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Expense Approval: Setup and Flow
Expense Approval: Setup and Flow

Set up expense approval flows in account and budget settings and easily manage expense requests.

Updated over a week ago

In case you need to be on top of all your expense submissions, and do not want all your logged expenses to be approved without verification, Productive offers the option to switch on the expense approval flow.

This will allow the budget owners to receive expense approval notifications and approve, reject or edit the expense submissions coming from people working on budgets and sales deals.

Enabling Expense Approval in the Account Settings

To enable expense approval, head over to:

  • Obligatory: Settings > Expenses (to enable expense approval functionality in your account)

  • Optional: Settings > Budget (to set expense approvals as default for all your budgets moving forward)

and toggle on the "Expense approval" option (do not forget to hit Save at the bottom).

Note that you'll need admin, owner or custom expense permissions to access these settings!

Enabling Expense Approval in a Budget

Once you've activated the expense approval option in your account settings, you've signaled your intention to apply this process.

However, not every budget may require this level of oversight. To customize this feature for individual budgets, we've added an extra step, allowing you to decide which budgets need expense approvals and which can bypass this step.

To activate expense approval for a specific budget, the budget owner must access the budget sidebar, go to the settings tab (⚙️), and toggle it on (see below).

Then, once submitted, expense requests will appear in the budget owner's Approvals inbox.

Submitting Expense Approval Requests

Once you've set up expense approval in both the account and budget settings, and confirmed expense tracking is enabled for the services in the budget, users can submit their expenses for approval.

Check out this article on submitting expenses for more details!

Receiving an Expense Approval Request

From the budget owner's perspective, after users submit expenses, the budget owner will receive an approval notification and see the request in their approvals screen.

At that point, the budget owner can approve the expense, flagging it as Approved (✔️), or reject the expense by adding an explanatory note, marking it as Rejected (Ⓧ), edit the expense, and even delete it through the three-dot menu on the right.

Tip: While only the budget owner receives notifications for expense submissions, other team members (Admins and Managers) can view and approve the expense requests in the budget's Expenses tab even if they do not receive notifications!

Expense Request Notifications

Make sure the Expense notifications in your Settings > Notifications have been turned on to ensure that everyone (the expense submitter and budget owner, or approver) is aware of the most recent updates and changes to the expenses.

The expense submitter will receive an email notification (not in-app!) if you, the budget owner and expense approver, request any changes before approving the expense.

The "View expense" button allows them to quickly access the mentioned expense from their inbox, make changes, update the expense and return it for approval.

You, as the approver, will receive another email as a result, informing you that you need to check some unapproved expenses.

Expenses Overview

Navigate to Financials > Expenses to access the company's expense list.

Use filters, fields and views to easily identify expenses that require reimbursement or further attention (e.g. add the "Approval status" field to oversee all expense statuses, from approved, changes requested, approval not required, and even canceled)!

In the Reports section, choose the Expenses data source for a comprehensive view of submitted expenses and bring it to your home dashboard as a widget in case you need to monitor expense requests and their statuses more frequently!

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