Invoice Approval Process

by Christina Moore Updated May 20, 2020

Once an invoice has landed in the Invoices App in Onit, its approval process begins immediately. The number of approval Phases required, as well as the name of each Phase, depends upon your client’s business needs. The approval workflow can be very simple (e.g., invoices may require only a single approver) or may be more complex (e.g., many approvers, some of which might be conditional).

Phase Configuration

Each step in the approval process should be its own Phase. You may want to conditionally require some Participants’ approvals, in which case your Phases should be configured to “hold” an invoice in a Phase only if a particular Participant is assigned to the invoice.

The invoice approval process always takes place between the New Phase and the Approved Phase of your Invoices App.

In general:

  • It’s OK to edit, rename, or delete any of the Phases circled in red above.
  • It’s OK to create new Phases within the red box shown above.
  • Do not edit or delete any of the Phases that are not circled in red above.

Invoice App Phases

The following is a brief description of each out-of-the-box Phase in the Invoices App.

  1. New: Though this is technically the first Phase in the App, out-of-the-box configuration automatically moves the Record through this Phase and into the first approval-based Phase (e.g., Pending Invoice Approver 1).
  2. Pending Invoice Approver 1-5: Placeholder Phases that are intended to be customized. These Phases represent your entire business approval process. In almost all cases, you will need at least one of these Phases.
  3. Held: An invoice should be configured to move to this Phase if it fails validation. There is no out-of-the-box configuration that provides any invoice validation  this must be built for each client. In almost all cases, validation occurs directly after an invoice has been fully approved (by all approvers).
  4. Approved through Paid: Do not edit or delete any of these Phases. Additionally, do not modify any Actions in the Invoices App that deal with these Phases. There is a large amount of out-of-the-box configuration related to these Phases that allow Onit to successfully work with BillingPoint.

Invoice App Roles

The Roles outlined in red below are placeholders, used to assign Participants to approval Phases. These Roles are assigned by a Looped Action named Build Approval Chain.

This Looped Action will first check the approval amount of the matter’s requester (i.e. Initial Invoice Approver), if their approval amount is sufficient the loop will end. If the Initial Invoice Approver’s approval amount is insufficient the Build Approval Chain Action will perform a lookup to access the requester’s direct superior and add them as Invoice Approver 1 (and so on) on the invoice. The loop will end once an approver with sufficient approval rights is assigned to the invoice or once the Action has added five approvers to the invoice

Adding Participants

When Participants are added to a Phase, the Phase becomes “active” and will “hold” the Record until all relevant Participants have approved it.

Any of the existing Add Participant Actions in the Invoices App can be edited or deleted, as necessary.

Conditionally Adding Participants

There are a couple of ways to conditionally add Participants to your invoice approval workflow.

  1. Decision Table: Leverage a decision table to add Participants when Conditions on Field values are met. For more information, see Onit’s Adding Participants from a Decision Table tutorial.
  2. Approval Authority: If a client requires approvals based on levels of approval authority, define the dollar amount that a user is allowed to approve on his/her Record in the User Profiles App. You can then leverage this property to conditionally require his/her approval based on the invoice’s amount.

Tip: The following Liquid enables you to extract Field values off of User Profiles Records:

{% assign my_user = 'john.doe@onit.com' | email_to_user | user_preferences_for_user %}{{my_user.Field_name}}
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