I Can Now Take a Vacation at Year-End!
One of the nice things about my job is that I get to talk to a lot of SAP HCM customers about the challenges that they have in their day-to-day job. Often during product demonstrations, we spend much of the time just discussing some of the challenges and approaches that the customers use to solve their daily business needs.
Many of the more complex and time-consuming processes involve payroll, reconciliation and reporting. Whilst SAP can cater for the needs of some of the most complex payrolls, there are also often no standard ways of doing some of the reporting and data validation.
Most payroll teams work out their own manual methods for doing their day-to-day work and the majority of the customers that I see do many things inefficiently. They would often comment that they must have the worst processes in the SAP world. Whether efficient or inefficient, most customers have designed their own methods to get their jobs done like checks to ensure that employees are not overpaid, validation of SAP data, validation of the data after payroll has run, provision of reporting out to various departments in the organisation, provision of management reporting, year-end payroll checks, etc. The list can run into dozens of weekly or even daily business processes.
It seems like each customer that I visit has at least one Microsoft Excel expert. These people can take reports from different sources in SAP (such as the Wagetype Reporter, Ad hoc Query and other SAP reports), and create combined reporting and reconciliation spreadsheets in Excel. I’ve seen some cases where these processes can get so complex that they can have a 30 page document that explains how to create a report, right down to the buttons to click, the file naming conventions, etc. It is truly impressive. The problem is that these processes are also inefficient and the knowledge is not easily transferred to another person.
One of the most complex cases I have seen has to do with year-end reconciliation. Here in Australia, year-end payroll reconciliation can take anywhere from 2 weeks to over 2 months to complete. Most customers wait until about 1 month prior to year-end before starting their reconciliation and often work right up to the submission deadline. During this time, the people who perform the reconciliation are often not allowed to take holidays, often work late or work weekends to ensure that the SAP figures balance correctly.
What I talk to the customers about is automating SAP HR and payroll processes that they do throughout the year. With our team’s knowledge of various customer processes and best practices, we can quickly recommend the best and quickest processes to implement. In most cases, these manual processes that previously required an instruction manual can now be combined into one single report. This frees up time each week for the payroll team to concentrate on completing many of the tasks that they otherwise just don’t have time to do.
And, after introducing them to SpinifexIT, the most common comment I hear from payroll teams is “I can now FINALLY take holidays at year-end!”