Restricting time sheet updates in Business ByDesign
For a while, concerns were raised by time administrators using Business ByDesign that they are not able to restrict employees from modifying their time entries that are well in the past. Changes to their time entries on projects was prevented by the process control in Financials (if it is set up), and this was effective only because project time recording causes a posting to the financial accounting period. Time recording on time types does not post to financials, so there was no restriction to prevent employees from updating them. This is especially a headache if the time entries were relevant for payroll, and the administrator would download these time entries to send to a payroll system.
With the 2008 release of SAP Business ByDesign, there is a new feature that allows the time administrator to lock down the employee’s time sheets for editing of time records once they are a given number of months in the past.
This is available in the Regular Tasks in the Time Administration work center.
Figure 1: Time Administration – Regular Tasks
In this simple UI as shown below in Fig 2, there are no restrictions to begin with when the administrator first starts to use this feature.
Figure 2: Block Time Entries
The number of months entered specifies how far in the past the time sheet entries can be updated. “1” would mean the time entries are editable in the current and previous month, and not editable prior to the previous month. A “0” means that the time entries are editable in the current month only. The help text next to the field is updated to help the administrator understand until when in the past the employees can edit their entries.
These restrictions only apply to the employee’s time sheets. Time records can still be updated via the Time administration work center, or via the Employee Self Service on Behalf in the Managing My Area work center. Approvals of time entries too would also not be impacted by this restriction. Leave Request cancellations by employees would also be allowed.
In the employee’s time sheet, for the period where the restrictions are active, if an employee tries to update the time entries that are Active, Approved or In Approval , you would get an error message informing about the restrictions.
Figure 3: Error updating time entries beyond the allowed period
The employee is also restricted from creating a new time entry and saving it in an Inactive state – the system responds with a pop-up stating that the Save is not allowed. Going past that, the user can scroll to the error messages to see the restrictions applied.
Figure 4: Error pop-up on creating a new time entry beyond the allowed period
Already existing Inactive records – Employees are allowed to delete inactive records from their time sheet, regardless of the restrictions. The thought behind this is that entries that are in the draft state are not part of any evaluation, and so should be allowed to be deleted.
The same is allowed for time entries that are in state Pending Changes – this is when a previously approved time entry is modified by the employee, but is not yet released for approval. The employee is allowed to Discard the changes regardless of the restrictions, effectively returning the record to the Active or Approved state.
For any changes that needs to be performed after the restriction apply, the employee can approach the time administrator or the reporting line manager and the changes can be done on his/her behalf.