SAP HCM Payroll tip: Preventing errors before they occur & using user exits to your advantage

As part of the audit process, SAP customers develop a number of custom reports for the HR module to look for things like missing infotypes or specific items.

Let’s look at some tax calculations – especially if you’re a company that has many, many tax jurisdictions. In the US, for example, if you’re a company in Pennsylvania or Ohio where employees move between areas and there are many locals. In these cases, you may not have the configuration set up for the right employer identification numbers. The employee can still enter that tax jurisdiction based on where they’re located, but when you’re running payroll, you’ll error out because the underlying configuration is missing for that tax jurisdication. So it’s great to have audit reports to identify situations where there are tax jurisdictions coming in from CATS (cross‑application timesheets) or in the employee infotypes that are not set in configuration. This gives you some ability to catch that on the front end.

Then there are work location errors, where an employee – either via infotypes or from data coming in from the cross‑application timesheets or attendances – has a different work location than normal. Without the right setup, you’ll get an error when processing through payroll because configuration is not setup. We want to try to eliminate that, because depending on how your support structure is built, it might be a while before the configuration can be put in place to fix that employee record so you can continue on with your payroll activities.

This is one error I especially like to find long before doing an audit report. At the infotype level or time entry level, when work location is entered we have a user exit built to check the configuration tables and validate that “Yes, Illinois is a state that we’re set up or generate a message that says Illinois is not a state that we’re set up.”

There’s a couple different ways to approach that: If an employee is entering time and they select a tax jurisdiction that is not set up, you can give them a hard error. But you can also give them a warning. And while there are pros and cons to both, I like to set up the warning.

It gives the employee an opportunity to report the warning message to the payroll department and typically provides enough time to add the configuration before running payroll. Also, it can ensure more accurate reporting. Erroring the employee out during time entry or infotypes, the employee is more likely to use shortcuts (“Well, I’ll just use something else to get by…”) and then you don’t get proper tax reporting.

And these are all user exits. Infotypes like Infotype 207, 208, 209, and 210 can all be set up with user exits to validate that your configuration actually has these tax jurisdictions as available options.

User exits also give you some flexibility, compared to removing all non-applicable jurisdictions from the dropdowns. If you clear all configuration not used as of today, you may have an issue in the future of having to setup the tax jurisdiction from scratch. User exits are dynamic, so with this approach, you can move into new tax jurisdictions as long as you do the configuration and there’s no change to user exits.

Consier both audit reports and user exits when determine how best to reduce the number of issues you experience during your payroll processes.

Read the ILN blog at Insider Learning Network | SAP HCM Payroll tip: Preventing errors before they occur & using user exits to your advantage