Understanding Setting Up Approvals and Audit Rules

PeopleSoft Expenses provides flexibility in managing approvals and audits by allowing users to configure workflow rules that are specific for their organization. PeopleSoft Expenses delivers preconfigured approval and audit rules that you can inactivate or modify. All you have to do is identify your internal process for managing the approval and audit functions and disable those roles, rules, and routings that do not apply to your organization. Approvals can be performed online or using any device capable of receiving or sending emails, including mobile devices.

You can configure policies for business units to approve expense transactions, such as; travel authorizations, cash advances, expense reports, time reports, and time adjustments. You can also set up rules to audit expense transactions before or after payment has been made to employees.

Note: PeopleSoft Expenses delivers an approval and workflow configuration as part of system data. You can activate or inactivate transactions and approver types to match your business requirements. Oracle's PeopleSoft recommends that you manage your approval rules only through the PeopleSoft Expenses configuration pages; otherwise, modifications to the Approval Framework configuration data could disrupt approval routing. PeopleSoft Expenses only supports user lists based on Application Class. Using other user list sources may require customizing your system.

Configuring PeopleSoft Expenses approval and audit rules is broken down into these major areas:

  • Approval installation options

  • Approver types

  • Transaction definitions

  • Refinement templates

  • Risk templates

  • Privileges

  • Approver profiles

  • Approver lists

  • Approver assignments

  • Auto approval thresholds

  • Approval preferences

  • Summary approval options

Approval Installation Options

On the Installation Options - Expenses page, you determine how PeopleSoft Expenses handles and routes expense documents for approvals. Enable workflow at the installation option level to automate your expense-related business processes for expense reports, approvals, cash advances, and so forth. Select approver settings to indicate how PeopleSoft Expenses routes expense transactions for approval.

If you use PeopleSoft Project Costing, you can select the project approver setting, which enables project managers to approve expense documents before final processing.

You can determine if the approver receives an email that includes the transaction details and an approval option by selecting the Enable Email Approvals check box on the Installation Options - Expenses page. If you do not select the Enable Email Approvals check box on the Installation Options - Expenses page, then the approver receives an email notification through workflow. The email notification informs the approver that there is a report that needs to be reviewed, and provides a link to the database to sign into the Expenses system and approve the report. Risk templates override the Enable Email Approvals option on the Installation Options - Expenses page when a risk template is associated with the approver profile and the risk criteria is met.

You can determine the urgency level of expense report, time report, time adjustment, travel authorization, and cash advance approvals. This enables approvers to sort transactions based on the urgency of the transaction.

See Installation Options - Expenses Page.

Approver Types

Approver types map to the appropriate transaction registry entry and process definition for the approval framework.

Transaction Definitions

Transaction definitions activate specific PeopleSoft Expenses transactions for the approval process. The definition is where you determine the types of approvers authorized for the transaction, the nature of their approval, and the actions an approver can take on the transaction type. PeopleSoft Expenses supports these transactions for approvals and workflow:

  • Travel authorizations

  • Cash advances

  • Expense reports

  • Time reports

  • Time adjustments

Refinement Templates

Approval refinements are filters for expense transactions that are subject to approval.

Risk Templates

Risk templates enable you to configure risk levels by SetID and transaction type, and are associated with an approver profile. You can define up to five levels of risk for each transaction type as well as the criteria that determines the type of risk. For example, if the amount of an expense report exceeds the amount on the travel authorization, the system indicates a level of risk to the approver.

When risk templates are associated with an approver profile, the system assigns risk:

  • At the header and line levels for expense reports and travel authorizations.

  • At the header level for time reports, time adjustments, and cash advances.

When expense transactions that contain risk are routed for approval, you determine if the transactions are routed through an email or an email notification. For example, low risk reports can be routed to an approver with an email and the approver can approve, deny, or send the report back for revision by responding to the email. High risk reports can be routed to the approver with an email notification (by not selecting the Enable Email Approval option on the Risk Template page), which requires the approver to log on to the Expenses system to review the report's line items before making a decision to approve, deny, or send the report back.

Approvers can use the summary approval pages to approve transactions, or you can require approvers to use the detail pages to approve transactions that have risk.

The system displays risk using a visual indicator on the summary approval and the detail approval pages. An approver can click on the visual indicator to access the Risk/Exception Comments page to view risk details. Viewing the risk details enables approvers to make informed decisions before approving, denying, or sending a transaction back to the originator.

Privileges

Privileges enable or deny the authority for approvers to modify areas of transactions. These areas include the general ledger ChartFields, project ChartFields, expense line information, distributions, and accounting defaults.

Approver Profiles

An approver profile is associated with a set of attributes that govern what transaction types are assigned to the role or profile. You can define profiles and assign them to any number of the approver population in your organization. The properties of the profile:

  • Authorize the types of transactions that are eligible for the approver.

  • Refine their approval and audit activity by assigning refinement templates.

  • Control the approver's access to view and make changes to transactions assigned to them by assigning privilege templates.

  • Determine the risk level that is applied to a transaction and whether email approvals are enabled by assigning risk templates.

  • Determine whether email approvals are allowed when not using risk templates.

Approver Lists

Approver lists enable you to route expense transactions based on the routing ChartFields and monetary amounts.

Approver Assignments

When using approver list routing, approvers must be assigned to profiles by business unit and range of routing ChartField values that they are authorized for.

Auto Approval Thresholds

Use the Expenses Definition – Business Unit 2 page to establish thresholds and variance percentages for PeopleSoft Expenses to automatically approve expense transactions. This page also enables you to indicate if the system automatically approves expense transactions that have no risk, if you are using risk templates.

See Expenses Definition - Business Unit 2 Page.

Approval Preferences

Use the Expenses Options page to select a preference for how you want PeopleSoft Expenses to behave when approving expense transactions.

See Expenses Options Page.

Summary Approval Options

Summary approval options enable you to configure approval workflow in your system using the Summary Approval Options page. Use this page to enable or disable Summary Approvals, define approver actions, set exception alerts in the summary page, and define conditions when reports can not be approved using the Summary Page.

See Configuring Summary Approval Options.

Email Approvals

Expense transactions that require approval can be routed to any system that displays HTML emails, including mobile handheld devices. This streamlines the approval process and allows busy professionals to approve reports using handheld devices without having to be connected to the company's intranet.

PeopleSoft Expenses uses Email Collaboration within the approval framework, which allows applications to send, receive, and process emails with interactive content.

There is a hierarchy to the email approval option:

  • Select the Enable Email Approvals check box on the Installation Options - Expenses page.

    This option indicates that email approvals are sent for all Expenses business units. However, if a risk template is associated with an approver profile and the risk criteria is met on the transaction, then the Enable Email Approvals check box on the Risk Template page overrides this option.

  • Select the Enable Email Approvals check box on the Approver Profile page.

    When selecting this option, it indicates that email approvals are sent to only the approvers that are associated with the approver profile.

    This option is only available when there is no risk template associated with the profile. This option is overridden by the Enable Email Approvals check box on the Installation Options - Expenses page

  • Select the Enable Email Approvals check box on the Risk Template page.

    If you define risk templates and associate them with an approver profile, the Enable Email Approvals check box is disabled on the Approver Profile page for all transactions that have a risk template. The Enable Email Approvals check box on the Risk Template page is an optional field and it overrides the option selected on the Installation Options - Expenses page.

    When selecting this option, it indicates that email approvals are sent to only the approvers that are associated with the approver profile and that qualify for the risk template that is entered on the Approver Profile page.

This table describes the email approval flow, depending on how your system is defined:

Is the Enable Email Approvals option selected on the Installation Options - Expenses page?

Is a risk template associated with an approver profile?

Is the Enable Email Approvals option available on the Approver Profile page?

Results

Y

Y

No, it's disabled

All transaction types for all approvers are routed for email approvals.

The only exceptions are expense reports that are associated to the risk template in the approver profile. Expense reports are routed for email approvals only if the Enable Email Approvals options is selected for the risk level on the risk template and the risk criteria is met. All other risk levels for expense reports are routed using email notifications.

Y

N

Y/N

All transaction types in the approver profile for the approver type is routed for email approvals. The option on the Installation Options - Expenses page overrides the option on the Approver Profile page.

N

Y

No, it's disabled

Only reports that are associated with a risk template, that meet the risk criteria, and where the Enable Email Approvals check box is selected, generate email approvals. All other transactions generate email notifications.

N

N

N

All reports for all approvers and all approver types receive email notifications.

N

N

Y

All reports that are associated with the transaction type on the Approver Profile page, for an approver type, are routed for email approvals.

To set up your system to send emails to approve expense transactions you must:

  • Set up email collaboration using PeopleTools Integration Broker.

  • Select the Enable Email Approvals check box on one of these pages:

    • The Installation Options - Expenses page.

    • The Approver Profile page.

    • The Risk Template page.

  • If using risk templates, then assign risk templates to an approver profile on the Approval Profile page.

    Risk templates are not required for email approvals.

Use these values to set up email collaboration:

Expense Transaction

Service Operation

Process ID

Expense Report

EX_EMC_ER_APRVL

ERApproval

Travel Authorization

EX_EMC_TA_APRVL

TAApproval

Cash Advance

EX_EMC_CA_APRVL

CAApproval

Time Report

EX_EMC_TR_APRVL

TRApproval

Time Adjustment

EX_EMC_TJ_APRVL

TJApproval

See Understanding Email Collaboration

Additionally, there are areas of the approval framework configuration that contain PeopleSoft Expenses-related information, and are defined in detail in the Approval Framework topics. For each action listed below, PeopleSoft Expenses delivers preconfigured data, and in most cases additional configuration is not required:

  • Register the approval transaction.

    Use the Transaction Registry page to register the approval transaction. The approval transaction registry is the interface that application developers use to register an application with the approval framework.

  • Configure approval transactions.

    Use the Transaction Configuration page to setup worklist notifications, email approvals and ad hoc approver options for existing approval transactions.

  • Define workflow approval process stages.

    Use the Approval Process Setup page to define workflow approval process stages for expense transactions.

  • Maintain user-list definitions.

    Use the User List Setup page to define user sources for use with steps in the approval process.

  • Define email notification messages.

    Use the Generic Template Definition page to create email messages used for event notifications such as Report Approval.

See Defining Dynamic Approvals and Defining Notification Templates for Approval Framework