SAP Knowledge Base Article - Public

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


  • Not available for VarPay at this time
  • Combines the features of the Rollup Report and Executive review. 
  • Provides a tree-navigation for the organization hierarchy
  • Allows the planners to approve compensation in a simplistic process, without having to worry about routing forms.
  • Compensation: Hierarchy Based Approvals (also known as HBA) also 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 easie

  • 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)

  • To turn on HBA for a specific compensation template, go to Admin Tools -> Form Template Administration > Select your template. In Advanced Options check option ‘Enable Compensation Hierarchy Based Approvals’


  • Compensation


Key Benefits:

  • Eliminates form routing, and having to navigate to form inbox
  • Provides simple approval model
  • Allows senior leaders to plan for direct reports and their organization below from one page
  • Improved navigation with organizational tree.

  • Eliminates the need to use Rollup 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 Organization
  • Org Tree View: Planners can also navigate through the organization 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 organization 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 finalized. An alternative is to have all worksheets autoroute on a certain date preset at time of launch in your routemap.
  • Budget: The budget information the planner sees on their worksheet is only for those showing on their worksheet.



Using 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.
  • Note: "Enable Compensation View Only Mode for Hierarchy Based Approvals" only purpose is to remove Approve All, Reject and Approval History buttons. It doesn't prevent managers from editing forms.


Known Considerations for HBA

  • Not available in Variable Pay
  • ‘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: 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


HBA vs Traditional Route Map Feature

Planner UI

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

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)
  • Wheras 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
  • 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 roadmap)


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


KBA , sf compensation hba , LOD-SF-CMP , Compensation Management , How To


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