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Sage Intacct Makes AP Approvals Easier

Mar 11, 2019

In the latest update, which we discussed in full in a recent blog and webcast, Sage Intacct announced one new feature that deserves special attention. The new feature, AP Bill Approvals, gives more flexibility in creating AP approval workflows while maintaining the control you need as a growing company.

In the company’s release notes, it said about the new feature:

“Sage Intacct is pleased to announce AP bill approvals for a more complete AP workflow. Bills created in Accounts Payable can now go through an official approval process.

Business and employee users, depending on permissions, can review bills within Intacct before they're posted, ensuring a more thorough review process and helping prevent fraud. AP bill approvals helps you maintain the necessary controls needed as your company scales.”

This is an important addition to the platform, as it will make the creation of workflows easier and more secure, reducing fraud while speeding up the process. Simply give a business user or employee user the permissions to review and approve bills, and these users now have the power to do so.

Among the additions include the four features below:

Approval Policies

There are three approval policies: value approval (non-progressive), value approval – transaction department, and named user.

  • Value Approval (Non-Progressive): Approval requests are sent out based on the total bill amount. Create different levels of approvers and approvals based on bill amounts. Requires permissions to AP Bills Approval Levels (1-5) for the appropriate level.
  • Value Approval Transaction Department: Approval requests are sent out based on the department selected in the transaction and the transaction amount. Requires permissions to AP Bills Approval Levels (1-5) for the appropriate level.
  • Named User: Approvals are routed to a specific user. Named users are required to be either a Business User or Employee User type with permission to Approve Bills (List).
Approval History

In order to maintain a proper audit trail and provide increased fraud protection, approval history is tracked throughout the workflow, and edits require a bill to pass through the workflow again. You can view a bill's approval history on the bill itself. Just go to the Bill page and click Approval history. You can see who approved the bill and when, or where the bill is in its approval process. The following image shows approval history:

Sage Intacct Makes AP Approvals Easier

Air-Tight Approval Editing

As mentioned above, the approval process is designed to be secure, and any change to an approved (or partially-approved) bill requires that bill to go through the entire approval process again.

Bill States

It’s easy to track the state of a bill from submittal to posting, with four bill states — submitted, partially approved, declined or posted:

  • Submitted: A bill was created and submitted for approval. If you make any edits on the bill, you'll have to resubmit it for approval.
  • Partially Approved: At least one approver approved the bill, but there is still someone (or multiple people) who also need to approve the bill. Want to know who else needs to approve? Check the bill's approval history.
  • Declined: The bill was declined by an approver. Approvers can enter a comment to explain to the bill creator why it was declined and what needs to be done for resubmission.
  • Posted: The bill was approved and posted to the General Ledger.

How to Get Started Using AP Bill Approvals in Sage Intacct

The AP Bill Approvals feature, included in the February release, is simple to add, assuming that you are subscribed to the Accounts Payable module. Here’s how to start using it:

  1. Go to Accounts Payable from the top navigation bar.
  2. Select the Setup tab.
  3. Choose the Configuration option.
  4. Scroll down to the section titled: Bill Approval Settings.
  5. Select the option: Enable Bill Approval.
  6. To enable approval emails, click the checkbox: Email Notifications.
  7. Under Approval Policies, click Manage.
  8. Within the Accounts Payable Bill Approval Policy screen, select line 1.
  9. Choose the applicable Rule Type from the options:
    1. If Value Approval is chosen, enter a Value Approval Rule:
      1. Click Edit under the Manage Rule column. 
      2. The Value Approval Rule screen appears.
      3. Enter a Description in the field provided.
      4. Scroll down to the Approval routing and limits section.
      5. For each Level, enter a Value From and Value To.
      6. Select the Minimum Approvers number for each level; up to 4 can be selected per level.
      7. Click Save when complete.
    2. If Value Approval — Transaction Department is chosen, enter a Rule Set:
      1. Click the Rule Set column and select Add from the drop-down menu to create a new Rule Set.
      2. Enter a Rule Set Name into the field provided.
      3. Select the appropriate Approver(s) and enter the Value From and Value To range for their approval limits.
      4. Click Save when complete.
    3. Or, select a named approver from the list.
      1. To select a named approver, they must be granted the applicable permissions in Accounts Payable in order to approve an AP Bill.
  10. Repeat Step 9 for each Rule Type you'd like to create for AP Bill Approvals.
  11. Save the Approval Policy when complete.
  12. Save the Configure Accounts Payable screen when complete.

How It Works: AP Bill Approvals Makes it Quick and Easy to Approve Bills

Once permissions are set up, an approver will receive a notification with the available permissions. When a user needs a bill approved, he or she will simply click submit. Approvers will receive an email (if they have email notifications enabled), and the approval process is a simple three-step process.

  1. Go to Accounts Payable > All > Bills > Approve Bills. The Approve Bills page appears.
  2. Locate the bill you want to approve and click the Approve link. To approve multiple bills, select the checkboxes of the appropriate bills and click the Approve button in the upper right-hand corner.
  3. On the Approve Bills page, enter an optional comment, and then click Approve.

Video: AP Bill Approvals Overview

Sage Intacct released the following video to explain the processes and procedures that go into approving an AP bill on the platform.

Sage Intacct R1 2019: Your Feedback in Action

The addition of this feature to Sage Intacct R1 2019 is an exciting update responding directly to user complaints and criticisms about the workflows to approve or deny a bill in Accounts Payable. Sage Intacct is consistently focused on delivering updates requested by users, and this is just one example of the innovations they have made to make day-to-day life easier. We invite you to learn more about the latest update by reading our last blog and watching our webcast on demand.

Ready to learn more about how we can help you elevate your Sage Intacct? Need to know how Sage Intacct can help your business do more? Whether you need a partner who can implement Sage Intacct or are looking for a new partner to support your ongoing use, we’re here to help. Get in contact with us for more information.


Stephanie M. Smith
Manager, Healthcare
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