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All roads lead to approval: An overview of Sage Intacct’s many transaction approval options

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All roads lead to approval: An overview of Sage Intacct’s many transaction approval options

By: Dean Dorton | November 12, 2020

Having a hard time proving that your transactions were approved before posting to your General Ledger? Bet your auditors would like to see evidence of that approval and a well-defined workflow. If this problem sounds familiar, look no further than Sage Intacct, the only AICPA-preferred financial management system.

Accounting Software | Sage Intacct

With a robust set of transaction approval functionality built into its Core modules (that means everyone can have them day one), Sage Intacct is ready to help you digitize your transaction approval processes and rest assured in the confidence that transactions won’t be showing up on your books without the right say-so.

Sage Intacct offers varied approval workflows depending on the module. Look forward to the following possibilities, and read on to learn more about each approval type:

  • Value-based approval
  • Manager-based approval
  • User-based approval
  • Transaction type-specific approval
  • Alternate approver functionality

Value-Based Approval

Available in: Accounts Payable Bills, Accounts Payable Payments, Purchasing Transactions, Employee Expense Reports, and Employee Expense Reimbursements

Value-based approval lets you set an approval workflow based on the transaction’s value. There are a couple different “flavors” of value-based approval. You can have Value based approval driven by Levels, where, for instance, a Level 1 approver can approve up to $500, a Level 2 approver can approve up to $1,000, etc. You can also set a number of approvers required at each level (i.e. a Level 2 transaction requires at least 2 approvers). Generally speaking, Sage Intacct handles most payment-type approvals as value-based with levels.

There are also value-based approval rules that let you define a “from” value and a “to” value. For instance, you can create a value approval rule saying any transaction from $0.01 to $499.99 can be approved by a Level 1 approver.

Value-based approvals are especially useful when you want thresholds around how much each person can approve. They are also beneficial when you have a group of approvers that can approve by level and any approver at that level is an acceptable approver. For more information on value-based approvals, see the Sage Intacct help center.

Manager-Based Approval

Available in: Accounts Payable Bills, Purchasing Transactions, Employee Expense Reports, General Ledger Journal Entries, Employee Expense Reports

A common request financial system users have is for approvals to happen by manager. So, we call this next option “Manager-based approval” (no, that’s not a technical term). In certain approval setup screens, you’ll see the option to select a Manager-type approval. The options for Manager-type approvals can be any of the following depending on the transaction type and the approval area:

  • Employee Manager Approval
  • Department Approval/Transaction Department Approval
  • Transaction Location Approval
  • Transaction Project Manager Approval

All the above approval workflows will refer to the appropriate manager to route an approval. There’s a subtle difference in some options – the transaction aspect for certain approvals. If you choose a transaction approval (i.e. Transaction Department Approval, Transaction Location Approval, Transaction Project Manager Approval), Sage Intacct looks at the manager for the dimension (i.e. Department, Location, Project) tagged in the transaction. For transaction approvals, you can’t mix and match Locations, Departments, or Projects on a transaction – each transaction must use only one.

If you do not choose a transaction approval (i.e. Employee Manager Approval, Department Approval), Sage Intacct looks at the manager of the Employee or the manager of the Department to which the employee submitting the transaction is assigned. Further information describing these different approval types can be found in the Sage Intacct help center.

User-Based Approval

Available in: Accounts Payable Bills, Purchasing Transactions, Employee Expense Reports, General Ledger Journal Entries

In many ways one of the simplest workflow options, and potentially a great fit for smaller companies, you have the ability to utilize a specific named user for approvals. If you’re setting up an Approval Policy, your Rule type is simply choosing a Sage Intacct user. All transactions will go to that user for approval. You can have multiple named users in a specified order (i.e. Step 1 – John Smith, Step 2 – Jane Doe). This is really as simple as it gets – choose the user who you want as the approver. An example of how to use this is available in the Sage Intacct help center.

Transaction Type-Specific Approval

Available in: Purchasing Transactions

Unique to the Purchasing module (as far as Core modules go, as least), Sage Intacct allows you to have different approval policies per Transaction Type (or, as Sage Intacct calls them, Transaction Definitions). This means that, in the Purchasing module, you can have a unique approval workflow on a document-by-document basis. You can mix and match all the different types of approval workflows discussed previously to construct your perfect set of approval policies in Purchasing. Sage Intacct’s Purchasing module affords you a great deal of approval power and flexibility. Learn more in the Sage Intacct help center.

Alternate Approver Functionality

Available in: Purchasing Transactions, General Ledger Journal Entries

At some point, it’s inevitable that a team member will go on vacation, get a cold, or be unavailable for any variety of reasons. When this happens, you want your business to keep going. You want that team member to have a backup approver who can temporarily take over the approval responsibilities.

Sage Intacct’s alternate approver capabilities allow you to do just that. In General Ledger, you can configure journal entry approval options, by journal, for a main and alternate approver. In Purchasing, you can enable delegates so that a user can approve Purchasing transactions on behalf of another user. When the main approver turns on out-of-office delegation, approval requests will automatically go to the delegate. Learn more about approval delegation in the Sage Intacct help center.

In Summary

Looking for more help with approvals? Searching for approval on something else (like approval of Vendor creation)? Always feel free to contact us for help by reaching out to erpsupport@ddaftech.com.

Below, observe a summary table of the approval types covered and where you can use them:

Approval Type AP Bill AP Pymt Purchasing EE Exp Rpt EE Exp Reimb GL Entry
Value-based X X X X X
Manager-based X X X X
User-based X X X X
Transaction type – specific X
Alternate approver X X

X

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