SAP Knowledge Base Article - Public

2085316 - Compensation - Worksheet Workflow & Hierarchy Based Approvals (HBA)


  • This feature is not currently available for Variable Pay.
  • The feature combines the use of Roll-up Report and Executive review.
  • Provides a tree-navigation for the organisation hierarchy.
  • Allows the planners to approve Compensation in a simplistic process, without having to worry about routing forms.


  • Hierarchy Based Approvals (also known as HBA) also Enables Compensation View Only Mode for Hierarchy Based Approvals.
  • If you do not want to plan by HBA mode you can still leverage it for view purposes only which can make planning easier.


  • Comp Admin Tools 2.0 needs to be enabled. (All clients should start using comp admin 2.0 ASAP as original comp admin lacks some features).

  • In order to turn on HBA for a specific Compensation template, go to Admin Tools> Compensation Home> Select your template.

  • In Advanced Options check option ‘Enable Compensation Hierarchy Based Approvals’.

enable HBA.png

Image/data in this KBA is from SAP internal systems, sample data, or demo systems. Any resemblance to real data is purely coincidental.


  • SAP SuccessFactors Compensation

Reproducing the Issue




  • Eliminates form routing, and having to navigate to form inbox.
  • Provides simple approval model.
  • Allows senior leaders to plan for direct reports and their organisation below from one page
  • Improved navigation with organisational tree.
  • Eliminates the need to use Roll-up Report and Executive Review during the planning process.
  • All the budget metrics are in one place.

Process Highlights

  • Admin launches forms, and they are routed to a single user for holding during the process.
  • Compensation Planners log in and Navigate to their Compensation Approvals tab.
  • From approvals tab you can use the buttons to display Direct Reports only, or the Entire Organisation.
  • Org Tree View
    - Planners can also navigate through the organisation via the org tree on the left. This org tree is just a visual representation of the same data in your Manager Planner column via your data import.
    - If the data is changed via your import, it also changes this visual org tree.
    - When you select a person in the org tree the selected planner’s budget metrics and their one level below budget metrics are displayed.
    - Planners whose compensation data is submitted are shown with a green check mark.
  • Compensation planners can approve for everyone in their team (direct reports), for review of the leaders above, or can approve their entire hierarchy below, with one click.
  • Any time an approval is submitted by a manager/planner, no one within their organisation can edit the compensation data.
  • Once the approval is submitted to and level above, no one below this point in the hierarchy can edit the Comp data anymore.
  • If it was approved at the top level then no one will be able to edit the comp data anymore.
  • Approvals always flow upwards and can be submitted only one level above.
  • Admin uses mass routing feature to route all of the forms to Complete once the process is finalised. An alternative is to have all worksheets auto-route on a certain date preset at time of launch in your route map.
  • Budget
    - The budget information which the planner sees on their worksheet is only for those showing on their worksheet.


HBA View Mode Only

  • Enable Compensation View Only Mode for Hierarchy Based Approvals. You can enable HBA view mode only from Admin Tools.

  • Select your template and from Advanced Settings select  Enable Compensation View Only Mode for Hierarchy Based Approvals.
  • If you do not want to plan by HBA mode you can still leverage it for view purposes only which can make planning easier.


  • The enablement of "Enable Compensation View Only Mode for Hierarchy Based Approvals" will remove Approve All, Reject and Approval History buttons.
  • It doesn't prevent managers from EDITING forms. 

Considerations for HBA

  • Not available in Variable Pay or Total Compensation. You will note that the option to enable this feature will be disabled for both of these types of templates.
  • "Compensation Planner" Hierarchy is not currently supported. Hierarchy based approvals will support MANAGER or SECOND MANAGER hierarchies.
  • In the traditional form-based process, HR or Admin user may be part of the approval process.
  • Currently HR or Admin is not admitted in the Hierarchy Based Approvals views and is not able to participate in an approval step without proxying into a user within the hierarchy.
  • Requiring planner to input comments upon specified conditions is not currently supported with Hierarchy based approvals.
  • Rejection is done one level at a time.


Budgets do not update automatically upon save. You need to open and save the actual worksheets.

  • Certain validations are not enforced.
    • Forced comments are not ‘forced’ because you can Approve without entering comments.
    • Hard stop on budget validation is not enforced when approve to next level.
  • The compensation administrator cannot see which worksheets have been completed or approved and which are outstanding.
  • User’s Performance ratings were changed on the Performance form but the compensation form is showing the old rating.
    > Please note HBA doesn't support automatic refreshing of Performance rating from PM forms. Only opening compensation form supports this.
    > Best practice is to complete the PM forms before launching the compensation forms.
    > But if this is not feasible there are two ways to sync the Performance ratings on the compensation forms:
       (1) Open the compensation forms and click save.
       (2) To perform Mass Update of Compensation Form.

People seeing template under approvals when they should not?

  • Once HBA is enabled, template links will get enabled for all planners within the plans hierarchy. We do not check whether the worksheets for certain planners has been created or not.
  • For example, you may find employees seeing the link to a plan under approvals when they do not have a worksheets themselves.
  • If the employee selects the template they will be greeted with the following message.

you and planners do not have plans.png

  • When we list templates within approvals, the system is looking for forms created within the logged in users hierarchy for both 3 (first manager + inactive) and 4 (second manager + inactive).
  • Please note this is by design and is the compromise between functionality and performance. The system will search the entire hierarchy of 3 and 4.
  • Otherwise, the system will have to parse all templates individually as hierarchy is only available at template level.
  • This does not impact security nor any functionality as you will get the above message and be redirected back to the approvals home page.

HBA vs Traditional Route Map Feature

Planner UI

  • Form based: Worksheet and Executive Review screens.
  • HBA worksheet, one source for directs and indirect reports.

Guideline hard stop

  • Form based will not allow the planner to continue.
  • HBA will provide a warning but will allow the planner to continue planning.

Approval Levels

  • Form based has support up to 7 levels (EMMMMMMM).
  • Whereas HBA is Unlimited.

HR Role

  • In Form based HR can be part of the approval process and route map.
  • But in HBA HR cannot be part of the approval process (unless you enable them to proxy in).


  • With form based process the data automatically updates.
  • With HBA the page needs to be refreshed to update.

Approval of compensation recommendations

  • With Form based there is no official approval through Executive Review.
  • HBA allows roll up approval.

Hierarchy support

  • Form based process supports compensation planner hierarchy, regular manager and 2nd manager hierarchy.
  • HBA only supports regular manager hierarchy and 2nd manager hierarchy.

Force comments

  • Available with form based process.
  • This is NOT available via HBA as it would not be logical in a hierarchy type approach

View Subordinate Budget Spend

  • Available in both models

Form locked for editing once submitted?

  • Form Based - Yes – forms can be progressed by due date to the next step on the route map.
  • HBA - Yes but cannot be automatically progressed to the next level (on road map).

Form Status

  • With Form Based workflow dashboards can be used to see which forms have been completed/approved and which are outstanding.
  • With HBA HR is not part of the approval flow; proxy access required to see form status.

Interoperability (Compensation and Variable Pay)

  • Available in Form Based.
  • Not available with HBA; different processes results in different planner experience.


  • Form Based - Instructions on worksheet.
  • HBA - No instructions on worksheet.


  • Form Based - Manager notified on To Do list, email notifications available.
  • HBA - No manager notification on To Do list; email notifications not available.

Worksheet Filters

  • Worksheet filters are available directly from the worksheets only
  • In HBA, these worksheet filters will not be available.

See Also


compensation approvals, approvals, hba, enable hba, approvals screen, enable compensation hierarchy based approvals, hab notifications, enable approvals, compensation approval, CMP-14261 , KBA , sf compensation hba , LOD-SF-CMP , Compensation Management , LOD-SF-CMP-HBA , Hierarchy based approvals , How To


SAP SuccessFactors Compensation all versions ; SAP SuccessFactors HCM suite all versions