WAP Help and User Guide Approval Routes
Table of Contents
1.4. Self Approval
1.6. Display Tab
3. Value Bands
3.1. Editing Value Bands
WAP Approval Routes allows separate approval routes to be created for each type of document within the system, e.g. Purchase Requisition, Sales Order, Invoice, Expense, Timesheet or Holiday Requests. In addition, you can create approval routes by Nominal Code, Requesting User, Sage Project or Sicon Job Costing item or Document Value. Approval routes can be built on a combination of these options; e.g. nominal account and requesting users, but it is advised to keep routes as simple as possible to allow for easier administration within the live environment. When the system is set-up you need to select the options you will use within the approval routes for each document type (see System Settings Options). The most common approval route for requisitions and invoices is by nominal codes; which refers to a unique combination of Nominal, Cost Centre and Department from Sage 200. Expenses, timesheets and holiday requests are usually by requesting user.
Approval routes can be created with one or more people in the route; an approval step could contain one User, a User Type or a User List.
The route (from top to bottom) is the order in which the documents will be processed.
When a user with sufficient value approves an item, the route will stop, the item is authorised and if applicable, posted to Sage.
It is possible to include Mandatory users in an approval route as well as User Types. If budgets are in use, you can include specific people to approve over budget authorisations.
NB: remember to click Save at the bottom of each page before progressing otherwise all changes will be lost.
1. Approval Settings Tab
The WAP Approval Routes system provides a number of options that you can use to create approval routes for your business documents and these need to be configured within System Setup – System Settings – Approval tab.
1.1. Approval Functionality
The WAP Approval Routes system provides a number of options that you can use to create approval routes for documents and these need to be configured within System Setup – System Settings – Approval tab.
- Document Requires Approval: tick to enable functionality for each module; by default all applicable modules will have this checked.
- Approve as Single Document: documents are approved per line/item but can be approved as a single document if required. This would require all lines on the document to be using the same nominal code and routed in the same way and ensures a line does not get missed during approval. By default this is unchecked for all applicable modules.
- Approval Type: ‘Document Item Value’ will instruct the system to look at each line/item’s value in combination with the user’s authorisation value. ‘Document Value’ will instruct the system to look at the entire document’s value in combination with the user’s authorisation value.
- Nominal Account: if checked, documents will be routed by nominal account which refers to the combination of Account Number/Cost Centre/Department.
- Value Band: if checked, documents will be routed by their value based on the value bands set by the organisation (Approval Route Setup – Value Bands).
- Requesting User: if checked, documents will be routed by who has submitted the document for approval.
- Project/Job/Contract: if checked, documents will be routed by their project/job/contract (depending on which costing module is being used) selected by the user.
- Project Item/Cost Header/Contract Item: if checked, documents will be routed by their project item/cost header/contract item (depending on which costing module is being used) selected by the user.
1.2. Deleting Approval Routes
Once an approval route option has been configured above and approval routes have been created, it is not possible to change the approval options for that document type without clearing down all the existing routes; i.e. changing Requisition approval from being based on nominal account to requesting user. Within Approval Route Deletion Options buttons have been provided to clear down all approval routes for each document type allowing new options to be selected and new routes configured.
NB: deleting all routes will stop the WAP system being able to be used until there is a default approval route (all menu options on the left will disappear). A global default approval route will need to be created; we would advise these to be an Admin user who does not appear in other routes.
1.3. Approval Route Functionality Options
- Approval Routes for a document are restarted on changes made to a document by any user (not just the requester): by default any changes made to a document by the requester will cause the document to restart the approval route, but checking this option will mean changes made to the document by any user will restart the route.
- Document Approval Routes are restarted when an approval route is changed: if an approval route is changed during the approval process, this option will cause the document to start the approval route from the beginning rather than carrying on from the current stage.
- Ask for confirmation when approving entire document: this option will cause a pop up to appear to ask the user for confirmation when they are approving a document.
- Ask for confirmation when approving each item (Only when Single Document Approval is disabled): this option will cause a pop up to appear to ask the user for confirmation when they are approving a document item/line.
- Automatically Approve Invoices that are linked to Requests in WAP: invoices entered onto the system that match to a PO authorised through WAP will be automatically approved without going through an approval route. Invoices will be automatically approved even if the values/quantities are mismatched. This setting can be used in conjunction with the below setting.
- Invoice Total Value Variance percentage with Purchase Order: combined with the above setting, a percentage can be entered here so invoices where the values/quantities match within this variance, the invoice will be automatically approved. If the invoice is outside of this variance, it will be sent for approval within WAP.
- Invoices linked to requisitions should be approved by the requisition requester: this option will mean that regardless of whether invoice values/quantities match the original PO, the invoice will be sent to the user who originally raised the requisition. When they approve the invoice, it will be marked as authorised.
NB: only one of the above two invoice options can be selected.
1.4. Self Approval
Each WAP user can be set up with a self-approval value (User Setup – Users – Account Options). There are two options available for configuring self-approval when a requester is also in the approval route. One of these options must be selected; by default the first option is checked.
NB: within the WAP system, self-approval will override mandatory routes (i.e. if the document is within the requester’s self-approval value it will not go down the approval route, even if any steps have been marked as mandatory). The only instance where a document within a user’s self-approval value will not be automatically approved, is if the nominal or project selected is over-budget, and the check budgets during self-approval option is switched on in their user profile (User Setup – Users – Account Options).
- Use the requester’s self-approval value instead of the document approval value: as a general rule self-approval value is usually less than the user’s document approval value and this will accommodate the scenario where a user can approve other use’s documents at one value but they can only approve documents submitted by themselves at a lower value, or at 0.00, therefore forcing the document through the approval route.
- Use the approver’s alternate user account where available, or remove the requester from the approval route for that document where there is no alternate user available: if the user submitting a document is in the approval route and the value is greater than their self-approval value, the document will be sent to their alternate user (User Setup > User > Alternate User) for approval. If the user does not have an alternate user set, this approval step will be removed and the document will move to the next step.
1.5. Mandatory Approval - Custom Fields
This feature allows for up to three additional mandatory approval steps to be included in approval routes. These additional fields have a custom label and therefore can be personalised per installation. When adding or amending an approval route, any custom fields that have been enabled will appear as selectable options, similar to the standard mandatory flags, see below.
When building an approval route the option to mark a step as ‘Strategic in nature’ appears; there is no limit to how many stages can be marked in this way. A document submitted that has been marked as ‘Strategic in nature’ will now go to Jane Doe for approval even if a user lower in the route has sufficient approval value. The document will not go straight to Jane Doe but will progress through the approval route as is customary.
When a user enters a requisition they will see the option to mark it as ‘Strategic in nature’. This will force the document to go to users marked as ‘Strategic in nature’ in the approval route as the final approval step.
1.6. Display Tab
- View PDF Attachments Inline (Invoices Only): this must be enabled if using a document management system with the Invoice module; this setting will allow the attached invoice to be viewed during the approval process.
- Hide budgets from approval: this setting will not show budgets during the approval process.
2. Approval Routes Tab
Once the initial functionality set-up has been completed, approval routes can be created. By selecting the System Settings icon and choosing the Approval Routes option from the Approval Route Setup tab, the WAP Approval Routes menu will be displayed as shown below.
- Edit Single Route: create or edit a single approval route based on the enabled approval options for the selected Document Type. When a route is chosen the existing route will be shown and either amendments can be made or a new route built.
- Edit Default Approval Route: Edit the System default approval routes; there is a Global Default route as well as default routes for specific documents. A Global Default route must exist before the system can be used; at installation this will be set to go to the Admin user account.
- Use Approval Route Wizard: Set up approval routes for multiple approval options at once.
- Global Replace for User: Use this function if an approver is leaving the company and you need to update all approval routes with a replacement user.
- Import Approval Routes from CSV: Import routes from a CSV template.
2.1. Editing a Single Route
Click to create or edit a single route and select the document type from the drop down menu.
Only document types that have been enabled as requiring authorisation in the System Settings will show here.
Based on the document type chosen and the approval route options configured in the System Settings, a number of drop down lists will be displayed. In the following example an approval route is being created/edited for a requisition raised for the Demo Data Company based on a particular nominal code.
Once the route components have been selected, click Edit Route and the screen below will default to Simple Mode and display the current approval route. To add users to the route, select the user from the drop down list and click Add User. The order can be changed by clicking on the blue arrows or a user taken out of the route by clicking the black cross. The Mandatory and the Mandatory Over Budget options indicate users who must authorise the document even if a user earlier in the route has sufficient authorisation value.
The example below shows that if a requisition is raised for £400 the document will first be approved by Henry Hooper as he appears first in the list. Although he can approve up to £500, the document will also go to Jane Doe if the requisition is over budget.
Once the document has been through the approval process the Requisition is authorised and the requester will be notified by Email in order for them to raise and submit a PO to the supplier.
The Advanced mode provides further options:
The Advanced mode provides further options:
- Add User Type: Instead of adding individual users to the approval route, a User Type can be added and the document can be approved by any user in this User Type.
- Add User List: If within the organisation there is a group of people with the same approval limit, they can be built into an approval route list. Enter the total number of users required to authorise the document in the ‘Required No of Approvers for this Step’ and click on Add Approvers. Select a user and click Add Selected User and repeat until all users required have been added. Click Save and then Close.
- Allow previous approvers to approve this Step: checking this box will allow users to appear in multiple steps of the approval route and be able to approve at different stages. An example of needing this would be if a user was in the first step as part of a user list but then also need to view all documents prior to the POs being sent out. This user would also need to be the final step, marked as mandatory and marked as able to approve this step.
In the following example either Henry Hooper or Jake Smith can approve the requisition; it will be sent to both but only one needs to approve the document. For higher value approvals you may wish to configure the approval route to state that for approvals over £5k then 2 out of 4 possible managers would need to approve the document.
2.2. Edit Default Approval Routes
The default approval routes are used when a document is processed and there is no approval route configured for it. There is a default route for each document type and a global default that is used if a default route has not been set for the document.
NB: by default on a new WAP install, the Global Default route is configured to be the built in Administrator Account. If this route is deleted, then all the module menu options will be disabled and a notification will be displayed until this is rectified. It is also necessary to set up a default route for rejected Invoices/Credit Notes.
The first route to configure within this section is the Global Default Approval Route which is used where no approval route exists for nominal code, user or project and should be used as a ‘catch all’ for these situations.
The approval route can then be built in the usual way.
In the above instance Sarah has been set as the first approver in the sequence and is also marked as a Mandatory user. In this example, if the item is within budget Sarah can approve the item without the need for the Administrator to also approve. If the item is over budget, it will not be approved until the Administrator has also approved it.
- Mandatory Approver: included in the approval route even if users earlier in the sequence have sufficient approval value. The mandatory users may be budget holders, finance users or purchasing departments who are required to review the items before they are sent to suppliers.
- Mandatory if Over Budget: these users become a mandatory user if the item to be approved is over the budget of the selected nominal or project.
Default routes for each document type are created in the same way by clicking on the relevant button from the default approval routes section as above.
2.3. Approval Route Wizard
The Approval Route Wizard helps to make the configuration of the approval routes much simpler; multiple routes can be created and maintained at once. In the below example we will create routes for Requisitions based on nominal codes.
Select the Sage database the routes will be applied to – Wizard Next.
The next step is to choose which nominal codes you wish to assign this approval route to. In the example below we have entered the cost centre SAL and the department BES in the top search bar. Once listed, click the nominals required or the tick box at the top of the list to select all. Once nominals have been selected different cost centres or departments can be entered in the search bar; previous selections will be retained. Click Wizard Next once all required nominal accounts have been selected.
Build the approval routes as required adding Users and/or User Types and/or User Lists (see creating Approval Routes above).
Once the route has been configured correctly, confirm the creation and complete the wizard by clicking Wizard Next.
2.4. Global Replace for User
As changes occur in your organisation such as promotions, leavers etc. you will need to make changes to the approval routes to reflect these. Leavers can be flagged in the User Settings and will not take up a licence, while their user history will remain. However, this process does not change the approval routes as simply removing them would not be the correct course of action in most cases. In order to replace one user with another in all the approval routes, first you must make sure that the new user is set up with the appropriate user permissions; nominals, projects, approval values etc. Using the Copy User in the various sections will help speed these tasks up. When the new user has been set up correctly, click the Global Replace user button.
Choose from the User to Replace drop down menu the user that needs replacing and the New User from the drop down menu below. Once the Save button is clicked, this will replace the old user with the new user in every approval route in the WAP system.
NB: items that have already started an approval route will not be affected; these documents should have their approval routes restarted to be sent to the new user for approval.
2.5. Import Approval Routes from CSV
Import templates can be generated from within WAP, completed and then imported into the system to allow multiple routes across multiple documents to be created at once.
3. Value Bands
Value Bands are a way to separate approval routes depending on the value of the document. If, for example, a company was making large scale purchases with high values, it may be that the usual group of approvers are not required in this case and a new set of rules would apply. In this instance a value band is created that matches this criteria. You do not require value bands to set general approval values, as this is the basic functionality that WAP provides in all cases. Value bands are configured in the Approval Route Setup tab in the System Settings
3.1. Editing Value Bands
Default value bands are used when a value band for a particular document cannot be found. For example, if a requisition with an item for £1,000 was entered in to the system, it would first check the requisition value band for a record where the value of the item falls between the Band Start value and Band End value. In the event a value band cannot be found for requisitions, the same search will be applied to the default value bands.
3.2. Editing Value Bands per Document Type
To edit a value band per document type, the document type should be selected from the drop down list and click the Edit Bands For button to load the current bands. To enter a new value band a descriptive name should be given and the band start and end value entered. If a document is entered that falls outside of the value bands (i.e. bands are only created up to £10,000 and a document is entered for £25,000), the Default Value Band will be used.
4. Approval Route Reports Tab
- Approval Routes: choose the Sage Database and Document Type to show a breakdown of all approval routes that have been created in the system.
- User Approval Values: choose a User to see their default item and approval values as well as set item and approval values per document. If Run Report is clicked with the User selection blank, all users will be shown with their item and approval values.
- Custom User Nominal Values: choose the Sage Database and the User to show a breakdown of nominal codes they have been assigned as well as item and approval values set. If the values are shown to be 0.00 the user’s default item and approval values will be used.
- User Nominal Accounts List: choose the Sage Database and the User to show which nominal accounts have been assigned to the user.
NB: all reports can be exported to Excel for further manipulation and analysis.
4.1. Restrict Nominal Accounts Tab
This function allows for a list of nominal accounts to be configured that cannot be authorised within the WAP system. To add a nominal to this list, choose the Company and the Nominal Account from the drop down menus and click Add Nominal Account. A list will appear below with all the nominals that are currently restricted. If a nominal can at a later date be approved, click Remove to take the nominal off the list and allow documents to be approved.
If a document has been entered using a nominal on the restricted list, the approver will see the below message if they try to approve the document. The approver could either reject the line or document with an instruction to the requester to change the nominal, or speak with the Administrator user about unblocking the nominal so the document can be approved.
5. User Type Approval Permissions
There are a couple of User Type permissions relating to the Approval Process:
Create Ad-hoc approval routes: the ability to create a bespoke route to override the set approval route. This can be done either prior to the document being submitted or during the approval process. Either while the item line is being added or edited, click the Approval tab to show the default route created and then click Edit Route to make changes.
Changes can be made and new users added in using the standard method to build routes. Once the new route is correct, click Save Route and then Save the line as normal and submit the document.
To make changes during the approval process, click View Order Details and then edit the line in the same way as above.
The document will need to be resubmitted in order for the new approval route be used.
- Use ‘Approve Selected’ option on approval pages: this is the ability to select multiple documents to approve at once, rather than approving each document individually. It would be recommended that this functionality is only provided to users at the final stages of the approval process as it is the role of the earlier approvers to check the document is correct while the final approvers may just be needed to provide final sign off.