Does anyone in the group currently use a worflow as follows? Expense report submitted, AP Processor audit, Manager approval, then sent for payment. I'm interested to see if anyone's workflow looks like this and how it's working for your organization. Thanks!
In a way, yes, but not in the exact terms you mentioned. We still have the manager approval before the report is sent to the Processor in Concur, from which it's batched out for payment, but we do have many areas where we utilize a pre-approval step before it progresses to the actual manager for approval.
Also, before I go into too much detail, we are using the [Manager > Authorized Approver > Processor] option in our approval routing settings.
We have many locations around the US, and over half of them utilize a finance pre-approval process (it's not required). Essentially, the pre-approver is set up in Concur with an approval limit of $1. They are then set as the default approver for all of the employees at that location. When an employee submits a report to them, they ensure proper coding to match what's budgeted, ask for further info (business purpose, comment, etc.), examine receipts, and generally make sure everything is in order.
After that step, the pre-approvers then use the Approval Flow menu option to send the report to the employee's supervisor for approval. We use the Approval Flow menu option, where they add in a User-Added Approval step before the Authorized Approval step (instead of Approve & Forward) to avoid issues with approval limits.
If the pre-approver tried to send a report to a manager with Approve & Forward, and the report exceeded the manager's approval limit, they wouldn't be able to. This way, they manager can still approve it, but it will still progress onto their own approver if their authorization level isn't high enough.
It has worked pretty well for our organization, but it is very manual process. The pre-approvers must maintain a list of employee-supervisor relationships on their own, and they are entering in that info manually for each report that they approve. We have previously talked to Concur about building a customization where we can assign this to be automatic, and may pull the trigger on that this year. The customization would allow us to assign two approvers per user, and the approval flow will be unique, even if the pre-approver is the same for lots of users.
This would be different than the [Manager > Second Approver > Processor] option, as it will still employ authorization levels, and the [Manager > Manager's Manager (up to 5 levels) > Processor] option, as the pre-approver's manager will mostly not be the submitter's manager.
Anyway, that's what we do. Hope that's helpful. Let me know if you have any questions; thanks!
Thank you so much for the detailed reply. This may be helpful to our organization as well. At the moment we are just putting some feelers out there to see what other companies are doing. Again, I really appreciate your response!
We use the workflow exactly as you've described it and it's working fine for us.
The AP Processors are reviewing:
For these items the AP Processors have a better understanding of what is correct than the approving managers do, so it makes sense to arrange the workflow this way. Previously we had the manager approval first but found that a lot of reports were being sent back by the AP Processors to the employee and the managers would then have to re-approve. Now the approving managers are only getting 'clean' expense reports to approve.
It's a bit laborious for the AP Processor(s) as we're effectively auditing every single report. However we're a small organisation, only licensed for 80 expense reports per month, which is rarely exceeded.
At our company we use [User>Manager>Concur Detect (AppZen)>Processor (High Risk only)>Payment]
I am also curious to see what other companies have in place.
Hello @fbromeiro I was told by three different people (2 at Concur and 1 at Appzen) that they can't alter the workflow to allow a manager to look at the report before it goes to AppZen. It appears you've been able to find a way to do it. Would you be willing to share your success? I would appreciate it!