I'm writing a test class for some trigger functionality and I keep getting the below error when attempting to insert a Case as a User with a specific Profile/Role/Department.

INSUFFICIENT_ACCESS_ON_CROSS_REFERENCE_ENTITY, insufficient access rights on cross-reference id: a0QXXXXXXXXXXXX

The error references a Custom Object that I'm trying to associate to a Case via Lookup.

The Custom Object has OWD as inherited from it's Parent which is Contact which is itself has OWD inherited from it's Parent which is Account. Account is set to Private with Sharing rules. All Accounts are owned by a single designated User record.

Sharing Rule Screenshot

Below is my code.

UserRole theRole = [SELECT Id FROM UserRole WHERE Name = :Constants.ROLE];
Profile theProfile = [SELECT Id FROM Profile WHERE Name = 'Department'];
User theUser = TestingUtils.createTestUser(theRole.Id, theProfile.Id, 'CST', 'User');
theUser.Department = 'CST';

System.runAs( new User(Id = UserInfo.getUserId()) )
    insert theUser;

System.debug( theUser.Name );

Account acc = new Account
    RecordTypeId = DatabaseUtils.getRecordTypeId('Account', Constants.PERSON_ACCOUNT),
    FirstName = 'FirstT2',
    LastName = 'LastT2',
    PersonEmail = '[email protected]'
insert acc;
Contact person = [SELECT Id FROM Contact WHERE AccountId = :acc.Id];

Custom_Object__c custom = new Custom_Object__c 
    RecordTypeId = DatabaseUtils.getRecordTypeId('Custom_Object__c',Constants.RETAIL_ACCOUNT),
    Account_Owner__c = person.Id,
    CustomerAccountNumber__c = 'TestAccountNum',
    Name = 'testname',
    AccountNumber__c = 'AccountNum'
insert custom;

    Custom_Object__c testCustom = [SELECT Id FROM Custom_Object__c WHERE Id = :custom.Id LIMIT 1];
    Case testCase = new Case
        RecordTypeId = DatabaseUtils.getRecordTypeId('Case', 'Phone'),
        Custom_Object__c= testCustom.Id,
        Status = 'New',
        Origin = 'Inbound Phone',
        Subject = 'Test',
        Description = 'More Test',

        insert testCase;

I know this has something to do with Sharing because of I move the line Custom_Object__c testCustom = [SELECT Id FROM Custom_Object__c WHERE Id = :custom.Id LIMIT 1]; down to be in the System.runAs the object does not get returned but for the life of me I can't figure out why the User doesn't have access to my Custom Object.

If I go through the UI the user has no problem accessing my Custom Object or associating it to a Case record.

EDIT: I can somewhat get around this if I set the OwnerId and CreatedById as the User in question and insert it as system user, and then update it as the User in question. This allows me proper testing when a Case is updated, but it doesn't allow me to test for Case creation.

  • Can you please create Account, contact and custom object records with the same user "theUser" which you are creating Case records? Commented Jun 14, 2016 at 22:24
  • @SantanuBoral I cannot. Our permissions don't allow this User to create Accounts, Contacts (we are using PersonAccounts) or the Custom Object. They only have permissions to view/edit.
    – dBeltowski
    Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 15:53

1 Answer 1


Having run into this issue myself today, here is one possible explanation:

  1. Apex testmethods do not honor criteria-based sharing. Hence...
  2. The lookup object custom which is created by the running user of the test is not shared to the runAs theuser even though you have in your OWD Private Sharing Settings a sharing rule that extends access from the running user to the mocked user (presumably to the mocked user's role). Thus, the lookup field you populate in Case.Custom_ObjectField__c is to an unreachable object.

Workaround is to insert the Account and Custom_Object__c using the same user as theUser.

As you noted, it works in the UI (because you are not in a test context)

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