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What makes them proud to say “I am running SAP”

There is a fashion for everything even for HCM topics. The heating discussions about talent acquisition are slowly replaced by not less heated discussions around mobility and workforce analytics.

Thanks to Dave Duffield, payroll suddenly also become a hot topic. Without intending to do so, Mr. Duffield helped us to realize what a commodity SAP has. Not only because SAP has a unique ability to run payroll for 90 countries on the same instance in all 34 languages and be legally compliant; but also because we (SAP) have an army of devoted fans in the face of our customer base payroll departments. That same army that could easily make a connection between the correctness of employee paycheck and not only employee productivity but also company performance.  For those people the integration between SAP HCM and SAP Finance has reality of those few seconds they spent doing the posting of payroll results on the most detailed level.

I was recently on a call where the customer implementing SAP Payroll to replace PeopleSoft Payroll admitted that an analysis of the discrepancies between payroll calculations in parallel demonstrated that SAP Payroll calculations were indeed correct, and all errors were deficiencies of the PeopleSoft Payroll solution.  The person talking was so proud for making the right choice.

Isn’t it great to know that this not just an isolated example a customer reporting that SAP payroll performance exceeds that of PeopleSoft?  And not just by a little…the customer reported a greater than 90% reduction in annual payroll processing costs, and a 67% faster payroll processing cycle-time after implementing SAP Payroll? Have any of you had similar experiences? Would love to hear your stories as well.

You can also hear from one of our customers, Cameron International, about their experience running global payroll in today’s dynamic market.

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  • Hi Julia

    Great to see you blogging and I enjoyed the customer video. Having focused on helping customers with SAP Payroll for the last 14 years I have long believed the Global SAP Payroll solution from a functionality standpoint is one the strongest solutions in the market (although usability could be improved) and wrote about it earlier in the year

    SAP Payroll Under Appreciated by Forrester

    A few things that jumped out at me:

    1. I was under the impression that SAP had standard country versions for 34 countries, add ons for 13 and partner solutions for 33 which total 80 and I noticed above you mentioned 90. Is that a correct number?

    2. Bit surprised to Dave Duffield mentioned in the article (understand the PSFT angle) with no mention of his next generation company Workday. That said I have had similar situations at several customers migrating from PeopleSoft where the SAP Payroll calculation was more accurate.

    3. Would love to get some additional information on how the customer achieve a 90% reduction in annual payroll processing costs as that seem extremely high especially moving from a packaged solution like Peoplesoft to SAP.

    Great to see additional HCM content on SCN and look forward to your next blog

    • Hi Jarret,

      Thanks for reading my blog post and commenting on it. This is my first experience, and having an expert’s opinion is very valuable.

      I am very familiar with your blog covering SAP payroll that you produced earlier this year, and have recommended it to many colleagues and customers.

      Let me briefly address your comments:

      1. I’ve been recently working on updating the famous country versions payroll map. As of the end of June 2012, there is a new one available, and so the number is reported is indeed correct. Further proof that SAP takes seriously its commitment to providing a global payroll solution!
      2. When I referred to Mr. Dave Duffield I was, actually talking about Workday.  The reference was so apparent to me that I didn’t even bother to mention it. Thanks for pointing that out.  As I said it was my first experience. I am glad to learn that you’ve heard similar feedback about SAP Payroll performing more accurately than Peoplesoft’s solution.
      3. The figures on the annual payroll processing cost reduction came from a different customer, one that moved from a solution other than Peoplesoft. That’s a whole story by itself, and I will try to share more information about it in my future posts.

      Thanks again!


  • Hi Julia,

    Wonderful post.  Not only have we had similar experience with conversion of PeopleSoft payroll to SAP payroll with the realization on the client end that PeopleSoft has been calculating incorrectly the entire time, we've also had that experience when moving folks from Lawson payroll to SAP payroll.  This is a huge "eye opener" for our clients, but as you mentioned, it validated to them that they had made the right decision on selecting their ERP system.

    • Hi Winnie,

      Thanks for sharing! It is really great news! I will look at the statistics for the customers replacing Lawson with SAP. 

  • Hello Deep,

    Thanks for your exciting comment. I think it is a general issue: people are more willing to talk about something negative than share the positive experience. Did you ever look at any product review online???

    Another myth I am concerned about: SAP payroll is complex. It is not a complexity of SAP Payroll. It is really about the complexity of US payroll! We are dealing with thousands tax authorities; SAP Tax Reporter supports hundreds and hundreds legal forms! If anybody looks at 90 countries SAP supports, there are plenty of them with simple requirements and even without taxation. There nobody says that 'SAP payroll is complex'. I had an opportunity to talk to Workday payroll implementation partner. Their estimates for Workday payroll implementation in US are not lower than SAP implementation for the same company size. On contrary it is higher. 

    Best regards,


    • Hi Julia,

      Apologize for replying so late. I took complete off from work for few days and on return i had to clear the pile before i could log-in to sdn.

      I have not read any product review. My comment was based on what i have heard from people who have been in the SAP industry for like a decade or so. I have heard many of them repeatedly tell this. I think few people have this notion because Peoplesoft was perhaps the first one to be widely accepted. I used to wonder what different did they do with peoplesoft. Does it have the first movers advantage or is it relatively easy on pocket or is it really versatile and flexible. I am an S&D consultant so couldn't tell anything based on my own experience. i rely on other people's views and judgements on it. It was nice to read your article and the comments post that points some success stories.

      Thank You,


  • Thank you, Yulia, for reminding us how the operational side is still and will always remain critical to all companies. If customers are asking for more, for Talent, for Analytics, for Mobility, is because they can trust their payroll to be correct to start with.