Reporting Options in SAP R3 for the HCM Module


Reporting Options in SAP R/3 for the HCM Module

If you look through the table of contents for this book, you see that the bulk of the chapters are dedicated to the SAP Query tool. That is because it is a very comprehensive, easy-to-use tool with a great deal of functionality compared to the other available tools (for example, the InfoSet (Ad Hoc) Query tool). Table 15.1 compares the SAP reporting tools to assist you in weighing your options for HCM reporting in SAP R/3.

Table 15.1. A Comparison of the Available Reporting Options in SAP R/3

Reporting Option

Description

Pros

Cons

Examples

Standard SAP-delivered reports

Predelivered SAP reports in multiple country formats to assist with generic HCM reporting

  • Available for immediate use

  • No development or design requirements

  • Automatically updated in upgrade, Legal Change Packet (LCP), or patch release cycles

  • Limited flexibility

  • Cannot alter content or output format

OSHA, EEO-1, AAP, and government regulatory reports

HIS

An adequate solution providing a pictorial view of HCM data in a structural graphic format

  • Available for immediate use

  • Hierarchical data is viewable in a graphical form with relationships

  • Limited flexibility

  • Cannot alter content or output format

  • Cannot easily print graphics

An organiza tional structure of positions within a department

InfoSet (Ad Hoc) Query tool

A quick lookup tool for one-time inquiries of SAP HR (Ad Hoc) or SAP application (InfoSet) data

  • Fast retrieval of a single unformatted list

  • User-friendly

  • Requires no programming

  • Can be converted to SAP Query

  • Limited flexibility

  • Cannot format or generate multiple-line lists

  • Not connected to ABAP Workbench

A quick count of the number of associates within a particular department

SAP Query tool

A detailed, friendly end-user report-writing tool designed for every application area within SAP R/3, including HCM

  • Fast access

  • User-friendly

  • No programming required

  • Permits multiple-line lists, graphics, colors, calculations, subtotaling, and so on

  • Connected to ABAP Workbench

  • Before this book, no training materials were on the market to teach end users how to use it

A detailed summary of associate benefit enrollment participation grouped by plan, with coverage percentages

Custom ABAP reports

Reports that can be written in the ABAP Editor by trained SAP programmers

  • Complete flexibility in design, retrieval, and output of report data

  • Requires hard coding

  • Requires a separate test cycle

  • Does not receive upgrades, patches, or LCPs

  • Requires a learning curve

A detailed analysis of associate turnover by department compared to the average cost per associate, as calculated in the Finance module


Using the HCM Module at Your Organization

Chapter 1, "Getting Started with the SAP R/3 Query Reporting Tools," includes a section titled "Comparing the Query Tools to Decide Which to Use." That brief section says that the best business practice is to configure and use one main Query tool at your organization to ease support and training considerations and to ensure that your report data is consistent. That section also mentions that the most robust of the SAP query-based reporting solutions is the SAP Query tool. This recommendation that the best end-user reporting solution is the SAP Query tool also holds true for HCM reporting. Your SAP R/3 system comes predelivered with three data sources (logical databases) that can be used for reporting on HR and payroll data from the HCM module. These three logical databases are called PnP, PcH, and PaP.

As mentioned earlier, because the SAP Query tool has such robust and comprehensive capabilities, organizations often permit its use by super users or power usersusers who are the savviest of the functional/business experts who utilize the solution. Casual users are often given only transaction codes or shortcuts to execute reports already created by others within the SAP Query tool. I have heard the argument that savvy, trained business folk should use SAP Query, and casual users should use the InfoSet (Ad Hoc) Query tool or the QuickViewer. However, I recommend that an organization select a tool for primary use and train its end users on it. That way, the organization avoids any possible data inconsistencies due to different tool use. I always recommend the use of the SAP Query tool above all other tools because it has the most features and flexibility.