When invoices from Vendor related to purchases made in the field are ready to be paid, the ability to make that payment may be regulated by the Vendor. Some Contractors have strict regulations as to when and how money may flow out of the company. Whether it is regulating the purchasing from a Vendor or paying back credit owed. Equipment Manager allows the Contractor to regulate when and how much the field techs can spend though purchase orders. The second part of this puzzle is to regulate when paying off debt accrued to the Vendor happens due to Invoices on purchases made in the field.
Purchase Approval is designed to allow the Contractor to set up a system of approval for paying invoices owed to your Vendors. The system is designed to establish a number of Managers that have approval authorization to all the established Accounts Payable person to make payments to Vendors. This is a two-part system of first verifying and setting bills to be paid and then approving those bills via managers for the AP user to pay though QuickBooks Online.
The system is designed to required approval for the AP system can come from as many or as few managers as needed. You may have one manager that approves everything or three managers that approve some or you may require a designated number of approvals. The system will allow you to establish how many managers you have and how many managers it takes to approve something to be paid.
To set up the Purchase Approval system you need to first start by setting up Managers in the system. This can be done by navigating to the Contractor Profile and then to the PO setting section. Once there, you will see an AP Managers field at the bottom of the page. This is where you want to add in all managers you want to have the ability to approve bills to be paid in the system. Once a manager is created, he/she will have the ability to check all PO/Bills that are ready to be paid and give their approval.
At the bottom of the box, the # for approval field. This is where you say how many people it takes to allow the AP user to pay a bill in QBO. From the AP User standpoint, they will see the PO/Bill turn green and a link show up taking them directly to QBO once a bill has met the required number of approvals. This field allows you to specifiy how many of all managers must approve. this could be all, 1/1 - 3/3 or only a certain number of them have to consent 1/2 – 2/4. Once these setting are set you can start using the AP Approval system.
The AP User is anyone who is designated to handle the paying and billing of purchase orders in the system. The AP User is responsible for checking all PO/Bills in the system to make sure information is correct against the invoice. Once this has been done, the AP User then marks the PO/Bill for approval. This makes the Vendor name show up to the Manager and allows them to view all PO/Bills under that Vendor submitted by the AP User and make their decision to approve or not. Once the number of managers spcified in the Contractor Profile have approved a PO/Bill for payment, the system then will notify the AP User visually that the PO/Bill can be paid to the Vendor.
Purchase Approval System
The Purchase Approval system can be found by navigating to the Payables section of the main menu and then clicking on the Purchase Approval link. This will take you to the start of the Managers section. Here managers will see all companies listed that have PO/Bills that need to be approved. For managers to begin they need to select their name from the drop menu list at the top of the page. Once that is done, they can then select the status of Un-Approved and they will then only see the items that require their attention below.
Clicking on a company name or the view button to the far right will navigate to the listing for all the PO/Bills for the selected company. The items you see here will only show up if the AP User has verified them as ready to be paid. The Manager can then check the information as needed and then check the approval box if ready. The system also allows the manager to add notes to the line if needed, this can be done without approval as to let the AP User or other managers know why you have not approved the item. Another option is to place a hold on the item. This will show others that you do not want to pay the item at this time. The hold status can be removed by the manager at a later date by simply approving the item.
Clicking on the Invoice ID will display a popup of the invoice image uploaded by the AP User, clicking on the PO# or Job# will take you to that page in a new browser tab. Once you have made your edits you can save the page and navigate back to the company list.
AP User Approval
The AP User begins by navigating to the beginning of the Purchase Approval system and then clicking on the AP Approval button in the top left. This will take you to an almost identical screen that is titled AP Approval. There are some differences here. You will notice that the drop menus at the top of the screen are different.
End Date: The information displayed on this screen is all PO/Bills that have been closed with an invoice number being added to the PO page. Once you have opened a PO and added in the Invoice Number, Due date, and Invoice Date, the system will now allow you to view and approve the PO/Bill for Managers to look at. Having done this, the AP Approval page will show you ALL PO/Bills that meet the requirement to be approved in the system from the start of time till the current date. These requirements are as follows:
- The Invoice has to have been received and Invoice information entered into the system.
- The Invoice cannot have already been paid.
- The AP User can tell the system to only show PO/Bills that have Invoice Dates that fall between the beginning (Jan 1st 1972) and the specified date in the End Date box. This allows AP Users to filter the PO/ Bills shown to only the up until the month they choose to work on.
AP Manager Status: This menu allows you to select and filter to the list to show only the Companies that have PO/Bills that have been approved by enough managers to meet the requirements to pay the invoice. The box around the View button on the right side of the listing screen will turn green also when a company contains a PO/Bill that meets approval requirements. This is another way to easily identify those that have been approved.
AP User Status: The user status drop menu allows the user to tell the listing to only show all companies that have PO/Bills that have been marked by the AP User as ready (Approved) or only show companies that have PO/Bills not marked ready (Un-Approved).
View Button: This will open the company page and show all PO/Bills that meet the date requirements for the Company.
Report Icon: Clicking on the page icon will generate a Purchase Order Report for the company showing all PO’s that have not been paid in the system.
Company Invoice Verification
When the AP User clicks on a Company name, they are taken to a list of all PO/Bills for the Company. This page is the Company Invoice Verification. This is the last point of verification before the PO/Bill is submitted to the Manager for payment approval. This page shows the AP User all the approval information about the PO/Bills that meet the requirements set on the AP Approval page. You can also see information provided by the managers in terms of holding items and notes that have been entered. The AP User can also enter notes and place a hold on any item in the listing.
When the time comes to request approval for a PO/Bill, the AP User will check the AP Ready Check box to the left of the screen. PO/Bills will not show up to Managers unless this box is selected for each PO/Bill that is Verified and Ready by the AP User. The user also has the ability to override the manager’s checkbox if needed to complete the process of approval. IF for some reason the Manager is unable to address the need for approval in a timely manner, the user can check or uncheck any approval related to any manager. Once the AP User has completed checking all PO/Bills needed, the user can then click the Send Notice button after saving that will email all Managers that the Company has PO/Bills that need to be viewed and approved.
Submitting for Manager Approval
Once the AP User has checked needed PO/Bills as AP Ready and submitted them to the Manager(s) for approval, the manager will receive an email from the system notifying them that there are items that need approval for the selected company and provide them with a link to take them directly to the approval system to start approving items. The Manager can then approve items, place a hold, add notes as needed. As items are approved the AP User will notice Company lines start to turn green as the manager approvals start showing up. The user can then navigate back to the company page and will see that a PAY NOW button has appeared for all PO/Bills that have been Approved by the required number of managers.
Once the item is payed though the QuickBooks Online system the PO/Bill will drop out of the Purchase Approval system. Until that time even if the item has been approved, the item will stay in the system until paid.