Thanks for sharing your question with the Ariba Exchange community. Since your inquiry relates to Procurement and Finance & Accounting, you may want to repost the question to those 2 community too ... you never know where a good answer will come from:)
Ariba Exchange Community Manager
We managed this using a csv helper file to add these approvers in a parellel approval flow on the requisition, rather than the invoice. If they simply need to be aware of what invoices will hit in a period you can use reports for that purpose.
I would agree with some of the concerns raised about delaying payment and timing that were raised by your procurement team.
Yes, you can have Accountings department in the approval flow by defining roles specific to each department and responsible persons for each department can then be mapped with their specific department's role. We may define approval rules for these roles i.e. where and on what conditions these roles should be added in the approval flow.
As far as SLA's are concerned, Ariba Buyer provides a Schedule Task "Escalate Approvables" which defines the period after which an approvables like requisition etc can be escalated to the approver's supervisor if it is left ignored in approver's queue (To Do list). With escalation, the actual approver will be replaced with his immediate supervisor in the system. This will enforce responsible persons to take action as fast as possible. All these escalation actions are also stored in the history of approvables hence easier to track when it was escalated to senior hierarchy.
Meeting standard payment terms is a very valid concern that should be reviewed in depth before making a change to approval flows. Our implementation included a 100% review by Accounting and it is one factor that is impacting our ability to pay suppliers in a timely fashion.We are in the process of moving away from our 100% Accounting review requirement.