One of the primary goals for every organization is to manage year-end payroll processing without a hitch. Year-end payroll processing is complicated and can quickly turn-as it often does!-into a nightmare. There are financial reports to generate, paperwork to complete, as well as confirming the accuracy of employee details, mapping regulatory changes that may have been mandated, reconciling year-end tax forms, coordinating with HR and finance, and correcting discrepancies and financial surprises. Depending on the industry, internal priorities and culture, businesses accomplish year-end payroll processing in a variety of ways. But each is as stressful as the other!
Year-end processing can get overwhelming with functional data reviews, balance adjustments, validation and technical requirements. It requires a massive support team – and each one must be familiar with the technical requirements. Especially in the USA, most organizations therefore engage a third-party compliance service for tax filing, and the same third-party files W2 (Wage and Tax Statement) to the US Social Security Administration at the end of the year.
Usually, quarter 4 tax filing and W2 annual tax filing processes happen concurrently. The filing process must be completed to meet the deadlines mandated by the tax filing vendor. This can be done only if every single employee’s payroll tax data is accurate and the taxes are filed on time. Year-end payroll processing is, therefore, often considered a stand-alone, individual project by several organizations.
Over decades, businesses have created increasingly lengthy checklists and mock drills to manage the task. Oracle Cloud Human Capital Management (HCM) solutions take away the headache and complexity of the task. Oracle HCM Cloud offers a way to sidestep the stress. Using technology, Oracle HCM Cloud ensures that payroll and year-end processing is completed on time, and integrated with third-party vendors for tax filing with accuracy and efficiency. In addition, Oracle HCM Cloud provides online access to payroll and tax documents, which is handy for businesses that print and distribute their records.
For uses of Oracle Cloud HCM the key phased activities involved are:
- Plan – confirmation of resources and duration of the project, identification of the schedule for HCM Cloud refreshes (for data reconciliation), testing schedule as provided by the tax filing vendor, production schedule (dates to publish W2 in HCM Cloud and tax filing due date)
- Prepare – Schedule HCM Cloud refreshes, perform year-end and year-begin payroll setups in HCM Cloud, validate the mapping between HCM Cloud and tax filing vendor system, ensure Oracle year-end patches are up to date, perform balance adjustments if any, send employee communications to validate their personal data
- Test – HCM Cloud W2 process, reconciliation and review in test instances, transmit W2 test files to tax filing vendor, compare third-party vendor’s process results with HCM Cloud results, compare test W2s for sample employees from both the systems, fix potential issues
- Go live and tax filing – HCM Cloud W2 process in production instance, transmit W2 production files to third-party vendor for tax filing, compare the results, distribution of W2 to employees
- W2 correction – HCM Cloud W2c process for data issues post filing taxes, transmit W2c production files to third-party vendor for filing, distribution of W2c to employees as applicable
The demand for accuracy in payroll is rigorous. To stay on top of the year-end process concurrent maintenance is necessary to achieve 100% accuracy in payroll.
The real challenge here is to manage data accuracy in a timely manner. Oracle Cloud HCM offers multiple payroll balance reports and W2 reports. Businesses need to ensure the W2 reports follow the other payroll balance reports. Reconciliation of these reports is a cumbersome process because of the varied nature of these reports. They take up an inordinate amount of time. In response to the problem, Wipro has built a custom solution that converts Oracle W2/balance reports into a user-friendly format, making the reconciliation process smooth and simple. Year-end payroll processing is no longer an anxiety-inducing exercise for users of Oracle Cloud HCM who combine it with Wipro’s solution.