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Author's profile photo Sandeep Dinesh Janardan

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.

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      Author's profile photo Jennifer Knaus
      Jennifer Knaus

      Hello, Sandeep Dinesh Janardan long time since we talked! I suppose that is a good thing. First of all, thank you for this functionality so that our payroll administrator does not have to wait for the accounting team to set process controls to block time entries. Is there a plan to break the timeframe down any further? For instance, we block employees out from the prior 2 weeks (we have a 2-week payroll cycle). That would allow us to take advantage of this functionality.

      Author's profile photo Sandeep Dinesh Janardan
      Sandeep Dinesh Janardan
      Blog Post Author

      Hello Jennifer Knaus ,

      Great to hear from you, and I'm happy to know you need this functionality.

      We want to get feedback from our customer community before we expand on this functionality further. It would be great if you could post this as a new improvement request on our influence portal and we would bring in into the backlog based on feedback from customers and partners. Thank you very much !

      Author's profile photo Richard Nichols
      Richard Nichols

      Hello Sandeep, I think more people would use your customer influence portal if it didn't take a degree to understand and navigate it.  The portal is just not "user" friendly.  Just some friendly feedback. Jennifer has a fantastic idea of asking for the ability to limit the payroll period.  You have lost a huge user base that is looking to do Payroll inside SAP ByDesign, however, due to poor design, we have to send our data to a Payroll specific company.  Your fix is a work around that has to be constantly monitored in order to keep employees from entering time and is somewhat painful.  It would be simple to add a date drop down that would limit entry by date. Then one could select a payroll cut-off period.  I have tried to navigate the influence portal, but even after watching videos, simply don't know how.  Thanks for listening.


      Author's profile photo Sandeep Dinesh Janardan
      Sandeep Dinesh Janardan
      Blog Post Author

      Hello Richard,

      Thank you for reaching out. I'm sorry that you're finding the influence portal hard to navigate, I would submit your feedback to the responsible colleagues to help make it simpler to use.

      Regarding payroll - It is important to us that the payroll data exchange between the ByDesign system and the payroll provider is as easy as possible. I would like to hear about the process you follow, and ideate on how it can be made better. Would you be free next week for a call to discuss this ?