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Author's profile photo Xavier Le Garrec

Compensation issues troubleshooting step by step



Whether it ends up being an implementation issue (data or configuration issue) or a product issue requiring batch code correction, most compensation module issues can be troubleshooted directly by the customer or by an implementation partner before raising an incident to SAP Support Services or Engineering Team. The time spent on these steps before creating a ticket can not only save days or weeks of incident resolution but can also empower the customer or the partner consultant in the administration of the Compensation module.

In the next sections, we would like to provide some insights with recordings on how to troubleshoot issues on different topics. Please note this is only for Compensation. All tips below are also relevant for Variable Pay but there are more settings that can create issues in Variable Pay than in Compensation for each of the topics below.

If an issue cannot be resolved with the steps below, providing a testing template that SAP can use right away when accessing the environment is a big time saver for engineering teams. A video recording of the issue with a walkthrough and comments on what has already been tried to fix the issue is very useful too.



Overall approach


Every time an issue happens we recommend following the steps below :

  1. Create a copy of the existing compensation template where the issue is happening.
  2. If the issue is related to eligibility rules we should also create a copy of the eligibility rule and only edit the copied version.
  3. After creating the copy of the problematic template, we should first remove all email notifications for this template by following the instructions here.
  4. Finally, start reverting some of the latest changes made on the template OR complex configuration setups (formulas, mapping to uncommon EC fields, compensation planner hierarchy, new release feature…) then try launching a worksheet and test if the issue is still happening. If it is still happening, then revert more changes and try again.






Most common situation : an employee should be excluded and is still showing on the worksheet (OR if starting from “No Employees Is Eligible” the employee should be included but is not showing on the worksheet).


Troubleshooting steps :

  1. Use the Ineligible Users report (Plan Setup > Define Planners) and check whether the employee is showing in the report or not.
  2. If the employee isn’t in that report but should be based on the logic we are trying to build in our eligibility rule, then the issue is either in the way the rule is built or is a data issue in the employee’s profile.
  3. The first thing we should always do is reselect the values in the eligibility rule : it could be that a value in the dropdown list of the source field in EC that was used in the rule has been made inactive and replaced by another value, in which case the employee isn’t picked up anymore because there is a conflict between the value in the employee’s profile vs the one used in the eligibility rule.
  4. If #3 doesn’t fix the issue, then think about the fields used in the eligibility rule : are we pointing to the right field from Employee Central ? Is the field we are pointing to an attribute of another field and we should maybe point to that attribute instead of doing a direct JobInfo or CompInfo mapping ? A common example is “Country”. In most customer environments, the employee’s Country can only be retrieved from JobInfo.LegalEntity.Country and NOT from JobInfo.Country which is the first Country value displayed in the list of values in the Business Rule tool (it’s a standard EC field but it does not contain data because customer maintains Country for each employee as an attribute of the Legal Entity).
  5. Is there a condition in the rule that is pointing to a NON-EFFECTIVE dated portlet of EC ? In that case it is worth running an Adhoc report (Person and Employment Audit) to check whether the data was correctly matching with the condition for that employee on the date the eligibility rule was last applied. 
  6. If none of the above worked, then please check that the user isn’t excluded by some legacy exclusion columns set at the UDF level by following instructions in this document.


If you would like more information on Compensation Eligibility rules limitations are examples of complicated conditions that have been built in the past, please visit this post (especially the paragraph at the bottom on limitation regarding date-based conditions and transient fields).







Most common situation : we go to Create Worksheet, we enter enter all information (name, dates, planner name), we click on “Launch” but the job (in Actions for all plans > Monitor Compensation Jobs) says “Job completed successfully – 0 worksheet created”.


Troubleshooting steps :

  1. Use the Ineligible Users report (Plan Setup > Define Planners) and check whether the planner we tried to create a worksheet for has at least one direct report or compensation hierarchy report who is NOT showing in this ineligible report. When all employees reporting to a planner are made ineligible by the eligibility rule the system will skip worksheet creation.
  2. If #1 is valid and at least one employee is eligible (= not showing on the ineligible users report) then we should check whether the employees reporting to the planner are valid in Employee Central on the date of our compensation template’s EC effective date (under Plan Setup > Employee Central Settings). To be added to a worksheet, an employee must have a valid record in Employee Central Job Information ON OR BEFORE the compensation template’s EC effective date.
  3. Go to Plan Setup > Define Planners and type the name of the planner in the hierarchy view then click on the name. A little tile should appear with the name of the planner and should tell us on the right side how many people are eligible for Compensation Planning for this planner. If the tile doesn’t appear (which is common when using the Compensation Manager Hierarchy – SECOND_MANAGER column of the UDF) then it means the Hierarchy is broken and needs to be fixed by exporting the UDF (Admin Center > Export Users) and looking for issues in the appropriate column (either MANAGER or SECOND_MANAGER). Issues can be the following : a UserID that doesn’t match any actual employee ID, an incorrect character such as “-“, etc…).





Situation : some employees have missing guideline values on the worksheet.

Troubleshooting steps :

  1. In a new testing template (see “overall approach” section of this post), make sure all columns used as guideline attributes are visible on the worksheet and then edit the guideline table in the new testing template to only keep the entries relevant for problematic employees.
  2. Relaunch worksheets and see if the issue is fixed. If so then the issue was most likely related to the order of entries in the guideline table. For example, “catch all” rules with a “blank” attribute should be added at the top of the guideline table and not at the bottom because the system reads values from top to bottom when assigning values.
  3. If step 2 didn’t fix the issue, then we need to break down the guideline table one attribute at a time : first edit the table to only keep the first attribute then launch a worksheet and check that the value is populated correctly. Then add the second attribute and retest, then add the third, etc, until the problematic attribute creating the mismatch is found. Compare the attribute value visible on the worksheet for the employee to what was loaded in the guideline table and make sure they are align, then relaunch a worksheet.




Situation 1 : Forms AND Executive Review are stuck on a loading screen that eventually ends with an error message in a popup window.

Troubleshooting steps :

There is probably a formula issue in one of the columns of the template OR it could also be a data issue in Employee Central.

  1. Delete the worksheets that were created for the template.
  2. Go to Plan Setup > Design Worksheet and check for complicated formulas and remove the latest ones that were added. Especially look for formulas returning values which are not allowed for the type of column. For example a column of type PERCENT cannot have an if-then condition that returns blank, the THEN condition of the formula MUST be 0 –> if(country=”FRA”,”3″,””) must be changed to if(country=”FRA”,”3″,0).
  3. Remove one by one the EC mapping for the latest columns that were added to the template and try to launch a worksheet. This will help in finding out whether the data stored in an EC field mapped to a compensation column is not valid (for example the column in our compensation worksheet is of type “MONEY” and mapped to a Text field in EC containing text values).



Situation 2 : Forms are opening correctly but Executive Review is returning an error message as per the screenshot below :







This is either caused by the employee’s RBP role not having any login permission to SuccessFactors (under “General User Permission” > User login) OR by a product issue which requires more investigation by Engineering (recently having Default Sorting = Manager First Name or Manager Last Name as setting has been causing this issue which should be patched in the next weeks).






Once troubleshooting is completed we can remove the Testing template from the list of visible templates in Compensation Home by going to Plan Setup > Advanced Settings > select “Disable” > click Update at the bottom left of the screen.

To reactivate a template that was previously disabled, go to Admin Center and search for “Form Template Settings”. Select the name of the template then click on the “Enable” button in the bottom right corner. Automatically the template will reappear in the list of available templates in Compensation Home.



Thank you !




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      Author's profile photo Ahmed Nageh
      Ahmed Nageh

      Good one 🙂

      Author's profile photo Niladri Bihari Nayak
      Niladri Bihari Nayak

      It's a super time saver. Instead of checking multiple KBAs for troubleshooting, I found your blog very helpful.


      Keep it up.