How to reduce Payroll closure window with SAP Payroll Control Center (Part 1 – The Challenge)

By Akshay Patil – Payroll Consultant.

Payroll closure window (the time during which the data input is locked) should be kept to a minimum, especially when there is a distributed payroll and HR team – in addition to a streamlined process definition enabling an efficient hand off between teams; Payroll Control Center offers functionality that can further reduce the payroll lock down window.

Challenge:

In a service center or managed services based set up where the payroll is run centrally, there is always a challenge to ensure that the employee’s data is entered in a timely fashion by the managers/HR teams distributed across various locations. With the traditional payroll processing in SAP, the payroll team typically require about 4 to 5 days to complete the payroll processing. Considering a bank transfer may take up to 3 days, the system is locked down for employee changes for about 7 to 8 days. This means that the cut off for the users entering employee changes (managers or HR team) is much earlier in a payroll period. This challenge is even greater if an organisation processes weekly payrolls.

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Solutions:

This blog describes some of the reasons for a prolonged payroll closure window and how Payroll Control Centre can help minimise the period between release and exit of the payroll control record.

A number of checks and reconciliations are reliant on one set of payroll data being available. As standard, for the SAP system to generate payroll results, the payroll area has to be released for payroll i.e. during the payroll lock down period.

Payroll Control Center (PCC) offers the functionality to perform checks based on simulated results. The de-clustering functionality stores the simulated results in separate databases and hence, can be reported on even before the payroll control record is released. This functionality provides the payroll team an opportunity to identify the potential errors in the payroll and also, make the variance reports (exceptions) available to various recipients to investigate and make corrections to employee data. In other words, the cut-off date for the managers /HR team to input all the data can be extended.

A considerable amount of time and effort is spent on liaising with the managers or HR team to resolve any issues encountered during the payroll processing.

Using Payroll Control Center (PCC) administrator’s role, the exceptions/errors can be assigned directly to the HR team members thereby reducing the time required to send emails or make phone calls to resolve the issues.

So there you have it. I hope I’ve explained why organisations should keep the payroll closure window to a minimum. If you found it useful, head over to part 2 where I’ll guide you through some more solutions.If you’d like to discuss the SAP Control Center in more detail, leave a comment down below or click here for more information.

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