Warning: Keep on top of your payroll software or pay the penalty

by 05 Mar 2012

An SAP-based HR software system rolled out by government departments in the US state of Kentucky caused an employee to be paid $10,000 erroneously – but the finger has been pointed at “material weaknesses” in the administration of the software, not glitches in the coding itself.

In a report released by the state’s auditor, it was found that a series of mistakes occurred as a result of insufficient oversight and lack of continued scrutiny by the client organisation following the system’s launch in mid 2011, as well as a failure to adequately test the system prior to launching.

One expert who has worked on several large SAP HR implementations commented that while he had no first-hand knowledge of the case in point, there are some reasons why projects can have problems, and it's not usually the software. “Typically they have more to do with inexperienced consultants and internal customer issues," Jarret Pazahanick of the consulting firm EIC Experts said.

Pazahanick also said that SAP payroll has generally worked well for the public sector, and added that HR software projects are particularly prone to garnering negative attention. "When you are dealing with employees’ paychecks there is no room for error, as they will notice if their check changes even slightly," he said. "In many public-sector projects there can be a large population of union employees (and rules) or hourly employees which can complicate things. That said, with adequate testing all these problems should be easily identified and fixed."


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