eExpenses information for approvers

The approvals hierarchy will be set up within eExpenses.  Academic departments, UAS sections, Continuing Education, GLAM and colleges that are adopting eExpenses will provide details of the individuals who will be approvers for their projects and cost centres to ensure each claim is forwarded to the appropriate person for checking and approval. The approval levels within eExpenses are as follows:

  1. Budget holder review (approval limit is zero): budget holder (for example the task manager, PI, supervisor or other manager) for the GL (optional) or project code (mandatory) checks and approves the claim to progress through the system to the next level 
    [In some instances this approval level might not be required]
  2. Approval level 1 (approval limit is 1 pence): finance officer (or equivalent) checks and approves the claim to progress to the next level (mandatory)
  3. Approval level 2 (approval limit up to £1,000): finance manager (or equivalent) checks and approves all claims.  Provides final approval for claims of up to £1,000 and approves claims of more than £1,000 to progress to the next level (mandatory)
  4. Approval level 3 (approval limit up to £10,000): senior departmental approver or Divisional Financial Controller checks and provides final approval for claims of more than £1,000, up to £10,000 (mandatory)
  5. Once all relevant approvals have been obtained, the Central Finance Division payments team make any required checks and process claims for payment via Oracle 

Expense claims for very senior staff follow a specific workflow as outlined in the University expenses policy (PDF).  For example, final approval of Heads of Department claims will be by the appropriate Head of Division, Divisional Secretary or Divisional Finance Controller.

Approver responsibilities

BUDGET HOLDER

  • Confirms that the activity has taken place and is legitimate to charge to their budget
  • Considers any relevant restrictions (for example, funder, donation, trust fund or any departmental terms and conditions)

APPROVER LEVEL 1

  • Checks that the expense is in line with the expenses principles as outlined in the University expenses policy (PDF). Checks include confirming receipts are correct and explanations are reasonable. [Many checks will be built into eExpenses, for example do the numbers add up, is the claim signed?]
  • Confirms the claim is coded appropriately
  • Considers any relevant restrictions (or example, funder, donation, trust fund or any departmental terms and conditions)

APPROVER LEVEL 2

  • Confirms compliance with the expenses principles as outlined in the University expenses policy (PDF), taking assurance from the claimant and the budget-holder declarations that the costs are legitimate business expenses
  • Takes overall responsibility for confirming this is a legitimate expense to be refunded
  • Authorised signatory for claims of up to £1,000

APPROVER LEVEL 3

  • Confirms compliance with the expenses principles as outlined in the University expenses policy (PDF), taking assurance from the claimant and the budget-holder declarations that the costs are legitimate business expenses
  • Takes overall responsibility for confirming this is a legitimate expense to be refunded
  • Authorised signatory for claims of up to £10,000

 

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

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No.  eExpenses does not allow for 'self approval' so there are rules in place so that someone who submits an expense claim is then not in the approval chain for that claim

Some fields will be automatically populated in eExpenses, which means checking of individual expense claims by the Central Payments team within Finance Division will be significantly reduced.  This will free up their time to investigate problems or queries, and to undertake post payment analysis of claims using the eExpenses reporting capability

  • The individual expense items will be routed to the appropriate approver
  • The claim will only move forward to the next approval level when all the relevant project or GL code items have been approved

Funder rules will not be checked automatically by the system.  However, we have built rules into eExpenses to display messages and guide behaviour for claimants and approvers

  • The claimant will need to enter the coding for GL or project codes in order to create their claim
  • As an aid, the most recently used cost codes are visible at the top of the drop down boxes
  • However, as an approver you can correct errors on a claim but it is recommended that you try to educate claimants to get this information right first time by returning the claim for the claimant to correct
  • A budget-holder approver can change the cost code (project or GL cost centre code). If they do so, they will be forced to acknowledge the change and add a comment saying that the update will change the approval workflow. The claim will then be routed to the budget-holder approver of the new cost code
  • If the level 1 approver changes the cost code (project code or GL cost centre) the claim will progress through the workflow to the level 2 approver of the original cost code.  In order to ensure the claim is checked by the correct budget-holder approver, the level 1 approver has two options:
    1. The recommended method is to return the claim to the claimant asking them to update the code (this can be done by adding a comment) and to resubmit it so that it then flows to the correct budget-holder approver
    2. The level 1 approver can also update the code themselves and then use the ‘approve and forward’ button to forward it to the budget-holder approver for the updated cost code.  To do this they will need to know who that approver is so they can select the correct name from the list
  • You can reject it by selecting the 'Return to Employee' button which means it will be sent back to the claimant for further explanation, with a message explaining why it has been sent back to them 
  • If you want another approver's opinion, you can use the 'Approve and Forward' button and select the appropriate person
  • No, not as such. As a budget-holder approver, you can add delegate approvers. This is useful to cover absences 
  • The delegate would act in lieu of the default approver, rather than as an additional step in the process
  • A 'master account' can be set up as the approver and then individuals must be assigned as delegates to perform the checks/approvals.  This way, the checking/approving tasks can be shared between members of a team
  • Additional steps cannot be built into eExpenses at this stage
  • There is an 'Approve and Forward' function that can be used to help with this
  • Otherwise, we will help make it work for your department

Yes, by email. You can switch these email notifications off but would then need to check eExpenses regularly to ensure you action submitted claims

Yes, the claim and receipts can be printed if required.  The printed claim shows all the information held on the system and receipts can be printed individually

  • Yes, the claim name will be loaded to R12
  • Additionally, a Claim Key will also be loaded to R12, so there will be more than one way of locating the claim in both systems
    [The Claim Key is a system generated number, unique to the University]

Initially there will be improved reporting available from Oracle.  We are exploring what eExpenses reporting can deliver

An approver (and their delegates) can view and access all the claims they have approved