Working from home with ApprovalMax & Xero: how to perform efficient approvals in times of social distancing

ApprovalMax_Work from home

Let’s face it: we’re all stuck at home for an indefinite amount of time. This is challenging for anyone but especially for those who need to collect finance authorisations for AP and AR documents in a non-digital form.

Due to how work is organised nowadays, paper-based approvals are not just less efficient. In the current situation it actually feels unsafe to pass around paper documents and – depending on the present restrictions in your country – it can even be impossible.

Email approvals are still about, obviously, and they do suit the work-from-home (WFH) scenario. But now, because of the involuntary lack of direct communications with colleagues in the office, there’s so much more getting done by email that approval requests can easily get lost. Plus, it often takes approvers a long time to find them in their overflowing inbox. Besides, routing the approval process manually can be a tall order at the best of times. Now, there’s even less point in doing things yourself when they can so easily be automated.

Set up a fully paperless WFH-ready process

ApprovalMax works with any invoice capture technology – be that an OCR tool like Receipt Bank, or Xero’s Hubdoc, or Xero’s Email-to-bill function.

We only need the invoice/bill to have the “Awaiting approval” status in Xero because that triggers the approval process for us. 

All bills with the “Awaiting approval” status will be picked up by ApprovalMax and routed through the approval process, which is defined in the approval matrix and based on the approval criteria pulled from Xero. Once fully approved, bills are pushed back to Xero with the “Awaiting payment” status – ready for further processing.

Stay safe and efficient with remote approvals

ApprovalMax covers all your needs in terms of remote approvals, no matter if they’re down to social distancing or your intent to be more efficient and spend less time (and paper) on such routine tasks.

Protect your Xero data

It is possible to perform approvals directly in Xero, but that only makes sense for very small organisations without any external stakeholders. The more people you have in the process, the more complex and less safe it becomes. With ApprovalMax, the approval process is performed safely from outside of the general ledger, and approvers only see the financial information related to their responsibility. This is particularly important with regard to advisors who use Xero to work with their SME clients.

Customise the approval matrix

The flexible approval matrix in ApprovalMax is great because it frees you from having to remember who does what in which order. You only need to configure it once, and then all documents that require authorisation will be automatically routed to the specified approvers. The approval matrix can have as many layers as you want, and you can use various criteria to break things down into more detail; for example, what amounts and what type of expenses a particular person can approve.

Facilitate efficient collaboration via comments in approval requests

We all know how inconvenient it can be to discuss multiple documents during a call or via email, especially if they are on paper. And, of course, you can’t simply use a sticky note to communicate what’s wrong with an invoice before passing it on to a colleague. Well, in ApprovalMax, this is no problem at all: if there’s something wrong or needs clarification, you just make a comment in the respective approval request and it will reach everyone involved.

Support approvers with automatic notifications and a flexible environment

With ApprovalMax, it is highly unlikely that approvers will overlook something or lose requests in their inbox. Thanks to automatic notifications they will always keep on top of things. And they can choose their preferred way of approving: in the web or mobile app, or via the notification email.

Benefit from automated audit trails and decision traceability

Last but definitely not least, you’ll increase your efficiency considerably with the automated audit reports. Once the final approval has been collected, a detailed audit report is created automatically to enable the tracking of all key approval decisions. These reports are readily available at any given time, making audit preparations a breeze.