How to conquer year-end payroll stress (and live to tell about it!)

By Posted August 29th, 2013

There are many things that people worry about when configuring, processing and reconciling payroll taxes in SAP – processing classes, tax models, overrides, connecting the wage types to the right boxes on the W2, just to name a few. When you realize that you could receive penalties if things are set up incorrectly, that just compounds the issue and the stress that goes along with payroll taxes. Payroll professionals face pressure all year long to not only maintain accurate payroll, but also to stay on top of an ever changing list of wage types additions, changes, and more.

Our team at SpinifexIT not only works with payroll professionals every day, we ARE SAP payroll professionals, so we understand the processes and the risks. That’s why we designed our Easy Balance solution to reduce or eliminate much of the stress our payroll compatriots face every day. Easy Balance provides the ability to easily check key payroll and tax configuration in SAP all year long to provide a peace of mind to all users. Not only that, but there is my favorite Easy Balance report that interactively identify and correct issues in real-time, right from the report.

Let’s look at a couple of real-world scenarios for Easy Balance. In Scenario 1, you have locations across the US and you need to review how wage types are taxed across these locations. How would you complete this task today? If you’re like most, it would be done manually and painfully, taking hours to complete. Easy Balance provides tools and reports that allow you to securely verify configuration at a glance in minutes.

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As we see above, this Easy Balance report can help identify if you have something set up incorrectly. For example, look at the line for Wage Type 1300 (Taxable Tuition Reimb) above. It is set up to be taxable for only a few states. Is that correct?  If it’s incorrect, you can provide this information to your configuration team to get it corrected ASAP and avoid reconciliation or retroactive corrections later.

Our team at SpinifexIT not only works with payroll professionals every day, we ARE SAP payroll professionals …
Let’s look at a second scenario where Easy Balance can help. Let’s assume you aren’t quite sure which wage types are set up to be mapped to Box 1 of the W-2. How do you verify that today?  You probably follow a tangled web and plow through the IMG or ask for help from your super users who can navigate it for you. Easy Balance provides standard reports that allow you to verify wage type mappings to your W-2 boxes in a single report. Here’s an example:

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Let’s go to another scenario – Balancing your gross payroll entries to Tax Reporter.  How do you do this today? Did you write custom ABAP to access the data you need? What happens when you add some new wage types? Do you have to wait for ABAP help to make changes? With Easy Balance, no ABAP is required. Ever. For example, the report shown below is pre-delivered with Easy Balance. It directly reads your SAP configuration, payroll results and Tax Reporter data so you can balance things and be confident you’ve got the correct data being reported.  Take a look at this:

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Notice the icon at the left of bottom line. Click on that icon and POOF, you can see detail by employee. It’s that easy.

If I haven’t sold you on the merits of Easy Balance just yet, let’s look at a final scenario. One of the headaches of payroll reconciliation is identifying the exceptions in employee master data that impacted results. Easy Balance provides one report that gathers critical exceptions on employee master data and allows you to click on an icon that will take you to correct any exceptions you find. Take a look:

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The Create, Change and Display icons on the right side of the report take you right to PA30 or PA20 to either correct or view the data. You make the change, save your record, and come right back to this report to continue the clean-up. Running this throughout the year will help you keep your data as clean as possible, allowing you to avoid issues at that critical time of the year when you’re trying to wrap up your year-end activities.

I have just scratched the surface of what Easy Balance can do in this blog post. There are many other delivered reports and processes for things like FICA balancing, balancing payroll to FI to Tax Reporter, reviewing Infotype 221 exceptions, and even built-in documents that you can run to enable employees to review their address and withholding information. The goal of Easy Balance, like all of our solutions, is to save you time and money. And, as all of my payroll counterparts can appreciate, reduce your stress and workload.