Healthcare Payroll PeopleSoft Best Practice Guide – Part Two of Two

The following Part Two of the Healthcare Payroll PeopleSoft Best Practice Guide reviews the PeopleSoft application features and functionality used in production to determine if these are being utilized optimally. Your review should compare the current production system features (including customizations) against delivered functionality.

There could be various factors that might exist such as; a customization was made to meet a business needs or that the system features were not fully optimized at the time of implementation. It is important to identify these, understand the rationale and then review if the system was configured accordingly.

Note that the following is not all-inclusive. I, or someone on my team, am available to discuss your specific needs and set you up for success. 

PeopleSoft Features Description and/or Considerations
Installation Table Values selected in the Installation Table determine Products, Options, and Last IDs assigned that are used in various areas of the Payroll System.  The way the healthcare entity has set this table up can affect several different processes.
Company Table The Company Table stores information about each company within the healthcare entity’s organization.  In the US every company is assigned a unique Federal EIN and for each EIN the Company will need to establish a Company Table entry.  All payroll balances for an employee are kept at the company level.  Common Paymasters can be set up here when two or more related corporations concurrently employ one or more employees.
PeopleSoft Security Security is based on permission lists and roles and should address both HIPAA and HITECH requirements.  Security for self-service transactions uses both department security (delivered) and security features unique to Self Service depending on the transaction.Is the healthcare entity’s security setup efficiently for ease of maintenance?Is the healthcare entity using security fast views for improved search results?
Pay Group Table Are pay groups defined appropriately?Evaluate the Employee Types for Pay Group options on the Pay Group Table.  Are the processing controls set appropriately?Are Pay sheets and check sequences set to optimize user speed when performing data entry or distributing checks/advices?
Earnings Table Evaluate whether specific tax methods should be used versus the specified on Paysheet option. Are tax methods configured appropriately on the Earnings Table? Have earnings codes been configured to correctly affect leave plan balances?Have earnings codes been configured to correctly affect special accumulators?
Pay Run Table Pay run IDs enable pay groups to be combined for payroll processing.  Efficiency is often improved by linking multiple pay groups to single pay run IDs, which enables payroll processes to be run a single time for multiple pay groups.What methodology is used to determine pay run IDs?  Does the methodology ensure that new pay run IDs will be unique throughout payroll history?
Single Checks Single checks provide a quick and easy method of calculating and printing checks for employees.  It essentially bundles the entire payroll process, from Paysheet creation through check printing, into a single component.In what situations is the Single Check feature used?  Do those situations represent the best use of the feature?  For example, if the volume of checks to be processed is greater than 20 or so, processing the transactions as off-cycle Paysheet entries may be more efficient.If the Single Check feature is used for answering questions from “what-if” scenarios, have users been trained to delete single checks after performing the calculation?  If single checks calculated for hypothetical purposes aren’t deleted, problems will arise during on-cycle pay calculation.
Additional Pay Additional Pay allows for ongoing earnings aside from earnings generated from the employee’s compensation record.Is the healthcare entity using Additional Pay?  If so, what applications are currently used?What other uses might exist that might improve efficiency through preventing payroll from having to key entries to Paysheets/Paylines?

In cases where an additional pay record is set to end on a predetermined date, is the earnings end date being used so that no one is required to track such information outside PeopleSoft?

Garnishment Processing PeopleSoft NA Payroll includes a robust garnishment processing system that supports a myriad of complex calculations and enforcement of federal, state, and provincial rules.Is the healthcare entity using delivered garnishment functionality? Does the healthcare entity have staff adequately trained on setting up garnishment spec data, interpreting delivered garnishment rules, and setting up custom garnishment rules when necessary?Is an interface in place to pass garnishment data to the healthcare entity’s A/P system for payment processing and remittance?

Is the healthcare entity using the Payee Table to define payee names and addresses?  This table decreases data-entry requirements in cases where multiple garnishments are remitted to the same payee.

Payroll Data The Payroll Data component enables overrides to check distribution, deduction processing, and paycheck name at the employee level. Is the healthcare entity using the Payroll Data component?Are payroll staff members aware of the functionality represented on the component, such as the paycheck name feature, which is sometimes helpful for printing appropriate names on checks for deceased employees?Seek Payroll processing handled in a leveraged environment.  It lower costs; provides higher efficiency; greater operational process transparency; consistency & standardization; provides “Single Hospital” view from healthcare entity’s (across) multiple departments
Rapid Entry Paysheets Rapid Entry Paysheets provide a method of reduced data entry for keying hours and earnings.Is the healthcare entity using Rapid Entry Paysheets in cases where repetitive payroll data entry is required?
Payroll Processing Audit Reports PeopleSoft NA Payroll includes three pre-processing audit reports:  Presheet Audit, Precalc Audit, and Preconfirm Audit.  Running, reviewing, and resolving issues identified on these reports can preemptively identify problems that otherwise would be identified later in the payroll process.Are the audit reports consistently generated and reviewed for each pay cycle?Focus on key payroll personnel are APA CPP certified.  This helps ensures that payroll resources are qualified and have the competency requirements and skills needed in a payroll environment.  More competency translates to less turnover
Year-end Processing PeopleSoft NA Payroll handles year-end processing that enables healthcare entity to produce year-end reports, including W-2s for U.S. employees.Does the healthcare entity have adequately trained staff to navigate the year-end process?Are any employees scheduled to attend PeopleSoft year-end seminars?
Record Absences, Vacations, Accruals and Entitlements Utilize PeopleSoft’s Leave Accruals Processing to calculate employees’ leave accrual awards and resulting leave balances.    Base Benefits must be implemented concurrently with Payroll in order for the Leave Plans to be in scope.
Employee self-service utilized Reduces transaction processing by admin staff; Reduced errors due to paper loss and keying error; Employee ownership of data; speed in transaction processing; employee satisfaction.Direct deposit of employee paychecks reduces processing and reconciliation of checks, better secures movement of funds, and reduces administrative time invested in payroll cycle.

Sierra-Cedar’s approach to PeopleSoft Payroll process improvement for a healthcare entity is to focus on business operational (that is the processes) “best practice” and what is required to take a health system from their current state to an optimized organization that fully utilizes their software investment.  Sierra-Cedar does this through assessment and validation of the healthcare entity’s requirements as the first crucial step, e.g., focus on “strategic business objectives (reduce turn-over, provide key business matrix to business owners, optimize staffing, etc…).

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