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SpinifexIT blog solutions to support your move to employee central
Using SpinifexIT Solutions to Support Your Move to Employee Central
Using SpinifexIT Solutions to Support Your Move to Employee Central 1024 512 SpinifexIT

The Challenge

So you’ve decided to move to Employee Central from your on-premise SAP HCM system, congratulations you are joining the ranks of some of the world’s top companies and will be getting a best in class system. Hopefully you’ve found an excellent system integration partner to help you with the move, once they completed the design and build all you need to do is migrate the data.

Yep that’s right, everyone’s favourite topic. While you may not have to complete all of the technical aspects and will have support from your SI team at the end of the day, you are ultimately going to be responsible for ensuring the success of the data migration to Employee Central. This is actually a good thing, of course the business best understands the data and is in the position to provide the most accurate information to the SI team. The bad news is the standard migration tools are all a bit technical so who has time to really learn some new complex system just for a once off migration?

If you are still a bit earlier on in the process I’d highly recommend reviewing the articles recently published by Darren Souter regarding important considerations before and during the move to a new system. You may also use the free downloadable checklist we’ve included to start planning with your team.

About me

You can call me Brendon. I’ve been working with SAP HCM for a little over ten years now and in that time I’ve worked on a number of large SAP implementation and migration projects, in some I was lucky enough to be able to use the SpinifexIT solutions and in the others I had to do things the old fashioned way! As a Solution Architect at SpinifexIT, I’m here to help highlight the ways we can help in an Employee Central implementation. Read on to find out more.


Where SpinifexIT can fit into the Employee Central Data Migration process

You can call me Brendon. I’ve been working with SAP HCM for a little over ten years now and in that time I’ve worked on a number of large SAP implementation and migration projects, in some I was lucky enough to be able to use the SpinifexIT solutions and in the others I had to do things the old fashioned way! As a Solution Architect at SpinifexIT, I’m here to help highlight the ways we can help in an Employee Central implementation. Read on to find out more.

Step 1: Data Cleansing – All data should be as accurate and correct as possible before extraction and load. Easy Reporter’s powerful functionality allows you to quickly detect exceptions before they become hard-to-solve errors.

Step 2: Data Extraction and Translation – There will always be some translation required between two systems. Easy Reporter provides the tools to quickly convert data formats or values from one system to another. The extracted files can be provided in the exact format needed for Employee Central upload.

Step 3: Data Reconciliation – An optional add-on allows Easy Reporter to connect to the Employee Central system and provide reports with both SAP and Employee Central data, allowing you to quickly and easily confirm the success of the data load.

Data Cleansing Before Migration

When you are populating your shiny new system with data, the last thing you want to do is bring over inaccurate information. Hopefully in the past you have had a focus on data integrity which means you shouldn’t have too many issues with your data. But even if that is the case, there is likely some things you’ll need to check to ensure a smooth migration.

As a simple example, think of a field in SAP that is not mandatory currently but will be mandatory in your Employee Central environment, maybe the employees preferred name.

Easy Reporter can help you to identify those issues and track them throughout your project so you can ensure a smooth migration when it comes to completing the final data load. Along with the standard pre-delivered data integrity checks, it will be quicker and easier to configure your own reports looking for missing data or other data integrity issues.

Spinifexit Easy reporter employee central data migration

Data Extraction and Transformation

When you are populating your shiny new system with data, the last thing you want to do is bring over inaccurate information. Hopefully in the past you have had a focus on data integrity which means you shouldn’t have too many issues with your data. But even if that is the case, there is likely some things you’ll need to check to ensure a smooth migration.

As a simple example, think of a field in SAP that is not mandatory currently but will be mandatory in your Employee Central environment, maybe the employees preferred name.

Easy Reporter can help you to identify those issues and track them throughout your project so you can ensure a smooth migration when it comes to completing the final data load. Along with the standard pre-delivered data integrity checks, it will be quicker and easier to configure your own reports looking for missing data or other data integrity issues.

Spinifexit Easy reporter employee central data migration

You can take advantage of a number of great features to really get the files you need with minimal effort:

  • Advanced mapping capability
  • CSV interface file output with simple or complex field assignments
  • Field format conversions directly in the report
  • Upload your mappings from a spreadsheet to quickly complete the report

Verifying the Accuracy of the Data Loads

Once you have run the files through the load programs in Employee Central, you’ll want to check the logs and ensure that everything made it through okay. Not only, that but I’d suggest you take it a step further and verify that the data in Employee Central ended up in the system as you expected, and it is correctly to match your data in the source system. Easy Reporter can help you here as well!

Using the SuccessFactors connector add-on for Easy Reporter, we can report on SAP HCM data side by side with SuccessFactors Employee Central data. This means you can build some simple reports to verify that the data in Employee Central matches SAP HCM.

First off you probably would need to at least verify that you have the right number of employees in the right groups in Employee Central, then you will likely want to drill down on some specific key fields to ensure their accuracy. As an example the report below verifies an employee’s name and employment status:

Spinifexit Easy Reporter employee central data migration

The good thing about building these reports early is that they can also be used post go-live to ensure your replication is working correctly.

Comparing Your Results in Parallel Payroll Runs

Once you have all of the data populated and your system is ready for testing, you will definitely be planning to complete a number Parallel Payroll runs to ensure that the payroll pre and post-implementation are providing the same results. The complexity of this stage will depend a lot on how you have chosen to proceed with your implementation – maybe you’ve made significant changes to your payroll system to support Employee Central or maybe you’ve kept the payroll system almost exactly the same. Either way, this is a critical part of your implementation and Easy Reporter is again here to help.

Easy Reporter includes some simple but powerful functionality that will allow you to import data from a text file in to your report. In the parallel run example this can be used to run a report against the payroll in SAP HCM, import the results from a previous run and quickly tell you the differences. Depending on the level of change you have made, you may want to transform the data a little bit – for example grouping multiple legacy wage types in to a single wage type in the new payroll calculations. You can easily map the data as you import the file or once it is imported and displayed in the report. You might want to see a list of wage types together in the report to compare without losing the details.

As an example, see below where we are reporting the SAP Payroll results alongside imported data from the legacy payroll:

Spinifexit Easy Reporter employee central data migration

This high level report will help you identify any major differences between your payroll calculations. Alternatively you can run additional reports to compare at a more detailed level and show wage type by wage type differences.

Find out more about Easy Reporter, our easy-to-use, flexible solution for Employee Central Data Migration.

Some Final Considerations Before Starting your Employee Central Data Migration Process

I’ll admit that I set out to make this sound easy because I believe that we can simplify the data migration process but of course there are a few things you might want to also look out for.

  • Are you planning on performing many data loads for various stages to the system build? In most cases, you can expect to need to populate some data in to the development, test and production environments to support the design and build.
  • Will each of those loads will have different requirements? Almost certainly the scope of employees and data fields will change.
  • How quickly can you respond to new requirements in the load files? With Easy Reporter it takes just minutes to add a new field or update your transformations.
  • Once you go live how will you keep the data up to date across your SAP HCM and Employee Central systems? SpinifexIT Easy Clone allows you to copy and scramble data between both SAP HCM and Employee Central to keep all of your systems aligned and up to date with secure scrambled data. Click here to find out more about Easy Clone..

That’s just the start!

This gives you just a small sample of the many ways that SpinifexIT solutions – specifically Easy Reporter – can help in your implementation project. Of course there is a huge amount we can also help with once you go live, so make sure to keep an eye out for additional posts with more information about our solutions. You can also pop over to our website here to find out more about our range of solutions and use cases.

SpinifexIT have been specialising in providing user friendly reporting tools to SAP customers for 15 years now and are always looking for new ways to help our customers optimise processes using our best in class tools.

Stay current on all SpinifexIT news. Follow us on LinkedInTwitter and Facebook to get free invitations to our webinars and discovery group meetings in your area.

This article was originally shared by Brendon Andrews-Warmuth on his Linkedin profile. Brendon recently moved from Melbourne to Frankfurt to support SpinifexIT’s growing presence in the EMEA network. Brendon is primarily focused on SAP Successfactors implementation, Cloud technology, and Partner and Client engagement.

additional tips to streamline your payroll process
Part Three B: Additional Tips To Streamline Your Payroll Process
Part Three B: Additional Tips To Streamline Your Payroll Process 1024 512 SpinifexIT

Darren Souter shares additional tips on how organisations can streamline their SAP Payroll processes, including considerations for SAP HCM reporting and document generation, payroll testing, and employee help desk.

Previously, I have spoken about some of the areas in payroll that can be streamlined with huge savings possible. The previous section discussed several items including the Payroll Control Center and Reporting within the Payroll System. Today’s article will continue to highlight several key areas that we see everyday in our discussions with our customers.

For many customers, the only method of automated communication to the employees is through their payslips. However, there are often many manual processes that require data within the payroll system.

Some of the following areas have quite a manual process in many organisations:

  • Pay Reviews and Increases – Letters or documents to highlight old/new Pay Details
  • New Hires and Position Changes – Letters to highlight new Position/Job details
  • Changing Jobs / Positions – Creation of new Employment Contracts
  • Termination Letters – Reporting of Termination Pay and Leave Balances
  • Total Reward / Compensation Letters – Document to describe full pay details, benefits and employment conditions

Whilst SAP provides items such as payslips to provide the employee’s payroll information, there is not too much in the way of other correspondence. This is due to the output being different for most customers, and often very unique.

Many of these adhoc requests are often done once a year. For most of these, it’s very much like reporting where there can be quite a manual process around extracting and manipulating the data just to get it together. Once the data is available it will be formatted into a document, letter, or form often with mail merge.

There are a few ways that I have seen customers build these processes. These include:

  • SAP Smartforms / HR Forms – It is possible to build a Smartform, which accompanied with an ABAP report can produce correspondence to the employee. This is often a great way to build the letters and documents your organisation requires. While this has no additional hardware or licensing costs, the downfall is that it requires a developer to build these and then any modifications will require further development work. 
  • Adobe Forms – This is similar to Smartforms, and allows you to build customer specific documents. Like Smartforms, this is a good option, but keep in mind it does require an expert to build these, and in this case, it likely will require additional licence costs.
  • MailMerge – Many customers use mail merge to create letters and other correspondence. This is often passed information from an Adhoc Query, Report or Excel Extract. This is a good way to produce a document that you often need to produce. The downfall is that the data and correspondence often needs to be manually put together.
  • Manually – The above processes each have different levels of automation. The most common process is to simply update word templates or documents manually. This means filling in fields manually with data from SAP. This is the most manual and error-prone process and whilst it will be good for minimal letters per year, it has the most overhead, so should be avoided when possible.

Employee Correspondence can be an area for streamlining your process as it often needs an expert to produce this type of report or document. Automated options such as SmartForms or AdobeForms will still require additional overheads of technical resources if any changes are needed.

CONSIDERATIONS: If you checked any of these, you might want to look at your document production processes.

SpinifexIT and Document Creation

Over the years, many of our customers have needed to provide complex information to the employee that needs to be formatted differently to a report. This is often output in the form of a PDF document that can show the data mixed with wording, graphs, pictures etc.

Through SpinifexIT’s Easy Documents and Strato document solutions, we have delivered to customers documents such as Total Rewards Statements, Employment Contracts, Statement of Earnings, Statement of Employment and Pay Review Letters.

These documents can be accessed through our Web Front end at the click of a button, rather than relying on older approaches including printing and distribution of documents.

Whether you are on-premise or in the cloud, you are going to have updates to your SAP environment. Legislative changes, new SAP versions, etc., will be loaded in throughout the year. If you have moved to Employee Central and/or Employee Central Payroll, suddenly your upgrades could be happening much quicker than your previous on-premise world. 

Whilst in many areas, you can just accept updates, the recommendation is that on the Payroll side, it is important to still have a process around checking these upgrades and updates. Especially as customers can have custom rules within Payroll, it is important to verify that this all works with the new functionality.

Things to consider here are:

  1. How to best check that the Payroll operates correctly after upgrading to the latest support packages
  2. Checking Year-End – There is often a need to reconcile the year-end figures before completing the year end process. This can often be a large and complex process.

One recommendation that I have seen many customers use is to have a process around these types of upgrades. One of the best processes I have seen many customers adopt is to ensure that in a TEST environment, the payroll runs the same after an upgrade as it did before.

The best way to do this is to have a process to extract all payroll wagetypes and compare that they are exactly the same before and after the upgrade. Whilst this is a manual process of extracting and comparing in tools such as excel, it is the best method I have seen to validate that the payroll is still producing the correct results. NOTE: This should be performed with results that are the same or close to production data.

We would recommend being aware of these and talking to your implementation partner if you have any concerns that you might be at risk with any of these areas.

CONSIDERATIONS: If you checked any of these, you might want to talk to your implementation partner about how to streamline this better.

SpinifexIT Tools To Streamline Update Testing

Whilst most of the payroll checking process can be done manually, there are always better ways to do this. Many of our customers use SpinifexIT’s Easy Reporter solution to do before-and-after data comparisons in their system. 

In addition, SpinifexIT’s Easy Clone allows you to copy groups of employees directly from a production system to a test system without the need for doing a full system copy. This is often a very useful process that streamlines testing of these upgrades as you can pick a group of employees and always have 100% accurate production data in your test (and even development environments).

It is more on the rare side that a customer would go live with all HCM functionality in one go especially when a customer has multiple companies, entities and countries involved.

Therefore, as part of any implementation and support of an existing system, you should always consider that there is the need for continued roll out of functionality. Whilst this shouldn’t affect your existing system, those of you who have been through this would often know that there is often unwanted side effects from new countries.

It is just something that you should be aware of if you end up implementing new payrolls, or countries into the future especially when trying to alter existing configuration and/or settings for a new country (might also affect other countries if using common functionality).

Any upgrades to configuration should have a simplified process to check this. Being able to do before/after comparison of payroll results is very important to ensure that there is nothing broken with the new configuration.

I have decided to put a section on Year-End processing even though this is similar to reporting and reconciliation. But since it is a once per year process, and quite complex, we often talk to customers specifically about this process and how they handle it.

Whilst Payroll will pay the employees and SAP will also provide any legislative reporting needs around year-end, most customers have a manual process to reconcile and verify that payroll figures match the year-end reporting.

As this is often a time-consuming process, many customers have developed complex processes to check their year-end figures, often involving many extracts of data, excel manipulations etc. In most cases I have seen, this often involves running reports such as wagetype reporter to extract data out to a tool such as excel, and then comparing these values back to the values reported on the year-end solution. This is to have a process to validate the payments you have made to the tax office throughout the year.

This reconciliation also often needs to be done within a thin timeframe and is generally a different process for each country. Most customers have some sort of process, whether it is manual, an ABAP program or even something that SAP provides. No matter the way you reconcile, I would highly recommend to have a more optimised process here because most of the year-end reporting is based on configuration and it is often easy to miss something and not have it reported to your tax authority.

Year End processing checklist
CONSIDERATIONS: If you checked any of these, you might want to talk to your implementation partner about how to streamline this better.

SpinifexIT and Year-End

The Year-End process has actually been one of our early key areas of time savings for customers, and currently, we have a streamlined Year-End product for Australia, United States and Canada.

These solutions build on top of the standard SAP processes and streamline many of the areas that you might today have many manual steps around. Things like Reconciliation, Reporting on Year-End Figures, Distribution of Information out to the employees and many others are included in these solutions.

You may view our solutions for Australian Payroll Reconciliation and US/Canadian Payroll Reconciliation by clicking these links.

Many organisations do not consider this is something that they would streamline, but each pay, there are often many questions coming back to the Payroll Team (or a specific help desk team) with payroll queries. Some examples may be

  • Why has my pay gone down?
  • What is this Retro pay?
  • Is my tax correct?
  • How can I check if my leave balance is correct?

Many of these questions (and there could be dozens of variations), take time to investigate, analyse and report back to the employee. Often, having reports or letters available to answer these can help out, but it often isn’t considered as these are often adhoc requests.

Unfortunately, there is no easy standard answer to many of these types of scenarios, and in most cases, it comes down with having experts available to answer these questions or to investigate issues. Where you can, I would suggest looking at common requests and looking at ways to streamline how you answer these. Whether this is by using existing SAP reports to investigate, letters in pre-defined formats that can be filled in to help answer/explain queries or or just procedures on how to investigate some of these items. Without this mindset to look to improve your efficiency, then this will always be an overhead to your team.

Employee payroll queries checklist
CONSIDERATIONS – If you checked any of the following, you may have room for improvement with your help desk and query resolution

The above are just some of the areas that I have spoken to customers about over many years and hopefully gives you some ideas on areas that you might be able to focus on streamlining your day to day. 

Even today where we have customers moving part of their data into the Cloud, and even in many cases moving the payroll to the cloud (Employee Central Payroll), we see that these same processes that can be overheads to most customers can be streamlined.

SAP have made good progress through this streamlining with tools such as the Payroll Control Center, but in addition, SpinifexIT has specialised in this area and comes with great products and processes for further streamlining your payroll.

We would be happy to talk to you about any of the above processes and potential ways to streamline these items. Contact us at [email protected] or visit our website to book a discovery call.

You can also reply to this post and I’d get in touch with you the soonest.

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VIEW RELATED ARTICLES

  1. Considerations for Payroll During Cloud Migration
  2. Payroll Considerations During an Employee Central Implementation (w/ a free downloadable checklist for you and your implementation manager)
  3. Streamline Your Payroll Process (Part 1)
  4. Additional Tips to Streamline Your Payroll Process (Part 2)
SpinifexIT blog streamline your payroll process
Part Three A: Streamline Your Payroll Process
Part Three A: Streamline Your Payroll Process 1024 512 SpinifexIT

If I was asked if I have ever seen a Payroll Team that has no room for efficiencies, I would have to say no. It is not to say that I do not see many totally smart and efficient processes, but with Payroll, there is always new challenges and changes, which means it is an often evolving process.

This blog will focus on some of the areas for efficiency where I have seen customers totally streamline their payroll. This means that they can do much more with existing resources and focus on providing many value adding solutions rather than just processing the payroll.

You will get the most out of this blog if you are using or planning to implement…

  • SAP Payroll On-Premise
  • Employee Central Payroll
  • Payroll using a managed service provider (ADP, NGA)
  • Running SAP Payroll On-Premise with Master Data in Employee Central

It is not always clearly known within an organisation, what it takes to get the employees paid. Whilst we would like to think it is is just a matter of hitting a magic button on pay day, it is never the case. Especially in the world of today, things get more complex and payroll is one of these.

Most companies have Payroll across multiple Countries, many Payroll Frequencies, Full Time Part Time, Casual Employees and many of these employees with individual employee pay agreements or with complex pay rules. Many customers have external Time and Attendance Systems feeding their payroll, and now many customers have integration from Employee Central to Payroll.

Phew – I feel tired just thinking about it.

In order to process a payroll, this often involves several days of data entry, trial payroll runs and validations leading into the payroll run, just to ensure the calculations are all correct.

Then, once the pay has been run, it is all over…?

No luck – This is when further processes need to take place. Things like distributing reports out to management, creation of pay statements, reconciliation of payroll (often local things such as taxes, vendor payments and other tasks such as year end), interfaces to other systems.

Along with these items, the payroll team often takes Helpdesk queries from employees on their pay (low pay, high pay, certificate/form requirements, etc). In some of the customers I see, this can be several hundred to several thousand calls in a month. In many cases, a team is specifically set aside for handling pay queries.

Then finally, there are key things throughout the year, such as pay increases, hires/terminations (often in mass), and year end processing. You also have the occasional updates and changes to calculations, and/or new payrolls coming on (as might be the case with a new acquisition or even merging multiple payroll solutions).

Most of us only see the paystub at the end of each week or month, but there is a lot that goes into getting this right. Now I really feel tired just thinking about the Payroll Teams around the world!

Making the Complex Simple

As I have visited many customers over the years, one of my interests, is to hear from customers about how they do all of these tasks in a normal week. In many of these cases, there are specialists within most organisations, who simply don’t go on leave at certain times of the year as they just can’t hand this off to anybody else.

Regardless of the area, I have always been interested in how to make it more efficient. This is why 15 years ago, I started to develop add-on solutions to SAP, of which I am proud to say are being used daily within hundreds of companies in most major countries around the world. These solutions have always been built directly with the customer in mind and over the years, these have evolved to a comprehensive set of solutions.

I will reference some of these below, but even if you are not interested in add-on tools, the following will give you an insight into some of the areas that you may be able to look at, to streamline a payroll department, in some cases just with standard SAP processes that you may not be currently using.

Ok – Lets start to look at some of the areas for improvement.

Changing the Mindset – Running Payroll (Payroll Control Center)

One of the key items that I hear when talking to customers is how they talk about Employee Central, and how this will change the way the employees are engaged with the HCM system. The User Interface is fantastic for giving an easy method to access the data, and the employees can update most of the data themselves.

The ability for employees to view and update the system directly gives a huge improvement to the way they can interact with the system.

However, at the same time, when I visit many of these customers, from a Payroll perspective, it is very common that the Payroll Team is still logging into the SAP system through SAPGUI screens and executing Payroll directly from here.  Other customers may be using WebGui, or NetWeaver Business Client (NWBC).

However, it is not really changing the way how the Payroll Team work day to day.

There are some good things to consider though. One of these is a newer Payroll Solution that SAP delivers in the latest releases called the Payroll Control Center.

This has been around for over 3 years now, and over this time I have been privileged to have seen it’s evolution from the initial concept of a streamlined way to check and examine payroll errors to then being able to execute the payroll process. Over this same period, the configuration and setup of this tool has been made simpler, and I believe it is now a solution that customers can greatly benefit from.

The Payroll Control Center allows you to now run the end to end payroll process (including identifying and examining payroll errors), all through a nice user interface that can be executed directly from Employee Central.

One real benefit of this, is that the upskilling of a new employee in the payroll team can be much less as they have a clearly defined process and simpler steps for running payroll. Especially if you have a complex payroll with multiple steps and different countries or payroll areas, where the Payroll Control Center can cater for these in a defined process.

I believe the Payroll Control Center is now something that most customers should consider if they are looking at options to streamline some of their payroll processes.

The Payroll Control Center is a great option for organisations who meet this criteria

SpinifexIT and Payroll Control Center

Spinifexit Get to know Payroll Control Centre accelerator

SAP Delivers a standard Payroll Control Center Rapid Deployment Solution, which means you do not have to setup everything completely from scratch, but this still requires an implementation and a fair amount of Technical Expertise, especially if you want to customise the Validation Checks.

As an alternative to the standard SAP Solution, SpinifexIT has built our own Pre-delivered solution which leverages off of our Easy Reporter for quick deployment (With no technical knowledge) of the payroll validation checks. We have also built in many additional functions on top of the standard Payroll Control Center solution to streamline how this works and integrates into your day to day processes.For more information about the SpinifexIT Payroll Control Center Add-on, please click here.

Streamlining Payroll Reporting and Reconciliation

Almost every customer I visit will have some overhead for reporting internally. This need is constantly growing each year, as most customers are looking to use the information in the Payroll System to make better business decisions. Some examples of areas that are increasing in demands include

  • Greater need for auditing payroll, especially due to more complex employees
  • Need for getting information out to managers to better run their business
  • Creation of extracts into 3rd party solutions (Vendor Deduction Reporting is one example)
  • Reconciling Payroll

Standard Reports – SAP already delivers quite a few reports that cater for many of your common needs. Reporting of Wagetypes, Leave Balances, Infotypes and many other areas are all possible. However, when the standard reports don’t quite cater for the customer need, there is often the need to turn to other methods. Make sure your team checks for standard reports before looking at other options. Reach out to your implementation partner if your team is unsure what reports are available.

Adhoc Query – Many report requirements and especially those with Employee Master data, can be built through Adhoc Query. This tool allows your team to build the reports required without needing to resort to manual processes or custom development. This is a great way to build any reports your team may require, without much overhead.

Excel – The most common and simplest, but brings the most overhead. The common process is to run several existing SAP reports and extract the data into local files. These files can then be loaded into Excel or similar tools to create the reports or analyse the data as required. Sometimes this is the only quick and easy way to produce the reports you require. Keep in mind though that this can have a lot of manual work and overhead to create the reports, not to mention, susceptible to errors.

Custom Reports – Whilst this can be a time consuming process, many customers here turn to custom development to deliver what they want. This might be to get data which is not available through standard reports, or to build the formulas required, or just to simply display the report in a nice web format. This is a great way to streamline your reporting where you might currently have a lot of manual steps to create a report.

Lastly, whilst many of the report needs are at the company level, there is often many adhoc requests from different departments and managers for information throughout the year. These requests are sometimes once off or recurring every pay or monthly. All of this can add much overhead to the payroll team. Often there is no way around these adhoc requests. If possible, try to reuse some of the above processes, especially if these adhoc requests start to become common requests.

SpinifexIT and Reporting

This is an area that SpinifexIT has specialised in for over 15 years. Payroll Reporting and Reconciliation are part of the core value add solutions that SpinifexIT provide.

The existing SpinifexIT Easy Reporter has access to the majority of the Payroll HCM data, and over the last few years, has made this data accessible through the Web Reporting menu. This allows execution of reports directly from Employee Central which then gives employees or managers direct access to some of the core payroll information.

These reports can be accessed through our Web Front end at the click of a button, rather than relying on older approaches such as ABAP, or Extraction of Data and manipulation in Excel.

 Summary

This blog has given an overview of some of the areas that can be streamlined in SAP HR and Payroll. There are many other areas that can also be streamlined, and these will be described in the second part of this blog. This will include areas such as

  • Employee Correspondence
  • Streamlining SAP Upgrades
  • Dealing with Configuration Changes
  • Year End processes
  • Helpdesk access to data to answer employee queries

Even today where we have customers moving part of their data into the Cloud, and even in many cases moving the payroll to the cloud (Employee Central Payroll), we see that there are still many manual processes around the payroll team which could be streamlined.

SAP have made good progress through this streamlining with tools such as the Payroll Control Center, but in addition, SpinifexIT has specialised in this area and comes with great products and processes for further streamlining your payroll.

We would be happy to talk to you about any of the above processes and potential ways to streamline these items.

SpinifexIT Payroll considerations during an employee central implementation
Part Two: Payroll Considerations During an Employee Central Implementation
Part Two: Payroll Considerations During an Employee Central Implementation 1024 512 SpinifexIT

Download our FREE Considerations for Payroll During an Employee Central Implementation Checklist. Fill out the form below to receive a copy.

PART 2 OF A THREE-PART BLOG SERIES BY DARREN SOUTER

Welcome to the 2nd part of our three-part blog series on Payroll’s journey. The first part of our blog discussed some of the options that you have when selecting a Payroll Solution. Today, we’ll discuss some of the considerations when integrating Payroll to a new environment that is also connected to Employee Central.

As my background is not necessarily focused on implementations, I am going to focus on a few key topics that may come up in a typical implementation and some of the key items to consider. Many of these items come up during discussions I often have with existing customers looking for unbiased advice.

Implementation Partner

As most customers would only ever want to do this once, they are best to rely on the experience of an Implementation Partner who can guide them through this process. As this can be a complex process with not only an Employee Central Implementation but one that involves data migration, integration back to SAP (for Payroll) and potentially changing the Payroll solution, it is worthwhile exploring the implications of such options.  Depending on the scope of your work, you may be fine with a partner that just works with Employee Central, but if there are changes to Payroll, you should seriously consider having a partner who also knows and has implemented SAP Payroll.

It is also important to validate which customers the partner has worked with on past projects and if such projects were deemed a success! I also believe it is worthwhile reference checking the individual consultants who will work on the project, as the last thing you want is a group of inexperienced consultants learning whilst implementing your project. 

Implementation Project Plan

Whilst this may seem obvious, please ensure that you have a realistic plan for the implementation project. This plan should include the work required to perform a full end-to-end implementation and must include many of the tasks that verify that all forms of payroll related processes and tasks continue to operate on go-live to ultimately ensure employees are accurately paid.

Hence as a tip, ensure that adequate time and effort is allowed for the accurate migration of HR data and validation processes. There should also be an allocation to make sure that multiple test payroll parallel runs are executed, bank file checks are conducted, and go-live and post-go-live support tasks are scheduled. These are the type of tasks that must be included in the scope of the project to help ensure a seamless payroll operation.

Implementing Employee Central with Payroll is a complex process, so again we recommend you verify references from your partner to ensure that they have previous experience in both Employee Central and Payroll implementations.

Data Migration To Employee Central

During any Employee Central Implementation, you will have the requirement to migrate the master data from your current SAP On-Premise system into Employee Central.  This is typical of most implementations which have a data conversion scope.

In the case of migrating from SAP HCM however, luckily SAP provides some help with this process.  This is in the form of ABAP reports that can be used for the extraction of the data. When planning an implementation/migration, it is important to understand who specifically is responsible for the data extraction, manipulation, migration and validation of this data. Is this the responsibility of the Implementation Partner, or is this something your internal team / the customer will do?

This stage can often be made more complex if there is a need for remapping existing data and catering for customer specific infotypes/fields.  This often involves additional development or extraction work, as well as significant time for manual manipulation and validation of the data once it is loaded into Employee Central.

NOTE:

Data Replication Back To SAP HCM

When implementing Employee Central with SAP Payroll, there is the need to determine which system is the key system for entering Master data (generally this is Employee Central). However, as the SAP Payroll Solution requires certain data to allow for processing, you need to be able to replicate the Master Data down to the Payroll Solution.

There are a few options here.  SAP provides the SAP Cloud Integration solution with accelerators to speed up the setup of this data transfer.  There are also other solutions such as Boomi. For Employee Central Payroll Customers (ECP), SAP provides a point to point replication program for transferring this data to the ECP environment.  

No matter what solution you may use, you need to ensure this is included in the implementation scope and plan. The replication and testing of this should also be part of the parallel run process as the Master Data will be maintained in Employee Central and then replicated down to the Payroll Environment.

Finally, you should also consider which Payroll related ABAP reports and standard reports will still be used in the payroll system. I recommend that you replicate enough data down to the Payroll Environment to allow for all relevant reporting to continue, and of course, you will need enough data to run all payroll calculations and processes accurately, including the year-end processing and validation of year-end results.

What To Do With ABAP Reports & Interfaces

There are many SAP HCM customers who have customised ABAP reports for a specific company need. In many cases, these have been either developed from scratch to fit a unique reporting requirement, or an SAP report has been copied and modified to access additional data to report against a certain set of HCM reporting requirements. Without these custom ABAP reports, the process of reporting is often performed by manual extraction of data into tools such as MS Excel in order to create the reporting that is required.  The trouble is that this is a manual process.

Luckily, with most of the options (if you are keeping SAP Payroll), you can choose to take your ABAP with you.  Whether you are staying on-premise, moving to ECP, moving to a hosted SAP Payroll option, or even moving to many of the outsourced services, there are still options around having ABAP functionality.  This may mean that the reports will work without modifications, or in some cases, they may require rework as data may be held differently in SAP, or may now be held in Employee Central.

NOTE:

PRO TIP:

These are some of the questions I’ve been asking customers for the last 15 years when working with them with regards to streamlining and automating reporting.  The need for custom reporting is often essential in SAP Payroll when you start to look at streamlining reporting and interfaces, but it doesn’t need to be done through hard coded ABAP.

This overall process is why I have seen many Payroll Teams over the years spend nearly 50% of their overall time in report production as the process of building ABAP reports is not straightforward and most customers resort to doing these processes manually with many extracts out of SAP HCM and Payroll and into tools such as MS Excel to produce such reports.

Over the years, I have observed that the scope of reports that were identified and delivered during the implementation end up being a subset as compared to, say, 12 months after post go-live. Often, customers will have 20-30 reports initially on go-live and will have doubled within 6 months later. Some customers have even reached 200+ reports after 12 months.

Luckily, SpinifexIT’s Easy Reporter is a perfect alternative here.  It is a solution that sits within your SAP System and comes with many pre-delivered reports and gives you the flexibility to be able to create customer specific reporting processes without the need for technical resources.  The HCM/Payroll Team can use this solution to create the reports, interfaces and extracts as they require directly in a production environment. Easy Reporter can actually be used in all of the Payroll Options that were identified in the first blog.

Finally, if you decide you still require the existing reports or interfaces, then you should verify that the data is fully available in the same system.  One good example I have seen with several customers is that they may choose not to replicate the Organisational Structures from Employee Central. This then means that the reports that display this type of information may no longer be relevant.

Documents – Smart Forms, HR Forms, Adobe Forms

In a similar way to the reporting decision, many customers have also created custom functionality to produce forms and letters to easily distribute information to the employees, management and external parties.  These are often done through custom programs and SAP functionality such as Smartforms, HR Forms or AdobeForms.

In many cases, this includes forms such as

  • Pay Review Letters
  • Total Reward Statements
  • Employment Contracts
  • Staff Welcome Packs
  • Local Legislative Forms

One of the challenges is that the data for these documents might need to come from both the SAP Payroll system as well as the Employee Central Environment.  In most cases, these documents need to be reproduced and accessed from within the Employee Central Environment.

Luckily SAP does have the ability to create custom documents.  These can be created by your administrator in your environment through Employee Central Document Generation. This allows you to create text based documents with field data retrieved for the employee from the Employee Central Fields.

PRO TIP:

Often, custom HR documents can be complex, and for these documents, an alternative option may be required.  If this is the case, SpinifexIT offers an integrated extension solution to Employee Central, known as Strato. Strato allows you to control the full formatting of the document with the ability to insert graphics, logos, format the text to duplicate the customer requirements.  In addition, through Strato, you can embed sections into the document based on conditional logic. Decisions such as the employees’ Company Code, Employment Type, Gender etc… can all be included in a document to allow you to easily create any document that is required. Total Reward Statements and Employee Contracts are two such examples of complex documents we have seen across our customer base.

Custom Functionality

Many customers have built custom functionality into their SAP system.  In most cases, this is an opportunity to review and remove a lot of this functionality as part of the new implementation.  In the new cloud world, whilst custom functionality can be created, it is created within Employee Central and it can be limited to simpler screens through the SuccessFactors MetaData Framework (MDF) functionality.  The more complex functionality can be created through the SAP Cloud Platform. It would be worthwhile to look for ways to achieve what you require within the standard system, but if this is not possible, it would be best to look for a specific vendor that provides what you want.  It would be suggested that if these options do not provide what you require then custom functionality would be an option.

SAP HCM Considerations

As this if often a good time to consider other changes, it might be worth digging a bit deeper into what your current On-Premise Solution is being used for. Many customers use Time Evaluation for two key purposes. The first is to interpret the time input (such as attendances) and to determine output (Wagetypes) based on the business rules such as when an employee should receive higher payments (overtime), or when an employee might get a meal allowance.  This might be a good time to review this process (including how you get these times into the system) and look at a Time and Attendance Solution. It is not advisable for customers who are migrating to Employee Central Payroll to use the standard Time Evaluation solution.

You may already have a time and attendance system though, but even if you do, you should confirm with your implementation partner whether this is integrated with Employee Central and/or part of the new payroll solution.

Another area is the Leave Quotas.  Employee Central has a Time Off module that can replace the existing SAP Leave Quotas functionality. You should ensure and validate that this module covers your business rules and requirements, and if it is being considered part of the scope of the implementation.

Lastly, if you already have an Employee Self Service or Manager Self Service portal, you should verify which functionality is still required and whether it is duplicated within Employee Central.  Often, many reports are being executed by the manager and a validation process should be conducted to verify what reports must still remain and be available. If your organisation may no longer sit in SAP, you should consider how these reports will operate after migrating to Employee Central. 

Parallel Runs

As part of all Payroll Implementations, there is the need to validate that the Payroll is running and calculating correctly before going live on the Payroll.  This generally involves a comparison of the same results from the legacy HR and Payroll system to the new system. In most cases, this involves multiple runs. The reason for multiple runs is that there is the need to validate the results flowing from pay period to pay period.

Things to consider here include:

  • Having at least 2 parallel payroll runs
  • Preferably one run going over month end
  • Parallel run for each payroll area (Monthly, Fortnightly, Weekly)
  • Validation of Payroll Results including Current Pay, Tax, Deductions, Overtime, Year to Date Figures, Leave Accrual and Finance Postings.

Pro tip:

It is also important to run these as real-life scenarios.  I’ve seen customers who have just entered the basic data for a pay, but not triggered retrospective pay re-calculations.  This has caused issues after go-live. It is much simpler to fix these issues prior to go-live, so I would recommend you try to keep your parallel runs as close as possible to real life scenarios.

You should ensure the project plan allows for enough time to perform these parallel runs, as well as allow for time to fix any issues. During this period, it’s often a challenging time as your payroll team will most likely be responsible for checking most of the results, and at the same time, they still will often need to perform their day to day role.  Hence, if possible, provide additional resources for this period of the project.

Process Changes

With Employee Central, there is going to be a large number of processes that your organisation has been doing for many years that are now going to change.  This means that there is going to be a lot of internal changes to your organisation. Whilst a system like Employee Central is much more intuitive than the previous SAP Solution, there is still going to be some changes and you should allow time for items such as updating manuals and procedures, retaining staff, changing roles, and communicating the new process among many other things. 

Go Live

It is important to plan the timing of your Go live. There is likely going to be some time required for data migration from your existing production system and switching to new processes. Many previous SAP Implementations aligned this to the start of the Financial Year (depending on your region), so that items such as Year End Reporting in the new system may not be so critical.

You should make sure that there are no other critical projects the same time you Go live, and you should make sure key staff are available and not away on planned vacation or other activities around this time.

There should also be a plan for supporting the new environment for at least the first 4 weeks after Go live.  This is often when any unexpected issues may come up and you want to be able to leverage your partners’ expertise during this period.

Finally, you should start to think about post Go live and how best to support this.  As SuccessFactors has quarterly releases, it is important to at least understand what is in these releases and what impact this may have on your system and processes.  In most cases, there should be no impact, but there is always new functionality becoming available, and your partner could advise you on what they would recommend you implement.

Summary

The implementation of Employee Central along with Payroll is a large initiative, so planning this is important.  You have a lot of expenses associated with internal resources, consultants, partners, SAP as well as other 3rd parties.  Even if you decide to leave Payroll On-Premise and just implement Employee Central, most of these items should still be considered in the scope as there will be some impact.

It is important to understand this entire process and take advantage of learnings of other customers who have been through this process. 

To help further, the above information is summarised into a checklist that you could use when planning out your migration.You may use the form above to download a copy for yourself. 

If you have any questions or if you’d like to share some of your implementation experiences, please don’t hesitate to comment on my post or e-mail us at [email protected]. I’ll respond to your questions and comments any chance I get.


consideration for payroll during cloud migration
Part One: Considerations for Payroll during Cloud Migration
Part One: Considerations for Payroll during Cloud Migration 1024 512 SpinifexIT

A THREE-PART BLOG SERIES BY DARREN SOUTER

Over the last 10+ years, I have watched with keen interest many different announcements from SAP.  Many of these ended up with little momentum, but the purchase of SuccessFactors by SAP was something quite different.  From the outset, momentum was already there with many existing customers using parts (i.e. modules) of the SuccessFactors Solution.  More recently with the continued investment in SuccessFactors Employee Central, this momentum has further increased with many more existing On-Premise customers looking to move to the Cloud.

However, for most of these customers, SAP Payroll is a huge consideration because of the close integration and dependency  to the existing SAP HCM Solution. SAP’s recent announcement which extends Payroll’s lifetime ‘til 2030 provided more options for existing customers. I’ve documented some reactions and possible effect of this extension on my blog a few weeks ago. Like most customers, we’re also hoping to hear more news about what this solution will contain, and what SAP’s plans are for the Next Generation Payroll solution.

The good news is that the current SAP Payroll is an extremely powerful  and flexible solution and that most of the customers have various options available for their Payroll and how it could be  deployed into the future.

I’m making a blog series for customers and organisations who are in this position. We’re breaking it into several parts to cover off the following key topics:

  • What are my options when moving to Employee Central?
  • Considerations During the Implementation of your new Payroll Solution with Employee Central – What functional use cases and technical areas should I be aware of?
  • Streamlining Further Payroll Operational Processes in your new integrated Payroll Environment

We will look at all the solutions that SAP provide and cover off some of the technical changes such as HANA declustered tables and many more areas.

Before I talk about these things, I’d like introduce myself.

I started working at SAP as part of the team that built the Australian Country Payroll solution. Since then, I’ve been involved in designing and building out our SpinifexIT integrated software solutions for SAP HCM/Payroll with the ultimate aim of providing capability in the hands of Payroll and HR professionals that exposes value in their work and efficiency in their payroll and HR operational business processes and the management of such processes….whether that be in the automation of reporting that exposes insights on the accuracy of employees payroll, the automation of recruiting letters and employment contracts for new hires, tools to accelerate testing in payroll upgrades, solutions to help address complex payroll enquiries, the automation of interfaces with third parties who require payroll and banking information, or delivering embedded custom payroll or HR functionality using our solutions to address a specific customer need…. These are just a few examples of the capability I am passionate about providing to such professionals, because in my eyes, Payroll and HR Professionals are unsung superheroes who work tirelessly for the care of the employee and the employee lifecycle process!

Right now,  I am proud to say that we have  over 800 installations in over 40 countries of our solutions adding values to Payroll and HR professionals everyday, this is just what we do, this is my passion!

Ok so lets now talk a little about SAP Payroll and SuccessFactors. Over the last few years, I closely followed announcements from SAP. This includes SuccessFactors, HANA, Payroll Control Center and HR Renewal. I have also worked with many customers to help them navigate in understanding these solutions and what it means to them.

Hence, it makes sense for me to blog about SAP Payroll and share my views and some best practices we’ve witnessed through our implementation and customer engagement. I’ll keep this blog general and make reference where appropriate to our SpinifexIT solutions and content since our customers found significant value in leveraging the solution in different areas of the SAP Payroll and HR Operational lifecycle.

Start following me or our SpinifexIT LinkedIn page so you don’t miss any updates about this topic.

Let’s get started.

HR & Payroll – Migration Options for Customers

As SAP has often stated, customers can start anywhere and go everywhere.  This is no different in the HCM area, and there are many options available to customers.  Some of the key current options available to customers are listed below

  • Migrate to Employee Central and leave Payroll On-Premise
  • Migrate to Employee Central and also migrate Payroll to Employee Central Payroll
  • Migrate to Employee Central and migrate Payroll to a Hosted option
  • Migrate to Employee Central and move payroll to a 3rd party outsourcer such as ADP, NGA or other Payroll services providers
  • Customers can do nothing right now – Stay on Premise and utilise tools like HR Renewal

As you would see, there are a lot of options available for the Payroll Business.  Each of these have different migration paths with different complexities.  The clear message from SAP however, is that the future of the Employee Master Data is within Employee Central (In the cloud).

This, in my discussions with many customers and partners, is an important part of the future landscape of SAP and likely one that most customers will take over the coming years.  The good news is that there is still time to plan this properly and schedule this into your future plans. The transition is a project that should be planned out carefully, as it is not just a migration, but a business transformation and you should look to review internal HCM business processes during this migration.

In terms of Payroll, there are a number of options available.

Migrate to Employee Central and Keep Payroll On Premise

One of the simplest options is to keep Payroll On-Premise and move the HR Functions into Employee Central.

We have already seen many customers take this approach, as it still allows for the future proofing of the business with Employee Central but maintaining the existing Payroll Rules thats are already in place.

This option doesn’t mean that you cannot take advantage of some of the new functionality, inside of SAP including the Payroll Control Center, which allows you to setup your payroll as a process that can be run from a browser view or directly from Employee Central.

Many customers are also implementing SAP HANA as part of their overall ERP landscape.  This has a large advantage with the Payroll Control Center as well, as the Payroll Control Center writes to new Payroll Declustered Tables that can be optimised for SAP HANA queries.  These can result in very fast validation checks to ensure your payroll is correct and accurate.

During this process, one of the larger pieces of work is the integration between Employee Central and the Payroll System. As most data now is maintained via Employee Central, you now need the Payroll Relevant Data to be migrated to SAP.  This includes most core Payroll Information, but some customers who have existing processes are also continuing to migrate data such as Organisational Structures and other more general employee data.  It really is important to consider what your goal is here in terms of information that comes out of the Payroll System and what processes are to be migrated over to SuccessFactors.

Migrate to Employee Central and move Payroll to Employee Central Payroll (ECP)

In many cases, the customer is looking to completely remove infrastructure and cost that sits within their business while moving to a full cloud solution.  In this case, one of the better integrated options is the SAP Employee Central Payroll Solution. This is a hosted solution that SAP Provides on a subscription model.

With Employee Central Payroll, this is treated as a new Implementation. The advantage of this approach is that many customers over the years have built up manually intensive practices, have complex payroll processes and in many cases use old versions of SAP Solutions, have infrastructure capability that is coming close to end of life. It is an opportunity to revisit their entire implementation and redo this process.

PRO:

You can still move transports from your old system to the new system. Custom configuration can still be migrated into the new solution to speed up your implementation, with few exceptions.

PRO:

The integration is much more tightly controlled.  The ECP solution does not require you to configure the SAP Cloud Integration. Instead, it uses integration processes that are built within the SAP ECP system.

CON:

Some functionality such as Time Evaluation and other Non-Payroll type functionality are not supposed to be used within the Employee Central Payroll Environment.

Several SAP Partners also offer a multi tenanted option here (This means that multiple customers can use the same hardware in the same SAP system), which has the benefits of the SAP ECP environment. However, it is also tied to some partner solutions that allow for faster implementation with accelerators.  This does still require an implementation (Like the Employee Central Payroll Option), but it does allow for some savings if you can leverage off some of the pre-defined options such as country configuration.

Migrate to Employee Central and move Payroll to Hosted Solution

If you are not looking to rebuild a lot of your payroll processes, but would like to retire your hardware and infrastructure, another option may be to use a Hosted Payroll Service Solution. This is an option if your goal is to move all infrastructure out of your current environment, and to essentially keep your Payroll System as it currently is today.

I have not heard from any customers who may have taken this up, but this option is discussed in more detail in various blogs.  One which questions this option for mid to large sized businesses is as follows. Jarret Pazahanick explains why in his blog.

Migrate to EC and move Payroll to 3rd Party such as ADP, NGA

If your goal is to completely transform your business processes, a further option may be to move to a Managed Service Payroll (Still using SAP Payroll as the engine to deliver payroll). Whilst this option is also a reimplementation of your payroll, you can do it with a partner and adopt a lot of their own pre-defined configuration for the individual countries you run payroll for.

Whilst on one hand, this option could be seen as being similar to moving to the ECP Solution, this actually has many more options including just provision of a hosted payroll solution right through to the complete outsourcing of the Payroll to the provider.

Do nothing and continue to use the current SAP HCM System

STAY ON-PREMISE

The last option is to actually do nothing and just follow the migration path SAP will offer to its customers.  SAP have now given a migration path (Planned from 2023) to move to a S4/HANA sidecar solution. This will allow a quick migration to a similar SAP environment, keep your HR and Payroll Solution (Except for Recruitment and Learning).

Of course, in 12 years, the innovation in the cloud will be far more than the existing on-premise system. You might find this dated and this may eventually force the move to Employee Central.

To Sum It Up…

There does seem to be a momentum gathering with more customers putting in plans to migrate their core HCM into Employee Central and the other SuccessFactors Modules.  SAP’s focus has been on developing into the cloud. Luckily, this has also had flow on effect back to the On-Premise solutions with applications such as the Payroll Control Center being available to use within the Cloud or On-Premise.

The decision now comes back to more of a business need. Consider these:

  • Do you want to re-implement your SAP Payroll?
  • How much Business Transformation would you want to do in one go?
  • Do you want to continue managing your own payroll?

The choice is yours and you are spoilt for choices.  It is worth really considering the options available rather than just waiting for the inevitable.

In our next part, we will talk more about the implementation and some of the considerations with focus more on the Payroll.


Opinion Piece: On SAP On-Premise’s Extension And What It Means To Our Customers
Opinion Piece: On SAP On-Premise’s Extension And What It Means To Our Customers 1024 683 SpinifexIT

SAP HCM beyond 2025

SAP recently announced that the on-premise SAP HCM Module will have its maintenance period extended from 2025 to 2030, hence giving existing SAP HCM customers a new option for continuing the use of their SAP HCM Module past the current 2025 deadline.  The announcement also gives customers a new option to migrate to the S/4HANA solution that supports the HCM environment.  This new environment will be based on the existing SAP landscape for easier migration, and the new solution will be based on the HANA database.  SAP have indicated that they will provide additional tools to help with the migration to this new environment, which is planned to be made available in 2023.  This new environment will be supported until 2030.  Details of the SAP announcement can be found here.

Initial reactions to the announcement

At the time of writing this brief article, there have been some documented comments to this news.  Generally the announcement has been seen as positive, although there are questions about the need for new licensing and the migration to the S/4HANA environment.  It will be interesting to see whether this announcement might make customers reconsider delaying  their move to some of the SuccessFactors Modules such as Employee Central, as this potentially gives customers the option to do nothing until they can see further details around SAP’s direction.

For more information on the comments, please see some of the following blogs.

A longer roadmap option for Payroll

In my opinion, the key item that I believe SAP HCM customers have been grappling with is the most suitable long term option for their SAP Payroll System and Payroll Processes considering the benefit in moving to SuccessFactors Employee Central.

As this point,  customers have the option to move to SuccessFactors Employee Central for their HR Master Data Management and core HR Processes, and keep their SAP Payroll on-premise system or have the option to migrate to SAP’s cloud based Employee Central Payroll Solution.  The other options available is to “lift and shift” to an SAP Managed Payroll Service which is offered by a limited set of SAP HCM Partners.   What we are currently seeing, the uptake to Employee Central Payroll is still in early stages and the same can be said for the “lift and shift” SAP Managed Payroll option.

Therefore, most SAP HCM customers have left their SAP Payroll system in current state (Generally in an on-premise ECC environment).  Some customers have migrated to SuccessFactors Employee Central and integrated it with their ECC Payroll, but from what we have seen, the majority of customer have done little at this stage.

How do you plan to manage your payroll processes?

The migration to SuccessFactors Employee Central is certainly in the minds of many customers today as it certainly represents positive business benefits and with the latest announcement of their program Upgrade2Success makes it a compelling strategy to consider. With many customers in the early stages of planning for this move, it will be interesting to see whether this latest announcement from SAP makes such customers put their move on hold for the time being.

At least this gives a longer term roadmap for SAP Payroll, and customers can then independently decide whether they take up SuccessFactors Employee Central for the management of the Employee Master Data and core HR Processes or continue to use the SAP HR On-Premise solution.

It will also be interesting to see if further announcements will be made over the coming months in relationship to a next generation payroll, as speculated by Steve Bogner in the following article.

Whilst SAP have only mentioned this new upgrade option in the article, it would be surprising if another longer term future based option for Payroll is not being considered by SAP.

What do we believe this upgrade / conversion will mean?

Here at SpinifexIT, from what we can understand from the announcement, the new proposed S/4HANA solution will be based on the existing SAP HCM solution, so this is good news and should minimise the work that customers would need to do to convert to this new solution. Customers who have a large amount of custom functionality such as reports or interfaces, there should be minimum changes to their existing solution.

The good news is that customers can look to invest into some of the newer technologies that SAP have recently released such as the Payroll Control Centre and have the peace of mind that this should be upgradeable to the new solution.

What does this mean to SpinifexIT Customers?

Our many SpinifexIT customers across the globe leverage a number of our solutions to address various SAP HCM use cases, including such use cases as it relates to Payroll operational reporting and reconciliation, Payroll Control Centre reportingEmployee and Management digital document, generation and distributionEmployee cloning across SAP systems, hence we see this as a promising announcement from SAP!

This topic has been a constant discussion with customers over the last 12 months with many of them seeking advice on what to do with their SAP Payroll system.  Whilst we have the majority of our customers still using just the SAP ECC versions, we also have numerous customers who have:

  • implemented the Employee Central Payroll Solution,
  • implemented S/4HANA
  • upgraded their database to HANA,
  • adopted Payroll providers such as ADP or NGA (Still running SAP Payroll as the solution).

All of these customers have had a questions about the fate of SAP Payroll past 2025, so at least there is a direction for these customers.

In terms of the SpinifexIT solutions, we will ensure that our solutions continue to work on the new S/4HANA proposed solution.  As the announcement from SAP indicates the new solution will be based on the existing SAP solution. Hence we would not anticipate any upgrade issues, just as we have not seen any concerns with our customers who just recently implemented S/4HANA.

In addition, regardless of what our customers decide to do today with their core SAP HCM System (Stay on Premise, or Migrate to SuccessFactors Employee Central), we have options to cater for use cases that they might encounter.  In all scenarios, SpinifexIT has the SAP user base covered with proven, tangible and productive HCM and Payroll solutions that augment the SAP Roadmap, now out to 2030.

More information about SpinifexIT

For more information about SpinifexIT solutions, visit our website at www.SpinifexIT.com. If you have any questions or if you wish to request a demo, we can be reached at [email protected].

Please join our webinar on the 18th of January. We’re featuring our cloud-based Document Generation Solution for SuccessFactors and SAP HCM (best for cloud or hybrid systems). Click here to read more about the topic & register.

SAP HCM expert Darren Souter

Darren Souter
SpinifexIT Global Solutions Architect

Darren has been developing business-optimising solutions for SAP HCM and SAP SuccessFactors for more than 20 years.  Darren’s leads the SpinifexIT solution team to develop innovative SAP HCM solutions that maximise the value of the SAP HCM Customer investment and help enrich the SAP HCM Customer experience.