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Strategic Payroll


Mike Ellis
EVP Sales | APJ
Synchrony Global
Payroll Transformation – Yes, It’s Strategic!
By Mike Ellis, EVP Sales | APJ for Rizing HCM

In the world of transformational HR where focus the time restraints, resulting in potential errors
has shifted to strategic processes such as reoccurring the next time data is interfaced
performance and goals management, recruiting, down from the HRIS.
and succession, one module is often overlooked
as a function that can be transformed...Payroll. Enter what I think is the next wave of payroll
management, the Payroll Control Centre that
With the widespread adoption of employee and SAP released a few years ago, and now has
manager self services, and with HR Business made available in Employee Central Payroll,
Partners and Specialists now having direct SAP’s cloud based payroll solution. This is a
access into a fully integrated HRIS, the function game changer.
of the payroll manager has drastically changed.
In the past, all data entry into the payroll system Payroll managers now can monitor the impact
were typically performed by the payroll team of self-service data changes on their payroll
themselves, the source of that data often being calculations throughout the payroll period. Any
manual paper based forms or, in some cases, changes required due to missing or incorrect
through a help desk ticketing tool. What is the data can be assigned to an administrator to
impact on your payroll solution when dealing investigate and fix or directly back to the HRBP
with the dynamic environment that self-services to correct.
and wider enterprise access brings?
Control totals that in the past required Excel
If the underlying payroll solution isn’t wizardry that my CFO would be proud of, are
robust enough to track these changes and produced real time, in dashboard format, and
automatically calculate any payments / production of bank files, general ledger postings
deductions in the payroll, the payroll team files are all produced through one simple tool.
will be scrambling post payroll cut-off date to
identify changes and ensure any calculations The time and effort saving alone due to the
that are required have occurred. The typical Payroll Control Centre is huge
cycle of data entry, running payroll, extracting
reports, reconciling, adjusting, repeating until it’s In the past when people used to ask for a
all balanced and accurate and then sending off payroll demonstration I used to cringe, as it
the bank file, reports, payslips can all be put at never was a simple process and often scared
risk with some erroneous data changes from an customers away. Let’s face it the lovely grey
unsuspecting employee or manager. and blue screens of SAP GUI are not going to
win first prize in a beauty pageant. Now, I find
If the payroll system is integrated via an myself actually volunteering to run a payroll
interface rather than being a component of demonstration when our team is asked to run
the HRIS itself, odds are the data corrections one.
made were just in the payroll system due to
So, what does this all have to do with HR
We’ve found that often whilst there is executive
intent to sponsor a focus on Strategic HR, often
the business case is hard to stack up due to
the reliance on intangible benefits used during
the analysis. When you include Core HR and
Payroll in the mix, tangible benefits can easily
be realised.
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With a tool such as Employee Central Payroll,
the business case can further be strengthened
by allowing the redirection of focus from admin
and transactions to the strategic elements of
providing HR services to an organisation. In the
past, this was typically achieved by adopting
shared services, which is still a great option, but
no longer the only option. Does this mean that
payroll can now be considered strategic in the
world of HR transformation? I would say yes.

What about the costs?

Traditionally, payroll solutions were expensive,
especially when implementing an SAP based
payroll solution. This does not have to be the Absolutely not, we’ve clients ranging from
case. If a preconfigured template is used to 100 employees upwards on our payroll
accelerate the implementation, and the mindset solutions. Synchrony Payroll, powered by SAP
of the organisation is to adopt that template SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll,
rather than trying to adapt that template to the is now available to any sized organisation,
company’s existing practices, costs can be from 50 employees in a country up to 10,000
minimised. employees (or more if required), all on the same
platform with the same user experience and
As long as that template comes with functionality.
pre-packaged processes, a level of pre-
configuration that allows implementation to I started out my SAP and HCM career as
focus on effectively moving company data a payroll consultant, and whilst I always
over, and ultimately it is legally compliant (and have considered myself a payroll junkie, the
supports best practice), an implementation can innovation that SAP SuccessFactors brought
be comparable to any other Tier 2, best of breed to talent management and strategic HR almost
payroll system. had me converted over to being a talent junkie. I
think there may be some fight left in payroll yet,
Ultimately, we’ve found on a number of the Payroll Control Centre and Employee Central
occasions, replacing the current payroll solution Payroll is how payroll should be done.
enables an organisation to realise benefits that
can then be redirected into funding the more Learn more about learn how your orgnisation can
traditional strategic elements of HR. Is this take advantage of Synchrony Payroll today by visiting
limited to large organisations? synchronyglobal.com/payroll

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