Is your SAP HR and Payroll reporting current – and sustainable?

June 29, 2022
Written by 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.


I have recounted my first experience with SAP® reporting a few times over the years, but now as SAP shines a light on its sustainability initiatives, it seems even more relevant. It was the 1990s and I was working on my first SAP HR and Payroll implementation project for a Garden City, NY-based employer in the book publishing and distribution arena.

I was randomly selected to be in charge of reporting. We contacted SAP and asked what classes were available for reporting, and they recommended that I attend the following:


  • SAP50 R/3 Basis Technology
  • SAP BC400 Introduction to ABAP/4 development Workbench
  • SAP BC405 Workbench Techniques of List processing
  • SAP BC410 Transaction Processing
  • SAP BC430 ABAP/4 Dictionary.

My employer then shipped me off to Houston, Texas, and other US locations where I proceeded to attend approximately eight weeks of training, including the ABAP courses noted above. I came back with the understanding that I was going to use custom ABAP to build every report needed for this successful HR and Payroll implementation.


20220624_095858 (002)

A selection of my previous SAP training certificates - all in hard copy!


Buoyed by my ABAP education, I went into the Payroll department and asked which was the most critical report required for their Payroll operations. A lovely woman named Jean walked me over to a huge paper document, printed by an old-school dot matrix printer, that listed every employee in the company alphabetically and their full social security number. I learned this was a report printed frequently and used heavily because, as they explained, in the legacy system (pre-SAP) in order to look up an employee, they would have to type in the employee’s social security number.


At this point, I’m not sure if you’re more surprised that, back in the day, people actually printed huge lists and reports, or if you’re horrified about the notion of everyone’s social security number being printed daily and being left lying around. Regardless, my first foray into reporting taught me a bunch of different lessons. I’ve picked two to focus on in this blog:

1. We have always done it this way

I will start with the common error a lot of clients make which is attempting to duplicate reports that are in use in their old systems, in their new systems. The list of employees and social security numbers is a perfect example of why this is not a valid exercise. It may have been critical in the legacy system to have access to an employee's social security number, in order to look them up, but in SAP ‒ even in the 1990s ‒ you could look up an employee by name.


It also demonstrates the larger point of looking at a report, not as a list of tables and fields but rather as a business exercise, “What challenge will this report solve for the business?”.
Far too often clients take a current report – a list of terminations for the previous period, for instance – and ask for it to be duplicated in their new system. Instead, what should occur is a conversation about what they’re trying to accomplish. For example, “Why are people leaving our organization?”


When you start with the business challenge and design from there, it is much easier to build something that allows you to answer the question. In other words, instead of a list of employees who left and the dates and the reasons why, what would be more valuable is a report that analyzes terminated employees who have left the organization, based both the reason codes and other factors including age at hire, manager, their place within the salary rage, demographic data and so on. This will allow you to identify the overall reason or trends on why people are leaving, empowering you with active intel and insights that you can use to change the organization.

2. I want that report on my desk by 4pm

This example started with a printed report, and I remember the days when reports were printed, collated, stapled, put into envelopes, and distributed via mailrooms on a regular basis. That expression of, “I want that report on my desk by a certain time”, was literal. People would scramble to create and present a physical copy. Luckily, that is no longer the norm, not only from a convenience perspective in terms of waiting on delivery of an asset that is outdated the moment it is printed, but more importantly, there is an environmental impact. There are many key environmental issues related to printing that include air pollution, handling and disposing of hazardous materials, waste management, and energy use, to name a few.


There is an amazing article on how organizations must leave behind practices of the past and embrace the vision of sustainability for the future from SAP’s Christian Klein, titled Sustainability is our Road Map to Security, Stability, and Progress. You can take a look to learn more.

There is a better way to consume information

We know the days of printing and distributing hard copies are behind us, but there are more ways to consume information than ever before. Not only can you access reports and data from computers, tablets, and mobile phones, but the way you interact with that data to make better business decisions with ease is key.


To learn more about how you can use your SAP or SAP SuccessFactors® HR and Payroll data to drive better decision-making in various forms, please check out these blogs:

Query Manager Analytics Connector Integration with SAP Analytics Cloud



Explore Popular Tags

Query Manager SAP SuccessFactors SAP HCM reporting HCM Reporting SAP HCM SAP Reporting HCM SAP Payroll reporting EPI-USE Labs Payroll SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll Document Builder Query Manager Analytics Connector SAP Analytics Cloud SAP HCM Data SAP Query SAP SuccessFactors Reporting Microsoft PowerBI Payroll reporting SAP SuccessFactors People Analytics SAP Payroll data Variance Monitor HR and Payroll data PRISM Tableau HXM Move Human Capital Management (HCM) Payroll Data people analytics sap query hr Data Sync Manager Employee Central Payroll Journey to SAP SuccessFactors SAP HCM journey COVID-19 HCM Productivity Suite HR Intelligent HR and Payroll SAP SAP ERP HCM SAP HCM Payroll SAP S/4HANA Private Cloud Edition (S/4 PCE) reporting solution ABAP Cloud-based SAP HCM solutions DSM for HCM Employee data Employee payroll GeoClock Let's Talk HCM Pay Recon SAP Data Warehouse Cloud SAP HCM Analysis SAP HCM On-Premise Solutions SAP HR Reporting SAP HXM SAP S/4HANA SAP SuccessFactors HCM Journey SAP SuccessFactors Roadmaps SAP and SuccessFactors HXM Reporting SAP data privacy and compliance SuccessConnect data validation payroll control center successfactors Data Sync Manager for HCM Employee Central GDPR HCM, HR OData Query Manager with Document Builder Real-time reporting and document creation SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) SAP HCM On-premise SAP HCM/HXM SAP HR SAP HXM 2021 SAP On-Premise customers SAP Payroll to the Cloud SAP Road maps SAP customers SAP data SAP data privacy & security Success Factors SuccessConnect 2019 Tax Reporting Transformation without re-implementation accurate payroll data certification custom infotype data source on-premise SAP HCM s/4HANA Analytics solutions Automated reports Automation Cloud migrations DSM Object Sync for SuccessFactors Hybrid Data Secure Data Types Data analysis Employee Central Payroll Reporting Employee Letters Employee communication Free HCM Assessment HR Journey HR employee reports Human Resources Human Resources data Hybrid Reporting SAP and SuccessFactors Hybrid SAP and SuccessFactors Hybrid reporting Hybrid reporting solution Microsoft Excel OData integration OM Object Sync On-Premise Payroll On-Premise Payroll S/HANA Sidecar On-premise reporting Organization of the data PA PRISM for HCM (Private Cloud Edition) PRISM free assessment People Analytics Workforce Planning Personalized documents Protect personal employee data Report Stories Reporting and analysis Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Robotic Process Automation framework S/4HANA Private Cloud Edition (PCE) SAP Data Privacy Suite SAP Data Security SAP ERP Payroll customers SAP HCM Roadmap SAP HCM and Payroll customers SAP Mentors SAP SuccessFactors Hybrid SAP SuccessFactors Release updates SAP SuccessFactors Time Management SAP SuccessFactors Time Tracking SAP certified solution SAP migration SAPPHIRE 2018 SuccessFactors and the Intelligence Enterprise SuccessFactors' Employee Central Payroll The Report Center The Road to People Analytics Time management Workforce Planning ad hoc data variances easy reporter ebook high-speed, low-risk on-premise SAP data partner roadmap single reporting solution sq01 technology third party ALE STP report ASUG Accessing COVID-19 data Ad Hoc Query American Payroll Association (APA) Analytics Connector Analytics reports Analytics solution At-risk employees Australian Payroll Australian Tax Office (ATO) Automated analysis and pay run reconciliations Automatic HR reports Best practice in BI Bots Business Analytics Business Intelligence COVID-19 statistics COVID-19 vaccinations Certified solutions Check for data replication errors Client Sync Cloud hosting SAP PCE Company Branding Compare legacy HR and Payroll data Comparing data Configuration Center Copy and mask test data Coronavirus Created timestamp Custom store Customer-specific infotypes DSAG Data Privacy Data Replication Data Sources Data Sync Manager (DSM) Data access Data privacy regulations Data production support issue solution Democratize data Description Digital tranformation Diversity & Inclusion reporting DocuSign Document Building Dynamic data ECC EPI-USE Labs’ solutions ERP Education sector Electronic Signatures Embedded Analytics Edition Employee Central time Employee Central timesheets Employee NICs Employee payment summaries Employee right to privacy Employer NICs Encrypt data FAQ Index Font Guidelines Gender Pay Gap General Data Protection Regulation Governance, Risk Management and Compliance (GRC) Government forms Grid control Grid layout H4S4 HANA HCM Client Sync™ HCM/HXM/HR Blogs HIPPA HMRC HR Innovations 2019 HR Service Delivery HR and Payroll Integration HR conference HR documents Historical payroll results Hourly time tracking Human Capital Management Human Resources reports HumanRevolution Hybrid SAP SuccessFactors environment IRS Tax Withholding Estimator
+ See More

Get Instant Updates

Leave a Comment: