How to Troubleshoot Compensation Fields that Won’t Update in a Worksheet

  • by Pablo Stuardo, SuccessFactors Senior Consultant, Ernst & Young
  • May 7, 2015
Learn how to troubleshoot compensation fields in SuccessFactors compensation worksheets when they are not updating data from the User Data File (UDF).
Learning Objectives

Reading this article, you will:

  • Learn how to troubleshoot compensation fields that are not updating data correctly or not updating at all
  • Create a structured plan to be used in case the fields do not work as expected
Key Concept

A User Data File (UDF) is a file in comma separated value (CSV) format that is usually handled by Microsoft Excel. This file is the main source of user data in SuccessFactors. The file is composed of header fields on top of the file, which generally describe the type of data (e.g., user name or country) each field contains. These fields are linked all over the SuccessFactors system so the different modules can obtain the data and execute it.

Compensation fields are essentially headers in the compensation worksheet. These structures are designed to hold or display data. As such, compensation fields are key elements in the SuccessFactors Compensation module. In many cases, the fields in a compensation worksheet display data that comes from the User Data File (UDF); however, there might be instances, especially with data-type date fields, when the data is not being updated after a new UDF is uploaded. An error like this can cause major issues in the SuccessFactors Compensation module, especially if it is in the middle of a compensation cycle.

For example, let’s say that Daniela Suaraz is the director for compensation at ACE Company, and she is planning to award stock grants for the senior leadership of the organization. Daniela launches the compensation form for all the recipients, and one of the fields is Date of Hire. This is because there is a business rule that prevents employees who have worked fewer than two years from being eligible for stock awards.

Let’s explore for a minute the impact that the Date of Hire field could have on a compensation form if it does not display the correct data. In this scenario, there could be employees who are eligible for stock awards, but the system invalidates them, or vice versa (e.g., employees who are not eligible for stock awards, and the system incorrectly validates them). In addition, there can be many custom formulas in the back end of the system to accommodate certain business rules, for example, a formula that calculates award amounts based on performance, goals, and time in the position. In this case, if this custom formula is referencing the field in question and there is incorrect or missing data (in the field being referenced by the formula), it would cause the formula to crash or generate an error.

A huge range of issues can be caused by bad data (or by not including all the data) in a single field.

The worst part of this scenario is that issues like this generally happen right about the middle of the compensation cycle in the live production environment. In this article, I provide HRIS and compensation directors with a guide to understand, analyze, and help them react quickly to resolve any compensation issues that might arise due to these types of errors. Using this structured guide, you can verify that all the configurations are correct. This guide is divided into four sections, as outlined below. Please note that the first two steps do not require as much skill and time as the third and fourth, as they are easier and take less time to analyze.

  1. An analysis of the compensation designer’s field configuration
  2. An analysis of the UDF
  3. An analysis of the XML template
  4. An in-depth analysis of the data type date

Pablo Stuardo

Pablo Stuardo is a SuccessFactors Senior Consultant at Ernst & Young. He focuses on the entire SAP SuccessFactors suite and has supported and implemented a wide variety of projects for different clients at a global level. A native Chilean, Pablo is fluent in Spanish, and graduated from Georgia State University’s Robinson College of Business with a dual degree in Computer Information Systems and Finance.

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