After completing a very busy long term on-premise project I was able to pick up where I left off with the Time Sheet in Employee Central – having only had the briefest of experience with it last year. (previous blog post – http://scn.sap.com/community/erp/hcm/blog/2014/09/12/successfactors-employee-central-payroll-time-sheet-1408–demo)
I was pleasantly surprised as to how it had matured as a solution and I would like to highlight some key aspects of the solution and give my opinion on them and hopes for the future of Time Management in Employee Central. The aspects of the Time Sheet I will cover are based on the 1505 release of Employee Central.
First thing – the name: Payroll Time Sheet. Clearly SuccessFactors are looking to stress that the time sheet is not merely there for recording working hours but can be used to provide the data to a Payroll system. Indeed it can and in order to do this there is the ability to valuate the times entered through configurable rules to provide Time Pay Types with an amount of hours for processing in Payroll.
The solution caters for both Negative and Positive time scenarios as follows:
Negative Time (Salaried/Overtime Recording):
Salaried employees only record hours worked in excess of their regular work schedule in a weekly time sheet. The system then calculates overtime hours according to configurable business rules, for example, calculating all hours entered as overtime, or overtime at the rate of premium pay.
The Bar chart user interface allows time to be entered upto 2.5 hours in increments of 15 minutes. Where more than 2.5 hours is to be recorded then the Allocate Hours sub screen can be expanded to record hours greater than 2.5. Alternative Attendance Types and Cost Centres can be assigned in the Allocate Hours sub-screen allowing working time to be split across different types of work or cost allocations.
Positive Time (Hourly/All Hours Recorded):
Employees enter all hours worked in a weekly time sheet. The system then calculates hours with base pay and, where applicable, overtime hours. Employees’ working time is defined by their individual planned working hours.
The Bar chart user interface allows time to be entered upto 10 hours in increments of 30 minutes. Where more than 10 hours is to be recorded then the Allocate Hours sub screen can be expanded to record hours greater than 10. Like the negative time scenario, Alternative Attendance Types and Cost Centres can be assigned in the Allocate Hours sub-screen allowing working time to be split across different types of work or cost allocations.
Time Entry Process
Time sheets are submitted on a weekly basis where the entire sheet is submitted. This doesn’t allow for single time entries to be submitted bit-by-bit but the sheet can be saved until such time as the user is ready to submit the times for approval. Workflow can be easily triggered based on the employee submitting the time sheet and the definition of approval steps is simple and easy to set up.
The start of each week is defined as a Sunday and cannot be changed. I can see this being an issue for some organisations who valuate their working weeks differently. Valuation can only be done on a Daily or a Weekly basis so the opportunity to valuate over multiple weeks is not available at this time.
Public Holidays (from the assigned Holiday Calendar) and Absences (from Time Off) are integrated and shown in the calendar.
Time Entry Controls
Prior to release 1505 the only way to reopen a Time Sheet was via the Administrator accessing the time sheet data via Admin Tools > Employee Files > Manage Data. However a new Admissibility Rule has been introduced to allow:
- Employees to go back a defined amount of weeks to change previously approved time sheets (this can trigger a further approval for any changes)
- How many weeks back an employee can submit a time sheet for
The original design assumed managers only approve or reject times only. However a new “On Behalf Of” allows managers (and admins) to enter time sheets on behalf of employees during periods the employee cannot access their timesheet.
The introduction of the Admissibility Rule and “On Behalf Of” functionality introduces familiar control aspects available in CATS (Cross Application Time Sheet) in SAP/Employee & Managers Self Service.
Key aspects of the Time Valuation in the Time Sheet include:
- Time can be valuated on a Daily and Weekly Basis
- Valuation is carried out in real-time based on data entry
- Valuated time stored as either Time Types (for balance calculation and formation) or Time Pay Types (for output of hours for specific payment)
The benefits of the above are immediately clear versus a typical SAP Time Evaluation process. The times are valuated in real time so the employee (and manager) can see the direct result of the times entered in the time sheet. With SAP Time Evaluation this is managed via the processing of time data by the Time Schema and is generally based on time running based on a scheduled basis (hourly, nightly, etc.) with the results only exposed to employees in Time Statements (if used) or in their eventual Payslip.
The Time Recording Profile includes the Valuation Rules to be executed in the Time Sheet based on its assignment to each employee. Since the working week is set then the assignment key date of new Time Recording Profile to an employee must be a Sunday (1st day of working week). Something to bear in mind.
The definition of Time Type Groups allows the discrete time data to be added and subtracted into time balances (like Time Types in SAP Time Evaluation). These Time Type Groups can then be added, subtracted and compared to each other. The comparison to a Threshold Group (see below) can be based on a fixed Threshold, say 2.5 hours, or a balance in a calculated Time Type Group, say Daily Working Hours.
Time Type Groups can be calculated based on:
- Recorded Working Time – from specific Time Types
- Recorded Overtime – from specific Time Types
- Paid Absences – from specific Time Types
- Unpaid Absences – from specific Time Types
- Unpaid Overtime related Absences – from specific Time Types
- Paid Holidays – from Public Holiday Calendar
- Scheduled Working Time – from assigned Work Schedule
- Calculated Time – calculated output of Valuation Rule
The Time Valuation Rule then allows these groups to be added, subtracted and compared to then produce results in subsequent Time Type Groups. If the output is to be paid (like an evaluated Wage Type in SAP) then it is configured with “Yes” in the Time Pay Type.
Here is an example of a Positive Time Valuation within EC.
Step 1 – Calculate Daily Planned Working Time and Overtime
- Take all Recorded Overtime (time types) and Absences (from Time Off and Holiday Calendar)
- Compare to Planned Working Time from Schedule
- Time above Planned Working Time to new Calculated Overtime Time Type
Step 2 – Split Weekly Overtime
- Take previously calculated Overtime from step 1 and add any other recorded overtime (from specific overtime time types)
- Compare total overtime value for the week to a fixed value of 2.5
- Time below fixed value output as Overtime @1.0 Time Type Group / Time below fixed value output as Overtime @1.5 Time Type Group
Step 3 – Calculate Weekly Regular Time
- Take all recorded working times for the week (Working time, overtime, absences and holiday calendar)
- Subtract the valuated overtime from step 2
- Output remaining time as Regular Paid Working Time Type Group
Two options exist for integration from the Payroll Time Sheet to external Payroll solutions – Manual or DelBoomi.
Manual is via the OData API and can extract the Time Pay Types in the following structure:
- Employee Time Sheet
- Start date
- Approval status
- Workflow request id
- Workflow action
- Employee Time Valuation Results
- Time type Group
- Time sheet id (external code)
- Cost centre id
- Booking date
- Amount value
- Amount unit
DelBoomi can also be used to extract the Time Pay Types from the Time Valuation although some manual set up of this is required to EC Payroll (that I am currently working on and being challenged by! – see this thread – http://scn.sap.com/thread/3740653)
The introduction and extension of the Payroll Time Sheet in Employee Central is impressive and can be summarised by the following Pros and Cons:
- User friendly and simple design
- Real-time valuation
- Workflow and email notifications – simple to create
- Manual or DelBoomi integration
- Alternative Cost Centre assignment
- On behalf of employee for Admin or Manager with relevant RBP’s
- Only supports Sunday as start of week for weekly evaluations
- No complex evaluation rules like TOIL, Flexi, rules for specific days of the week
- No ability to cost to projects, internal orders, purchasing, etc.
My rule of thumb would be that anything that appears in Cons, above, that is a deal breaker for a client – points you to more suitable solutions like Workforce Software or Kronos. Also, it does look like the Payroll Time Sheet is there to support time data for Payroll (the clue is in the name). So I would think it unlikely that integration to projects and the like to be a future feature.
Clearly SAP Time Evaluation remains a very powerful valuation engine allowing scope for lots of different and complex calculations and the Payroll Time Sheet cannot currently match the processing power of the Time Evaluation in SAP or Workforce/Kronos in the cloud.
It will be interesting to see how this solution evolves in future releases. There is some lively debate around this area that is worth keeping an eye on, an example being – http://scn.sap.com/community/erp/hcm/blog/2015/05/11/rptime-to-say-good-bye
Be interested to hear others feedback and experiences.