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Deep Dive: Advanced Approval detailed example

Christina DobryzynskiChristina Dobryzynski Expensify Success Coach - Admin, Expensify Team Posts: 226 Expensify Team
edited October 2020 in Deep Dive Docs

An advanced approval workflow can be set up when you want to have multiple approvers set up to approve an employee's report.

If you're looking for a simple one-approver setup, please take a look at this help page.

Important concepts

  • 'Submits to' is different than 'Approves to'  
  • Submits to - is the person you are sending your reports to for 1st level approval
  • Approves to - is the person you are sending the reports you've approved for higher-level approval
  • Keep it simple - we've found that customers often think they need to create elaborate approval workflow but, often, it turns out that a 2 to 3 level approval fits their needs!
  • The Policy Members table is not linear so it does not work like this...  

Multi-level Approval Example

Our example is going over setting up a multi-level approval workflow where a report needs to be approved by multiple managers: Submitter > Manager > Director > Finance/Accountant

  • Submitter (aka. Employee): This is the person listed under the User column of the People page. 
  • First Approver (Manager): This is the person listed under the Submits to column of the People Page.  
  • Second Approver (Director): This is the person listed as 'Approves to' in the Settings of the First Approver. 
  • Final Approver (Finance/Accountant): This is the person listed as the 'Approves to' in the Settings of the Second Approver. 

Real-world example

  1. Bryan is the submitter. He submits all of his reports to Jim. 
  2. Jim is Bryan's manager. He reviews all of Bryan's reports and forwards them to Kevin for higher-level approval. 
  3. Kevin is a Director. He receives all of the reports approved by Jim.  
  4. Lucy is on the Finance team. She is the final approver for all reports submitted by Kevin. 



This is what this setup looks like in the Policy Members table. 

Bryan submits his reports to Jim for 1st level approval. 



All of the reports Jim approves are submitted to Kevin. Kevin is the 'approves to' in Jim's Settings



All of the reports Kevin approves are submitted to Lucy. Lucy is the 'approves to' in Kevin's Settings



Lucy is the final approver so she doesn't submit her reports to anyone for review. 



The final outcome 

As you can see the user in the Submits To line is different than the person noted as the Approves To.  


Adding additional approver levels

It's also an option to set a specific approver for Reports Totals in the Settings.




It's also an option to set a specific approver for Categories and Tags. You can learn more about this here

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