Financial Workflow Chart - PDF by aao12960

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									FMS804 Approvals and Workflow




                       Revised June 2009
We will answer these questions:

 • What is workflow and why do we need it?

 • What are responsibilities of an Approver?

 • What are the levels of approval at NU?

 • How does the approval process work?




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What is workflow?

• Automated process of routing transactions for
  approval before a payment or release of funds
  can occur
• Triggered when a financial transaction has been
  entered, saved, budget checked, and submitted
• The transaction’s dollar amount, chart string, and
  commodity type determine the approval path




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Why do we need workflow?

• Automate the management of security access and
  controls
• Standardize roles, rules, and approval threshold
  amounts
• Improve business processes
     Easier collaboration for multi-department purchasing of
      shared items or services
     Email notification sent to initiator if transaction has been
      pending with an Approver for more than 5 days



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Transactions subject to workflow

• Expense reports
• Actuals journals
    Corrections, transfers, internal sales
•   Budget journals
•   Purchase requisition
•   Cash advance (AP approval only)
•   Travel authorization




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What are common workflow rules at NU?

• All transactions must have a budget status of Valid
  before approval can occur
• Entire transaction must be approved or it should be
  sent back
• One level of approval must be completed before
  transaction moves to next level
• Workflow applied to each chart string distribution line
• For transactions charged to multiple departments, all
  approvers in all departments must approve before
  transaction workflows to next level
• Applies to everything except budget journals

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What are responsibilities of the Approver?

• Evaluate financial transactions for:
      Correct chart string
      Compliance with NU financial policies
      Completeness
      Accuracy
• Manage workflow on a timely basis
• Approve, send back, or hold financial
  transactions, cannot modify transactions
• See Approval Process job aids


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What are levels of approval at NU?

• Departmental
   Level 1 Approver
   Level 2 Approver
   Level 3 Approver
• Project
• Office of Research Safety (ORS)
• Accounting Services for Research and Sponsored
  Projects (ASRSP)
• Purchasing Resource Services (PRS)


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Approval level: Departmental

• Approvals based on transaction dollar amount
     Level 1 - $0 - $1499
     Level 2 - $1500 - $4999
     Level 3 - greater than or equal to $5000
• For transaction charged to multiple departments,
  an Approver at each required level within all
  departments must approve
• Approval needed to receive and give dollars



                                                     9
Approval level: PRS
(Purchasing Resource Services)

• PRS approval is required for:
     Non-catalog purchases for $25,000 or more
     All blanket requisitions

• PRS approval is not required for the following:
     Purchases from iBuyNU
     Purchases charged to subcontract or grants
      consulting category (ASRSP approves these)




                                                    10
Approval level: ASRSP
(Acct. Services for Research & Sponsored Programs)

 ASRSP approval required for:
 • Charges to sponsored projects for tangible
   goods over $2,500
 • All grant-related travel expense
 • All grant consulting expense
 • All subcontractor related expense




                                                 11
Approval level: ORS
(Office for Research Safety)

  ORS approval needed for special commodity
  account codes:
  • 73340 - Select Agents
  • 73350 - Radioactive




                                              12
Budget journal workflow rules

• Department approver is required for each
  department
• Budget Office approval required for:
     Transactions exceeding $50,000
     Special attention will be paid to the movement
      between salary and non-salary categories




                                                       13
Transaction approval notifications

• Email notifications
  Best for Approvers who may only occasionally
  have transactions to review
• Portal workflow inbox
  Best for Approvers with a high number of
  transactions who will routinely monitor workflow
  inbox throughout the day




                                                     14
Sample email notification




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Example of workflow inbox on NUPortal




 https://nuportal.northwestern.edu


                                     16
Approver action: Approve

• Select Approve if all line items are correct
• If one line item cannot be approved, the entire
  transaction must be sent back or held
• Comments are optional.
• Comments may be seen by all Approvers in
  transaction’s workflow.




                                                    17
Approver action: Hold

• Select Hold if further research is needed by the
  Approver before deciding to approve or send back
     Entire transaction is placed on hold indefinitely
     Transaction stays in approver inbox
     Transaction is removed from other pooled approver
      inboxes
     Transaction is exempted from 5 day timeout e-mail
• Comments are optional
• Approver is responsible for timely management of
  transactions placed on Hold


                                                          18
Approver action: Send Back

• Select Send Back if transaction needs to be
  corrected, modified, or canceled
• If only one line item needs to be sent back, the
  entire transaction must be sent back
• Comments are required and should specify:
     Why transaction is being sent back
     Recommended action(s) originator should take
• Comments may be seen by all Approvers in
  transaction’s workflow.


                                                     19
What happens after approval?

• Confirmation message displays
• Transaction is removed from all workflow inboxes
  at your approval level
• Transaction is auto-routed to next level approval
  inboxes; e-mail notification is auto-generated
• When all approvals have been applied,
  transaction processing begins
     Requisition is sourced as PO and dispatched to vendor
     Journals are queued for nightly posting
     Expense reports are processed for payment


                                                          20
Reassigning workflow

• You may reassign a transaction to yourself from a
  lower approval level
• You only have to reassign the first line to reassign
  the entire transaction
• See Reassign Workflow job aid




                                                     21
Some Practical Hot Tips!

Multi-level approvers:
• You will get multiple e-mails for each transaction
• You only need to apply the approval once and ignore the
  additional e-mails for that specific transaction
Pooled approvers:
• All approvers at a level will get notification of a transaction
• Only one approver has to apply the approval, then the
  transaction will be removed from all Inbox work lists
• If you get a notification, but can’t see the transaction;
  someone else already approved it!
Dual roles as Approver and Originator:
• You can’t approve your own transactions, but if you originate
  a transaction, you will still get the approver e-mail

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Some Practical Hot Tips!

• Make sure you review the chart strings in a
  transaction
     Chart string could be incorrect or
     Chart string could belong to another department
      and be part of collaborative transaction
• Travel Authorizations and Cash Advances need
  to/from dates far enough in future for transaction
  to route through full approval path.




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Let’s see what it looks like in
        NUFinancials!




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What questions do you have?




                 Contact us at:
          projectcafe@northwestern.edu




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