Flexible Workflow for Supplier Invoices
The flexible workflow allows you to define approval processes for supplier invoices according to your requirements. For supplier invoices, you can set up one-step, or multi-step approval. You can assign one or more approvers to each step. You can define approvers by role, or you can assign individual users or teams as approvers. The approvers can then approve or reject their work items in the app My Inbox.
The following flexible workflow scenarios are available for supplier invoices:
- Workflow for Parked Invoice as Complete
- Workflow for Blocked Invoice
You must activate the required workflow scenarios using the configuration app Activate Flexible Workflow for Supplier Invoices. In the Manage Your Solution app, navigate to Configure Your Solution → Sourcing and Procurement → Invoice Processing → Incoming Invoice → Activate Flexible Workflow for Supplier Invoices.
Workflow Definition for Supplier Invoices
Role Configuration Expert - Business Process Configuration (SAP_BR_BPC_EXPERT) is required for defining the workflows.
Using the Manage Workflows for Supplier Invoices, you can:
Select a workflow scenario (Workflow for Blocked Invoice or Workflow for Parked Invoice) as Complete
Define start preconditions
Define approval steps with step preconditions and recipients
Define the order in which the approval steps are executed
Once you have activated a workflow, you can no longer change it. You can deactivate it and create a new one.
Define the order in which the workflows are checked for matching start conditions.
As soon as the start preconditions for a workflow are met, this workflow is used. Defining the order ensures that only one workflow is started, even if several workflows have matching start preconditions.Note
If none of the start preconditions is met, the corresponding active default workflow (Release Blocked Invoice by Accounting Responsibles, or Release Completed Invoice) is used.
If you define your own default workflow, you must ensure that it is positioned at the end of the defined order and that it is active.
The workflow is canceled:
- If you delete, park, or post the invoice
- If the blocked invoice is released in the Release Blocked Invoices app
The following table shows the roles and the apps that are used in the business process.
|A user who creates and processes a supplier invoice. If an invoice is rejected and must be reworked (Exception Handling for Workflow for Parked Invoice as Complete), this user also needs the My Inbox business roles.||Accounts Payable Accountant (SAP_BR_AP_ACCOUNTANT)||Manage Supplier Invoices|
|A user who searches for supplier invoices and, for example, checks the approval status and approver name.||Accounts Payable Accountant (SAP_BR_AP_ACCOUNTANT)||Supplier Invoices List|
|Approvers||For example, Accounts Payable Manager (SAP_BR_AP_MANAGER)||My Inbox|
Using the Maintain Email Templates app, you can configure the system to notify approvers and workflow initiators using email about new work items in their inboxes. By default, the approvers are informed by means of notifications in the SAP Fiori launchpad. Sending emails provides them with an additional notification channel. It is possible to send email notifications in the following cases:
When a supplier invoice is created, the recipients of workflow items are informed about new items in their inboxes.
When a supplier invoice is approved, the workflow initiator receives an email.
When a supplier invoice is rejected, the workflow initiator receives an email.
When approval for a supplier invoice is pending, the recipient receives an email.
Manage Workflows for Supplier Invoices
With the Manage Workflows for Supplier Invoices app, you can configure workflows to optimize the approval process for supplier invoices. For example, a blocked invoice must be released for payment by one or more responsible persons. The app provides several options for determining the approver, such as the approval by the responsible cost center, but you can also assign specific users. If a workflow with one or more steps is activated and the configured start conditions are fulfilled, the approval process is initiated.
You can choose the required workflow scenario. The following scenarios are available:
Workflow for Blocked Invoice
Workflow for Parked Invoice as Complete
You can delete existing workflows, add a new workflow, or copy an existing workflow and modify it according to your requirements.
Define properties, such as a description and a validity period
- In the section Start Conditions, define start preconditions for the new workflow. These criteria must be fulfilled for the workflow to start. For example, you can define the following:
The company code of the supplier invoiceNote
You can define only one company code in the start conditions. If you want to have more than one company code defined in the start conditions, you have to create a new workflow for each company code.
The account assignment category that is used, for example, category Cost Center, or WBS Element
In the section Step Sequence, add one or more workflow steps and assign recipients, step preconditions, and if necessary, actions for exception handling.
- Using Step Properties, you can restrict agents from approval flow of any work item.
- Add Requestor(s) of Purchase Requisition as one of the approvers of the workflow. The Requestor(s) of Purchase Requisition will receive an email notification to approve or reject a supplier invoice in the app My Inbox.
You can activate or deactivate a workflow.
Once you have activated the workflow, you can copy, deactivate, or delete it, but you can no longer edit and change it.
You can define the order in which the start preconditions of existing workflows are checked.
Ensure that a fallback workflow is activated:
If you use the workflow scenario Workflow for Blocked Invoice, you can use the workflow Release Blocked Invoice by Accounting Responsibles delivered by SAP as a fallback option.
If you use the workflow scenario Workflow for Parked Invoice as Complete, you can use the workflow Release Completed Invoice as a fallback option.
As recommendation, define the fallback workflow as the last one in the order. So, it is started if none of the other workflows apply. You can also configure your own workflow to be used as a fallback option.
My Inbox - Approve Supplier Invoice
Detailed information about the items of an invoice is displayed when the invoice is available as a work item in My Inbox.
- Details can include information about the purchase order, the accounting object, the material, the quantity, the amount, and the tax code.
- Administrators need to configure the authorization for displaying invoice items for respective users.