The history of SAP Employee Central Payroll - Part 1


SAP Employee Central Payroll 

We have come a very long way from the time SAP has Introduced R/3 on July 1992 and was classified into unique Functional Modules such as Financials and Controlling (FICO), Human Resources (HR), Material Management (MM), Sales & Distribution (SD) , Production Planning (PP). Each one of them has unique functions and was linked to other modules wherever applicable.

As a part of Digital Transformation to make HR Services more accessible to the employees, SAP has started to invest in the Cloud Technologies and called their Ambitious Digital Transformation Program “HR Goes Cloud”. The acquisition of the SuccessFactors in 2012 provided the required platform for SAP to move all their HR Processes from the existing on-premise base to cloud. Below are the modules that SAP SuccessFactors offers:

1. Employee Central & EC-Payroll
2. Performance Management/Goal Management
3. Recruitment Management
4. On-boarding
5. Compensation Management
6. Succession & Planning
7. Learning Management
8. Workforce Planning
9. Workforce Analytics


In this blog, we will take a quick deep dive into Employee Central Payroll and its prerequisites for us to have a clear understanding of this product and its capabilities.

One of the most-demanded functionalities in the SAP HCM domain in the past two decades is undoubtedly the Payroll Module. There are 1000’s of customers around the world who have benefited from the robust, global and multi-country solution capabilities (localization) of the Payroll Engine of SAP in making the lives of the HR Personnel less stressful and in turn concentrate more on the strategy rather spending hours to complete the payroll for the Payroll Periods. Thanks to SAP Payroll, Customers are not spending more than few hours in finalizing the Payroll of their employees.

The entry of SF - Employee Central Module has taken SAP’s HR digital transformation intent to a completely new level. The flavor that was missing from the ESS/MSS product of SAP was completely found in the SF - Employee Central and hence it paved way for SAP to move the Payroll Services also onto the SuccessFactors by Introducing EC-Payroll.

The Initial Launch of the EC Payroll was somewhat-chaotic as SAP suggested moving everything to cloud, and the support for the on-premise payroll was offered for only for a short time. More clarity has been provided recently, and the customers now are much aware.

Although it’s been few years since EC Payroll launched globally, many customers have started  acknowledging the advantages of hosting their Payroll in the cloud.


However there seems to be very less information available on this and more often there are more doubts in the minds of customers, consultants, etc. especially the people who are well-aware of the robust nature of the Payroll Module of SAP. This blog here today should give you a basic understanding of:

What is EC-Payroll?

EC Payroll or ECP as it’s called is a Payroll Engine delivered in a Hosted Environment (Private/Public Cloud), however the capabilities of the Payroll Engine is the same as on premise and there is no change in that aspect. Just as how the SAP Payroll would need the rest of the sub modules to process the Payroll, similarly in the case of ECP, the SF - EC is a Pre-requisite for the EC Payroll, i.e. EC Payroll can not be implemented without having the SF - EC as a Master of Record.

How Different is SAP On Premise different from EC Payroll

From the functionality perspective, as explained above the Product has the same set of capabilities to handle the complex scenarios in both the systems and ECP has also been localized and for the countries which are not Localized currently, SAP can provide the tentative date of the product that is being developed or alternatively we can use the International schema which can be used to custom build the Payroll scenarios. Also, the EC Payroll offers rich & enhanced ways to work on the Payroll using the Payroll Control Center ( This would be discussed in detail in Future Blogs)


Are we be able to Develop/Migrate the existing ABAP programs from the on premise system to ECP?

This is the question most of the customers have in mind before taking a decision to move their existing Payroll systems on cloud, however to be precise, the answer is partially Yes, for the ABAP customization can be moved to ECP and can be pulled from SF-EC, However there is no limitation in writing the PCR’s schemas to suit the customer requirements in the Payroll system.

How does SF-EC & EC Payroll communicate with each other?

Successfactors Employee Central & EC Payroll is integrated through P2P (Point to Point Integration) for all the Standard Scenarios and please note that there is no middle ware needed for the integration between Employee Central and Employee Central Payroll, However when planning to do the Custom Integrations, its always recommended to use the SAP Cloud Platform Integrations for such kind of requirements.

What Implementation Methodology would be used while implementing the EC Payroll?

The Methodology used for the SF-EC Payroll would be a combination of Traditional Waterfall Methodology combined with Iterative Cloud Implementation Approach because of the design of the Product, i.e. for EC Payroll, the Consultant is still required to do the Requirement Gathering Workshops, Design & Testing and then Go Live.

Can Customers who are currently on Country Grouping 99 ( International Payroll) change to ECP?

Yes, They Can continue using the 99 Country Grouping even after changing to ECP, however please note that there is no concept of a Client Copy to directly copy all the Configurations from your current system to ECP.

New call-to-action