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Deep Dive: Advanced approval detailed example

Christina DobryzynskiChristina Dobryzynski Expensify Team Posts: 147 Expensify Team
edited December 2019 in Deep Dive Docs
Expensify offers the perfect solution for companies that require complex approval workflows. An advanced approval workflow is a situation where you want to have multiple levels of report review and approval. If you're looking for a simple one-approver setup, please take a look at this help page.

Let's take a moment to understand some important concepts...

We're focusing on the following approval workflow (or something like the following): Submitter > Manager > Director > Finance/Accountant
Where the following applies:
  • Submitters (aka. Employees): Submitters only submit their own reports, they never approve other users' reports. 
  • First Approver (Manager & Director): The 1st approver will receive the submitter's report. Once the report is approved it will be forwarded for final approval. 
  • Final Approver (Finance/Accountant): The final approver does not need to forward the reports they approve to anyone.
Before you build out your approval workflow, it's important to note, the Policy Members table is not linear so it does not work like this...  



Let's move on to some examples! 

Here are our example employees and roles

  1. Alice submits her reports to Bryan.
  2. Bryan approves and forwards the reports to Lucy
  3. Lucy final approves and reimburses.
  • Alice is a submitter who does not approve other people's reports. Therefore, add Alice's email to the Email column and add Bryan to the Submits To column. 
  • Bryan is a "middleman approver", he Approves and Forwards reports submitted to him to Lucy. To set up Bryan's approval, add Bryan's email to the Email column, click Edit Settings and add Lucy as the Approves To. This will add Lucy's email in his Details column.


  • Lucy is the final approver and does not need to forward reports to anyone for additional approval, so we can leave the "Approves to" filed in her Details column blank.


Adding additional approver levels

Using this general outline, you'll be able to expand to submitters > 1st approvers > 2nd approvers > final approvers! Just follow the same setup as we did with Alice and Bryan. That is, add the 1st approver to the Email line and then add the 2nd approver through Edit Settings

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