How to better design your HR actions to improve HCM Reporting

By Danielle Larocca
Danielle Larocca

Senior Vice-President of HCM Solutions Danielle Larocca has worked in the SAP HCM space for over 20 years. An SAP Mentor and featured speaker at numerous conferences, Danielle has authored four best-selling books on SAP, is the Technical Editor for the SAP Professional Journal, and often the Voice of the Expert on SAPInsider’s Ask the Expert series for HR.

Written on Jul 31, 2017 7:10:00 PM

5 minute read

Designing your Employee actions

This blog talks about configuring actions properly in order to improve data and reporting.  The configuration of personnel actions such as hiring, terminations, and organizational assignments in SAP ERP HCM is completely customizable. The SAP-delivered actions can be customized to your company's needs so you can collect necessary data and assign specific employment statuses. The employee data collected during your actions then can be classified with reason codes that will provide you with better employee groupings for reporting. Before you configure new actions, here are three questions to ask:

What data do I need to collect?

  1. What statuses do I want to assign?
  2. What reporting goals do I have related to these actions?

I'll explain why these questions are so important. Then I'll show you how to create your own HR actions.

Determining which infotypes go into each action boils down to what data you want to collect. Take organizational actions, for example. For a simple promotion, you could start with an infotype 0000 (using an infotype 0000 at the beginning of an action records the action and its reason code), an infotype 0001 that records the organizational change, and an infotype 0008 that records the change in salary. Those are the basics, but you need to think a step further. Is there any other pertinent information that you wish to recall along with the promotion? See the table below for a sample checklist to stimulate your thought process on what infotypes to include in an action.


Infotype to Add

Does this action require a change to any dates collected for the employee?

Infotype 0041 Date Specifications

Does this action require any reminder dates to be updated for the employee?

Infotype 0019 Date Monitoring

Does the change in their status (PT to FT or vice-versa) have an impact on their benefits eligibility?

Infotype 0171 General Benefits Information (and other benefits-related infotypes)

Does their employee life event require update or delimitation of their spouse or dependent information?

Infotype 0021 Family/Related Person

If you are processing employee address changes, do they also have a bank change that would impact their direct deposit?

Infotype 0009 Bank Details

Does their leave event require a change to their travel privileges while on leave?

Infotype 0017 Travel Privileges


After you determine what data you want to collect, you need to determine which statuses to assign.

Just a note:  It is possible to create an action without an infotype 0000. For example, if you are creating an action to update an address, you can decide whether or not you want an infotype 0000 to be recorded for the address change. The system already date delimits the old address, so history is properly preserved. Therefore, you may not want an infotype 0000 created.

What statuses do I want to assign?

Actions can be used to change the status of an employee—e.g., new hire actions make them active, terminations make them withdrawn, etc. You have three options for the statuses to assign for each action. The first is the basic employment status. You use this to set the status to which you want the employee to be changed. This appears on infotype 0000 in the Employment Status field. The options include:

  • 0: Employee not with company (used for termination actions)
  • 1: Employee with company, but inactive (used for unpaid leaves)
  • 2: Employee with company, but as retiree (used for retiree actions)
  • 3: Employee active in company (hire/rehire and non-status change organizational actions).

The next status is the Special Payment Status. The three options that would update the infotype 000 are:

  • 0: Special payment: no entitlement
  • 1: Special payment: standard wage type
  • 2: Special payment: special wage type

The third status, Customer Specific Status, is optional. To learn more about it see this blog:“A Quick Fix to Employee Status that can improve your HCM Reporting”. 

Maximizing the use of Reason Codes

The use of reason codes can really make or break you when it comes time to evaluate employees who have undergone actions. The termination example is a good indicator of that. Without recording why someone was terminated, the actual record of a termination action does not give you much. A best practice is to determine what reasons you want to track and to evaluate your turnover reports to see what your needs really are. After making a list of termination reasons, see if you want to group them to make them more useful as shown in the table below.

Reason Code

Reason Description


Reason Code

Reason Description





Better opportunity – more money


Military duty



Better opportunity – better benefits





Better opportunity – commute related


Excessive tardiness



Dissatisfaction with job


No call no show



Dissatisfaction with supervisor


Gross misconduct



Dissatisfaction with pay


These sample codes allowed me to classify my termination reason codes into four categories: unavoidable termination (A), employees who took positions at another company (B), employees who were terminated for cause (C), and employees who quit because they were dissatisfied with the company (D). Using the A, B, C, D numbering convention allows me to group the codes as needed and simplifies reporting later on.

You can also maximize the use of the reason codes for pay-change-related actions. An employee's pay could change for at least a dozen reasons. Only through properly grouping these pay changes into categories can you address your reporting needs. For example, distinguishing which employees were promoted and demoted in a certain period of time is a frequent reporting need to satisfy governmental regulatory reporting, such as affirmative action plan reporting in the US. Creating actions specific to promotions or demotions or having multiple specific reason codes for a single pay-change action is a way to meet that requirement.

Creating actions in SAP is an easy task. Once you have thought through the three questions above, you can complete the configuration using the SAP Implementation Guide (IMG). The configuration of actions and reason codes is most often performed by the functional person responsible for system configuration. It is important to note that the business side of the organization should dictate what the actions and reason codes are. They should not be driven by the payroll department or the IT organization.

Check out my blog "How to Create an Action in SAP" which includes the basic step-by-step procedures for creating an action and its related reason codes in SAP HCM.

More about SAP reporting


Topics: SAP Reporting HCM Reporting SAP Query

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