SAP Payroll

SpinifexIT webinar meet Easy STP
Webinar: Meet Easy STP – A Single Touch Payroll solution by SpinifexIT | December 14, 2018
Webinar: Meet Easy STP – A Single Touch Payroll solution by SpinifexIT | December 14, 2018 1024 512 SpinifexIT

We’re inviting you to join our FREE webinar about our newest solution for Australian Payroll Reconciliation and Single Touch Payroll, Easy STP. The webinar will go live this Friday, December 14, 2018 at 2:00 PM AEDT. Our SpinifexIT Consulting Team Member Tony Vitelli will discuss the following topics in this 20-minute session:

    • What is the STP process and how Easy STP can add some value
    • What is Easy STP and how it can help expedite your full payroll process
    • How Easy STP can help you stay compliant with the ATO
    • What kind of documents can you produce with Easy STP
  • See Easy STP in action (live demo)

Please click here to register and reserve a slot.

If you cannot make it to the webinar due to schedule conflicts,  you can still register to receive a copy of the session within 48 hours. The session will also be posted on our Customer Care Portal under the Easy STP section in Zendesk.

If you have any additional questions before or during the webinar, please send us your inquiries at [email protected].

SpinifexIT Australia Team

[email protected]

SpinifexIT blog Are you ready for saps stp deployment
Are you ready for SAP’s STP Deployment?
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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
SAP payroll cloud document generation Spinifexit
Webinar: A Taste Of The Cloud Featuring Strato by SpinifexIT | November 29, 2018
Webinar: A Taste Of The Cloud Featuring Strato by SpinifexIT | November 29, 2018 1024 512 SpinifexIT

Discover how SpinifexIT solutions can help On-Premise SAP Customers prepare to move to SuccessFactors and improve their day to day communications and overall employee satisfaction while enabling an easier transition to the cloud.

This webinar will be hosted by Stephen Gallo, our Product Architect from SpinifexIT North America. Stephen will give a brief description and demonstration of our cloud-based on-demand document generation solution, Strato. Strato is built for both on-premise and cloud environments and offers a seamless user experience for users who are using both or either environment.

This webinar is highly recommended for: 

  • Organizations who are using SAP HCM on-premise and are looking for ways to improve their document distribution and employee communication processes
  • Organizations using both SuccessFactors Employee Central but still with On-Premise Payroll (hybrid) who are looking for ways to easily bridge the gap between their cloud and on-premise solutions by being able to generate data from both sources without the need for external downloads, manual efforts, third-party software, or interface files.
  • Organizations who are looking for solutions to help them create and automate the distribution of key employee documents like Letters of Employment, Claims, and Total Compensation Statements
  • SuccessFactors customers who are looking for a robust document generation solution that can easily combine data from across multiple SF modules, including ECP (Payroll)

This webinar is FREE for everyone.

Click here to register and reserve your slot.

Event Details

Date: Thursday, November 29, 2018

Time: 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EST

Hosts: Kris Burke & Stephen Gallo

Spinifexit 2018.r3 release
Limited Release Coming Soon: 2018.R3!
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2018.R3 packs over 50 new updates and enhancements especially made to continuously improve and your SAP HCM and SuccessFactors experience and maximise your solution investments.

Improve your on-premise to cloud transition processes with SpinifexIT’s 2018.R3

Our third solutions update for this year goes live on November 19, 2018. This release will be available for a few pre-identified customers first before its full public release. 
For any questions related to the rollout, please contact our Customer Care team.  
Below are the most requested updates we’ve made available for you:

Easy Reporter Updates

IMPROVING SUCCESSFACTORS INTEGRATION

Connect to SuccessFactors systems via SAP Cloud Integration.

Include new Time Off Reporting Fields within Employee Central to include Time Off Absences, Leave Balances, Attendance records and more

NEW FEATURES TO ENSURE GDPR COMPLIANCE

Report on SAP system logs (most requested!) to read access logs and transactions run by users

WEB REPORTING ENHANCEMENTS

Reporting performance with regards to loading reports using the Web Reporter has been improved with more features added to the Additional Selection tab.

A new capability to add Data Input Fields to a report or document selection screen under the tab “Report Parameters” has also been added. *** Performance improvements, additional parameters (2nd paragraph) details can follow

Payroll Control Center Integrated Solution

ENHANCED USABILITY

A new option to call SuccessFactors Employee Central when investigating errors has been added. This can be accessed within the Payroll Error Solution screen.

The new enhancements to be delivered will also enable Easy Reporter reports to be linked into the payroll processing functionality. The results of these reports can also be stored for future references

Strato

NEW FEATURES TO COVER MORE SUCCESSFACTORS MODULES

A new option to call SuccessFactors Employee Central when investigating errors has been added. This can be accessed within the Payroll Error Solution screen.

The new enhancements to be delivered will also enable Easy Reporter reports to be linked into the payroll processing functionality. The results of these reports can also be stored for future references

ADDITIONAL CUSTOM DATA SOURCE

You can now upload CSV files to be used as a catalogue while creating new documents or new fields.

Introducing: Easy Single Touch

ADDITIONAL CUSTOM DATA SOURCE

Along with the new STP Solution from SAP, we’re releasing Easy STP at NO COST to all existing Easy Payment Summaries customers. Learn more about Easy STP here.

Easy Clone

MAJOR ENHANCEMENTS FOR CLONING SUCCESSFACTORS DATA

7 shiny new updates are in place to make Employee Central data cloning and scrambling a breeze. This includes new scramble rules and customisation options, the option to include data retrieval for non-key fields, and some additional Admin options to keep this process fool-proof.

Additional Resources

Visit our Customer Care Portal

View the complete set of release notes and updates by signing up, if you haven’t yet.

Join our webinars

We will be hosting two webinars for 2018.R2 on the following schedules:
ANZ/APAC: TBD
US/EU: December 6, 2018.

FAQ

It’s so easy to upgrade to 2018.R3. We’ll answer your top release related questions here.

NOTE: 2018.R3 will be released incrementally, first to a select group of customers, prior to a full public release.

How can I update?

Two ways. You can e-mail us at [email protected] and ask for an upgrade, or file a ticket using our Customer Care Portal. If you’re using one of our on-premise products, the update will be in the form of a transport. If you’re using Strato, the update will be included the next time you log in.

I’m using an old version. should i update to the latest one?

Of course. You can do a one time big time update rather than updating to the next version after yours. It’s easier and more practical that way.

How many versions do you support?

SpinifexIT supports three active solution versions. If you’re still on 2017.R2, an upgrade is in order.

What benefits do i enjoy when i upgrade to 2018.r3

We’ve enumerated the top requested enhancements only, but we’re really delivering over 50 new features and enhancements.  You can also view our public release notes by visiting our customer care portal. 

I want to learn more about your solutions

Great! We highly recommend that you browse our solutions section, and if you have any questions about these, don’t hesitate to send us the note using the form on the page’s footer. We can arrange for a quick call and demo. You can also e-mail us straight at [email protected]

SpinifexIT blog single touch SAP payroll is here
Single Touch Payroll is Nearly Here for SAP Payroll
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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 hr payroll seminar sap insider 2018
SAP Insider HR Payroll Seminar | November 7-8, 2018
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SpinifexIT is proud to announce that they will be exhibiting at the upcoming SAPinsider HR Payroll Seminar to offer proven advice to attendees.

The event takes place November 7-8 in Chicago. This year’s must-attend event is packed with lectures, demonstrations, and interactive discussions all led by top HR experts.

HR Payroll Seminar is produced by SAPinsider and is the premier event for organizations running SAP payroll who are looking to achieve greater control over payroll-related costs and resources while evaluating or preparing their organization to transition payroll to the cloud.

View the full agenda as well as receive a special discount by visiting www.hrpayrollseminar.com/SpinifexIT.

About SAPinsider

SAPinsider, published by Wellesley Information Services, is the premier source of information on products, services, and strategic initiatives coming from SAP and its partners. More than 225,000 customers in 70 countries rely annually on education and training materials from Wellesley Information Services to optimize their investments in SAP solutions. Wellesley Information Services is the publisher of SAPinsider, and is the producer of SAPinsider conferences and seminars. For more information, visit www.SAPinsiderOnline.com.

SAP is a registered trademark of SAP SE in Germany and several other countries. Wellesley Information Services is not affiliated with SAP SE or any of the SAP SE group of companies.

SAP and other SAP products and services mentioned herein as well as their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP SE (or an SAP affiliate company) in Germany and other countries.

All other product and service names mentioned are the trademarks of their respective companies.

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

***

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 latest release
2018.R2 Goes Live!
2018.R2 Goes Live! 1000 668 SpinifexIT

We’re committed to continuously improve your SAP Payroll Reporting and Document Generation processes. Our latest release for 2018 (2018.R2) has a lot of new features and enhancements you can take advantage of to make running HR & Payroll a breeze.

Improving your SAP Payroll Reporting and Document Generation User Experience with 2018.R2

Our second solutions update for this year goes live on July 23, 2018. With only barely three weeks to go, we’re inviting you to join our webinar so you can have a sneak peek at what’s in store.

Below are the top 5 most requested updates we’ve made available for you

NEW

Easy Reporter contains new pre-delivered localised and legislation-required reports

Easy Documents can also display user-generated payslips into two more different formats following popular demand

IMPROVED

Easy Reporter‘s Web Reporting features have added performance improvements

Easy Clone has been made more flexible whilst copying and scrambling Employee Central data

CREATE MORE

Customise pre-delivered Payroll Control Center validation rules to optimise payroll reconciliation

Extend your Employee Central Payroll and Recruiting Document designing experience through Strato’s new options

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SpinifexIT Easy Clone Logo

2018.R2 Highlights & Overview

WATCH OUR WEBINARS ON DEMAND

This session was hosted by Tony Vitelli. To watch the replay, click the button below and fill out the form. The webinar will play right after. 

This session was hosted by Paige Elkins. To watch the replay, click the button above and fill out the form. The webinar will play right after. 

FAQ

It’s so easy to upgrade to 2018.R2. We’ll answer your top release related questions here.

HOW CAN I UPDATE?


Two ways. You can e-mail us at [email protected] and ask for an upgrade, or file a ticket using our Customer Care Portal. If you’re using one of our on-premise products, the update will be in the form of a transport. If you’re using Strato, the update will be included the next time you log in.

I’m using an old version. should i update to the latest one?

Of course. You can do a one time big time update rather than updating to the next version after yours. It’s easier and more practical that way. 

How many versions do you support?

SpinifexIT supports three active solution versions. If you’re still on 2017.R1, we highly encourage you to update ASAP. 

What benefits do i enjoy when i upgrade to 2018.R2?

We’ve enumerated the top 5 most requested enhancements only, but we’re really delivering over 30. You can view some of these in action by joining our webinar on the 19th. You can also view our public release notes by visiting our customer care portal. 

I want to learn more about your solutions.

Great! We highly recommend that you browse our solutions section, and if you have any questions about these, don’t hesitate to send us the note using the form on the page’s footer. We can arrange for a quick call and demo. You can also e-mail us straight at [email protected]

Spinifexit Payroll Control Center
Use Case: Introducing SpinifexIT’s Payroll Control Center Integrated Solution
Use Case: Introducing SpinifexIT’s Payroll Control Center Integrated Solution 626 417 SpinifexIT

Quickly define exception checks and use Easy Reporter’s comprehensive reporting capabilities to proactively identify errors.

SAP’s Payroll Control Center helps you improve the way you run payroll and start achieving perfect payroll runs through proactive reporting and reconciliation. However, to get these set up, users may need some technical configuration which may take weeks to build and test.

With SpinifexIT’s Easy Reporter, organisations can cut down the Payroll Control Center implementation time by 85%. Combining these two powerful solutions brings forth more powerful payroll checks which helps their payroll team run perfect payroll processes and future proof the business.

Find out more about our Payroll Control Center integrated solution. Fill out the form below to get a free copy of our PCC webinar.

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