Defining Employee Central Payroll and Payroll Control Center


After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Summarize the functionality of Payroll Control Center in Employee Central Payroll
  • Identify the components in the integration between Employee Central and Employee Central Payroll

Payroll and payroll cycle

What is payroll?

Payroll is the calculation of payment for work performed by each employee. Payroll comprises of a number of work processes, including the generation of payroll results and remuneration statements, the implementation of bank transfers, and the facilitation of check payments.

What does a normal payroll cycle look like?

During a payroll cycle, there are certain deadlines that must be met:

  • The employee has to receive the payment not later than a fixed date (typically, the last working day of a payroll period)
  • The tax declaration statement has to be submitted not later than a specific date
  • Based on these deadlines, the entire payroll processing window is defined in a backward termination way
  • In almost all cases, various iterations have to be done in order to get to a correct result
    • Typically, these iterations take the form of overnight batch jobs
  • So, what we see are payroll processes that are heavily influenced by a kind of "batch thinking mentality"

What makes this way of processing really time consuming is the following:

  • The later in the process a problem is found, the worse it gets as far as the time line goes
  • In this case, you have to go all the way back to the start, fix the problem, and then re-run the whole process

After all this has been done, someone in a managerial role has to review and sign off that all the data is now in good shape.

Payroll process

Obstacles to successful payroll

To run a successful productive payroll, your team needs many manual steps to get correct and consistent payroll results. Typically, you need large Microsoft Excel spreadsheets with process descriptions and the information on "who" has to do "what" and by "when".

  • Still, there is little or no transparency over the complete end-to-end process. For example, how do you get an overview on all your different weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, or monthly payroll processes running at a certain point of time, and find out their status?
  • You always get the same errors in every payroll period and you wonder why they happen again and again and no one has fixed the root cause or looked into the "WHY".
  • Also, the same error is often solved by different people in different ways with different results and side-effects.
  • Finally, your experts possess a unique know-how on how to identify and solve a problem; if they leave, this know-how is gone and you need to rebuild it.

Payroll Control Center and the new Payroll Control Center process

Payroll Control Center

Payroll Control Center is here to help you solve all these issues and to make the entire end-to-end payroll process simple and efficient.

New Payroll Control Center process

The basic and simple idea behind this is: Let’s verify the data quality whenever there’s a change to employee data. Such a "change event" can happen through an HR person changing master data or data being uploaded/imported through some other programs, and so on. A so-called "policy" contains all the validation rules that tell us whether "Data quality for a specific payroll process is good or not." Whenever employee data is changed, Payroll Control Center finds out a change has happened and validates the policy for exactly those employees.

Employee Central Payroll components

Payroll Control Center one-click monitoring

You can now include your expert teams in your payroll process even in the very early stages. The teams look after the data quality for their specific area of expertise whenever data changes happen, and they make sure that you have perfect payroll data quality before your productive payroll.

This brings us to the exact point where there is real innovation happening:

  • This is what we call One-Click-Monitoring: We decouple the process of verifying the data quality for payroll from the productive payroll.
  • We allow users real-time insights into what we can expect from a payroll run in terms of data quality and accuracy even before we produce it.
  • We allow users to interact with the payroll system rather than sitting and waiting for the results of a batch run.
  • There are no longer the lists that people have to scan through to find out what’s going on, whether things are good or bad; there are no longer the multiple tools to double-check the system results.
  • Through using the idea of policies, all know-how about "when is a payroll perfect" is kept inside Payroll Control Center and so is consistently used by everybody (including automated root cause analysis and error resolutions).
  • We bring this all together in a new, modern, and fresh user experience, which is simple, easy to use, and focuses on the absolutely necessary things.

With one-click-monitoring, you now achieve full transparency of all your end-to-end HR and payroll activities at any time, not just during the critical path of productive payroll processing. Finally, your productive payroll is just three clicks away.

Payroll Control Center production payroll

Once it is time to run productive payroll, we can do so using the user interface and user experience of the Payroll Control Center. An example process is shown below:

The user interface for the Payroll Control Center Manager is shown below:

Payroll Control Center: manage processes and policies

Simplified configuration allows the payroll manager to maintain their processes and policies for the Payroll Control Center directly in the production environment without the need for IT intervention. This means that you do not need to move changes from Development to Test and then to Production. After a few clicks, changes to your payroll processes and policies are effective immediately. This functionality empowers the payroll manager and is delivered in the form of two new screens that are built directly into Employee Central.

Payroll Control Center: my off-cycles

The payroll manager can run off-cycle processes using the my off-cycles user interface. This functionality has been enhanced since the initial release with additional off-cycle reasons and notifications.

Employee Central Payroll integration

EC payroll integration: the process

Big picture look at Employee Central Payroll components and integration in Employee Central

Employee and employment related data is entered and stored in Employee Central, hence Employee Central is referred to as a master system for core HR. The data is replicated from Employee Central to Employee Central Payroll for payroll processing.

There is certain data that is not mastered in Employee Central such as cost center data. Cost center data is created in an SAP Finance system and replicated to Employee Central and Employee Central Payroll. Once cost center is replicated to Employee Central, it can be assigned to employees and these assignments are then replicated to Employee Central Payroll. If required, time-related data such as working times and absences can be entered into Employee Central and replicated to Employee Central Payroll for payroll processing.

Additionally, there is information related to employees that is only required for payroll processing, such as employee tax information, social insurance, loans, garnishment, and so on. This data is stored in logically grouped fields called infotypes. For example, Tax infotype, Garnishment infotype, Loans infotype and so on. Most of this information is country specific data and relevant for payroll processing. This information is accessed via infotype mash-up in Employee Central.


In the case of a new hire or rehire, employee data should be replicated to Employee Central Payroll system first before infotype data is updated. The status of the employee replication can be checked in Data Replication Monitor.

Replication of employee and employment-related data such as compensation data, personal data and job data is replicated from Employee Central to Employee Central Payroll via SAP provided web service, known as point-to-point integration (PTP integration).

Employee data changes

Employee data changes can be effective from a future date or can be applied retrospectively. These data changes are replicated as per the replication process and reflected in Employee Central Payroll system. In the case of a retrospective data change, how far back the data can be changed depends on the system configuration.

It is important to note that data replicated from Employee Central should only be changed in Employee Central and should not be changed manually in Employee Central Payroll.

"No-show" hires

Some hired employees ignore their signed contracts and don’t show up to start work. Because the person is technically hired in the system, you can consider them as a no-show and set their status to Inactive in Employee Central. When you report no-shows in Employee Central, the corresponding event reason is now transferred to your Employee Central Payroll system and processed there as a personnel action type. If an employee in Employee Central is marked as no-show, Employee Central Payroll sets the employee status to Inactive so that the changes are reflected in the payroll processing accordingly.

Hire date correction tool


One of the frequent tasks is to change the hire date for a new hire. Previously this was a cumbersome process, but from the H2 2022 release, the standard hire date correction tool can be used to make changes to the hire date for both future date hire and for a backdated hire date.

Access control

Users access to data is controlled using the role-based permission (RBP) framework in Employee Central. A user should have the necessary access in Employee Central and Employee Central Payroll to access, amend, or create employee data.

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