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SAP Cloud for Travel and Expense

FAQs for Multistep Approval Processes in SAP Cloud for Travel and Expense

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If you’re trying to set up a multistep process in SAP Cloud for Travel and Expense, you might find some useful tips and tricks here in some of the most common questions that have arisen around this topic.

What are the prerequisites for users to be able to approve travel documents?

There are two prerequisites for this. 1) The user must be assigned the business role Approver and the Approvals work center so that the function is available in the first place. You do this in the Business Users Work Center. 2) If your work distribution requires approval by the traveler's cost center manager or line manager, for example, the system has to be able to find the approver with this role in the organization.

How do I combine conditions e.g. set up the condition that all expense reports containing rental car bills costing over 400€ require approval?

This is a combined condition. In other words, you first have to configure the expense type in business configuration and then you have you make sure the business configuration setting is taken into account as a condition. Here's how: First, set up this condition for the expense type in the business configuration fine-tuning activity Set Audit and Approval Conditions for Individual Expense Types. There, in the Maximum Amount field, you can specify that approval is required if a rental car costs more than 400€. Then, on the Approval Processes screen, you must select the condition Expense Type Approval Configuration as described in step g of the documentation Creating a Multistep Approval Process for Expense Types, Itineraries, and Trip Requests.

How do I ensure automatic approval if no approver is found for a step in the approval process?

You simply select the Automatic Approval flag in the Work Distribution section. This will ensure that the process is not stalled if no approver can be found. By the way, the Automatic Approver flag isn't available for the work distribution Direct Approver, where you enter the name of a specific approver. If you don't select this flag and no approver can be found, an unassigned task is created, which will appear in the list of unassigned items in the Business Task Management work center. The next FAQ tip tells you how to handle this issue. 

What do I do with tasks that could not be assigned to an approver - unassigned tasks?

In the Business Task Management work center, you select the item that couldn't be assigned and choose Determine Assignment to see if the approver can be found automatically. If no approver can be found, you can assign the item manually by choosing Actions -> Assign Item. You can select an authorized approver from the list.

How can I make sure that only one of several conditions (aka OR condition) needs to be fulfilled for approval to be required?

Let's say you want to specify that approval is required either if a flight ticket costs more than 500 USD or if the total cost of the expense report exceeds 1000 USD.

You would assign the same step number to two process steps that have the same work distribution and different conditions. In this case, only one of the conditions with the same step number needs to be fulfilled for approval to be required. So your approval process could have steps 1+2+2+3....

I ran into the problem that an unwanted currency conversion in the background stalled the approval process. How can I prevent this happening again?

You must always select an Amount/Currency condition together with a matching Country Version condition.

Why did I receive the same business document to approve twice?

It's most likely that you are the approver for the document with two different roles, for example, as the line manager and as cost center manager.
You can check this by clicking Show all approvers in the business document.

Why was my expense report routed to my previous line manager for approval and not to my current manager?

The approval process is always based on the current date, that is, the date on which a request is submitted for approval. Some work distribution items and conditions can be time-dependent. For example, your organizational assignment is due to change on August 1st and as of that date you will report to a different line manager. If you submit a trip request on July 14th for a trip from August 20th to 24th, the trip request will be routed to the line manager you had on the submission date. If this happens, the line manager can simply forward the trip request to the new approver.

Is it possible to enable 2nd and 3rd level line manager approval for multi-level approval?

Yes it is. You have to maintain the org structure with reporting line units for all your employees. Then you choose the corresponding work distribution options: Second Level / Third Level Line Manager of Traveler.

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