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Understanding invoicing approval flows
Understanding invoicing approval flows

Explore how the invoicing module 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. Project

  2. Department

  3. User (for purchase requests) or Supplier (for invoices)

The approval flow allocated to a purchase request is decided at the point of submission and will depend on the user submitting the purchase request, their assigned department in addition to any department or project that has been selected on the purchase request. Similarly, invoice approval is also decided at the point of submission and will depend on the supplier the invoice is for, the department(s) or project(s) selected on any of the invoice lines.

Please note: Invoices will be auto-approved if the policy option Auto-Approve Invoices Assigned to a Purchase Request is turned on. Please see our Add an invoice policy help article for more information.

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 that's not the case, the system then checks if an approval flow has been assigned to the department the purchase request or each invoice line has been allocated to. For purchase requests, 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 (for purchase requests) or supplier level (for invoices) 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 a purchase request or invoice needs to go to each level. By default, the condition is always, but you can trigger stages based on purchase or invoice amount and policy exceptions. The purchase request or invoice 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 purchase request or invoice. In this instance, the system will then either move on to 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 purchase request or invoice will be automatically approved.

How can I ensure purchase requests and invoices are always approved?

When using project or department level approval, we recommend that you also assign a user level invoicing approval flow to all users and suppliers. The user and supplier level approval flow will act as the default fall back approval flow and ensures that purchase requests and invoices will always require approval, even if the project and department approval flows have been skipped.

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