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Overview of SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll

In this introduction to SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll, learn about the cloud-based payroll system meant to handle global enterprise needs.

If you're a payroll manager, finance professional or HR executive who is looking for a new payroll system, there are many choices in the market. One to consider is SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll.

What is SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll?

SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll is a cloud-based payroll system meant to provide the breadth of functionality and global coverage enterprises need.

The core Employee Central Payroll system is built using the SAP Payroll engine, providing a reliable and proven engine for calculating the most complex of payrolls. The Payroll Control Center front end brings pre-payroll and post-payroll processes, continuous data auditing, and payroll processing reporting and analytics to payroll administrators in a one-stop shop. At the time of writing, Employee Central Payroll supports 46 countries for payroll processing and localization support.

The Employee Central system is a prerequisite for implementing and using the Payroll system. So, this is a factor to consider if you are looking purely for a payroll system without changing your existing core HR system.

From a high level, Employee Central Payroll provides a number of important functions. It can run end-to-end, gross-to-net payroll, covering tax calculations, such as through partner product BSI TaxFactory in the U.S. It can print checks, remit payments, provide online employee pay slips and post payroll results to your financial system. From a compliance and security perspective, Employee Central Payroll brings standard-delivered data formats, such as address, telephone, email, national ID and name. It provides fields for contracts and, in supported countries, the functionality to support local laws and reporting or other communication with local authorities. Examples of this include superannuation in Australia, e-filing of employees' payments and deductions in the United Kingdom, and storing and reporting salary increase changes in Brazil.

Employee Central provides a way to manage and automate master data privacy and retention policies that uphold compliance with regional, federal, and local rules regarding data privacy.

It also includes Event Listener for Pre-Payroll Monitoring, which scans HR master data to identify any data changes. These are cross-checked against any open alerts by the system, and if any of the changes resolve an open alert, then the alert will be closed. This enables more streamlined payroll data monitoring and frees up time to focus elsewhere.

SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll use cases

Vendors such as SAP, ADP and Ultimate Software are popular choices for payroll and provide a lot of functionality for running payroll in the United States, Canada and other countries. However, with many choices out there, it can be difficult to determine what system is best for your company. Price might be a factor, but when it comes to payroll, it is often better to look at what features, functionality and compliance capabilities each payroll vendor provides. You may find yourself reviewing seven or eight different vendors before producing a shortlist. Sometimes, it is necessary to issue a request for information to identify which vendors to invite to a formal request for proposal process.

Employee Central Payroll is ideal for customers who are either global, complex or both. Typically, the base number for getting ROI on the implementation is about 1,000 employees in a country. In some cases, customers with fewer employees can get good ROI.

If your workforce has one or more unions -- whether you have any collective bargaining agreements or not -- then Employee Central Payroll would be a suitable option. It has an ability to handle the complexity of having specific rules and regulations defined by unions that are in addition to federal, state, local and regional laws.

If you have -- or plan to have -- all of your employees in Employee Central, Employee Central Payroll can serve as a global payroll option. The point-to-point integration between the two ensures that employee data from all countries can flow between the systems and can be monitored using the provided monitoring tools. No middleware integration is needed for Employee Central Payroll to use the master data in Employee Central for payroll processing.

If you want to fully outsource your payroll processing, you may wish to look at vendors that specialize in those particular services. However, some service providers do offer outsourced payroll processing for customers using Employee Central Payroll.

Support and maintenance

SAP provides standard technical support for live systems through its SAP ONE Support Launchpad. The latest support packages -- a collection of the latest legal requirements and corrections -- are applied by raising a ticket through SAP ONE Support Launchpad. SAP also offers some premium support services for customers.

For payroll maintenance, applying patches and fixes, or business process outsourcing services, you can reach out to a variety of payroll service providers and systems integrators for support, depending on what you are looking for.

For ongoing government compliance, SAP has a team of more than 150 people that track and manage local compliance laws and regulations across numerous countries. SAP provides local legal changes for Employee Central Payroll for all supported countries. These legal changes can include such changes as new reporting requirements, tax rate changes and sick pay changes. These are provided as support packages, but you can also have an administrator apply them in Upgrade Center.

New features and functionality -- as well as legal changes -- are released every six months, usually in the second or fourth quarter. Urgent bug fixes are typically released on a weekly or biweekly basis. New features and legal changes can be applied using Upgrade Center in the system.

Reporting and analytics

Two of Employee Central Payroll's weaker capabilities are its reporting and analytics. Reporting is limited to just payroll data -- for example, worker, compensation and tax data -- and cannot combine data from other systems, such as organizational objects or cost allocation objects. Based on your needs, you may need to augment functionality with a third-party product, like SpinifexIT.

Licensing

Employee Central Payroll uses a SaaS subscription model and is charged annually on a per-employee, per-year basis. For exact pricing, you should reach out to your local account executive at SAP.

Enterprise payroll capabilities

Employee Central Payroll is capable of handling significant complexity and provides a broad range of payroll functionality.

Here's a list of some of that functionality:

  • gross-to-net payroll;
  • legal changes and localization, including country-specific reporting;
  • tax forms, tax models and tax compliance at a country and local level;
  • advances and deductions;
  • retroactive calculations;
  • payroll simulations;
  • check printing;
  • alerts for data errors or inconsistencies;
  • data privacy and protection;
  • payroll auditing;
  • integration with finance systems for general ledger posting, time and attendance systems, pension providers and benefits providers;
  • evaluation of time data for generating compensation data;
  • unions and collective bargaining agreements;
  • garnishments;
  • analytics and KPIs;
  • employee self-service; and
  • mobile access through the SAP SuccessFactors Mobile application.

The Employee Central core HR system is a prerequisite of implementing Employee Central Payroll, and the two are tightly integrated.

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