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This blog post introduces you to the SuccessFactors Implementation Design Principle (SFIDP) document: Employee Central Payroll: Migrating from SAP ERP HCM Payroll to SAP Successfactors Employee Central ... Implementation Design Principle documents are owned and managed by SAP SuccessFactors Product Management who engage and collaborate with select, interested partners, and SAP Professional Services to tap the rich implementation experience that is distilled in the document after a formalized product review process before wider publication.

This IDP is authored by Vijaykumar Kulkarni (Accenture) and the SAP SuccessFactors Product Advisory and Partner Success team.

For a complete list of published IDPs, please refer to the IDP publication page Implementation Design Principles for SAP SuccessFactors Solutions.


Several SAP customers run their payroll processes on SAP ERP HCM as part of an integrated SAP landscape. The payroll functionality available in SAP ERP HCM is extremely mature and has been in existence for several years. Customers, especially the larger ones have invested considerable time, effort and resources to implement, customize, maintain and keep current over time. Such customers would like to leverage their investments in SAP ERP HCM Payroll and explore the possibilities of migrating their SAP ERP HCM Payroll solution to SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll.

The IDP document reviews some of the key concepts of the SAP ERP HCM Payroll solution and compares these with the SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll solution, reviews the benefits of moving over to SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll. Further it discusses the considerations for migration, the migration process and provides pointers to SAP and partner tools or service offerings which can be leveraged to automate and accelerate the migration project.

The migration is addressed in three sections, Configuration, Development objects (like Reports, Integrations, custom enhancements) and Data.

Overview of Migration process from ERP HCM Payroll to EC Payroll

Most SAP ERP HCM Payroll customers, however large or small have implemented and are maintaining a customized payroll environment which has stabilized over a period. Moving to SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll allows customers to leverage their investment of time, effort, knowledge and confidence on the current system by adopting a migration approach versus going in for a costly and time-consuming payroll implementation on a new system.

As shown in the diagram below, the sequence to be planned and implemented in order to migrate include

  1. Migration of Payroll Configuration and Customization

  2. Migration of employee and payroll master data

  3. Migration of Payroll results

  4. Validation of data

Migration process from SAP ERP HCM Payroll to SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll (Source: Implementation Design principle document)

Please note:

Migrating to SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll is not a continuation or copy of the existing SAP ERP HCM Payroll system. The system is set up initially as an empty system with the highest version of the software components needed to run payroll.

Time and Benefits configuration/data is not considered within the payroll migration effort and needs to be planned/implemented separately in parallel to the payroll migration project

  1. Migration of Payroll Configuration and development objects

Customizations which include configuration and development objects in the source SAP ERP HCM system can be migrated to SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll by transports via an SAP Cloud Operations ticket. It is important to note that the target system is on the highest version of the software and hence the source SAP ERP HCM system needs to also be on the same release or the difference in release and legal patch levels need to be accounted for (e.g., some data fields may not exist in the older release in the source system) when planning the migration.

Migrating Payroll configuration

It is important for the project team to analyze existing configuration in the source system to determine which configuration objects need to be migrated. Most customers have a mature payroll implementation and may have over the years gathered configuration which is now obsolete and hence need not be migrated to the new payroll environment. Examples of obsolete configurations could be foundational elements or wage types and other obsolete values in configuration tables.

The move to the new system also provides an opportunity to clean up or redesign some configuration elements such as codes for some objects such as the Personnel and Enterprise structures due to mergers and acquisitions or harmonizing of financial postings

An option would be to make these changes in the source system prior to packaging a transport(s). An important consideration while making changes in the source environment is that these changes should be representative of the SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll environment so that only those configurations that would be valid in the Employee Central Payroll environment is moved in.

Depending on the volume of changes required and the operational feasibility of creating a copy of a development environment to make changes at the source another option would be to de-activate Time and Benefits configuration and package all existing payroll configurations in SAP ERP HCM to be migrated to the Employee Central Payroll development client and then undertake any clean up or fine tuning required for Employee Central Payroll before migrating to QA/Test and onwards.

The implementation project team and the customer payroll team are best equipped to decide on the approach.

Migrating Custom objects

Custom objects include any core modifications, addons implemented, custom programs, enhancements, RICEFW’s. Prior to migrating these over to Employee Central Payroll, a thorough feasibility analysis needs to be carried out to identify those objects that can and need to be migrated. An important consideration is that no core modifications or implicit enhancement spots are allowed in SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll and hence alternative solutions for requirements that were solved by modifications or enhancements need to be planned. It is possible though to create new payroll functions, operations, implement Business Add Ins and new development objects such as tables or programs within the customer’s name space in SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll.

Lifting and shifting configuration and development objects need to be logically grouped via transports. These transports can then be sequentially migrated into the target system. The target Employee Central Payroll system is now enabled with Payroll configuration from the source ERP HCM Payroll system. Configuration needs to be unit tested adequately prior to data being migrated from the source system.

  1. Migration of Data

The data migration process is generally split into three steps.

Migration of data from SAP ERP HCM to SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll (Source: Implementation Design principle document)

Migration of employee master data:

As a first step migrate employee master data from SAP ERP HCM to SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central, care is to be taken to transform the data to Employee Central values. Data migrated from SAP ERP HCM represents the complete set of data needed to implement SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central. Employee data is generally migrated to SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central as of the hire date of the employee followed by the current information as on the date of cutting over. This step may not be required if Employee Central has already been implemented and employee master data is already available and productive in Employee Central.

Initial replication from SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central to Employee Central Payroll:

Once data has been migrated to SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central, it can be migrated to the SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll environment by running the Point to Point (PTP) integration for the first time. This initial run of the PTP integration establishes the main mapping table which is used to map employee key fields in Employee Central with the corresponding records in Employee Central Payroll. The Full transmission start date (FTSD) is set as the cut over date. This ensures that only data, on or after the FTSD is transmitted from Employee Central to the Payroll system.

Migration of Payroll data:

Some data which is only relevant and required for payroll such as Tax information for an employee is then migrated from SAP ERP HCM to SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll using a migration process. This data is not captured within Employee Central directly but can be maintained via a user interface in Employee Central by implementing the concept of mash up infotypes for payroll information.

  1. Migration of Payroll Results

The migration of payroll results is influenced by each customer’s specific scenario,

A simple ‘Lift and Shift scenario’ would be one, where Time Management was not implemented in SAP ERP HCM and it has been determined that there will not be any redesign of Payroll configuration. In this case, it is possible to perform retroactive calculations in Employee Central Payroll, like SAP ERP HCM Payroll thus providing a seamless transition from SAP ERP HCM Payroll to SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll.

In such a scenario, it can be decided how far the system should perform retroactive calculations and payroll results for these pay periods can be converted. Generally, the leading practice is to retro-back to the start of the current tax year.

In a more practical ‘Lift and Shift scenario’ where configurations have been adjusted/ cleaned up, wage types have been redefined, it is recommended for Year to date (YTD) results for the current year be converted. If the system is not going live at the beginning of a quarter, it is recommended for both YTD and Quarter to date (QTD) results to be converted. The YTD and QTD conversions are dependent on tax reporting year as applicable for each country.

Please note that for customers with employees in the US and using US Tax Reporter for year end reporting, wage types will need to be migrated for each pay period of the current year. US Tax relevant Infotypes 207, 208, 209, 210 would also need to match the pay periods in order to be able to pick up the correct tax authorities for tax reporting and W2’s.

The database tables including Payroll Cluster Tables cannot be migrated from SAP ERP HCM Payroll to Employee Central Payroll, therefore all data needs to be uploaded into either Employee Central or Employee Central Payroll tables.

  1. Post Migration validation

After completion of the migration process, it is necessary to validate the configurations and data migrated to ensure accurateness and quality. If feasible payroll results should be compared by running payrolls in parallel with SAP ERP HCM Payroll. Integrations need to be migrated and connected with production environments at both ends. Additionally, if US Tax Reporter has been implemented, this needs to be tested on migrated data to ensure that W2s and Year end reporting is accurate.

SAP and Third-Party Tools to Support Migration

In order to support, the migration process from SAP ERP HCM Payroll to SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll, various SAP services are available.

Automation tools and services developed by third party consulting organizations are also available to automate and accelerate the migration process.

For more details, please refer to the implementation design principle document.


The IDP document Employee Central Payroll: Migrating from SAP ERP HCM Payroll to SAP Successfactors Employee Central ... was authored by Vijaykumar Kulkarni and the SAP SuccessFactors Product Advisory and Partner Success team.

Find this document and other IDP documents as well as take part in discussions on the SAP SuccessFactors community