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SAP ESS Record Working Time: Understanding HR-Enabled CATS

I have been spending a great deal of time working in ESS/MSS recently and it surprised me how many people who use the ABAP WebDynpro version of Record Working Time or CATS on ESS do not have the “HR-Enabled CATS” functionality enabled. Many people I talked to worked in SAP daily had not even heard of the HR-Enabled CATS functionality even though they had been using CATS on ESS for years and it was a big part of their day to day operations.

It is important to understand that CATS or Cross Application Time Sheets was developed for and does involve modules outside of HCM and I am sure that was part of the reason some of this functionality was missing when SAP initially developed it and then SAP started to improve the integration with the HCM system and Time Management.

As SAP describes it, HR-Enabled CATS “integrates the HR and CATS systems”. This does not tell us too much and might help explain why so many people ignore the functionality and choose to leave it disabled or do not know to enable it. In this blog post, I am going to go into the details and to show the value this functionality adds to any SAP HCM system. Overall, the following functionality is enabled when you activate HR-Enabled CATS:

  • Leave data such as vacation is automatically pulled into the time sheet
    • Entered directly on Infotype or via Approved Leave Request
  • Holidays are pulled into the calendar and holiday hours are pulled into the time sheet
    • Configurable
  • Time sheet due date is displayed in the time sheet
    • Configurable
  • Time account balances are shown in the application via a separate tab to see your quota balances
  • New “Work Schedule” button appears which has the details of your work schedule for the time sheet period being displayed

As you can see, there are a lot of changes and definitely some helpful value added functionality. Next, let’s talk about each functionality in greater detail including screenshots.

Leave Data Pulled into Time sheet

This change is to automatically pull in approved leave requests. The approved leaves can either be entered directly in IT2001/IT2002 via PA31/PA61/Time Manager’s Workplace or created via leave request once they are approved (If approval is necessary). To give an example of this functionality, let’s assume that I requested vacation for two days and it was approved by my manager and then via the standard process created on Infotype 2001. After this process concludes, when I look at this Infotype via PA20/PA51 I should now see the entries for the leave.

Image 1.png

Now, if I do NOT have the HR-Enabled CATS functionality turned on then here is what I would see – nothing on those days although my time sheet would show a total of 24 hours scheduled for this week:

Image 2.png

If I DO have the functionality turned on then I would see the following:

Image 3.png

As you can see, the vacation entry was automatically pulled in and shown in the time sheet and it is not editable by the user. If the functionality was not turned on and I come back from my vacation, I may fill in time accidentally out of habit without realizing I was on vacation which results in inaccurate time and manual intervention in some cases.

Holidays Pulled into Calendar & Time sheet

This functionality is pretty self explanatory – when you have a holiday it will be shown on the calendar and in the time sheet. Let me once again showcase with and without the functionality turned on. You can see that the time sheet has a total of 32 scheduled hours, but you could forget that it is a holiday and enter time on that date incorrectly (You should at least get a warning message though). I will also note that the calendar shows it as a Non-Working Day.

Image 1.png

Now lets look at it again but with the functionality turned on. I highlighted in red to show some of the key differences. The system automatically shows the entry in the time sheet. Once again, it is not editable by the user.

Image 5.png

Time Sheet Due Date Shown

This is an optional item that you can choose to show so employees are aware of when their time sheet is due. Here is what it looks like if you do not have this functionality turned on. There is an empty space under the remark telling you when you can navigate to:

Image 2.png

Here is what this functionality looks like when enabled. For the purposes of this demonstration, I set it up to use the end of the month as the due date, but you can configure it otherwise (Ex: End of Payroll period minus a few days) if you wish:

Image 8.png

Time Balance shown in Application via Separate Tab

This is an area where someone can see their time accounts, or quota information within this application. Once again, here is what it looks like without HR-Enabled CATS turned on with an empty space next to the Calendar tab button:

Image 3.png

Now here is what it looks like with the functionality turned on and the “Time Account” tab selected. I highlighted the key information which shows your quota information:

Image 9.png

New Work Schedule Button

Last but certainly not least, there is an additional button for “Work Schedule” which will show your scheduled time if you click on it. Here is what is shown without the functionality enabled with no button between “Worklist” and “Template”:

Image 4.png

Here is a screenshot of the button, as well as what comes up when you click the button:

Image 12.png

Image 1.png

You can see the import button that I highlighted in my screenshot above from this screen. If you click it, the system will automatically pull all of your scheduled time into the timesheet for you.

Overall, SAP delivered a lot of fantastic functionality with the HR-Enabled CATS functionality and it is definitely something that everyone should explore and have turned on because it provides a lot of value for very little effort. I continue to be surprised by the amount of people who do not know about this functionality and wanted to share a thorough document which shows the functionality in greater detail.

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  • This is excellent, Imran, just the thing I was looking for.

    In the meantime, I am also unable to get this working - I have followed all the steps in the wiki, and I have even seen a post by you I think, which refers to notes and I have applied them all - just not able to get it to working - I get an ICF framework error - any thoughts on how to trouble shoot this?

    • Hi Harish,

      Glad it was helpful. Usually an ICF framework error would point to a service in SICF that may not be activated. See if someone from basis can take a look and point you in the right direction. It may also be worthwhile to open a new SCN post and include screenshots and the SCN community may be able to help you.



      • Post is already open, whatever has been suggested so far has already been done - Was hoping you would have something to say  about it, as you have actually done it yourself. In fact, my basis chap is the one doing the whole thing, but he is not a web service expert or anything.


        • Hi Harish,

          I took a look at your post. Unfortunately if you tried all of the things on the wiki and also the thread I responded to then I am not sure without looking in the system. It is very likely some connection with SOAMANAGER/SICF but hard to say which one and much of that setup is very technical.



  • Imran

    I have finally sorted out my issues and have enabled HR Enabled CATS in my system. I have a few of questions for you, if you could please help

    1) When I look at the Work Schedule Tab - I do not see any Import Button - IS there any configuration that I need to do to get it to appear?

    2) Public Holidays - For some weird reason, we have Public Holidays denoted ssimply by the Holiday Class, and the Day Type is blank. I do not believe I will be able to change this as we are only looking at some minor enhancements here. Is there a way I can make Public Holidays appear by looking at the Holiday class rather than day type?

    3) System brings though all Absences and Attendances from 2001/2 very well, which is great, however our requirement is to only bring Absences across, we want the attendances to be booked as normal against the relevant cost objects - Is there any configuration that can help me specify what I do not want to come across?

    4) I gather these are display only, can we actually post the Absence Hours into CO, for example?

    I would appreciate your views on this.

    Thanks and Regards


    • Hi Harish,

      Glad to hear you were able to get it figured out! Did it end up being SOAMANAGER setup as we thought?

      1. This functionality does have some limitation. See the following link - The Work Schedule button is visible only if employees use HR-Enabled CATS and if there are clock times in the timesheet. Employees cannot import a work schedule if the timesheet does not include clock times.

      2. Hmm that is strange to not use day type 1 to denote a holiday, but I guess the client must have a reason for it. This will probably require some customization to SAP code in order to accomplish but not sure where to do this off the top of my head.

      3. I am thinking this will also need to be done by customizing the standard SAP code because I am not aware of any configuration to not show the attendances. Perhaps you could look at V_T554S_ESSEX to deactivate the attendances, but that would probably prevent you from creating the attendances via CATS as well so not sure if that is a feasible solution. You may need to play around with it and test the behavior

      4. Yep display only based upon the Infotypes already being created on IT2001. If you wanted them posted to CO then I would imagine they should be entered in CATS as the entry point as opposed to being created via leave/request or directly in PA30.



      • That is Brilliant, Thanks for all your inputs Imran, we are getting somewhere now.

        Thanks and Regards

        PS:- yes SOA Manager setup. There were some subtle variations deep into the configurations somewhere - SAP's wiki was quite detailed, but obviously left out some guidance notes. They specify that we should consult a web service consultant, who as you know, don't actually grow on trees, but after 3-4 weeks of struggle, I found one who fixed it for me.

  • Imran,

    Excellent Blog and very helpful.

    One question though after i enabled HR-enabled CATS. Calendar shows as Non-working days but the Leave data ( approved and posted in 2001) does not show in the Time sheet, is there something I need to configure for this exclusively?

  • Hi Imran,

    This is a great article, since it was published on July 13th 2015, were you able explore more functionality on time-sheeting, if so, it would be good to have another blog on the latest and the benefits.




  • Hello Imran,

    An old post, I know.  But someone at SAPinsider gave a presentation which pointed out this feature.  Looks cool, but unfortunately we don't have ESS licenses; only MSS.  🙁

    • Hi Kenneth!,

      Thanks for the comment and hope you are well! Sorry to hear you are not able to use this functionality!



  • Hi,

    With this functionality enabled, is the HR Infotype data (IT2001/IT2002) viewable on the CADO (Display Time Sheet Data) report even if it was not entered in CAT2?