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Deep Dive: The Ins and Outs of Advanced Approval

Ariel GreenAriel Green Expensify Team Posts: 82 Expensify Team
edited February 26 in Deep Dive Docs
Often, as companies grow, their expense approval chains become more complex. For example, maybe CEO Liz used to approve all employee expenses, but now they need to first be approved by Finance Manager Jack.
In cases where you need multiple levels of approval, the Advanced Approval workflow is going to be your best friend.

When is Advanced Approval a good fit?

If your organization needs any of the below features, then this approval workflow is right for you:
  • Multiple levels of approval — think of a report that needs to go to Tom for initial approval, and then onto Jen for final approval and reimbursement. Can do!
  • Granular, submitter-based approval workflows — let's say Troy needs to submit his reports to Tom, but Eliza needs to submit hers to Olivia. No problem!
  • Approval workflows that change based on dollar amounts — if Eliza's report is small, Olivia can reimburse it, but if a report is over $500, it needs to go to Liz for approval. Advanced Approval lets you define amount thresholds and route reports to relevant parties!.

The People table

There are two basic actions that an individual can take on a report:
  • Submit — this can only be done by the creator of a report, or on their behalf by a Policy Admin.
  • Approve — this can only be done after a report has been submitted; depending on the approval workflow, a user can approve and forward a report to another individual for further approval, or they can final approve it.
When setting up your approval workflow, the best way to think of it is: When the person in the User column takes action on a report, (1) what is that action, and (2) who is the recipient?

For example, in the pictured workflow, when Charlie needs to submit a report, it will go to Jake. Once Jake is in possession of that report, he will need to approve it, and that report will then go to Ariel. Since Ariel doesn't have an Approves to [...] designated, then her approval will be the final approval for this report. To rephrase, Charlie's reports will flow from Charlie > Jake > Ariel.

What if I need to route reports to different approvers based on the amount?

Great question! Check out our Deep Dive on setting approval limits.

Can my employees override the workflow in the People table?

It depends!
  • If you have workflow enforcement enabled (which is the default setting for a new policy), submitters and approvers must adhere to the set approval workflow (recommended).
    Note: This setting does not apply to Policy Admins.
  • When workflow enforcement is disabled, submitters and approvers will have the option to override their "Submits to" and "Approves to" settings by manually re-writing the email address that populates when they submit or approve and forward reports.

Can I see an example?

Sure thing! Check out this detailed example of an Advanced Approval workflow.

Have a question or want to know more? Start a discussion here!
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