Let me preface this by saying that I am new to my position, very new to Concur and don't have much in the way of permissions. I work for a higher education institute that uses Concur for all of our travel related needs - requests and approvals, expenses and some booking. I am not the Concur administrator for the institution, but I am the budget and travel specialist for our global engagement office. We are regularly providing the funding to staff and faculty to run various study abroad classes, site visits, etc. Each faculty member and staff member that does not work in my department (most everyone), has an approval flow for requests and expense reports that routes through their departments supervisor or dean and then lastly, to the provost. This is because the bulk of their travel is backed by their respective departments. However, when it comes to programs that my office funds, the approval flow remains the same. This means that, for instance, the Dean of Science might be approving a request for $3000 from their faculty member, but our dept. may have only agreed that they could spend $2000 on the trip. It's not the Deans fault because they aren't ever a part of the collaboration or budget creation for the program; they're just approving something they know they don't have to pay for. My experience has been that they have no desire to pay any more attention to the process than they already do, and will certainly not reach out to me to confirm that I am ok with the amount. This same issue arises with the expense reports at the end of their travel, but is much more consequential. I've come across a few expense reports lately, when asked for help, that have shown quite a few expenses that I would never have approved.
Is it possible to have someone (myself in this case) added as a conditional approver of sorts? That way, when they put my departments COA value into their request, maybe it changes the approval flow to add me before the provost. Or, maybe there's another solution? I have discussed this a little with the administrator for the institution but they told me it just isn't possible the way we are set up and that changing it would not be cost effective or easy. I believe that they don't think it's possible, cost effective or easy, but it seems very odd to me that this would be the case. What do I know? I just want/need to be able to keep control over my budget. Please, any help or advice would be amazing!
@manfredm It is possible to set up Cost Object approvers, but if you would be the only person this would apply to, there might be a much simpler way to to build a workflow step condition that says, "if Cost Object Equals XXX, then change approver to you". However, this would send you the entire Request and/or Expense Report. What if some items on either of these are not your cost object? Another way would be to build an audit rule that flags a report as needing your approval when your Cost Object is listed on the Request or Expense Report. The default approver would need to Approve and Forward to you or if you were given Expense Processor permission, you could create a query in the processor screen to filter for Requests and Expense reports with your Cost Object on them and you give them final approval.
My other question is why would only your COA require the conditional approval? Those you spoke with might be looking at this globally at your institution and saying, "if we do it for one, we should do it for all". If that is their thinking, I would tend to agree with them. Setting up Cost Object approvers and maintaining them is quite a chore and it is likely that no one at your company has the permission to make these changes, so they would need to be submitted to SAP Concur.
We don't usually recommend making workflow changes when the current workflow process is working. I think there are other ways to accomplish what you are looking for, as I have mentioned above. 🙂