Bill Approval Workflow

Approval customizations allow flexibility based on business need.

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Bill approval workflow

Standard approval settings are the basic requirements for approvals in your account.

  1. Select settings
  2. Select Bill Approvals under Payables
  3. Select Edit
  4. Select the settings to apply
  5. Select Save
    Approval settings

Are changes allowed: Decide if changes are allowed after bills and vendor credits are approved.

  • Changes are not allowed - No changes can be made once there is one approval on a bill
    • If changes to an approved bill or vendor credit are needed, it will need to be deleted and a new bill created
  • Allowed until every approver has approved - If a bill has multiple approvers, changes can be made to bills until the last and final approver has approved
    • If a bill is edited while going through an approval chain, there will be a notification on the bill and edited fields will be highlighted
  • Allowed anytime - Changes are allowed at any time until the bill is paid or the vendor credit is applied
    • Once a bill is paid or vendor credit has been applied, only a limited number of fields are editable
    • If a bill is edited while going through an approval chain, there will be a notification on the bill and edited fields will be highlighted

Should bills be routed for approval: Decide if bills require approval before they can be paid.

  • Bills are routed for approval and are ready to be paid when approved - This setting will ensure that Authorized users will not be able to pay a bill that has not been fully approved. Authorized users will also not be notified to pay bills until after the bills have been fully approved.
    • The Security Admin/Administrator, which has "Pay unapproved bills via Cashflow360" and/or the "Pay unassigned bills via Cashflow360" permissions - Administrator/Sec - can circumvent this rule and pay any bill, regardless of its approval status
  • Bills don't need approval and are ready to be paid once entered into Cashflow360 - This setting allows bills to be paid as soon as they are entered into Cashflow360; no approvals are needed

By default, this setting is set to Bills are routed for approval and are ready to be paid when approved

Things to know

  • Approval settings are global for all bills being processed at the time
  • Changing the setting will not apply retroactively to previously created bills/vendor credits and will only apply to future bills/vendor credits
  • No, the bill can be paid even if it has not been approved setting does not override user role permissions, ie: the Authorized user role cannot pay unapproved bills

Approval policies

Set up policies to require approvers for any bill or vendor credit, based on the dollar amount. Require a minimum number of approvers, specific approvers, or both.

If the bill creator fails to assign the required approvers, we stop them and show the name of the policy.

  1. Select Settings
  2. Select Bill Approvals under Payables
  3. Select New next to Policies
  4. Select the settings to apply
    • For:
    • Bills
    • Vendor Credits
    • Greater than or equal to - dollar amount to require approvers
    • Number of approvers - minimum who must approve
    • Mandatory - If specific approvers are required, assign them in the order they need to approve here
    • This setting is not required, if not specified any necessary approvers can be assigned to bills
  5. Select Save

Note: Setting the mandatory approvers does not assign the approvers to bills. The approvers will still need to be manually assigned by the bill creator.

  • Once approvers are assigned to a bill for a vendor, Smart Data will remember and automatically assign those same approvers on the next bill for the same vendor

Approval Policies: Things to know

  • The order of approvers assigned to a bill must match the order of the mandatory approvers listed within any policy
  • All approvers listed on a bill must approve the bill for it to be considered "Approved" and the bill must be approved in the order of the listed approvers
  • Editing or deleting a policy will not apply retroactively to previously created bills/vendor credits and will only apply to future bills/vendor credits

Approval groups

Approval groups are a designated group of approvers you setup and assign to bills or policies, then any one of those approvers in the group can approve the bill. You can use approval groups, single-user approvers, or a combination of both. Once one approver from the group has approved, the bill is routed to the next approver/approval group, or is marked as approved if no more approvers are listed.

Creating an approval group:

  1. Select Settings
  2. Select Approval Groups
  3. Select New
  4. Enter the approval group Name
  5. Enter an optional Description
  6. Select Save
  7. Check the Select box for all approvers you'd like in the approval group
  8. Select Save

Approval Groups: Things to Know

  • You can add unlimited users in an approval group
    • Users can be in multiple groups
    • A group cannot contain another group
  • You can select approver groups when
    • Selecting approvers on a bill
    • Creating an approval policy
    • Selecting default approvers in settings
  • An approval group's name will be listed on the Overview and Approvals pages, in place of the approver user's name. You can hover over the group name to see a list of the first 3 members, and select to see them all
  • Approval groups assigned to a bill will show 3-4 approver names by default, depending on character length. Select the "X more" link to see the full list of users in the group
  • When a member of an approval group approves a bill, the bill will show the name of the member who approved, under the approval group name
  • Approval notification emails will go out to all approvers in the group at the same time (based on their bills to approve email preference) and added to their to-do lists
  • As soon as any 1 user in a group approves a bill, the to-do list item for that bill is removed from all users in that group
  • The bill's audit trail will show the user who approved the bill but not that they were part of a group
  • Adding or removing a user from the group will apply retroactively to bills assigned to that group
  • Any new user added to a group will have a to do list item but will not get email notifications for bills the group was already assigned to. They will receive notification on future assigned bills
  • If a group is inactivated, there will be a Fix Record to do item for administrator users to fix the bills the deleted group was assigned tox`
  • If all users in an approval group are inactivated, the approval group will be inactivated
    • If the inactivated approval group is assigned to a bill(s), the bill(s) will be routed to the next approvers in line, and a Fix Record to do item will be added to administrator user's to do lists to remove the group
    • An email will go out to all users with manage company permissions, informing them that an approval group has been deactivated since all users in the group are inactive