Absences are paid or unpaid planned working times during which the employee has not worked. They therefore represent an deviation to the employee's work schedule. The absences are stored in the infotype 2001 of an employee.
Attendances are used to record the actual hours worked by an employee. The attendances are stored in the infotype 2002.
These two concepts are very similar and generally share the same customizing tables.
1. IMG activities
Here is the IMG part to configure absences and attendances in the SAP system :