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Users Select Managers to Approve Reports?

BrianBlackMakDR123BrianBlackMakDR123 Expensify Customer Posts: 4 Expensify Newcomer

Would love to see a way for users to choose which manager to submit reports to. We have a bookkeeper who disburses reimbursements for several different departments, but currently is only able to submit to her hierarchal manager. Added functionality within Expensify that would allow her to select a different business unit manager to approve their program expenses would eliminate the need for multiple layers of approval by department heads who do not "own" those expenses in order to get the appropriate department head to approve/reject their teams expenses.

4 votes

Gathering use cases · Last Updated

Comments

  • Jeremy BonifaceJeremy Boniface Expensify Team Posts: 106 Expensify Team

    Thanks for writing in @BrianBlackMakDR123! I'm wondering -- could the correct manager be assigned to the submitter and, if so, is it static per submitter? If you're using Advanced Approval, we could adjust the workflow for your policy so that the table functions linearly left to right, which could potentially solve your inquiry here.

    If that's something you want to explore, please reach out to [email protected]!

  • BrianBlackMakDR123BrianBlackMakDR123 Expensify Customer Posts: 4 Expensify Newcomer

    Not static per submitter, this particular submitter has 3 managers and would need to submit specific reports to the corresponding manager, not to all three at the same time, and not to all three as additional forwards.

  • Jeremy BonifaceJeremy Boniface Expensify Team Posts: 106 Expensify Team

    @BrianBlackMakDR123 Got it. In that case, I would suggest leaving Workflow Enforcement disabled, which allows users to reroute reports as necessary.

  • evgeniya_aevgeniya_a Expensify Customer Posts: 16 Expensify Newcomer

    Problem with disabling Workflow enforcement is that they can send a report to anyone, not just managers.. And we don't want employees submitting to their buddies, right?

    We need this too. For billable expenses, our employees should be submitting to project managers different from their regular supervisors. And right now they're set up to submit to their own manager, who may not know project details & rates.

    thanks!

  • BrianBlackMakDR123BrianBlackMakDR123 Expensify Customer Posts: 4 Expensify Newcomer
  • Maddy LewisMaddy Lewis Expensify Success Coach - Admin Posts: 68 Expensify Team

    @evgeniya_a and @BrianBlackMakDR123 - We have a feature that we're releasing shortly (Category and Tag Approving). Once that's live, that should make up for much of the functionality that you feel like you're missing right now.

    With these upcoming changes, Policy Admins will be able to add Category and Tag level approvers for everybody. Your approval workflow will be entirely customizable. So, while this is a headache right now, this new feature release is happening within a few days and this functionality should be much clearer/easier to configure.

    Thanks for hanging in there!

  • Sasha KlugerSasha Kluger Expensify Success Coach - Admin Posts: 36 Expensify Team

    Hi @BrianBlackMakDR123 and @evgeniya_a - we've just released our new category and tag approver feature! With this feature, you can configure your Expensify policy to route reports based on department/project tags.

    To learn more about how the feature works, take a look here. Could you give it a try and let me know if this works for your use case? If so, I'll update your Idea Status to "Live feature released."

  • BrianBlackMakDR123BrianBlackMakDR123 Expensify Customer Posts: 4 Expensify Newcomer

    Closer, but still not what we need. Since the expenses we deal with are in the same budget categories across multiple business units, the same tag could be used for multiple approvers. We could create new tags by business unit and train our people on how to use them, but from the wording in the article you linked, after the correct manager approved it, it would still go to this particular employee's regular manager for approval and forwarding. That doesn't address the issue that we're facing: 3 managers who are peers who each have final approval authority over their budgets with one submitter handling the finances for all 3. Her reports need to be able to be approved by the correct individual (of the 3) and then forwarded to accounting. No additional approvers

  • Sasha KlugerSasha Kluger Expensify Success Coach - Admin Posts: 36 Expensify Team

    Got it, @BrianBlackMakDR123.

    One other thing that might help to note is that even with Workflow Enforcement enabled, Policy Admins are still able to forward for an additional level of approval. If the Expensify account for accounting is a policy admin, then you could set that account up as the first approver (the Submits To field), then that account could Approve & Forward to the relevant budget approver for final approval.

  • evgeniya_aevgeniya_a Expensify Customer Posts: 16 Expensify Newcomer

    Hm.. It'll definitely work for some cases. But there is no tag approval on report level?

    What I tried doing is creating a custom list in NetSuite of current Project Managers and enabling custom list option in Expensify. If I set it up under the report level, then it doesn't show up under "tags", and we cannot control approval workflow again. If I set it up as a line-item level, then how many lines need to be tagged? And what if the employee tags multiple managers by mistake - it'll be routed to 2-3 different managers..

    Is there a way to make the tag available under the report level? So 1 report - 1 tag - 1 tag approver? (instead of 1 report, 20 tags, 1-20 approvers.. :)

    Thanks!

  • Christina DobryzynskiChristina Dobryzynski Expensify Success Coach - Admin, Expensify Team Posts: 154 Expensify Team
    edited February 18

    Thanks for the additional information, @evgeniya_a! At this time there isn't an option to assign an approver on the report level, only the expense level. I can see how this would be helpful.

    I'd love to continue looking into a setup that is going to work best for the group policy. I noticed most of your group policies only have 1-3 policy admins. Would it be an option to disable the policy workflow enforcement with the expectation that the employees will submit to the correct admin? Just thinking of some possible solutions.

    Please feel free to provide any general information about the ideal workflow setup (keep in mind not to post private information in the Community) or send us a private email at [email protected] and we'll be happy to offer suggestions!

  • evgeniya_aevgeniya_a Expensify Customer Posts: 16 Expensify Newcomer

    Hi Christina,

    As mentioned above, the reason why we don't want to do this is because disabling the workflow allows users to submit to Anyone, and we only want them to submit to managers.

    Also, we may have 1-2 admins per policy, but there are a hell of a lot more approvers :)

    thanks!

  • Ted HarrisTed Harris Expensify Success Coach - Admin Posts: 260 Expensify Team

    Ah, @evgeniya_a - it's possible we have a solution for you. We have a somewhat standardised Custom Approval Workflow which could be added, such that your users would submit like this:

    • Normal case: Submitter -> Project Manager(s) -> ApprovesTo (of the last PM that approved)
    • Submitter case (If project manager is Submitter): Project Manager (Submitter) -> SubmitsTo -> Other Project Manager(s) (if applicable) -> ApprovesTo (of the last PM that approved)

    For this to work, you must be importing both People and Projects from NetSuite. We will pull in all the Project Manager info, and insert PMs into the approval flow based on a report's project tag/report field. If a project manager is the submitter on their own project, we will replace them in the flow with the person listed as their submitsTo from Settings > Policies > Group [Policy Name] > People > Policy Members.

    Note: You cannot amend this flow at all and will have no control over it within the policy itself. It is a custom workflow added by Expensify to the policies you require.

    This doesn't sound exactly perfect for you, but it's certainly significantly better than your alternative right now. If you'd like this adding to specific policies, please reach out to [email protected], reference this post and ask for the NetSuite Project Manager Approval workflow be added to X policies (obviously replacing X with the exact names of the policies you'd like)!

  • evgeniya_aevgeniya_a Expensify Customer Posts: 16 Expensify Newcomer

    Hi Ted,

    Yes, this sounds like a possible solution. We're not using NetSuite/Expensify people sync at this moment, but I was debating doing this at one point.

    Question for you, if we do sync people from NetSuite to Expensify - does everyone get imported or do we have an option to choose who gets imported and who does not? At this point our billable policy only has the people who use it, not the entire company, and I don't want someone using this policy in error (and yes, I know about the possibility of restricting policy access through domains, but it's a little cumbersome imho:).

    Mind you, I am looking at the most efficient ways to manage new employee additions to both NS & Expensify, so open to different possibilities.

    Thanks,

  • Ted HarrisTed Harris Expensify Success Coach - Admin Posts: 260 Expensify Team

    if we do sync people from NetSuite to Expensify - does everyone get imported or do we have an option to choose who gets imported and who does not?

    All employees from the matching subsidiary will be imported. We don't have any way to filter those besides having you mark them as Inactive in NetSuite.

    At this point our billable policy only has the people who use it, not the entire company

    Are the rest of the company in another policy? Or do they not file expense claims at all?

    You could also easily prevent activity from these users by making use of a SAML/SSO connection, make that "Required" from Settings > Domains > [Domain Name] > SAML and then only give rights to access Expensify to those who will need to use it, even though all employees will be listed on the policy.

  • evgeniya_aevgeniya_a Expensify Customer Posts: 16 Expensify Newcomer

    Are the rest of the company in another policy? Or do they not file expense claims at all?

    There's a general policy for everyone & a billable one for a limited number of users. This helps limit the categories & other tags, which helps decrease errors. So I can see how exporting employees for the non-billable policy can be useful for us, but looks like the billable one will have to be manual (at least for now). I will think about this though, thanks!

  • Ben FitzBen Fitz Expensify Team Posts: 70 Expensify Team

    Sounds good, @evgeniya_a! Let me know if you'd like us to enable this on our end, or if you have any further clarifying questions. Thanks!

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