Approval Process: Expense Reports & Travel Authorizations
- For users with the Approver role
- This includes approving Expense Reports used for employee reimbursement, reconciling My Wallet (P-Card) transactions, reconciling Advances and approving Travel Authorizations.
- Expense Approval Roles & Responsibilities
Step 1: Retrieve Expense Report or Travel Authorization
- Navigate to Approval Inbox on the NUPortal.
- or NUFinancials > NU Workflow > Approval Inbox
Step 2: Review transaction for accuracy
Applicable for all Expense Reports
- Description and Business Purpose are appropriate.
- Comment field includes Project ID, Project name, and the main Principle Investigators name (if charged to a sponsored chart string).
- Chart strings are correct.
- Click an Expense Type link to view the chart string for that line.
- Click Next Expense to see the next line in the report.
- If a line is "grayed out" it does not need your approval.
- You may see lines that use chart strings that you do not recognize.
- These chart strings may be the responsibility of another approver.
- If you approve the report, you are approving all the lines that use chart strings for which you are an approver.
- If you do not want to approve all the lines, you must click Send Back.
- You may need to change the Accounting Date for the report.
- Expenses cannot be approved for a closed accounting period.
- Amounts are appropriate and correct.
- Local and Illinois sales tax was not charged or is deducted from reimbursement.
- Expenses adhere to the applicable policies:
- Expense Types are appropriate.
- Line Descriptions are provided under the Detail tab.
- Group Meal attendees are properly entered (for Group Meal expenses).
- Proper documentation is attached
- Detailed, attached receipts agree with the expense report.
- Policy exception form is attached (if applicable).
- Mileage documentation is attached (for Private Auto Mileage expense types).
- Department level approvers may also add attachments (signed exception forms, etc.).
- Documents must attached before the Expense Report is submitted for central office approval (ASRSP, Accounts Payable).
- Foreign currency
- Exchange Rates or Credit Card statement is attached along with original receipts.
- Budget status is Valid (perform budget check if status is Not Checked).
Additional considerations for reconciling My Wallet (P-Card) transactions
- Purchases adhere to Procurement Card Policy.
- Personal purchases (unallowed) are processed using a credit (if applicable).
- Comment field includes reimbursement check information for unallowed charges (if applicable).
- Merchant credits appear as a negative amount and may be processed with or without the original charge (dependent on timing).
Additional considerations for reconciling an Advance
- Reference field contains the Travel Advance ID.
- Advance is properly applied to an expense report.
- Comment field includes reimbursement check information for unused advances (if applicable).
Applicable to Travel Authorizations
- Future date range is used.
- Expense Type is "Used For Advances".
- Printed Travel Authorization is signed by employee and supervisor and is attached.
- Has a corresponding Cash Advance ID in the Comment box.
Step 3: Based on your evaluation of the transaction, Approve or Send Back
Send the report back if the entire report cannot be approved. Remember, if one line is incorrect, the whole report goes back.
- In the Comments box, enter the reason(s) why the expense is not approved at this time. Your comments may be seen by anyone with NUFinancials access.
- Click Send Back.
What happens next?
- Transaction is removed from your workflow inbox.
- Reimbursee (and proxy) receive an email notifying them that the transaction was sent back.
- Reimbursee (or proxy) modifies the transaction and resubmits for approval or cancels the transaction.
Approve the report if all line items are correct, appropriate, and consistent with NU policies.
- Click Approve.
- After the confirmation message displays, click OK.
- Click Return to Workflow Inbox.
What happens next?
- The expense report is removed from your inbox and the inboxes of any pooled approvers at your level.
- If there are additional levels of approval, the expense transaction proceeds to the next level.