Maybe your Awaiting Approval tray is slowly beginning to fill up with freshly processed invoices waiting for your thumbs up, or you've received an email alert giving you a gentle reminder to log in and hit that all-important button.
Either way, you have some approving to do!
This article guides you through all the important ins and outs of successfully approving an invoice, including exactly what happens after you hit Approve.
1. Open the invoice
- Follow the link in the approver nudge email, or click Manage invoices on the iCompleat homepage.
- Go to the Awaiting Approval tray, and click the invoice to approve.
- The invoice summary page appears.
2. Invoice summary
The invoice summary page gives you an overview of all the key details on the invoice. It's good practice to review everything on this page before you make the decision to approve or deny the invoice.
If you feel like you need more detailed information before you can make that decision, click Documents and Timeline in the bottom-right (more information on that useful page in a moment).
The header preview on the invoice summary includes:
- Invoice number
- Invoice date
- Supplier reference number
- Net, Vat, and Gross values
- Currency code
- Bank detail validation, if the feature is switched on
- The matching order number (if matching is enabled)
- Submission comments from AP operators
- Any notes attached to the invoice by other users
The lines preview on the invoice summary includes:
- A list of the lines from the invoice
- Line number
- Item number
- Item description
- Unit cost
- Net, Vat, and Gross values
- Analysis codes and custom fields applied to each line item.
Invoice summary actions
There are some additional actions you can take to help out future approvers and your other colleagues in iCompleat, like adding comments or attaching relevant documents. This can also help to give invoices a more detailed audit trail.
Here are a few actions that you can take from the invoice summary page:
Add a note
Go to Actions in the bottom-right, and click Notes to attach a short note that other iCompleat users with access to the invoice can view from their tray. This includes both past and future approvers.
After you click the button you can type a brief note and add an icon to make it stand out. Just click the purple Add Note button when you're finished.
Your note will be immediately visible next to the invoice for other iCompleat users. If you added an icon, it'll look something like this in the tray:
When a user clicks the icon, your note will pop up like this:
Attach a document
You can attach a document to the invoice containing relevant information that might be useful to other approvers and users, and for the sake of the invoice's audit trail.
This can include another invoice, order, price quote, statement, email conversation, delivery note, expense receipt, or any other related document.
To attach a document, go to Actions in the bottom-right corner, and click Add attachments.
A popup appears with a Select Files... button that lets you browse your computer to find a document to upload. One you've selected a file, you choose the Attachment type from the drop-down, and click the upload button.
You can add multiple documents if you like. Once they're added, they'll be listed at the bottom of the popup, with a red cross (X) icon next to them in case you want to delete them.
Like notes, attachments are visible to other relevant users as soon as you've added them, without you needing to approve or deny the invoice first. Other users with access to the invoice will see a number beneath the paper clip column in their invoice tray telling them how many attachments are available, like this:
They can select the number to view, download, and print the attachments if they need to. They'll appear in a preview like this:
3. Documents and Timeline
If you want to see the original invoice and its full audit trail before making your decision, you can click Documents and Timeline in the bottom-right corner of the invoice summary page.
You'll see a preview of the original invoice on the left of the screen, and the invoice's timeline since it arrived in iCompleat on the right.
The timeline includes details of the person who submitted the invoice for approval, the date and time it was submitted, and any previous users who have already approved the invoice.
If you see Auto Submitted on the timeline, this means that the invoice was automatically coded and submitted to a workflow as soon as it arrived in iCompleat. One of your iCompleat administrators might have set up auto-approval for certain suppliers.
4. Approve or deny the invoice
You can approve or deny the invoice from either the invoice summary, or the Documents and Timeline page.
Just click Approve or Deny at the bottom of either page. You'll then see a message asking you to confirm your choice.
If you'd like to add a comment supporting your decision, click the arrow within the Approve or Deny button, and then click Approve/Deny with comment.
Just enter your comment in the box, and click the button to confirm your choice.
What happens next?
After you approve an invoice, it goes straight to your Approved tray. Other iCompleat users who have had contact with the invoice will also see it in their Approved trays.
If there are other approvers after you in the workflow, they'll now see it in their Awaiting Approval tray, and there will be a record of you approving it on the Documents and Timeline.
If you're the last approver in the workflow, that means the invoice is fully approved, and will be posted to your finance system. iCompleat will then retrieve a journal number, which will appear against the invoice in the Approved tray, like this:
After you deny an invoice, it will go straight to your Denied tray. Other iCompleat users who had had contact with the invoice will also see it in their Denied trays.
The AP Operator who submitted the invoice will be able to reactivate the invoice from their Denied tray, and then make any necessary amendments to it in their Unprocessed tray before submitting it for approval again.