Troubleshooting Payroll Problems

  • by Satish Badgi, HCM Consultant
  • August 19, 2011
Payroll implementations often face challenges with operational and other run-time issues. Payroll users chase paycheck deadlines on a weekly basis while trying to avoid errors. Learn how to analyze and solve these issues while developing a maintenance strategy.
Key Concept
When payroll cycles are managed within SAP ERP HCM, preventive maintenance or pre-payroll controls are key to reducing potential problems. While a payroll cycle is in progress or when a payroll cycle is exited and issues are found, the troubleshooting of these issues needs quick analysis. Payroll cycles can create time pressures to solve these issues. To help you quickly identify and resolve these problems, you can create a knowledgebase of solutions for future reference. The knowledgebase spans into areas of business processes, configuration, and data, and implements good operational discipline in payroll.

When payroll goes into operation, the challenge of troubleshooting issues increases exponentially compared to the implementation or testing phases of the project. The cause of these problems can range from a faulty business process to a lack of knowledge of the SAP system’s payroll functionality. In some cases, both HR and payroll end users tend to create more problems due to lack of knowledge. These users are doing transaction entries for payroll or are involved in running payroll. Therefore, categorization of the issues and following definite paths in each category help resolve any problems. The three principles of good payroll systems — accuracy, timeliness, and compliance — are the foundation for finding solutions to problems.

Before I get to the issues and troubleshooting discussion, let’s see if there’s such a thing as preventive maintenance for payroll. Typically, payroll users are in rush to release the payroll control record to start the payroll runs. Once they release the control record, they also get into a problem of exiting the payroll (completing and confirming). Can you, for example, proactively look for issues and problems before releasing payroll control records or prior to exiting the control record? Yes, you can look for pre-payroll checks and run reports to ensure that the quality of the data going into payroll is maintained at acceptable levels.

Such pre-payroll checks also help reduce run-time errors (e.g., in infotype 0009 [missing bank detail

Satish Badgi

Satish Badgi has been helping clients implement SAP ERP HCM and payroll for more than 15 years. He has been involved with large full-scale SAP ERP HCM and payroll implementations using the breadth and depth of SAP modules. Satish works for a large management and systems integration consulting firm and handles global payroll for clients. He has published two books on SAP payroll, Configuring US Benefits with SAP and Practical SAP US Payroll.

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