At COLLABORATE 19, Hunter Bohannon, the HR Oracle Cloud Support Analyst at Yum! Brands, spoke about how Yum! Brands conquered challenging payroll business requirements with Oracle HCM Cloud and Cloud Payroll.
About Yum! Brands
Yum! Brands is a Fortune 500 company over KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut. The company previously used PeopleSoft but just recently went live with Oracle HCM Cloud in January of 2019. Yum! implemented Human Resources, Benefits, Payroll, Time and Labor, Absence Management, Cash Management, and GL. The company has a national population and has over 30,000 active employees. The Cloud implementation was done in a phased approach that consisted of Wave 1, Wave 2, and go-live.
When Yum! Brands was using PeopleSoft, they were running on version 8.8 and 9.2. PeopleSoft 8.8 was highly customized and unsupported, and 9.2 was used for Talent Zone. In late 2014, Yum! made the strategic decision to retire the mainframe system. Yum! Brands decided to begin an implementation of Oracle HCM Cloud. The project scope included Wave 1, Wave 2, and go-live.
Wave 1 specifically focused on Yum! Brands’ United States corporate division. The implementation of Wave 1 affected 1,000 active salaried and hourly employees that were being paid bi-weekly. The modules that were implemented included Core HR, Payroll, Benefits, Compensation, Time and Labor, Absence Management, Expenses, and General Ledger.
Wave 2 specifically focused on the Yum! Brands’ United States brands—KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut. This phase affected roughly 30,000 salaried and hourly employees that were paid bi-weekly.
Custom Taxes and Cloud Payroll Elements
One feature of Oracle HCM Cloud that Yum! Brands has utilized quite successfully is Custom Taxes. Oracle Cloud Payroll delivers taxability rules for federal and state level taxes only. There are tools to maintain taxability rules for local taxes, but there are certain local taxes that are not yet supported in Cloud Payroll. However, the framework to build and report these taxes in the system is available.
Yum! Has been very successful in creating custom taxes to meet business requirements. Some of the custom taxes that have been configured include CA VPDI EE & ER and WAMED EE & ER. Yum! has created around 15+ custom secondary classifications to meet specific needs. They have also been successful in altering seeded behavior to meet business needs.
There are four important aspects in regard to Custom Taxes and Cloud Payroll:
- Element input values that address employee tax deductions, employer liabilities, and manual shadow elements for EE taxes.
- Balance feeds and dimensions that address gross amount, reduced subject withholdable, taxable amount, and withheld amount.
- Formula status processing rules that are concerned with skip rules and deriving tax and ER.
- Other setups that include user defined tables, balance groups, automatic eligibility, and enterprise HCM information.
Element input values address employee tax deductions, employer liabilities, and manual shadow elements for EE Taxes. Balance feeds and dimensions address gross amount, reduced subject withholdable, taxable amount, and withheld amount. Formula status processing rules are concerned with deriving tax and ER and skip rules. Other setups include user defined table, balance groups, automatic eligibility, and enterprise HCM information.
Payroll elements are the brain of Cloud Payroll. Most attributes of elements cannot be updated after the element has been created. Elements control taxation, how wages are accumulated, and costing. Using elements with incorrect costing will result in GL reconciliation issues. Elements need maintenance and have a cost associated with them. Making elements intelligent through fast formulas usually makes things efficient but involves time and effort.
Cloud Payroll Reconciliation
Payroll reconciliation has four main issues that must be addressed:
- Data issues
- Timely reconciliation
- A strategy for effective/date earned/process dates
- Deeded reports
Data issues are a key contributor to reconciliation issues. Reports can be developed to constantly monitor data situations that can cause reconciliation issues later.
Timely reconciliation is also essential. Pay Period Reconciliation must be done before finalizing the payroll because this will give you an opportunity to make any corrections. Having a strategy for effective/date earned/process dates for off cycles, reversals, balance adjustments, and voids ensures a clean and easy reconciliation.
Cloud Payroll has a number of deeded reports that can help with reconciliation. There is a wide range of seeded reports that pull from data from different sources like Run Results, Archiver, Balances, Costing, Payments, and Third Party.
Invalid balances will result in many processes slowing down. These balances need to be cleared out frequently, but not daily. Custom reports can be made from Oracle SQL. If the difference is over 200, they will need to be cleared out. If the amount of invalid balances is under 200, it will not cause major process delays, but it will add up over time. To clear balances follow these steps:
- Go to Manage HCM Extract Definitions and search for “Payments”
- Create dummy extract to overwrite “US Check Writer Report”
- Compile all formulas in the Payments
- Run Extended Validation
Payroll Flows is another major benefit when doing payroll. Yum! Brands has nine different payroll definitions with different processing dates, and each is customized to exclude different processes. The nine payroll definitions include:
- Yum! Biweekly Salaried
- Yum! Biweekly Hourly
- KFC-PHI Biweekly Salaried
- KFC-PHI Biweekly Hourly
- KFP-PHI Field Biweekly
- TBC Biweekly Salaried
- TBC Biweekly Hourly
- TBC Field Biweekly
- TBC Field Weekly
Off cycles are processed every day all the way to GL. The seeded U.S. simplified payroll flow is not useful for Yum! Brands. Therefore, customized payroll flows are beneficial and easy to create. To do so, follow these steps:
- Navigate to the payroll checklist
- Click the navigation bar
- Go to Manage Payroll Flow Patterns
- Click on the create button
- Enter Flow name and move to tasks
- Move to Task Sequence
- Move the sequence to your needs
- Select the parameters that you wish to include in the flow
Following these steps will allow you to run all of the reports and processes within your flow. It will also result in an easy to use flow for multiple reports in only one submission.
Challenges and Solutions
Yum! Brands faced several challenges, including:
- Combing all the off-cycle activity in Post Payroll Processing
- Having multiple payment sources with the same check sequence
- Nuances involved with configuring and Migrating Flows
There are several things to remember when attempting to work with Oracle Support for payroll. You must first create an SR (Service Request) for the problem. Focus on the severity of the problem by describing it on a scale from one to four (one being a complete loss of service). To assist Oracle in getting to your needs in a timely manner, it would benefit you to upload screenshots, Log Files, and Oracle Recordings. When creating an SR for payroll, you need to have the correct Service Type so the appropriate individuals will be provided to assist you and provide solutions faster.
In addition to Oracle Support, you can also utilize Oracle Cloud Customer Connect. OCCC provides customer-to-customer support for any question. You can also find Oracle engineers and other customers that have found solutions through OCCC. It is beneficial to use keywords to find common problems and their solutions. You can also sort by tags to find specific categories.
Best Practices for Cloud Payroll
Yum! Brands has several best practice recommendations for users that are new to payroll in the Cloud.
- Uncouple check print for processing speed—it decreases the processing time for the flow.
- Remove certain reports as needed to increase processing speed.
- Use Custom Validation Reports that are created for quick validation of process payroll elements and are used to find problems that are hard to notice (retroelement problems, unprocessed elements, elements by department).
- Calculate the Payroll Error Report that finds errors and warnings found in calculating payroll and compiles them all into one list.
- Utilize Payroll Batch Loader (PBL)—this is where you would create additions, deletions, or edits.
PBL is used to enter elements, payroll relationships, calculation card information, personal payment information, and numerous other things. You are also able to process information in batches for quick and easy implementation by pulling batch loader from Oracle, entering the information, and transferring it directly back into Oracle for seamless mass changes.
In addition, Yum! Brands has several recommendations for the use of payroll elements. Elements are the most important configuration in a payroll Implementation. It’s important to educate business users on the elements’ functionality as early as possible. Follow a clear naming convention to assist users in identifying the correct purpose of the element and reduce incorrect processing. It’s also helpful to maintain a master list of elements after go-live along with detailed notes on the usage. If an element is no longer in use, retire the element in a timely manner to avoid any risk from using these elements.
Yum! Brands also has several tips for using Payroll Reconciliation. Each pay period, Net Pay breakdown by Employee is compared with the previous pay period to identify any large differences. Also, costing results are validated immediately after payroll calculation to allow for corrections. Gross to Net is compared to Payment Register immediately after payment processes. In addition, ADP numbers are compared to payroll activity to taxes reported to ensure that they are correct. Year-end processes are run every quarter and rolled back to identify any potential adjustments needed. Yum! Brands leverages a number of seeded reports for the previously mentioned reconciliation and has also developed custom BI Reports where they are needed.
For more Oracle HCM Cloud resources, case studies, best practices, etc., check out Quest’s Oracle HCM Cloud Content Center. There are resources and training available for all aspects of HCM Cloud, including payroll, analytics, recruiting, and more!