How do I set up approvers?

Modified on Mon, 03 Apr 2023 at 12:02 PM

Set up approvers

Intertours Expense offers a variety of different approval structures. In this article, we want to describe the basics of what you can do, as well as step-by-step guides for common scenarios.






First, approval must be enabled in the Marketplace.


Let's start by looking at the standard page of the approval, which contains three different fields:


Approval settings

Number of authorized approvers required
 In many cases, only one approver is required, but it is also common for more than one person to perform the approval. Let's say you work as a salesperson, your expenses are approved by the sales manager. If the sales manager has approved, the CEO does the final review and approves what the sales manager has approved. In this case, the company has 2 approval steps and two people need to approve. You can have up to 3 approval steps. 


Include unauthorized approvers
 When this option is enabled, all approvers receive a notification, even if the approver is not qualified. 


For example, if a user submits an expense of 250 euros. If Include unauthorized approvers is enabled, Approver 1 with an approval limit of $200 will continue to receive the approval expenses. Once Approver 1 has approved, the output goes to Approver 2, which has no amount limit and is therefore authorized. If  Include unauthorized approvers had been disabled, Approver 1 would not approve and the output would go directly to Approver 2.


Default Approver
 The default Approver has two tasks.

  1. If you want a person to approve all reports, you only need to add the default approver . See step-by-step instructions. 
  2. If you have multiple approvers and Intertours Expense doesn't know who to approve for some reason, the report goes to the default approver. For example, a user who is the approver of a department has been removed as an approver and no new approver has been appointed for that department. In this case, Intertours Expense cannot  find an approver and sends the report to the default approver. 


Approval structure 

This usually refers to departments, i.e. the finance department or the sales department. Each user can be connected to a department. However, it is also possible to use a dimension as a justification for the approval structure. Some companies use cost centers instead of departments as the basis for the approval structure. Based on the cost center that the user selects, the output is then approved by the correct approver.

It is also possible to combine organizational structure and dimension. Let's say every user belongs to a department, but the company has a lot of projects going on. Then set up a dimension called Projects and let users choose from a list of running projects. Each project has its own approver. If the user does not select a project (leaves the field blank), the output is approved by the department's approver. For more information, see Approval Structure Tab .


Temporary Approvers 

If an approver is on vacation or unemployed for any reason, a temporary approver can step in and take their place. When you set up the approval structure, you can specify the rules for how a temporary approver can be appointed. See related article.

No = An approver cannot add a temporary approver. Only approvers
with equal or greater approval limit = In this case, an approver can choose from other approvers.

Yes, from all employees = The approver can choose from any user in the organization


An Approver

If you want there to be just one user approving everyone's expense reports, this is a quick and easy setup. Go to Organization Mode and then Settings  - Approval in the left menu. Enable the approval using the toggle switch on the right.

Under Approval Settings

  • Leave the number of required authorized approvers at 1. 
  • Involve unauthorized approvers should be disabled
  • In Default Approver, type the name of the user who will be the approver. A list of users appears. Choose the lucky one. 

Do you want the default approver  to be able to add a temporary approver when the default approver is away? Then  select Yes, of all employees under Temporary Approvers . Otherwise, select No

As an administrator, you can add a temporary approver at any time by clicking Add Temporary Approver on the right.

Now you're done, don't forget to save.


Approval structure

We have dipped this section in two. The first describes how to use a dimension or department structure to set the approval structure. The second part describes how to set up a combination of dimension and department structure.


Dimension or department structure

To prepare for setting up this approval structure, you must have set up the department structure or a dimension to use. So what are the limitations and benefits of setting up dimensions compared to setting up departments?



If you have a fairly static approval structure with the direct manager as the approver, this is the best option. Of course, a department can have any name, so if it suits your organization, you'd better not use the actual department names.



If you need more flexibility, the dimensions give you just that. You can set a default value based on the dimension for each user, or you can have users select a dimension value each time they output. It's very convenient to let users choose the value when working with projects, either as a cost tracking or, as in this case, to determine who approves an expense.

Common to the department and dimension approval structure is that you can have up to 3 approval steps and you can have amount limits for each step. More about this in the tabs Multiple Approvers and Amount Limit .

Setting up the approval structure for departments and dimensions is the same. In the guide, we'll show you how to set up departments, but just choose the dimension in step 2 if that's better for you.

  1. Start with the approval settings and choose how many approvers are needed. In this guide, we will opt for 1 approver. For more information about multiple approvers, see the Multiple Approvers tab  .
    The default approver is mandatory.
  2. The next step is to select the dimension or organizational structure. Press Add Approval Step and select your alternative. In this guide, we will decide on departments (organizational structure). 
  3. The organizational structure is displayed. Start by adding an approver for the entire organization by clicking below Approver 1. Select the approver in the pop-up, more on this in the next step. Setting this approver is not mandatory, but serves a purpose if a department is missing an approver or a user is not assigned to a department. Of course, the default approver will  always catch these cases if there is no approver in the organization. Then go to the departments for which you want to set approvers. If a department remains without an approver,  the organization's approver becomes the approver.
  4. Once you click under Approver 1, a pop-up will appear. Search for the user who will be the approver. You can add more than one approver, but note that only one of them is needed to approve the expense report. If you want two or three approval steps, or if you want to add amount limits, tap Multiple Approvers for more information.
  5. The final step is to select settings for temporary approvers. These settings determine what an approver can do. As an administrator, you can add a temporary approver at any time by clicking the Add Temporary Approver button on the right.

  6. Don't forget to save!


Combination of department and dimension

A combination of department and dimension for the approval structure is possible. You can add multiple dimensions if you want, we'll limit ourselves to one dimension in this guide. We will start where we left off, with the departments that are there.

  1. Go to Approval Tree and click Add Approval Step. Select By Dimension.

  2. A new approval step field appears. Select which dimension you want to use.
  3. Now follow the same logic as when adding approvers to departments.
  4. Next, we need to decide how the structure should be. In our example, we want the dimension to have the first part in deciding who will be the approver. This is already the case in our setup, as you can see, the dimension field is located above the department field. 
  5. If you want departments to be above the dimensions, simply drag and drop the department field over the dimension field.
  6. The order of the fields is important because it determines the order in which Intertours Expense tries to find the right approver. In our example, the Dimension field is displayed first. This means that Intertours Expense is looking for an approver in this field. If a user who wants to claim an expense selects a value  in the Project dimension field (the name of the dimension), Anton Approver is the approver.However, if  the  user does not  select a project and leaves this field blank, Intertours Expense does not find an approver in the  dimension field. Instead of giving up, Intertours Expense looks  in the next box, the department box. Assuming the user belongs to the technical department, Anton Approver is  the approver.
  7. So once you've found the right structure for your organization, don't forget to save and you're done.



Multiple Approvers

Sometimes multiple approvers are needed. It could be due to the hierarchy that a department head makes the initial approval and then the department head or CEO makes the final approval. Sometimes the original approver is only allowed to approve up to a certain amount.

We'll start by explaining the basics and round it off with a few scenarios that explain how to set it up.


We'll start with the Approval Settings field.



Number of authorized approvers required

You can select 1, 2, or 3 approvers and refer to the number of approval steps required. For example, if a salesperson submits an expense and the sales manager approves and then the department manager approves, two approval steps are required. If the CEO needs to approve what the division manager has approved, you have three approval steps at your disposal. The number of steps is the same for all departments or dimensions. If a department or dimension is missing an approver at a step, the cost goes to the organization's approver or the default approver.


Include unauthorized approvers

Let's say you have an approval step, but the approver has an amount limit of $100 (see the Amount Limit tab for more information). If an expense with a higher value, i.e. 150 euros, is submitted, the approver is not eligible for approval and the expense is sent to the next approver.


If Include unauthorized approvers is selected, the first approver will continue to receive the outputs for approval, once approved, they will go to the authorized  approver. If the first approver rejects the output, the output goes back to the user.


Standard approver

A standard approver is always required. 


Now let's turn to the Approval Structure field  . Let's say we have chosen two approval steps. Under Approvers 1 and  Approvers 2, add the approvers for each department (or dimension, if you wish). In this example, users belonging to a department are approved by Anton Approver in  the first step and Kim Findity in the second step  . Except in the sales department, where Approver 2 is missing and the second approval step goes to the default Approver.

Tip: If you have two or more people who can approve within the same approval step, you can set this up as well. When a statement is sent, all approvers receive a notification in this step. However, not everyone has to approve, the first approver who approves the billing moves the billing to the next approval step.



Some approvers may have a limit on the amount of expenditure they can approve. To set this up, add the limit to the approval step. So let's say we have an approval step, but that step has a $100 limit. What happens if the issue is worth more than 100 euros?


There are two ways to either indicate a next approval step and assign an approver for that expense. Or don't point out another approval step and leave it to the default approver. 


Scenario: One approver if the output is less than 1000 euros, but two approvers if the output is above 1000 euros.


The head of the finance department (Torsten Traveller) has an approval limit of 1000 euros, if an expense exceeds 1000 euros, the CEO (Anton Approver) must also approve. The setup should then look such that the number of authorized approvers required should be 1. Torsten should  be Approver 1  for Finance and Anton Approver 2.

Involve unauthorized approvers must be activated, otherwise expenses over 1000 Euro Approver 1 (Torsten) skip and go directly to Approver 2 (Anton). All expenses below the limit of 1000 Euro reach only Approver 1 (Torsten).

When setting up Torsten as Approver 1,  we add the amount limit in Max amount (the currency depends on how your organization is set up). Simply click on the name of the approver and enter the maximum amount in the new pop-up window. 


If we had more approvers in this approval step, everyone would be bound by the amount limit. And now we're done. Don't forget to save.


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