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Do any of your executive admin's authorized to approve expense reports

expense approval process


Topic Expert
Regis Quirin
Title: Director of Finance
Company: Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP
LinkedIn Profile
(Director of Finance, Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP) |

This idea is a bad one. Authorizing expenses, in theory, is the Approver accepting the responsibility that they validated the expense. If Finance, Accounting or your Auditor questions an expense, do you really feel they should be questioning your Admin? I understand that in some cases an Admin will sign on behalf of their Executive. I do not agree with this approach, but it occurs. But the difference is that the responsibility never leaves the Executive.

Approval without accountability is a useless process.

Edward Thill
Title: VP - Finance & Operations
Company: Performance Trust
(VP - Finance & Operations, Performance Trust) |

We allow EAs the ability to approve as proxy for their bosses and allow those managers to set the limits of that proxy (these are not hard coded system limits but rather an understanding between the two parties). We have found it a much more efficient use of the manager's time and allows the EAs to front-run the stories around unusual charges. As head of finance, I reserve the right to circle back with that manager if I need more info to be comfortable with any unusual charge, regardless of who actually approved it. After having the process in place for awhile and creating proper expectations, it is rare for me to question a charge that has not already been vetted by that manager. The EA never wants to be called in to that awkward meeting with an uninformed boss.

Vik Agrawal
Title: President & Co-Founder
Company: ExpensePath, Inc.
(President & Co-Founder, ExpensePath, Inc.) |

In our expense system, managers receive an email when they need to review one of their employee's expense reports and that email includes the necessary information for them to approve or deny it and buttons to do so. So they can review and approve on their mobile phones. There really is no excuse for them to pass off review responsibility. In some cases, their EAs have their logins to our system (and proxy rights for their email) so could still do the approvals for them but hopefully requiring managers to do it themselves and having it be so easy for them eliminates EAs approving for them.


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