4 Replies Latest reply on Apr 17, 2013 1:01 PM by greg.coverston

    Question: Do you include "Accounting" or "Finance" on approval workflows?

    Nancy Beltran Journeyman

      Hello Exchange Community! 


      We're looking for guidance or best practice advice on including an "Accounting" or "Finance" review on requisition or invoice approval workflows.  Any firms out there that can provide insight and guidance is greatly appreciated.


      Currently our Requisition approval flow is configured to include a Finance representative from the requester's department, not necessarily someone from the Accounting or Finance department.  And our Invoice Reconciliation approval workflow currently has rules setup for 1-2 Accountants to review and approve invoices that meet the dollar threshold conditions for CapEx or Prepaid purchases only.


      Accounting would like to open the scope of review to include all invoices prior to payment, by mapping line item General Ledger account codes to identified approval groups.  However our Procurement group has several concerns with this and hesitates to move forward with this request.


      Challenges identified by Procurement:

      • Meeting standard payment terms: including an additional approver can cause a delay resulting in lost discounts
      • SLA's around approval turnaround time: the first several business days of the month are the busiest for accounting due to month-end close. Approvers would have to commit to a less than 24 hours turn-around.  And someone would be required to monitor this on a daily basis.
      • Maintenance of the Approver mapping
      • Not all invoices are processed through the Ariba P2P system
      • Moving Accounting review to the Purchase Requisition process: most buyers need the PO generated yesterday. Again, a 24 hour SLA on approvals would be required and monitored.
      • Overall SOX control of the process


      Please feel free to send a private message if you don't feel comfortable posting your response to this discussion topic.  Again, we're looking for any insight, guidance, stories and best practice from other Ariba P2P customers who have encountered this or a similar challenge.


      Thank you,


        • Re: Question: Do you include "Accounting" or "Finance" on approval workflows?
          Debbie Curtis-Magley Master

          Hi Nancy:


          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:)


          Debbie Curtis-Magley

          Ariba Exchange Community Manager

          • Re: Question: Do you include "Accounting" or "Finance" on approval workflows?
            Alice Hillary Journeyman

            Hi Nancy,


            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.



            • Re: Question: Do you include "Accounting" or "Finance" on approval workflows?
              Amit Gupta Apprentice

              Hi Nancy,


              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.



              • Re: Question: Do you include "Accounting" or "Finance" on approval workflows?
                greg.coverston Novice



                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.