Approval policies on Ramp govern the steps required to approve spend issuance, card edits, reimbursements, and bill payments. You can define who needs to approve what and when, as well as keep certain people informed via notifications. Any user can add approvers to the approval chain while an approval in-flight; only Admins may remove approvers.
Ramp makes it easy to customize approval workflows so admins can define the right set of people to approve expenses based on the amount. Approval policies cover:
- New spend requests
- Card edits
- Bill payments
The article below will cover:
- How to set approval policies
- Editing in-flight approvals for cards, reimbursements, and bills
- Creating custom groups and department/location owners
- Separation of Duties
Setting Approval Policies
You can add approval policies for new cards for users, managers, and reimbursements by heading to Settings —> Expense Policy. Approval workflows are separated by the specific type of spend that is being put up for approval (spend requests, reimbursements, bill pay, and post-transaction)
To Learn how to set-up the approvals for each spend object, please find the relevant help center article below:
If the approval chain has the same user within multiple approval steps, we'll smartly de-duplicate so that the user has to only approve the request only once.
Please note that if you update or add a new approval policy, it will not affect card, reimbursement, Bill Pay, or post-transaction approvals already in flight.
Expense Policy > Approvals: Reimbursements
Finally, you can add approval flows for employee-submitted reimbursements. By default, managers or admins will be able to approve out-of-pocket expenses to be reimbursed. You can click the edit icon to require multiple individuals to approve a reimbursement and denote an amount you would want multiple approvals for.
If you decide not to change the approval chain, the default will allow managers to be able to issue and approve card requests for employees and be able to approve reimbursement requests from employees. By the same default approval chain, reimbursements from managers and admins will require approval from another admin. If you want to remove the manager from these approvals, you may do so by setting a customer approval flow.
In-Flight Advanced Approvals
For in-flight approvals, any user may add additional layers for new cards, reimbursements, or bills. Only Admins may remove approvers. However, Admins and Owners cannot be removed from in-flight bill approval flows. This feature is especially helpful if additional review is needed on an approval or if a team member is currently unable to approve a transaction. Updates to the approval flow will be reflected in the event history tab.
Once the last approval has been made, no additional approvers may be added.
Note: This does not apply to post-transaction reviews.
Custom Groups and Location/Department Owners
Admins may create custom approval groups & create approval owners for departments and locations. Assign groups and owners to approval policies rather than one-by-one to ensure your approvals have coverage even if a team member is absent.
Groups are created with OR functions, requiring only one member of the group to approve for a specific approval layer. New groups can include existing groups or individuals. Users with the 'employee' role may not be added to approval groups.
If a Location and Department owner approval is added as a step in the approval chain, please ensure that the Location and Department owners are set for each location or department. If an owner is not set and is included in the approval chain, the item requiring approval will route to all admins at your company and any of them can make the approval.
How to create a Custom Group
- Navigate to "People" > "Custom Groups"
- Click "Create Custom Group", enter in the relevant info in the drawer, and click "Create Group". Your new group is all set!
- To add your new group to an approval chain, navigate to Settings > Expense Policy, and click edit or add a new approval layer. Your new approver group will be an option in the "Select approvers" dropdown.
How to add Location or Department Owners
- Navigate to "People" > "Department" or "Locations"
- Click to edit the owner and the select the checkbox next to each person you'd like to add as department or location approver
Separation of Duties
If your business requires that the individual that creates the spend object (e.g. the requestor) cannot approve their own spend, you can enable the Separation of Duties toggle within the Spend Request settings.
If the toggle is on, when an individual requests spend and they are within the approval chain, they will be removed from the approval chain and will be replaced with admin approvers. This means any admin can make the approval.
Please note, only business owners can toggle this setting on and off.