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An Introduction to SAP Payroll Processing, Control Center Add-On

by Imran Sajid, Senior Education Consultant, SAP

April 26, 2018

Learn about the functionality of the new front-end interface of the SAP Payroll Processing, control center add-on tool. Organizations use this tool to innovate their payroll processes by providing a new user experience for running payroll and resolving payroll issues. Learn the business reasons for implementing this functionality and learn about the different roles and responsibilities involved in the Payroll Control Center.

SAP Payroll Processing, control center add-on, is a new way for companies using SAP Payroll (on premise and cloud) to run their payroll with an intuitive user experience. SAP Payroll Processing, control center, is an add-on. Its functionality uses the framework of SAP Payroll, a system that thousands of companies already use. In addition to delivering a new interface for running production payroll via the three-click production payroll process, SAP Payroll Processing also delivers additional tangible features. One is its so-called one-click monitoring functionality. One-click monitoring helps companies identify and resolve payroll issues before starting their production payroll process in a manner that was not possible previously. SAP Payroll Processing, control center add-on, also offers payroll department’s transparency in their payroll runs by getting key statistics about their payroll runs before and during their payroll run.

(Note: To understand this article, readers need to have a grasp of complex SAP/SuccessFactors Payroll concepts; in other words, this article is not intended for beginners just learning about SAP/SuccessFactors Payroll.)

Resources

For more information about how to configure SAP Payroll Processing, control center add-on, attend the SAP WNAPCC workshop class. For information about this or any other SAP classes, visit this website: https://training.sap.com/.

For more information about payroll basics, see these other HR Expert content items:

“Automating Tuition Reimbursement in SAP Payroll,” by Imran Sajid

“Understanding the SAP Payroll Reversal Process” by Imran Sajid

To implement SAP Payroll Processing, control center add-on, your SAP system needs to be on SAP ERP Central Component (ECC) 6.0, enhancement package 7, with HR Renewal 2.0 installed (HR Renewal 2.0 is an early release of enhancement package 8). Companies running SuccessFactors Employee Central are already at a release high enough for SAP Payroll Processing, control center add-on– it just needs to be implemented.

(Note: It is worth noting that there is a previous version of SAP Payroll Processing, control center add-on, with older screens, but that functionality is not discussed in this article. The new functionality was delivered in HR Renewal 2.0, Support Package 15. I recommend that the newer version of SAP Payroll Processing, control center add-on, be implemented for all companies going forward.)

Overview of the Payroll Control Center Add-On Roles

SAP Payroll Processing, control center add-on, comes delivered with two roles for the purposes of payroll: the payroll manager and the payroll administrator. Let’s look at the responsibilities of each as they relate to SAP Payroll Processing.

The payroll manager is responsible for:

  • Starting the processes in the SAP Payroll Processing, control center add-on
  • Ensuring the payroll processes are run in a timely manner
  • Viewing key payroll statistics and verifying correctness
  • Assigning policy validations and payroll errors determined by SAP Payroll Processing, control center add-on, to the payroll administrator

The payroll administrator is responsible for:

  • Reviewing the policy validations assigned by the payroll manager and determining if they are correct or if they need to be fixed
  • Fixing payroll errors assigned by the payroll manager

The configuration and authorization of SAP Payroll Processing, control center add-on, allows an organization to assign the payroll manager and administrator roles in a manner that fits their requirements. For example, there could be super users who have both roles assigned to them, someone who is assigned only the payroll manager role, or someone who is a payroll administrator only. Most organizations have many different payroll administrators with each one responsible for a specific functional area. For example, it is common for an organization to have someone who is responsible for benefits, someone who is responsible for time management, and someone who is responsible for employee master data. This could be defined in the system as three different administrators who are responsible for identifying and resolving errors and policy validations in their particular functional area.

Overview of the One-Click Monitoring (Pre-Payroll) Process

One-click monitoring is the term used in SAP Payroll Processing for pre-payroll activities and is one major reason why companies want to implement SAP Payroll Processing, control center add-on. Before SAP Payroll Processing, control center add-on, there was not much a company could do pre-payroll as all the standard SAP reports require that payroll results exist in the system for them to be able to run. It also is not feasible to build custom reports because you don’t have any payroll data to run the custom reports against to get results. While it is possible to run a payroll simulation, the simulation gives very limited information. With a payroll simulation, you would only find out:

  • The total number of employees picked up in payroll
  • Any employees that have hard errors in payroll (e.g., missing data required for payroll)
  • If you have any retroactive payroll runs in this period
  • If there are any custom messages in payroll

Outside of these items, there was not much information or transparency into the payroll run before SAP Payroll Processing, control center add-on, was introduced. With SAP Payroll Processing, you now can get a lot more information, even before starting your live payroll run.

The delivered one-click monitoring process has three steps:

  1. Create test payroll results: Test payroll results are created to use for validation rules and key performance indicators (KPIs) in the next step.
  2. Initiate policies: Configured validation and KPI rules are checked against, using the test payroll results that were created in the previous step.
  3. Monitoring: The returned KPIs and validations are presented to the payroll manager to act upon (this is a monitoring step within the monitoring process).

Let’s see what this process looks like. Once SAP Payroll Processing has been set up, log on to the Payroll Control Center as the payroll manager (Figure 1). Once logged on, navigate to Upcoming Processes tab and click the Start process button to start the one-click monitoring process.


Figure 1
Go to the Upcoming Processes tab and click the Start process button

With the delivered configuration, the system automatically starts the first step in the process (creating the test payroll results), and then automatically moves to the second step (initiating policies). In this second step, the newly created test payroll results are used to determine the validation rules that need to be looked into, and which KPIs are to be automatically displayed for the payroll run.

Once the process is started, the payroll manager can click the Current Processes tab and view the monitoring progress (Figure 2).


Figure 2
Check the monitoring process once monitoring has been started, under the Current Processes tab

You can click into the monitoring process (in this example, click Imran Monitoring Simplified Co…) to see the details of the step that the system is currently running (in this case, the initiate policies step), shown in Figure 3. By default, this step needs to have users manually confirm it so that the system can move to the next step. You do this by clicking the Confirm button shown in the bottom right of the figure.


Figure 3
The payroll manager’s view of the monitoring process showing the initiate policies step

This click of the Confirm button is considered the one click in the one-click monitoring functionality. After starting the monitoring process, with just one click you can view the information about your payroll run. Once you click the Confirm button, the monitoring screen shown in Figure 4 opens. (The information shown in this screen varies based on how your system is set up, and what you have set up as validations and KPIs.)


Figure 4
The payroll manager’s view of the monitoring process showing the monitoring step

The bottom part of Figure 4 shows the configured KPIs of the payroll run. In this example, the KPIs have been grouped into the following three categories:

  • Finance Integration
  • Employee Statistics
  • Gross Pay Statistics

These SAP Payroll Processing (pre-payroll) KPIs provide the information about the payroll run and are intended to replace audit reports or variants of standard payroll reports, such as the payroll reconciliation report or payroll journal, that are used in the standard SAP payroll process. These standard audit or payroll reports are commonly run to get information such as the gross pay in the payroll period. Once a report is run, you then must run a second variation of this report for the previous period to get the statistics for gross pay in the current period to compare with the gross pay in the previous period. As shown in Figure 4, this information is automatically presented (data pushed without asking) to the payroll manager without having to request it via reports (pull the data in).

(Note: Some companies may elect to still use audit reports or variants of standard payroll reports to pull back detailed information that is not shown in a KPI number, such as a full list of employees who receive gross pay. It is still possible to run these reports if you implement SAP Payroll Processing, control center add-on, after you have the payroll results against which to run those reports. It is also possible to integrate these reports into SAP Payroll Processing, control center add-on [not shown or discussed here]).

In the top center section of the screen shown in Figure 4, under Errors, you see the three rules (indicated by the red numeral 3) that were returned from the test payroll results based on the validations configured in your system. Click the Edit button (under Error assignment) to get more information about the validation rules that were returned. This brings up a list of the configured groups or folders, as shown in Figure 5.


Figure 5
The payroll manager’s view of the monitoring process showing data validation groups

You can drill down into one of these groups or folders to see the list of validation rules that are within that group, as shown in Figure 6.


Figure 6
Drill down into the Payroll Control Center manager details to view the policy validations within a group

You drill down even further into any particular validation rule to see the employees who were returned in this rule, as shown in Figure 7.


Figure 7
View the Payroll Control Center manager details for the policy validation values that are returned

Once you have drilled down to this level of detail, the manager can assign this error to an administrator to check and fix by clicking the Not assigned link, shown in the Processor column (Figure 7). Once this link is clicked, the system allows you to select from all the defined administrators in the system.

At this point, managers can repeat these steps for all the returned validation rules to assign issues to an administrator to be resolved.

Looking at the big picture, you see that by using the Payroll Control Center add-on, the payroll manager can do the following (before starting production payroll):

  • Identify any errors with the payroll run
  • Identify any policy deviations with the payroll run
  • Assign errors and policy deviations to administrators so they can be fixed
  • View KPI information for the payroll run

Keep in mind that you can build any errors and policy deviations that make sense for your organization. Here are some examples (including two that were shown in Figure 6):

  • Employee with gross pay greater than 10,000
  • Employees with net pay variance greater than 10 percent
  • Employees missing infotype 105, subtype 0001 (Figure 6)
  • Employees in a default position (Figure 6)

In addition, you can build any KPIs that make sense for your organization. Here are some examples (including a few that were shown in Figure 4):

  • Net Pay amount: Current period vs. previous period.
  • Total Tax amount: Current period vs. previous period.
  • Gross pay amounts (Figure 4): Current period vs. previous period.
  • New Hires in period (Figure 4): Total number of employees with gross pay.

Three-Click Production Payroll

When the time comes to run your production payroll you should already have a good feel for what the payroll run is going to look like. This is because you have the information gathered from the one-click monitoring step, and most of the issues should already have been identified and corrected. At this point, you should only have to deal with any last-minute changes that came into the system, such as a new hire or an administrator updating HR master data because an employee received a bonus payment. Aside from these kinds of changes, you should have a smooth payroll run without any surprises. Let’s see what this process looks like.

Once SAP Payroll Processing, control center add-on, has been set up for production payroll, log in to the Payroll Control Center as the payroll manager and navigate to the Upcoming Processes tab (the same way you did previously in Figure 1). This time, however, since the monitoring process is completed, you see the production payroll process instead of the monitoring process (Figure 8).


Figure 8
The Payroll Control Center manager screen for the production payroll process

Once again click the Start process to begin the production payroll. In this example, there are six production payroll process steps set up in the system. They are:

  1. Start payroll: Release the control record to a released for payroll status.
  2. Run payroll: Run the RPCALC* payroll program.
  3. Posting simulation: Run the RPCIPE00 posting program.
  4. Initiate policies: Run this step the same way you did in the monitoring step previously. The configured validation and KPI rules are checked against the production payroll results.
  5. Run monitoring: Do this step the same way you did previously in the monitoring process. The returned KPI and validations are presented to the payroll manager to act upon.
  6. End payroll: Exit the control record to tell the system you are done with this payroll period.

The delivered configuration automatically starts and completes the start payroll step, completes the run payroll step, and then begins the posting simulation step (but does not complete it). Click the Current Processes tab and the system runs these steps. Then the screen shown in Figure 9 opens.


Figure 9
Current processes showing production payroll in the manager view

Here you see the payroll results that have been created for your employees. You can look in the system and view the results via transaction code pc_payresult as well as run any of your payroll reports (such as the wage type reporter).

Click into your production payroll process to see the details of the current step (Posting simulation). In this example, click Imran Prod Payroll Simplified Config (which is the name defined for the production payroll process in my configuration), shown in Figure 9. This opens the screen in Figure 10 where you can see the details for the current step—in this case, the Posting Simulation details.


Figure 10
Posting simulation details in the manager view

You have the option to click the See details button (not shown) to view the details of the posting simulation or you can log on to the back-end SAP system and navigate to transaction code PCP0 to see the posting simulation document that was created by SAP Payroll Processing, control center add-on.

Once you have verified the details, click the Confirm button and the system automatically takes the next step in the process (initiate policies). Once this step is completed, you need to confirm that step (as you did previously, in the one-click monitoring section, shown in Figure 3). This takes you to the monitoring step (similar to what is shown in Figure 4), but without any errors, since the issues have already been resolved (Figure 11).


Figure 11
The payroll manager view of the production payroll process showing the monitoring step

To finish the production payroll run, confirm the monitoring step within the production payroll process (e.g., click the Confirm button, not shown). This takes you to the end payroll step (the final, sixth step) which is automatically started and completed based on standard configuration.

This completes your production payroll run, and you end up with all the payroll results calculated for employees in your payroll area, as well as having identified and corrected any payroll issues and gotten KPI information on your payroll run.

(Tip: Although not discussed in this article, it is important to understand that you may (and should) build and run your post-production payroll processes, such as posting to Financial Accounting or to Data Medium Exchange (DME), within SAP Payroll Processing, control center add-on.)

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Imran Sajid

Imran Sajid (Imran.Sajid@sap.com) is a Senior Education Consultant at SAP based in the Atlanta, GA, area. At SAP, he focuses on teaching classes in the HCM area within both SAP and SuccessFactors. Previously, Imran was a consultant who implemented and provided post-go-live support for more than a dozen different client systems spanning many industries. Imran graduated from the Georgia State University Robinson College of Business with a degree in Computer Information Systems. Imran can be found on Twitter @ImranSajidSAP.



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