Ramp Bill Pay isn't only fast, it has approval and permissions features to ensure your payment goes to the right vendor.
We strongly recommend you set up Approval Layers and give users AP Clerk permissions. Here's how to do it.
- Where to set-up bill pay approvals
- How to set-up bill pay approvals
- Separation of Duties
- Approval Notifications
Where to set-up bill pay approvals
Those with admin permissions can access bill pay approval setup through Expense Policy tab within Global Settings
Within the Bill Pay Approver drawer, you will see a preview of your existing approval flow.
How to set-up bill pay approvals
To edit and configure your bill pay approvals, click the paper and pencil icon within the approval preview. You will be redirected to the approvals workflow builder where you can configure complex and flexible approvals chains via a series of conditions and outcomes.
Clicking any “Add” button will pull up a drop-down of the following options to begin configuring your approval chain:
- Require Approval - specify a specific role type or individual to be added to the approval chain
- Notify - specify a specific role type or individual to be notified about the bill
- Approve Bill - terminal action that will end the workflow early if added in the chain
- Set Conditions - add conditions to check various bill fields (e.g. amount, vendor name, GL category, etc.) that assist in determining the correct approver
Within the approval workflow builder, you have the ability to layer and nest these options to create your ideal approval routing.
There are multiple bill fields by which you can route your approvals on. While Amount based routing is available to all customers, the additional conditions in the list below are only available to customers on Ramp Plus.
- Business Entity
- Ramp Department
- Ramp Location
- Matched to Purchase Order
- Vendor Name
- Payment Type
- GL Fields
Once a condition has been selected, you can select which options to check for (e.g. if the condition is vendor, you would select the vendor names to check for)
After selecting your desired conditions and options, you will be prompted to add your desired approvers. Learn more about adding approvers in the next section.
When adding approvers you have the option to select either predetermined roles/groups or specific individuals at your company.
Approval Roles / Groups
- Any Admin - group of individuals that have admin permissions within Ramp
- Vendor Owner - each vendor on Ramp has a designated vendor owner. The vendor owner is a designated employee that manages the vendor relationship. Learn more about vendor owners here
- Vendor Owner Manager - the manager for the designated vendor owner. Learn more about vendor owners here
- Department Owner - for bill pay approvals, Ramp will determine the correct department owner by identifying the department of the assigned vendor owner. Learn more about configuring department owners here
- Location Owner - for bill pay approvals, Ramp will determine the correct location owner by identifying the location of the assigned vendor owner. Learn more about configuring location owners here
- Any custom approval groups - custom approval groups can be configured within the people tab. Learn more about about custom approval groups here
- Any specific employee - you can add any employee within Ramp to the approval flow
Require All vs Require Any
If there are multiple approvers within a step, you must specify how Ramp should handle their approvals before moving to the next step.
- Require All - require each individual’s approval before proceeding to the next approval step. This translates to “Person X AND Person Y”
- Require Any - only 1 person from the group is required to approve before proceeding to the next approval step. This translates to “Person X OR Person Y”
If you need help getting started with bill pay approvals - you can take advantage of our pre-configured approval templates based on common approval flows. At this time we offer the following two templates:
Bill Pay Vendor and Department Owner Approval - this template is available to all Ramp customers. Allows you to require the vendor owner, the department owner, and then an amount trigger that will require an admin to approve
- Bill Pay Approvals by Department - this template is only available to Ramp Plus customers as it uses the Ramp Department condition to route approvals.
Note, the template will not be applied to your approvals until you click “Use this Template”
Separation of Duties
If your business requires that the individual that creates the spend object (e.g. the bill creator) cannot approve their own spend, you can enable the Separation of Duties toggle within the Bill Pay Approval settings.
If the toggle is on, when an individual creates a bill and they are within the approval chain, they will be removed from the approval chain and will be replaced with admin approvers.
If the toggle is off, when an individual creates a bill and they are within the approval chain, they will still be required to approve the bill. Their creation of the bill does not count as their approval.
Only business owners can toggle this setting on and off.
Bill Pay has a series of notifications and communications to keep your bills from being stuck in 'needs approval'.
- A bill needs your approval (users: Designated Vendor Owner, Designated approver, Admin approver)
- You completed your approval step and either rejected or accepted a bill (users: Designated Vendor Owner, Designated approver)
- Note, the bill creator will also be notified if the bill is rejected.
- A bill has been fully approved (users: Designated Vendor Owner, Designated approver)
Slack (DM or Business alerts channel)
- Bill created and approval process began: Business alerts channel
- A bill needs your approval (users: Designated Vendor Owner, Designated approver, Admin approver): DM
- A reminder 2 days after you were assigned an approval step (users: Designated Vendor Owner, Designated approver): DM
- A reminder 2 days after a bill hasn't been acted on (users: AP Clerks and Admins if they are the bill creators)
- A reminder 3 days after you were assigned an approval step (users: Designated Vendor Owner, Designated approver): DM
- A bill has been fully approved: Business alerts channel
- A bill has been rejected (users: All approvers or bill creators): DMs and Business alerts channel
Ramp App: in-app alerts appear for Admins and AP Clerks until the bill is canceled or the requested approver approves the bill. Additionally, Admins, Business Owners, and AP Clerks can see all bills that need approval in the Approvals page.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I view a bills approval history
- Every bill has an approval history, no matter how many steps it went through. You can view a bill’s approval history by navigating to the bill and clicking on the activity tab
What happens if you change an approval process after a bill is paid?
- The bill is still paid and the approval history shows the previous approval process
What changes will restart the approval chain?
- There are 5 changes that would causes the approval chain to restart:
- Changing the vendor
- Changing the source account on the bill
- Changing the destination account on the bill
- Changing the payment date
- Changing the payment method
- There are 5 changes that would causes the approval chain to restart: