Who is this for?
Budget Checking is essential for any company that has explicit budget policies and requires stricter spend control. It allows approvers to collate the amounts of pending purchase orders and bills with existing budgets to make their decisions accordingly.
This feature saves time because approvers no longer need to search for budgets and open them in a separate tab, or consult a colleague to learn where the budget currently stands. Instead, they can view it right next to the document that’s awaiting approval. Budgets are synchronised in real time and the approvers can see which documents have already impacted a specific budget. ApprovalMax uses account codes and document dates to pull the relevant budgets for each of the line items in the document under approval.
Being able to validate spending against the budgets and see immediately whether funds are available to cover the amount of a transaction prevents overspending and strengthens control over the organisation’s funds.
How do you set up Budget Checking in ApprovalMax?
Budgets can be pulled from Xero, or get uploaded from a CSV file. Xero budgets are synced daily (or manually if and when required). In ApprovalMax, you can select which budgets you want to sync in order to exclude draft budgets.
While budgets are defined for a month by month spending, organisations often define rolling budgets per quarter, semester or financial year. ApprovalMax provides such aggregated views including YTD view. In terms of the budget check period, several options are available for tracking budgets; for instance, 1, 3, 6,12 months, or YTD. Budget Checking could start from the beginning of the financial year (this setting is synced from Xero). Organisations whose budgets are not tied to the financial year (e.g., schools might have budgets for an academic year instead) will probably use the option to have the budget check period start from a custom month.
In the settings, you can also specify that net or gross amounts are to be used for checking and tracking budgets.
How does it work for the approvers?
If Budget Checking is enabled, approvers have access to all the budgets concerned - they’re shown below the request itself with a separate line stating which budget or budgets would be affected by the approval of this document as well as the remaining budget amount. There’s also a status indicator: a green one means the budget will not be exceeded if the request gets approved.
Approvers can click on a budget to see more details: which line items have an impact, the total and remaining budget for the selected period, and the amounts of other bills and purchase orders affecting this budget (showing the amounts of approved and not yet approved requests separately).
Once an approval has been completed, the respective budgets will be recalculated accordingly.
Good to know! When will this be available?
At the moment, Budget Checking is available in Beta for a number of ApprovalMax customers. It will be generally available this autumn as part of the ApprovalMax Advanced plan, a new offering which includes a number of other advanced features. Do subscribe to our updates, so you don’t miss when it’s going live!