibrosis.

In fact, one in 200 people, or more than 120,000 Australians, may carry genetic mutations that put them at risk for developing mito or other related symptoms such as diabetes, deafness or seizures during their lifetimes. Many of these people are symptomatic but undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, some are not yet symptomatic, and others are unknowingly at risk of passing the disease on to their children. This is why The Bloody Long Walk is so important, not only does the event raise vital funds, it also raises awareness of this debilitating disease.

There are many forms of mitochondrial disease; it is highly complex and can affect anyone of any age.

The Mito Foundation supports sufferers and their families and raises funds for the essential research into the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure of mitochondrial disorders. Their goal is to also increase the awareness and education about this devastating disease.

The money we, and many other participants raised through The Bloody Long Walk, will help people like affected Alana and Tom, and will enable AMDF to continue its vital work .

The Bloody Long Walk is owned and operated by AMDF.

Visit Mito.org.au for more information about Mito.

Catch Kim and the rest of the SpinifexIT Australia Team this October & November for SpinifexIT’s Australia Customer Days!

Click the image below to learn more about our Annual Customer Days and to view our schedules. Watch this space for more updates in the coming weeks. 


Let’s Jump in the SAC But Keep One Foot Out of the Covers
Let’s Jump in the SAC But Keep One Foot Out of the Covers
Let’s Jump in the SAC But Keep One Foot Out of the Covers 1024 512 SpinifexIT

Stephen Gallo shares his thoughts about the benefits of using SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) and how it can unleash the power of your data through its sophisticated reporting capabilities

SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) Status

SAP has done it again.  It’s made us all rethink what we are currently doing as we wait patiently until they have a fully integrated product.  I’m of course talking about SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) which is part of their Unified Reporting strategy that will allow customers to combine data from all SAP systems including Success Factors.  I’ve written at my website recently about reporting in 2018 and this is kind of a follow-up to it.  I’ll start with the cynical approach to this with the “it’s about time” dig, but in truth, I’ve been doing HCM reporting with SAP tools for over 10 years.  It’s hard.  For SAP to finally take on this initiative with its daunting requirements I’m sure took years of planning and I’d probably shed a few tears of dread if I were sitting in their conference rooms designing how this is all going to work.  I say years of planning, because none of this works without HANA.  When they decided to build HANA, I have to imagine this was one of the use cases for building it.

What I’m finding in the market though is a polarizing effect everytime SAP announces something with the roadmap in its infancy.  To SAP’s credit, I’ve seen more innovation in this product since it launched than many of their prior endeavors. They are constantly trying to make it better, or in their case, the best – and it will get there.  The effect that it has on customers, however, is the old wait and see mentality. “Should we purchase now, no wait, on the roadmap 6 months from now is the feature we might need.  Let’s wait until they launch it and then see how the feedback is on it”.  Wash rinse and repeat.  What I’m going to try to implore upon you is not to wait – start piloting the application as it does have its merits.  

Let’s start this journey by talking about what SAP currently offers.  I won’t go in deep into the current Success Factors reporting, others have already done so.  In fact, read this article by our friends at iXerv.  It covers pretty much what you get with Success Factors.  You can also read mine if you want a shorter version .

If we look back at the ECC side of the house we still have our good old Ad-hoc Query, SQ01 – Abap Query for HR, and then point solution tools to get data out of your module of choice, Wage Type Reporter (Payroll), PT_QTA10 (Absence quotas) etc…etc.  Again, there are novels of information on these.

These tools provide you the data to do your own analysis.  You can download whatever you like, shove it in a warehouse, excel, access, your choice, and created your own analytics.  The problem of course is every time you want to produce an up to date version, your downloading the data all over again. Not super-efficient.

Let’s All Get in the SAC Together

When I look at a reporting maturity model, I see the SAC as the highest level of reporting.  If you go from reactive reporting, to proactive reporting, to metrics, to planning and finally to predictive analytics, SAC is at the top of the game.  SAC is going to bring us out of the Excel analytics that every HR department is doing on a monthly/quarterly/annual basis. It’s providing on-demand analytics that allow you to monitor your key business metrics to see if your business is performing to the levels that you desire.  SAP has other analytics products out there: BI, Lumira, but what I can see the benefit of SAC is this: It’s going to link up to your systems with ease.  Figure 1 shows all the systems SAC can speak to currently.  

Figure 1

To clarify on the slide, live data lives in the source system.  SAC reads it on the fly to get your data. Imported data will be brought out of your system into the cloud.  Currently, one of the pros of using Imported data is, it’s easier to create your own datasets of data mashed up against other imported data.  Apparently, there are still some limitations of mashing up live data with imported data, but SAP has said it is resolving that soon.

Now we must understand the types of questions planning and predictive analytics helps us solve to understand what value SAC brings to our organization.  I’ll use some examples that were shown at SAPPHIRE.

  • Are we attracting hires by Ethnicity? (Recruiting)
  • Are we hiring a diverse workforce? (Onboarding)
  • Are we promoting across Ethnicities? (Employee Central/ECC)

SAP Sapphire Demonstration

Figure 2

With these metrics, as Chief of Diversity, I can get instant insight as to how my plans are performing, which areas of the company need my involvement, and get an overall health of workforce sliced by any dimension I see fit.  SAC can also, based on prior data, predict where your trends for these metrics will go in the future. So right now, it might look like region X is not performing, but looking at a predictive trend line into the future (not shown in the image) we can see that they are on the upside, hence I should focus my time on regions where my metrics are trending downward.  This is invaluable information for leaders and managers but also invaluable to analysts.  Analysts spend countless hours putting these types of charts and predictions together, only to have to do them all over again next month.  With SAC you have the build it once, use forever type deployment.

The SAC is Nice and Toasty, But Keep a Foot Out of the Covers

For the executives and managers of the world, I see SAC as a no-brainer.  Even if you sit and tell yourself “we’ve invested so much time in WorkForce Analytics, or Lumira or BI”, know that the SAC is going to have all of this available in the platform.  Some of it is already here and some of it is coming.  Always check the roadmaps at https://www.sap.com/products/roadmaps.html and watch the webinars. This is the future of SAP reporting and it’s something you should get on board with.  Coming from a guy who works for an SAP software Partner that does reporting, take this advice with more than a grain of salt.  If you’re a leader, get a subscription, grab an analyst, layout a one-month plan of analytics you want and point them in right direction.  You might be surprised with what they can accomplish in a short period of time.

However, if this is the greatest thing since sliced bread for managers, it still lacks some functionality and some of these use cases may never be included in the software or can be arduous to build.  SAP is great at always showing us it’s prize pony when it talks about innovation, but there is always the dark underbelly of HCM that only us on-the-ground analysts understand:  Data consistency and auditing.  This term is so broad in scope, I will just provide a few examples below of what I’ve come across in the past.  These are of course problems that every customer has and some a customer created for themselves, but remember customers of course buy SAP because of all the standards it provides, but you also buy it because you can customize it to your business processes.  The below examples are ECC based, however I’m sure those of you on Employee Central/ECC Hybrid can relate.

For example:

  1. Do I have Rehire Dates that are before my Hire Date on infotype 0041?

    1. Human Error

  2. We have a Z-table in ECC based on payroll area that stores my annual merit effective dates and I need to ensure that the base pay infotype was loaded correctly based on those dates.
    1. Customization problem.
  3. Who is reaching there 401K limits as I need to start their deferred comp plans?
    1. Seen everywhere in US as config is not always correct.
  4. I work in Wisconsin and I have this work schedule, so I’m only allowed to be in Payscale groups 12345 and 12346.
    1. Business rule localized to a customer process.
  5. I need to submit to a union by region all the hours and types of hours their employees worked?
    1. The dreaded union reconciliation.

The examples I listed above are actual examples of things I’ve worked on for customers recently.  Looking at the list I’m sure you can imagine some fun things you’ve had to reconcile in the past. And what do we use to get this data if you just have standard SAP tools?

SAP Ad-Hoc Query

SuccessFactors Ad-Hoc Query and ORD

SAP Wage Type Reporter

You look at some the use case examples and think, well actually most of these we could put into Payroll Control Center (PCC).  And you’re right. It all boils down to budget and priority. If I have an analyst who can put this together, why spend the time and the money to put some of this in PCC.  The answer is, you should always be improving your processes, but I digress and that’s a philosophical discussion for another day. (Also, PCC adoption is low. Another philosophical discussion.) The first four items I listed could be done in PCC, however the 5th is kind of an ad-hoc request that we are all too familiar with.  Someone, somewhere either in our company or outside our company requests a bit of data that we do not have readily available. So, we use the standard SAP tools to mash this data together and provide them there report.

As long as I’ve been doing this, there is no way around ad-hoc requests.  They will always be the fly in the ointment to any reporting strategy. This is where the SAC falls down.

When I go to customers and we define what they are looking for 20% of it is metrics, 40% is operational reporting like payroll, 20% is data consistency and the last 20% of the work is ad-hoc requests.  It’s typically 20% of what they are producing, but in some cases, it can be 40% of the effort.  Keep this in mind when you decide to move to the SAC.  

To end this post, move to the SAC.  It’s actually really neat, fairly intuitive and for things like basic Gender or Hiring metrics you can have those up and running quickly.  I built a gender dashboard in a day. Don’t think however that SAC solves all your reporting. It doesn’t. You will still need tools whether they are standard SAP delivered or 3rd party to assist with your ad-hoc questions, data remittance type reports and master data consistency audits.

Happy Reporting!

About the Author:

Stephen Gallo is an Employee Central Certified Consultant employed by SpinifexIT. Over the past 11 years, he has been an SAP customer, an SAP HCM implementation consultant and the Product Architect of North America for the SpinifexIT Suite of products.