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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

Hi HR experts and payroll gurus,

With HR Renewal 2.0 Feature Pack 1 SAP delivers a completely new user experience to the SAP Payroll application. This complements the previous delivery for the SAP Payroll Processing control center add-on for which I wrote in this previous post.

What is it all about?

As many of you know SAP is all about simplification these days. Simplification of the applications SAP delivered in the past is a key development focus. Employees, and especially the younger generations, have high expectations of user experiences. It needs to be consumer grade and intuitive but at the same time have the robustness of an SAP application. That is why SAP started the HR Renewal program in 2010.

HR Renewal started with the revamp of employee and manager self-service processes. In 2013 the HR professional roles started to be revamped and 2014 it is all about payroll!

The SAP Payroll Processing control center add-on in the first delivery was mainly focused on the payroll administrator role by providing support for master data validation and reconciliation. With HR Renewal 2.0 feature pack 1 the payroll process manager (the person operating the payroll) will receive a completely new user interface that makes the process more understandable and at the same time easier to audit. This is a huge time saver.

So how does it look like?

The new user experience concept consists of three layers. The Calendar view provides the big picture. From there the payroll process manager drills into the Process view per payroll process, and at the third level is the Process step view.

Calendar view

The payroll calendar is shown when a payroll process manager looks into the payroll. See the following screen shot:

This calendar shows all payroll processes that are configured and accessible for the payroll manager. These individual payroll processes can be defined when customizing the payroll. The payroll processes can be configured per payroll area, and it is also possible to configure multiple payroll processes per payroll area or one process for multiple payroll areas.

An example: For the headquarter payroll area a monthly payroll is defined in one process. Another process is defined for the same payroll area (headquarter) to support the weekly off-cycle payroll. The off-cycle process probably has different (and less) steps to complete the payroll and therefore it is defined in a separate process.

To navigate easily within the calendar view multiple filters are offered to the payroll manager. This allows to easily find processes within a certain category (monthly, weekly, semi-weekly payrolls, etc), within certain execution status (in execution, closed, locked, etc.), or the processes with errors.

The calendar view shows a monthly calendar and the color coding shows which processes are in process and what the status is (red or green). It is possible to change the calendar view settings to e.g. start the work week on a Sunday and not on a Monday.

Process View

When a payroll process manager clicks on a payroll process in the calendar view the process view opens. It displays the complete process and it contains main steps and sub steps. See the following screen shot:

Every process overview contains main steps (at the top) and sub steps (under the main steps). On main step level dates are displayed within which the process chain needs to be executed. The bar shows the number of days that are passed in the defined period. On sub step level different icons show if a process is open, closed, locked, or awaiting action.

As described earlier the way these processes can be defined is fully flexible. SAP provides a framework that aims to allow to model out exactly what is being currently run in HR departments.

Process step view

When you click into the sub step a new transaction screen opens. These predefined transaction screens are delivered in HR Renewal 2.0 FP1 for the Payroll control record, the Payroll driver, and reports in the context of Posting, Bank File creation, and Bank transfer. More of these predefined screens will follow in subsequent feature packs. SAP also delivers a framework so that customers and partners can convert their ‘own build’ reports and transactions into the new user experience.

For all Process step views the left side of the screen shows the ‘actions’ and the right side show the ‘details’.  The following example shows the ‘run payroll’ screen with an overview of all 3 payroll areas that the payroll is ran for. The SAP Payroll Processing transaction (RPCALC for the techies amongst us) is triggered when the payroll is being executed (via the button bottom right).

See the following screenshot to run the payroll:

The status shows the control record information with details per payroll area. It also shows e.g. the employees that are locked. This is displayed in the following screen shot:

The confirmation step on the left side is a crucial feature that is added based on customer request. We have seen many customers that have separate spreadsheet based processes that are used to track all activities handled. These spreadsheets are used for audits. In the spreadsheets transactional activities are stored (e.g. when did a transaction run and for how many employees, with how many errors) and also non-transactional activities (like mail approval for a certain step).

The confirmation possibility in the new user experience is aimed to merge the transactional and non-transactional processes. It allows for active confirmation for each step and to add in comments which are tracked for auditing purposes. See the following screenshot:

With this new functionality all executed actions are automatically tracked and saved. Per process step the audit file can be shown when clicking on the Action log. See the following screenshot:

Dividing the work

So how does this work together with the previous delivered control center add-on for the payroll administrator? The payroll process manager is the key person that is able to divide all tasks like master data validation, interface tracking and reconciliation within a team. That means that a payroll manager can appoint payroll administrators in order to fix potential issues in the payroll. Directly from the payroll process overview the control center add-on for the administrator can be started. See the following screenshots:

Via the process overview the process step view for payroll checks (validations) can be opened:

This view shows the payroll areas for which the validations need to take place. It also lists the administrators that can take care of the administrative validation tasks. These administrators can be appointed to payroll areas and several other organizational attributes for validations. See the following screenshot:

And the following screenshot shows a selection of organizational attributes:

After assigning the administrators to the work packages the status item displays the number of errors that need to be checked per administrator. See the following screenshot:

This dashboard shows real-time information per payroll administrator and per wok package. So, whenever the payroll administrator resolves an issue this will automatically be updated on the screen for the process manager. The process manager can confirm the payroll when the most alarming issues are resolved. The process manager can confirm the step even while there are issues open. Needless to say that all these actions are tracked.

What are the improvements to the payroll administrator functionality?

So far I discussed what new functionality will be delivered for the payroll process manager. In addition, the payroll administrator functionality that was delivered with HR Renewal 2.0 is also improved::

  • A new concept is introduced for support of the "execution-period-context". This means better visualization support for validation rules that are executed for different (payroll) periods. This is especially helpful for off-cycle payrolls;
  • The ability to set mass status updates in the control center add-on. For example to approve multiple employees with the same issue in a certain validation rule;
  • New search functionality is introduced to search for employees in the control center add-on. This is helpful when a payroll administrator wants to quickly look up potential errors for one employee. For example when a line-manager calls to provide input;
  • New sorting functionality to sort employee lists according to a name or a number;
  • Lastly there is a new filter to checks results for employees. These filters help the administrator to find information quickly. Filters show e.g.
    • All potential issues and errors;
    • All potential issues that are manually set to Okay (green);
    • All employees that have no potential issues.

What are the prerequisites?

The software prerequisites for the new payroll process manager functionality are:

  • HR Renwal 2.0 FP1
  • SAP ECC6 Enhancement Package 7
  • SAP NetWeaver 7.4
  • SAP_UI on SP8

Specific to the payroll administrator functionality (and as mentioned in this post😞

  • HR Renewal 2.0
  • Declustering Business function must be switched on (HCM_LOC_CI_50)
  • SAP HANA is recommended due to the performance improvement and the ability to build complex business rules

How to implement it?

SAP Payroll control center add-on FP1 Ramp-up documentation and How-To's are available via SAP Note 2053309

More implementation information on HR Renewal FP1 can be found here: https://help.sap.com/erp_hcm_ias2_2014_02/

What are the key benefits?

To sum up some of the benefits of the newly delivered functionality and user experience of the control center add-on:

  • It speeds up and streamlines your process by eliminating time consuming spreadsheet based analysis and the creation of manual audit trails.
  • Allows you to define your (local)  processes on a single platform which leads to increased efficiency;
  • Increases time to productivity for new employees and employee satisfaction due to consumer grade user experience

Is that it?

Of course not! You can expect further innovations being rolled-out over the next feature packs. Customers engagement initiatives are providing input to further build out the delivered functionality. On the roadmap are important items like workflow, collaboration, and further automation capabilities.

We will keep you posted on what is coming! And if you did not see how employees can look at their pay stubs via their Fiori app, check this video.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out.

Best regards,