SAP Knowledge Base Article - Public

2076802 - Admin 101 - Top 10 Troubleshooting Tips For Variable Pay Programs - Variable Pay


  • Use this essential guide to help troubleshoot issues you are having with your variable pay program. There are many causes for a var pay program to fail, so please log a support case with Customer Success and they can assist in troubleshooting. Checking the items listed in this guide first may enable you to identify the issue and correct without needing to submit a support case.


  • SAP SuccessFactors HCM Core
  • SuccessFactors Variable Pay


  • Various causes and issues.
  • BEFORE concluding there is an issue with the SuccessFactors application remember that this is a cloud based application and unless the problem is being reported by all Variable Pay clients, there is typically no reason to believe a new system issue has just started just for your program. The exception to that is only if the issue starts right after a major quarterly release.
  1. Recommended first action to correct common issues. Run Update Forms for Templates if you have updated data and there are existing Variable Pay plans.


Data issues:

The number one reason by far most clients report cases for end up being data related. Many issues are data related, caused by excel, or even the admin not having valid data. Since your varpay program uses multiple data sources and relies heavily on correct mappings and data dependencies it is not uncommon for one or many of these to cause breaks and issues.

  1. Quick Tip: Don't put symbols .like $ % & etc in your numeric fields or file names.
  2. If you have recently imported goal data into a goal plan, run the Open&Save Documents in the form template settings for the PM form.  This will synch the PM and Variable Pay form. If you do not run this the Variable Pay program will not update with the latest information.
  3. Make sure bonus payouts have been calculated. (Step 15 – Calculate Bonus Payout)
    1. Tip: Generate Bonus Payout Details Report to verify calculations before re-creating forms
  4. Make sure you run Update Forms for Templates if you have updated data and there are existing Variable Pay Manager forms.
  5. Reloadable Fields: Why might a field on my compensation form not reload with newly imported data? In order for a field to refresh with new data upon import (after form creation), the field must be both READ ONLY (not editable by the compensation planner) and RELOADABLE.
  6. You have a problem with your Business Goals:
    1. Make sure you have connected your program to the right goal plan.
    2. Make sure you are not using invalid characters in ANY of the fields (very common).
    3. Make sure file was in the right format
    4. Check out our solution on setting up your Business Goals correctly.
  7. Employee History: You have a problem with the Employee History data file or configuration related to the Employee History. Please refer to this solution for more information on correct use of Employee History.
  8. Weights & Mappings: You have a problem with your weights and mapping data
    1. remember to load your files before recalculating.
    2. Use plan name not ID.
    3. More information on Weights & Mappings.
  9. Rounding Issues: Decimals are only supported to 5 decimal places.  Decimals are already out to 2 places. (i.e. 125.955 = 1.25955 which is already 5 decimal places).   Note – The module will display and allow you to configure decimals out more than 5 decimal places, but the calculation will only take into consideration the first 5 decimal places.
  10. European Data Format using Commas: Some countries use a comma in their numerals, such as 10.000,00. Commas are NOT supported in the application. Do not use commas and only use a decimal to indicate cents such as 10000.00

Other Troubleshooting Tips

  1. Top 10 Reasons Worksheets Wont Create.
    1. If you cannot create forms for an individual or group of users review this information.
  2. If the variable pay form is linked to a PM form, the PM form must be created first, and the variable pay form created second, in order to establish a link between the two.
  3. Employee Central (EC) Integrations: If the data that is incorrect is coming from your EC module, please refer to our solution: Top 10 Troubleshooting Tips for EC VarPay Integrations.
  4. Run Open and Save in form settings if the pm form and goal plan data has been updated. If you importing in the goal plan or updating in goal plan.
  5. Unable to clones last years Bonus Program: See Variable Pay: Bonus - Unable to clone last years template.
  6. Did you recently copy a template from test to production? If so the program IDs & Template Ids may not be correct. Check Program name and Program ID from your plan setup and confirm they are correct. We recommend creating programs in another instance from scratch.
  7. Reports: Your reports are not showing the same data as recently imported or entered.
    1. Run Update Forms for Templates if you have updated data but the reports are not reflecting this.
    2. More information on varpay reporting issues..
  8. You have a problem with your Business Goals
    1. Check out our solution on setting up your Business Goals correctly.
    2. Make sure you are not using invalid characters in ANY of the fields (very common).
    3. Make sure you have connected your program to the right goal plan.


Variable Pay Templates

  1. Once you name a Variable Pay Template – DO NOT CHANGE template name.  This can cause issues with data tables and calculations will not run. 
  2. When a program is migrated from test to production we recommend you create the program from scratch in production as opposed to copying xml templates. This can cause issues with data and calculations will not run.
  3. Provisioning copy tool for Variable Pay not currently supported.
  4. When making changes in Variable Pay XML make sure that you do not change the comp-template-id that the system creates when new program is generated.  This template id will often be different than the one in provisioning.

      <comp-variable-pay bonus-cap-affects="none">



KBA , sf comprecommended , sf error messages comp-varpay , LOD-SF-CMP-VAR , Compensation Integration Issues with Variable Pay , Problem


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