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Understanding approval flows
Understanding approval flows

Explore how the system handles multiple approval flows and approval hierarchy.

Written by Jack
Updated over a week ago

ExpenseIn allows you to configure approval flows at 3 different levels;

  1. User

  2. Department

  3. Project

The approval flow allocated to an expense is decided at the point of submission and will depend on the user submitting these expenses, their assigned department in addition to any department or project that has been selected on the expense form.

How does ExpenseIn decide which approval flow to use?
If a project has been selected, the system will first check if an approval flow has been assigned to that project. If not, the system then checks if an approval flow has been assigned to the department the expense has been allocated to. The department is the user’s assigned department unless they have the ability to override their department enabled. Finally, if the system does not find an approval flow then the approval flow assigned at the user level is used. ExpenseIn will not “chain” approval flows together and looks for a single approval flow based on the defined approval flow order.

How do approval flows with multiple stages work?
ExpenseIn does not limit how many stages or levels you can create within an approval flow and you can use the available approval conditions to control when an expense needs to go to each level. By default, the condition is Always, but you can trigger stages based on expense amount, policy exceptions and whether or not the expense is reimbursable, reconcilable or billable. The expense must pass through all required stages before it is flagged as approved.

When will the system skip an approval stage?
The system will skip an approval flow stage when the approver is the person submitting the expenses. In this instance, the system will then either move onto the next stage if there is one or look at the next approval flow based on the system approval flow ordering.

If there is no matching approval flow or no further stages have been found, the expenses will be automatically approved.

How can I ensure expenses are always approved?
When using project or department level approval, we recommend that you also assign a user level approval flow to all users. The user level approval flow will act as the default fall back approval flow and ensures that expenses will always require approval, even if the project and department approval flows have been skipped. 

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