Advice and answers from the Expensify Team

Expensify offers a variety of approval workflows, ranging from a simple submit-and-close, to multi-tiered approval flows. On top of that, we offer the ability for reports to be automatically approved if they meet the policy's requirements. 

To modify your policy's approval workflow settings, navigate to the People section of your Expensify policy click Admin > [Select Policy] > People


Auto-Approval

No longer must you wade through seas of reports clicking "Approve!"

Auto-Approval will automatically move your report through each step of your designated approval workflow as long as the report meets all of the requirements you specify in your policy's settings. Don't want that room service receipt to be automatically approved? No problem--just specify that in your policy's settings, and Auto-Approval will set that expense aside for manual review. Everything else that meets your policy's requirements will be automatically approved and placed in the administrator's Inbox for reimbursement.

To turn on Auto-Approval, look just below the pane where you specify which mode of approval workflow you want:


Approval Modes


Expensify offers three different approval workflow modes. Submit and Close is the simplest, while Advanced Approval offers the greatest level of complexity. Keep reading to learn how to set up each one!

Submit and Close

Each new policy has Submit and Close turned on by default. This is the simplest workflow available.

What happens to the report after it's submitted?

The report will be placed in a Closed state and sent to the account of the party indicated in the "Submit reports to" field. It's assumed that Closed reports require no further action necessarily.

Who should use this workflow?If you don't need to have anyone approve reports, this would be perfect! For instance, if you're exporting all of your reports to an integrated accounting system for those report actions, Submit and Close would allow your employees to use Expensify to track and report their expenses, with no further action required on the reports within Expensify.

Submit and Approve

Submit and Approve is the most basic workflow that indicates a report still isn't finished just because the employee submitted it. That is, this is the most basic level at which a colleague would be required to approve reports an employee has submitted.

What happens to the report after it's submitted?
The report will be placed in a Processing state, and it will be sent to the employee indicated in the "Submit reports to" field for approval.

Who should use this workflow?If you need reports to be approved by someone else, but you don't need something as complex as multiple parties reviewing/approving the same report, this is your ticket!

Advanced Approval

Advanced Approval allows you to fully customize your approval workflow. You can set specific approvers for specific users and create multi-tiered approval chains. Corporate policy users can also designate report amount thresholds for approvers.

What happens to the report after it's submitted?
After the report is submitted it will follow the set approval chain. We have highlighted some examples of how to set this up further down.

Who should use this workflow?
Groups who have complex approval workflows, where the reports need to pass through multiple levels of approval.


Terminology

  • Submits to: This field reflects the party to whom that person will submit their own personal reports. The report first goes from the person in the “Email” column to the person in the “Submits To” column. Employees will generally only have their “Submits To” field filled.
  • Approves to: This field reflects the party to whom that person will send other people's reports after they have approved that report. When the person in the “Email” column approves and forwards a report it is forwarded to the person in the “Approves To” column. In this way, you can create as long of an approval chain as necessary. Managers will generally have their “Approves To” column filled with the next person in the approval chain.

Example Workflows

3 Person Approval Chain Example

Alice submits her reports to Bryan, Bryan approves and forwards the reports to Lucy. Lucy final approves and reimburses.

4 Person Approval Chain Example

Bryan submits his reports to Jim, Jim approves Bryan’s reports and forwards them to Kevin. Kevin approves the reports and forwards them to Lucy. Lucy final approves and reimburses Bryan’s expense report.

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