The approval limit is by report total. I do not believe this can be adjusted.
So if you have a $10,000 report with no individual expenses over $5,000, you can approve it, but it will still go to your default approver for final approval, or prompt you for another approver if your approver does not have a limit exceeding the report total.
You can only grant final approval to reports where your approval limit exceeds the report total.
With Authorised Limits, it is by report total. You need to have a limit higher than the report total for the system to count the report as 'limit approved' when the approver clicks on approve. You should always try and ensure you have people in your organisation high up, with a high limit to ensure even the highest value reports can be approved or you will find reports are not 'limit approved'.
I totally get what you are saying and this is why Concur has a number of options that help you counter this sort of activity.
1. Cognos reporting - the ability to capture employee(business sector/company/country etc spend over a period of time you can see patterns in this particularly if a user is submitting multiple reports in a short time period. Some companies enforce a 1 report per month internal company policy, but this depends on the client.
2. Audit rules - There are a number of audit rules that help you track employee spend automatically. For instance, lets say I had an per report limit of 500 USD for taxi's and all the employee was doing was splitting that between reports to get by my per report restriction. You could catch / prevent this with an aggregation rule which totals spend based upon expense types within a given period (By month is one possible example)
3. Using additional identifiers to group spending together - Project ID's for instance, you can check how much people over a number of cost centres are spending on project ID. If an individual or a group of people are using multiple reports to hide their spending, reporting on the project ID they used will also highlight breach of corporate policy.
These a just a few examples of how I would tackle this, what about the others? Do you guys have a best practice you'd like to share?
By report. It also converts the currency - so if you have an approval limit in USD but an expense report to approve in EUR, it will convert the value of the expense report and compare to the approval limit.
In my experience, most clients handle your objective with Audit rules using one of the below options available in the system.
Amount-Daily Total (multiple expense types)
Amount-Weekly Total (multiple expense types)
Amount-Monthly Total (multiple expense types)
Amount-Yearly Total (multiple expense types)
All of these will calculate totals across expense reports.