Invoice approval workflow for Xero: A step-by-step guide

A guide to invoice approval workflows

There’s no denying that Xero comes out of the box with a whole host of fantastic functions and features. In fact, it’s hard to fault it at all. But there is, in our opinion, something missing: a complementary workflow approval process for the payment of invoices.

Why? Well, here’s an example:

Let’s say we have a number of different departments, all with staff working on a range of different projects. All of the invoices related to these projects will need to be approved by the relevant department head before being submitted to Finance for payment.

Ideally, this invoice approval workflow process should work as follows:

  1. The staff member uploads the invoice received into an invoice approval workflow.
  2. The invoice approval workflow automatically forwards a request for approval to the staff member’s supervisor/manager.
  3. Once the supervisor/manager approves the bill/invoice for payment, the bill details are forwarded to the accounts payable staff for processing and payment.

However, as it stands, users require a third-party shaped solution to this challenge – one that boasts the following capabilities:

1. Multi-step approvals

The ability to define authorisation levels would be an important part of any approval workflow system. For instance, a finance administrator might be able to approve up to $200 for sundry expenses, but would have to submit for approval to his manager for above that, and to his CEO if it was over $30,000.

2. Email notifications that there’s an approval pending your action

Oftentimes, staff members are capturing the invoices and then sending an email to let their supervisors know that an invoice is ready for approval.

With an approval workflow system, approvers would receive email notifications regarding requests pending their decision. They would also be able to approve from within the email, and leave comments that will form part of an audit log (more on that next). This would save a lot of time and hassle!

3. An audit log

Every single approval step should be captured in an audit log, keeping track of approver names, approval dates, and comments related to the approval request.

Sounds too good to be true? Meet ApprovalMax

An invoice approval workflow is an absolute must for medium-sized businesses; especially those striving to implement best practices in business and financial management.

ApprovalMax works exactly as described above. It takes care of the invoice approval process without skipping a beat. Enjoy:

  • Multi-step approvals and a robust, conditional approval matrix
  • Email notifications for approvals pending action
  • iOS & Android apps for approvals
  • Secure approvals, with no need to give approvers access to Xero
  • The ability to reject – and comment on – approval requests
  • A complete audit trail of approvals

This can all be set up in just 5 minutes, and the Xero integration works seamlessly.

Wave goodbye to bugging approvers to log into Xero to approve your invoices! Start your no-risk free trial today.