Enhance the Payroll Experience

Understanding the value of a reimagined Payroll Experience for your organization with Employee Central Payroll

by Clay Coleman, Rizing HCM & Paul Rose, Rizing HCM &, SAPinsider Expert | August 2020


Payroll professionals across the globe have traditionally been burdened by technologies that are not fit for purpose. They have lacked the sophistication in the realm of comprehensive payroll validations and have imposed the need for excessive manual data entry on payroll administrators.

The Payroll function has always been associated with transactional processing and manual reconciliation, executing various programs and reports and spend countless hours performing data validations and reconciliation in spreadsheets. This process can be laborious and is prone to human error.

Imagine we could validate all your data requirements without having to execute a report or perhaps review employee exceptions without the use of a spreadsheet. That day may be closer than you think.  

Demand for Elevated Payroll Experience

The payroll function has been exposed to the seismic transformation that has occurred with HR service delivery which has been facilitated by the successful deployment of cloud based integrated HR technologies.

The Payroll Experience (PYX) can be revolutionized with a unified end to end HR, Time, Finance and Payroll solution which focuses on a shift from laborious, transactional processes to more purposeful audits to meet payroll compliance needs and positively impact on business outcomes.

The technology mindset shift for payroll people is substantial but necessary to elevate the payroll function so that technology is a true enabler of slicker employee and payroll people experiences.

Improve the Payroll Experience for your People

The evolution of the Payroll function is upon us and as we shift away from transactional processing, Payroll must leverage technologies to support the greater demand for compliance.
Through the SAP SuccessFactors Payroll Control Center that user experience allows Payroll Directors a view of all payroll processes globally by country, including the progress status and due dates. The Payroll Director will also have access to the Administration of Payroll where they can manage their on-cycle and off-cycle payroll processes, engage with their teams responsible for each payroll through the assignment of alerts, choose KPI’s and also select from a range of pre-defined policies designed to identify data discrepancies that you can expect between payroll periods.

Figure 1 — SAP SuccessFactors Payroll Control Center

Of the processes defined in the Payroll Control Center, it is the pre-payroll processing that offers the greatest benefit to Payroll operations. The functionality allows Payroll to execute a test payroll and validate the results in real time, without the need of creating productive payroll results.

The pre-payroll process can be executed as many times as required, providing Payroll with a forensic understanding of the payroll results in the test payroll. Having access to this analysis in real-time greatly reduces the effort that is typically experienced during end of pay and heavily reduces the time constraints and stress associated with the pay run process.

Legacy payroll technology usurped by innovation

A hospitality organization was struggling with their payroll operations which resulted in employee dissatisfaction, high payroll error rates and disparate processes within the payroll function. The organization invested in their payroll strategy and the key mandate was to resolve for the following challenges:

  • Manual processes from multiple data sources which included data imports from time systems, benefit deductions and employee expenses.
  • Company turnover was deemed a direct correlation to payroll errors.
  • Declaration of year-end tax reporting was found to be incorrect resulting in stiff penalties due to the use of custom, inaccurate programs.

With the successful deployment of SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll, the payroll function shifted for not only the payroll function, but also HR Administrator, Managers and most pivotally, for employees.

The journey was mapped through a series of focused, end-to-end business process and solution workshops conducted with a skilled implementation partner and key SME’s from the payroll, HR and finance function. Through this business transformation path, the company now enjoys:

  • Automated payroll processing
    • A single source of truth that incorporates all steps for payroll processing which includes a global view of Active, Upcoming and Completed payroll processes
    • Test payroll functionality to early identify payroll discrepancies
    • Off-cycle Payroll
    • Alerts for data errors or inconsistencies
    • A smoother payroll processing experience
  • Employee engagement through the Payroll experience
    • A higher level of employee satisfaction due to an improvement in payroll accuracy
    • Access to ESS/MSS functionality through workflow
    • A unified data platform with organic integrations and replication to Payroll
    • Self Service to Pay Statements and End of year forms which are compatible through a user friendly intuitive mobile application.
  • Reporting tools
    • Dashboards showing snapshots of Employee Analysis and Payroll Amount Analysis, including pay to pay comparisons and headcount
    • Monitoring exception alerts on employee thresholds
    • Payroll analytics and KPIs such as employee count analysis and payroll count analysis.

Harness the Power of the Mobile Experience

The insatiable demand for a consumer grade mobile experience where employees can be empowered to have full visibility to the aspects of payroll data that impact them is transformational. The ease of consuming data quickly on a mobile or table device shapes a new type of employee experience where engaging with workforce applications is laborious.

Figure 1 — SAP SuccessFactors Mobile Application

What Does This Mean for the SAPinsider Community?

Based on the information and guidance in this article, the following considerations can help SAPinsiders use SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll to drive a more automated payroll process and a reimagined payroll experience for employees and administrators.

Transform your Payroll Processing with Payroll Control Centre The embedded compliance built into the product and the visual ease in which payroll data is displayed means payroll resources can seamlessly and consistently administer payroll on a regular basis

A connected HR, time, benefits and payroll solution means the siloed processes that have been payroll people have become accustomed can be eliminated. The integrated end to end application is what employees demand and is more akin to a consumer grade experience.

Reduce the overall cost of payroll processing With a more sophisticated payroll technology solution, the reality is that the heavy administration work which has defined the payroll function can be reduced which has the net impact of reducing payroll resource costs. Companies can now harmonize and consolidate payroll cycles on a single, unified platform.

Action the easily accessible Payroll Data Insights The payroll solution will offer the function the actionable insights required to rectify any issues and truly impact positively on business outcomes. An example would be the delivered gender pay gap metrics which provides transparency on this most topical of debates. Proactive payroll alerts mean the payroll administrator experience is elevated.

Potential for Global Payroll Compliance A means for an organization to leverage the solution and ensure compliance in each respective country for payroll and post payroll processing. Payroll gurus will have the trust that SAP product is meeting and exceeding standards and this trust tunnels up the organizational chain to business leaders.