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Technical Breakdown of how to auto-create absences in IT 2001 through time evaluation

Introduction 

It has been often seen as a pain point in a client workshop where the client insists that their time administrators will not take the burden of reviewing clock times of their employees to spot out deviations and enter absences in IT 2001 to account for the missing time at work. Consultants solved such arguments by seeking to bring down the efforts of the time administrators by proposing to provide them a report which would list the errors that occur in time evaluation due to such working time gaps and leaving the ultimate (and only) job of deciding to input an unpaid leave for the employee, in the hands of time admins.

Traditionally, and rightly so, this was the most humble yet powerful RPTERL00 report that listed all the time evaluation error/ warning messages for that a particular employee for that particular time evaluation run. Time evaluation was scheduled as batch jobs and each day the time admin was advised to check the report output and thereby input an absence to take care of any untoward lost times listed in the paragraph above.

Did that approach solve the problem?

An emphatic “no”. It just shifted the problem to a different node, if you will. The real answer would be to redesign the way the process is working. Let me describe the problem area once again and we will see how this can then be transformed into a more efficient way of accounting for lost time.

Remember, the aim of implementing a time solution should not be just to put the existing process into the system but to redesign the process for optimum value and automatically the technology will help shape the gains!

Problem statement restated- In the words of a SAP Time Consultant!

  1. Employees are expected to come to work as per their schedule (i.e. as per the planned hours mentioned in their work schedule )
  2. Employees clock in and clock out during this time and tolerances are taken into account. All said and done, the client business process requires that anyone who comes in to work later than one hour of their planned start time should specify a reason for their late coming. Similar is the expectation for early leaving. (I take this as a simple straightforward requirement but client end business processes related to late coming and early going may not be as simple as this and may require more complex analysis/conditions to be put into the time rules)
  3. The employees do specify the reasons, and sometimes, not! In cases where the reasons are specified, the client expects that the system should automatically input an absence of a related category in IT 2001 to be approved by their time administrator for further processing in the next time evaluation run. In case no reason is specified, then the expectation is to again auto create a unpaid absence in IT 2001 against the missing hours for approval by the time administrator. In either case, the time administrator will only act as an approver for the absences already intelligently entered by the system automatically in IT 2001.
  4. The absence valuation should proceed as per the norms in place for which the particular absence stands for. For e.g. the employee mentioned a reason as doctor’s appointment for early leaving, the absence should be 3014 – Doctor’s Appointment – and upon approval, will be treated as a normal absence applied by employee with rules governing a doctor’s appointment leave type

Breaking Down the client expectation and building the technical solution

Finally, let us discuss the fun part of the entire requirement – configuration of the solution!

There are a few design considerations to consider before we can achieve the client requirement. However this requirement can be achieved through pure functional configuration by an HR consultant using standard SAP provided functionality.

Step 1: Absence Reasons recording at Clock In / Clock Out Terminal

Absence reasons will need to be built into the clocking terminal which can be used by the employee to choose while late coming or early going. In case of a particular absence reason, we will then set up a standard SAP configuration table at the backend to tag it to a leave type. The table to be used in this regard will be V_T705A. Fill this table with the absence code reason and mention the corresponding absence type to be automatically created in IT 2001 when the respective absence reason is chosen by the employee at the time of clock in/out

Step 2: Loading the absence reasons into IT 2011

The next step will be to load the time events into IT 2011 which will contain the absence reasons entered at the clock in – clock out machine terminal by the employee when he comes late or leaves early. The time events are loaded using standard SAP provided reports with first the CC1TEV staging table created (RPTCC106) with the time events which are then loaded into the time events infotype 2011 (SAPCDT45). Once the time events from CC1TEV are loaded into IT 2011, the entries from CC1TEV are deleted.

Step 3: Time Evaluation for IT 2011 entries

Now, when the employee’s time evaluation is run, the entries in IT 2011 are picked up and the function P2011 will read the TIP entries and the reasons recorded at the terminals for late coming / early going are filled into the BPIN or EPIN columns (as may be the case) of the TIP entry in time evaluation. BPIN points to the absence reason code selected by the employee when he came in late while EPIN points to the absence reason code selected by the employee when he left early. In cases where an employee fails to record a reason, a PCR can be used to fill in the unpaid absence in IT 2001 as per the business policy. This can be done by using the operation of FILLPIEPIN or FILLPIBPIN as maybe the case for start or end time reasons.

Step 4: The evaluation of the absence reasons to create an absence automatically in IT 2001

When the TIP entry filled with the absence reason codes are passed through the standard PCR TD80, the reason codes are matched with the corresponding absence types in the table V_T705A and the corresponding absence is created automatically through time evaluation in IT 2001 but with a locked indicator. The standard PCR TD80 will produce an error but the absence will still be created in IT 2001. In case client does not want to stop the time evaluation for the employee, then we can copy this standard PCR and create a warning message instead which can appear in our (helpful) error log report RPTERL00.

Step 5: Further actions, checks and conditions 

Further conditional checks can also be implemented before the automatic absence is created in IT 2001 such as check if employee has been leaving early for more than three times in a month, if an employee has come late for more than two times in a row etc. Time admins will need to decide if the absence is valid and can unlock it accordingly to facilitate any absence related deductions to be triggered in payroll.

Conclusion:

This functionality provided by SAP to automatically create absences in IT 2001 through time evaluation just by looking at the absence/ attendance reason codes is a fantastic configuration technique available to functional consultants. The reason this is so powerful is because it gives us the flexibility to move the creation of the absence from a time admin’s keyboard to a system level configuration and is tremendously awe-inspiring!

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