Elevating business approvals: How ApprovalMax drives growth

Oct 27, 2023 | Fintech Friday

In the modern climate, businesses rely on consistency. A key foundation to this consistency is having structured processes and workflows, which are able to adapt to business operations as they develop. One element which is often overlooked is the approval process within an organisation.

Many companies come to us with a fine-tuned accounts process, but with their invoices still being approved with either a cumbersome online platform, via email or (even worse!) printed, signed, then scanned back in.

This is where ApprovalMax truly comes into play – redefining how businesses manage their approvals and driving you towards scalability and growth.

So, what does it do?

ApprovalMax is a powerful tool aimed at streamlining your approval workflows. I speak in this blog about its ability to revolutionise your Purchase Invoice process, but that is most certainly not its only forte.

Within ApprovalMax, you can manage anything from Sales Invoice approvals, to creating a formal approval of any new vendors for your organisation. They even have a ‘stand-alone’ workflow function – which allows you to go off-piste for things like approving annual leave, or formal contract approvals.

So, that’s the general overview of it all. But how can it truly help your business?

Streamlining Purchase Invoice approvals

ApprovalMax works as a centralised platform for all your approvals. Do you have a multitude of companies you approve invoices for? No problem – you will receive all of these into one centralised in-tray.

With each approval, the mapping has already been set (more on that shortly) – so you will see who has submitted the invoice to the system, who has approved the invoice prior to you, and who is due to see and approve the invoice after you – ensuring accountability in the approval chain.

App integration

You may be using an online signature software at the moment, but does this still include additional steps like uploading pdfs for an e-signature to be added?
ApprovalMax sets itself apart by seamlessly integrating with popular accounting software like Xero, Quickbooks and Dext. These integrations make it possible to build out your app ecosystem, to drive all the efficiencies you can have access to.

Within your accounting software, any financial transaction received via Dext and ApprovalMax will always have two attachments – the original source document and a full audit log for the item.

Addressing common approval challenges

ApprovalMax is built to tackle common approval challenges faced by businesses and workflows can be built accordingly.

I always use the comparison of a very small invoice versus a very large invoice – by no means should they have the exact same approval process. Do it to one extreme and risk processing and issuing payment for the invoice incorrectly. Do it to the other extreme and you will be drowning in too many approvals across the business.

Instead, map and implement smart approval workflows. That way, that very small invoice only needs one sign-off, but the very large invoice passes a few approvals before being ultimately released ready for payment. The smart approvals can also guide your approvals down different journeys based on things like tracking categories/branches and nominal codes in your accounts.

Providing accountability

I alluded to accountability in my previous points, but it is paramount in the approval process. You may be thinking that you’re currently experiencing bottlenecks in your organisation for your invoices, but imagine having the data to pinpoint where these are at. ApprovalMax has a full reporting function which can provide the metrics such as how many days each person takes on average to approve items.

Accountability can also be provided in the form of an audit trail on every single item – showing date stamps and users at every step of the process.

Freeing up time for accounts staff

Time is a precious resource, especially in the current climate. ApprovalMax frees up a huge chunk of the time your accounts staff currently spends emailing, chasing, scanning and uploading your invoices. This is the time that can be utilised in other areas of your finance function which provide more significant value to your business.

Other little features

ApprovalMax is a software with some great little extras, worthy of their own mention:

  • Out of Office – If you know you’re going to be out of office, set the date you’re back and the delegate for you. Then, everything that would have gone to you, simply flows into their in-tray in your absence, and resumes with you once you’re back. If you approve for lots of organisations, you can also have a separate delegate for each.
  • Reassign – you may be in the approval workflow, but you may not be the best approver for a specific item. You can then click reassign to another person and it will appear in their list.
  • Custom notification delivery – you may want to receive a notification for each item ready for your approval, but the likelihood is that this will become annoying. Instead, specify a day and time for a Summary of Pending Approvals to be emailed to you routinely.
  • The mobile app – often software providers release a mobile app that is so primitive that it is barely worth having. ApprovalMax is quite the opposite. Instead, we have clients who complete all their approvals via this – quite often being done on the train before they even get into the office.

How can we help?

If you’re sat reading this and reflecting on your current clunky processes – take charge of your approvals and create the processes which can accommodate your growth.

Contact our digital advisory team by emailing fintech@haroldsharp.co.uk, call 0161 905 1616 or contact Ryan below.

Ryan Alderson, Lead cloud specialist
T: 0161 905 1616
DD: 0161 926 0512
E: ra@haroldsharp.co.uk