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Payroll in the Cloud vs. PeopleSoft - Key Differences

Differences Between Running Payroll in the Cloud vs. PeopleSoft

Benefits to Running Payroll in the Cloud

While you may be used to running Payroll on PeopleSoft, if you’re considering a move to Oracle Cloud HCM, making sure you understand how to manage Payroll in the Cloud is an important step to leveraging the technology. Through the Cloud, you’ll gain capabilities to help you simplify, standardize, and automate.

There are five main benefits to moving your payroll management from on-prem to the Oracle Cloud. These include:

  • Scalability – Ease of scaling with constant adjustments available through performance testing
  • Flexibility – Cloud technology allows you to adjust for what you’re doing today and the future
  • Compliance – Easily maintain compliance by easily updating your system
  • Efficiency – Faster processing of data leads to greater ease of retrieving information
  • Maintenance – Updates are performed system-wide and limit the number of resources needed to maintain individual systems

Compliance in Cloud

In 2020, there were a ton of legislative and regulatory changes around the world—especially in payroll. For customers who were on the Cloud, the team at Oracle made quick pivots that were easy to implement and did not require any code changes.

With the arrival of new legislation, Oracle works across teams to discuss what each product line needs to resolve legislation challenges. Changes are then communicated through Cloud Customer Connect.

This allows organizations who use Cloud to not have to worry about staying compliant.  Oracle Cloud proactively applies regular tax updates. Locality, tax rate changes, earning limits, and other changes are updated monthly. These changes go out to the test environment on the 18th and are automatically applied on the 25th of each month. There is no approval process—it is moved by Oracle.

The customer is notified of the updates, but there is nothing that customer does to apply it. Additionally, a guide goes out to the customer that shows all the changes. The window between the 18th and the 25th offers customers a chance to test the update before it is applied.

Beyond testing, which you would do with any update that gets applied, the customer is hands-off.

In special circumstances, updates occur more frequently instead of waiting until the monthly update window. In this case, customers can apply them when they’re ready.

Payroll Flows in Cloud

Everybody has a checklist that they follow at pay period. Payroll Flows automates that checklist for you. It strings tasks together into a checklist, and the checklist becomes part of a flow.

You can have multiple flows if you want to. For instance, you could create a Terminations Flow if you need to perform a large number of terminations.

The Payroll Flow can include manual and automated tasks such as bringing in the time file, reviewing data, and kicking off payroll calculation. If you want to stop and run a report to review data, you can manually check that off when you’ve completed the task.

The tasks in the checklist can be assigned to specific people or to a group of people.

An exciting update to Payroll Flows is Flow Interaction. With Flow Interaction, you can have multiple flows of the same type. For example, you have the ability to run several separate payroll calculations for various parts of the organization and then to bring it together for GL posting. The flows can interact, you can create one GL file, and send it to GL.

Everything in Payroll Flow is customer-defined. Certain flows are delivered—such as the U.S. Flow—but you can also create your own flows.

Payroll Flow is a powerful tool that has been available since the beginning of Cloud Payroll, and customers are really embracing it at this point. Payroll Flows are a great way to ensure consistency across your organization on various processes.

Pay Entries in Cloud

Another one of Payroll in the Cloud features are Pay Entries.  If you’re a PeopleSoft customer, the term Pay Entry may not be familiar to you, but it can be compared to the concept of Paysheets.

In Cloud, a Pay Entry (called a Calculation Entry within the application) is any entry that impacts the calculation for the pay period. There are recurring and non-recurring pay entries.

Examples of recurring entries are salary or benefit elements­—things that happen every pay period. Non-recurring are one-time bonuses or time entries. These happen only at the assigned pay period.

All entries—from deductions to child support orders to medical/vision/dental—are visible within Pay Entries. It’s a huge benefit to be able to see all pay entries, not just your earnings.

Retroactive Pay in Cloud

While PeopleSoft does support Retro Pay, there is quite a bit of setup involved for processing.

Meanwhile in Payroll in the Cloud, Retro Pay is simple.

Typically, Retro Pay is based on events. When you define an earning or deduction, you determine whether that earning or deduction is going to be eligible for Retro Pay based on an event group (usually a single event).

Events include new earnings, updated salaries, entry changes, or deleted items. Event groups are provided by Oracle, but you can add event groups if desired.

When the worker has an event such as a salary change, Retroactive Pay detects the event.

You can apply Retro Pay to a single worker or to an entire group of people. When the event occurs for those people, Retro Pay determines how much should be paid to or deducted from each employee.

Retro Costing is also delivered in Oracle Cloud. For example, you may encounter a situation in which you’ve already applied your general ledger, company code, and account number, but the GL team decides to change the account number or dept number. You can make the change and the feature brings the cost in retrospectively.

The entire Cloud works together, meaning all of your changes will work in conjunction with Oracle Cloud HR. There is no additional integration.

Pay Calculation in Cloud

On the PeopleSoft side, you may be used to Pay Calc & Confirm, which is split into three different steps.

However, when you are running in Payroll in the Cloud, Pay Calc is not split into three different steps. Instead, by running Payroll, the Confirm step is automatically performed. Costing is included in Pay Calc too. This takes the results of the calculation (salary, overtime, deductions) and calculates the costing (what goes to which accountant) as part of the actual payroll calculation, itself. It calculates pay and costing at one time.

Overall, payroll can be viewed in two ways in the Cloud.

Functionally, it reduces the amount of work that you have to do. You can do granular retries of specific individuals’ pay calculations if you need to, or you can set them aside and carry on with successfully processing employees until you can come back to them.

Technically, Oracle looks at the type of job being run and breaks it up based on how many workers will be processed at a single time, with groups—or chunks–to survey. Multi-threading is the technical term, and it’s all done within the system.

Performance is a top priority in the category of Pay Calcs. Oracle continues to run performance tests with the development, technology, and infrastructure teams to get the best performance for all customers.

Anytime Pay in Cloud

Anytime Pay is another innovative Payroll in the Oracle Cloud feature.   Anytime Pay meets the needs of the gig economy. Any employee who has worked hours can use their app to request earnings in advance of payday. It’s a popular feature in certain industries.

Anytime Pay can be used as a recruiting feature, offering a competitive advantage. The on-demand payments are sometimes referred to as Daily Pay.

While a concern for some, there’s no need to worry about compliance with Oracle Anytime Pay. Taxes are still paid in a timely manner.  For more information about using Anytime Pay in the US check out Oracle’s Anytime Pay Resource.

Fast Formula & Design Studio

PeopleSoft customers are familiar with customizations. Like customizations, Fast Formula & Design Studio in the Cloud give you the ability to create and make changes. However, these changes are fully upgradable and are not considered customizations.

Fast Formula allows you to write your own business rules. For example, if you’re processing union dues with complicated contract requirements, you can configure a Fast Formula to apply the contract rules to that particular contract.

Almost all Cloud products use Fast Formulas. In benefits, for example, there are eligibility rules.

Design Studio is a way to expose the country-specific rules that have been seeded. If you want to change a rule, you can use Design Studio to make changes. You can also make fields mandatory that are not default mandatory. Then, when its time for an update, these changes are not affected.

Updates in Cloud

Oracle aims to minimize the number of updates being applied to the Cloud product. Updates usually include new features and bug fixes. New features are not forced upon the customer. The customer can choose to implement the new feature, if and when, they are ready. Tax updates, on the other hand, are automatically applied for all customers.


While Oracle Cloud and PeopleSoft are both viable solutions to managing Payroll, customers receive several additional benefits by running Payroll on the Oracle Cloud. By leveraging features such as Payroll Flows, Pay Entries, Pay Calculation, Retro Pay, Fast Formula & Design Studio, and Compliance Updates, you’re adding scalability, flexibility, simplicity, and increased efficiency to your organization. You’ll gain greater consistency across your entire organization due to automation, and you’ll competitively attract the top talent through features such as Anytime Pay.

Payroll in the Cloud vs. PeopleSoft - Key Differences