From XU Magazine, 
Issue 30

How to simplify audits with ApprovalMax

Preparing for an audit is a notoriously laborious procedure with a lot of things to take into account - learn how ApprovalMax can simplify it.
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Audits are often stressful. Whether it’s a mandatory internal check or an external body poring over your company’s financial data, you need to be able to gather vital information upon request fast. And most probably there will be two questions asked: how does the delegation of authority work in your organisation, and who exactly approved this or that particular invoice for payment?

This is where ApprovalMax will help you by showing the auditors how the organisation has defined its approval process and how it’s actually executed. A set of powerful features makes this possible: 

  • Automated workflows recreate the delegation of authority policy
  • Audit reports and audit trails
  • Access for auditors
  • Built-in reporting
  • Workflow export

Let’s dive into more detail to see how it works. 

Implementing the delegation of authority policy in your workflows

It’s good to have your delegation of authority in a separate document but how do you prove that it’s not just a piece of paper tucked away in a filing cabinet? If authorisations are done on paper, you need to store all that paper and have plenty of room to do so. For tracking email approvals, you have to search inboxes to collect the approval history for all approved documents. Either way, it means a lot of time and effort.

With ApprovalMax, you can recreate your delegation of authority policy in an approval workflow. Then there’s no way to bypass the authorisation rules and it’s much easier for everyone involved to follow them. That aside, you’ll be able to demonstrate to auditors in a quick and efficient manner how your approval process works. 

You can specify an approval matrix of any complexity, set up parallel or sequential approvals, and introduce rules based on cost threshold, GL codes and tracking categories. 

Audit reports and audit trails

For every single document approved in ApprovalMax, an audit report containing the complete approval history is automatically generated and attached to it in Xero. A more detailed audit trail can be found in ApprovalMax, it includes all authorisation decisions and exceptions that have occurred as well as comments, delegations, rejections and other details.

Access for auditors

You can invite one or several auditors to ApprovalMax to view your workflows and audit trails. The read-only access assists them with their evaluation without risking that something might accidentally get changed, approved, or rejected. Auditors are able to see reports and all the organisation’s requests, and can add comments. To invite an auditor, go to the “Users” page, add a new user and select the “Auditor” role in the drop-down menu.

Using built-in reporting for audit purposes

For the compliance evaluation of approval processes with regard to their execution, ApprovalMax offers comprehensive reporting. Various searchable reports provide a complete picture of how approvals have been performed and enable both a good aggregated view and the ability to easily drill down to see any low-level details needed for analysis. Such reports can be downloaded in the Excel format.

These reports help with, for example, the detection of exceptions to the approval process, such as delegated approvals, auto-approved requests, uncompleted approval requests, forced approval decisions (this usually indicates that an administrator approved instead of the designated approver).

Exporting workflows

Alternatively, you can share the setup details of implemented approval workflows without inviting auditors to ApprovalMax. Just open the workflow and click on the “Export workflow” button to generate a PDF document with a text description of that flow. If it’s about a purchase order workflow, for instance, this text will contain a list of users who are allowed to create purchase orders and the rules for each requester as well as for every step a list of users who approve them and the rules for each approver.

Take the pain out of audits with ApprovalMax

These features allow auditors to easily and comprehensively analyse an organisation’s approval process, without you having to compile audit reports manually. Most of our customers say that their auditors are really pleased with the way ApprovalMax has changed their audit process.

Here’s how ApprovalMax makes audits a breeze: 

  • Business critical processes are fully visible and traceable
  • Auditors have easy access to any document they need and find all the relevant authorisation data
  • Audit trails and reports facilitate data and process accuracy, which is the base for informed decision-making
  • Accountants benefit from time savings because the manual effort is minimal

Why leave it there?

To find our more about ApprovalMax

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