In this blog post, we will continue the series and walk you through how an automated expense reporting system works. Today we are focusing on expense report approvals. Using our ExpenseWatch Expense Report module, you will be able to see how your employees are empowered to efficiently and effectively perform their role in the expense reporting approval process.
You can watch this short video here, or read about how managers can approve reports below.
When it comes to approving an expense report, once an employee submits it, managers can quickly begin the approval process using the ExpenseWatchs system. Here’s how:
ExpenseWatch empowers you to make intelligent, informed approval decisions.
As an approver, you will be notified via email when they have expense reports to approve. You can either login to ExpenseWatch directly or click the link in the email.
Once logged into the system, the Approval Inbox view shows a list of all transactions awaiting approval.
In this view, summary information is represented, allowing you to quickly approve one or more transactions, assuming the Quick Approve option is turned on by your administrator. You can drill into a particular transaction to view its line item details and supporting documentation to make approval decisions.
The approval inbox is uniquely configurable allowing you to see the information that is most important to you, in the way that it is most convenient to consume.
Users can define the information they see for transactions in their inbox by using the column selection feature. Here we can see all data fields that are available for inclusion in our inbox.
Selected columns can then be ordered in the manner most useful to you, using the arrows in the column selector or by dragging and dropping the column where you would like to see it.
Information can be configured by sorting any of the column headings.
You can also create new tabs with filters that will show only those transactions matching your filtering criteria.
You also have access to historical information related to a transaction, and can see the BU or Departmental and GL account allocations for a particular transaction.
From this view, you can also easily see if documentation or comments are attached to a transaction, inviting you to drill in to see more detailed information. We’ll drill into this transaction now.
There are three sections that comprise the transaction detail screen. The header area that includes summary level information for this transaction, the middle line items section, and the bottom transaction reports section.
The header section can be expanded or collapsed to provide more screen real-estate for the line item detail review.
This area contains submitter & approver comments, approval workflow information, and attachments if the submitter has attached them to the top of the expense report instead of at the line item level.
The middle line item detail section includes all of the line items on the transaction and, like the Inbox, users have the ability to select which columns appear, the order that they appear and also are empowered with the ability to sort the line items by column headings.
Line Items of a transaction are initially shown in summary form. You can drill into it to see all the details, including any comments or attachments.
You have multiple ways you can view information about line items. The category view shows you the report summarized by category.
Simply check off the items you want to see, and that information will populate the report in the order you make your selections.
The receipt view allows you to cycle through all receipts that have been attached at either the header or line item level of this report.
In the receipt view, you can see the expense details next to the receipt. If your administrator set maps to save as an attachment, you can review maps here as well.
And lastly, the Expense Report Items view, which is the default view when you drill into a transaction. You can drill in further to each line item to see all of the expense details.
Policy exceptions are automatically flagged and visible.
You can approve or reject all items in this view or approve select line items while rejecting others.
You can save your approvals for this transaction in progress and come back to it later.
You can add an additional reviewer on the fly and set up delegate approvers should you be out of the office.
At the bottom of the detail screen, you may have the option to leverage select analytical reports, such as budget vs actual, to assist your approval decision depending upon the permission you’ve been granted by your Administrator. The Maps and Location report is a good option to show you expense information from a geographical perspective over time for any expense category for which it is enabled.
Once you have reviewed all of the lines, selecting the process button forwards approved items to the next reviewer in your approval queue, while the rejected items are sent back to the submitter with comments for rework.
ExpenseWatch Mobile also conveniently lets you review and approve expense reports from your smartphone.
As an ExpenseWatch expense report approver, you have a robust set of tools available to fully empower you to make educated decisions and approve spending with confidence.
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