10 most critical factors of SAP payroll: Troubleshooting

TroubleshootingIn this post we will cover troubleshooting as part of the series 10 most critical factors of SAP payroll. As we have discussed in previous posts in the series, payroll is greatly influenced by and processes the combined data from several sources.

Troubleshooting requires a good deal of diligence of keeping track of what is going outside of just payroll. Many of the areas we’ve previously covered can impact payroll such as

  • updates have been recently applied – Stacks, HRSPs, CLCs
  • new or updated configuration or customization has been recently applied
  • new divisions or groups of employees recently hired or brought on SAP
  • process changes – HR, time capture, etc.

SAP does provide some reporting tools to assist in the troubleshooting effort such as the Payroll Log. However, the payroll log can be a little daunting because it looks like code and the messages are not always easily understandable. Understanding the Payroll Log will help you better understand how the schemas, functions, rules, and operations work. Gaining this understanding will better your troubleshooting skills and ability to identify ways to improve payroll itself.

After you access the Payroll Driver (PC00_MC10_CALC or PC00_M10_CALC_SIMU), check the ‘Display log’ option on the selection screen. Since the ‘Display log’ option does slow down the payroll process, it is a good idea to narrow down the number of employees you process to a small range or individual personnel number.

display payroll log

Here we can see a successful Payroll log. In this example, an employee processes through payroll without an error. By breaking down the Payroll log, we can see the employee processed through four period, three of which were retroactive.

payroll log retro

Now let’s throw in a twist. We set Infotype 0207 Residence Tax Authority to IN (Indiana), a state that has not been configured for this company. When we run payroll, this will result in an error for the employee.

payroll log error

When an error like this is received, we need to review the employee paperwork to make sure the Residence Tax Authority should actually be IN. If IN was a typo, change Infotype 0207 to the correct tax authority and process payroll for the personnel number.

If the employee paperwork shows it should actually be IN, then we need to request an EIN for IN and setup the configuration to allow IN to process through payroll without an error. We will need to add the configuration to the appropriate tax company in table V_T5UTI keeping in mind that the error states only tax type 01, but there may be additional tax types to configure.
payroll log error

Implementing the use of proactive audits where possible will reduce the need for reactive error resolution. Here are a few examples of proactive audits that can be put in place:

  • Check that employees have cost centers
  • User exits to validate during time entry
  • Tax infotypes only contain tax authorities set up for the company

With some patience, willingness to learn, and due diligence, the troubleshooting process can be learned. Keeping in mind the different areas providing input and implementing proactive audits will greatly reduce how much troubleshooting needs to occur.

Please join us for our next blog post where we’ll discuss Year-end processing as another critical factor in SAP payroll.

Here at Integrated Consulting Group, we specialize in the design, development, and customization of SAP Human Capital Management business software for leading edge North American companies with global reach. Have any questions about SAP? Feel free to contact us via the contact page of our site, or on Twitter or LinkedIn.