Future Payroll – A New Payroll Architecture

I like SAP R3 payroll, with all its strengths and weaknesses. But I’m ready – the industry and customers are ready – for a new payroll. I’m calling it Future Payroll.

Future Payroll has to be new, from the ground up. R3’s foundation of schemas, rules and wagetypes is great. It’s powerful when you know how to use it, but it’s also antique compared to what we have available today. Maybe more important than the technical foundation is what the business value, the end-result needs to look like.

The Future of SAP Payroll

I've been working with SAP's payroll since 1993. When I was trained, R3 didn't really exist so I was trained on R2 payroll - oh, those were the green screen days. And I was around to see and participate in the development and roll out of R3 payroll for the US. Oh, those were some days.... So now with the end of R3 coming in 2025 (as announced so far), and everything moves to SuccessFactors except payroll (I don't count EC Payroll as a cloud offering since it's a dressed up R3 Payroll), people wonder just what is up with the he future of SAP Payroll. It's a good question.

Kitchen Insights for Business Teams

A while ago we had dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, but this time we sat at their kitchen-bar. Their kitchen is open for the patrons to see, and if you want an up close view of it you can sit at a bar that is adjacent to the line cooks. As someone who loves good food, and loves to cook good food, this was a real treat! We arrived early, so we got to see the kitchen go from relaxed to frenetic. I didn’t expect to gain some consulting insights from the evening, but I did.

A New Paradigm for SAP SuccessFactors Payroll

One of the curious things in life is that what might appear to be simple, is really more complex than it seems. We can look at the recruiting process, for example: We need to fill a position so we tell HR, they post some ads and work with recruiters to get us a list of candidates, we interview them and hire one. Those in HR know the process is much more detailed and complex than that, but if you’re not the process owner then you don’t really ever get an appreciation for those details and complexity. The same goes for my favorite function – payroll.

First - Think Big

It happens all the time, and has happened for years. When a customer is evaluating new HR/Payroll software they ask questions in terms of how they do things today. In today's terms. Will the new software allow us to do 'x' in process 'y'? Maybe because the current software platform had to be customized to do 'x' and we want to make sure the new software can do that too. Or, maybe because that is all we know to ask, to frame questions in terms of what the current system does. Regardless, that approach misses a lot of opportunity.

Using Leverage

With the growth of Employee Central and the decline of on-premise SAP HR, there are a lot of companies in the process of replacing their HR systems. Those who are not actively in that process are actively contemplating it. And the opportunities for improving your HR/Payroll operations haven't been so numerous since the last time you implemented systems. So take advantage of it!