Approvals

Approvals is an important section accessible only to users with approval privileges i.e Approvers and Admin. Approvers can approve, reject, or forward the reports submitted to them.

Admins can perform all the actions of an approver, along with the permissions to reimburse and archive expense reports. They can access all the reports submitted directly to them from the Reports Approval module. Also, they can approve reports submitted across the organisation from the All Approvals section under the Reports Approval module.

Approving submitted expense reports

The Approver receives a notification when an expense report is submitted to them. You can view these reports under the Reports Approval module. To approve an expense report:

  1. Click on the Reports Approval section on the left sidebar.
  2. Select the expense report which you would like to consider for approval.
  3. You can see the report and its contents.
  4. Verify the details of the report, and add comments if necessary.
  5. Click on the Approve button to approve the report. (Approve action can also be done for a rejected report.)

Expense reports with policy violations are flagged with an exclamation mark. Approvers can approve these reports, make comments on them or reject them entirely and ask the submitter to fix the violations and re-submit it.

Approve Reports

Note: A notification email will be sent to the submitter following an approval.

Approving expense reports in Bulk

Perform the following steps to learn how to approve expenses in bulk:

  1. Go to Reports Approval.
  2. Select the reports which you wish to approve.
  3. Click on the Approve button on top of the list. Bulk Approve Reports
  4. Your reports have been approved.

Out of Office Approver

Besides adding delegates, you can also assign an out of office approver. If you’re going for a vacation or you are unavailable due to unavoidable circumstances, you can assign an out of office approver to approve reports on your behalf. When you assign an out of office approver, all your reports will be auto-forwarded to their Approvals tab through which they can approve the reports. You can also configure the duration after which the reports will cease to be auto-forwarded to the out of office approver. To add an out of office approver:

  1. Log in to your Zoho Expense organisation and click your profile image in the top-right corner.
  2. Click Out of Office Approver. Out of Office Approver
  3. Select the user you wish to add as the out of office approver under the User Name field.
  4. Select the Start Date and the End Date, after which the user’s access will expire.
  5. Click Save. Now the reports that are submitted to you during the configured duration will be auto-forwarded to the out of office approver. Out of Office Approver

Editing approved/submitted expense reports

As an approver, you can edit the expense reports submitted to you. Perform the following steps to know how it’s done:

  1. Go to Reports Approval tab.
  2. Select the report for which you need to make the changes.
  3. Click on the expense you choose to edit.
  4. Update the changes in the Edit Expense pop-up. Edit Reports
  5. Click on Update.
  6. Mention the reason for the editing in the pop-up that follows and select the checkbox if you wish to notify the submitter. Edit Reports
  7. Click on Save to complete the process.

Note: Only reports in the Submitted or Approved status can be edited.

Rejecting an expense report

To reject a submitted expense report:

  1. Click on the Reports Approval section on the left sidebar.
  2. Select the expense report which you would like to consider for approval.
  3. Click on the Reject button to reject the expense report.
    Reject Reports

Note: An approved report can be rejected by an Approver or an Admin.

Rejecting expense reports in Bulk

To reject expense reports in bulk, perform the following steps:

  1. Go to Reports Approval.
  2. Select the reports which you wish to reject.
  3. Click on the Reject button on top of the list. Bulk Reject Reports
  4. Your reports have been rejected.

Rejecting individual expenses in your expense reports

For example, your employee includes the tips of a business lunch in his/her report. If the company policy does not allow tips to be categorised as an expense, it restricts you from approving the report solely because of that expense. On the other hand, it makes your job a lot simpler if you can reject that expense alone, proceeding with the approval of the remaining expenses in the report. That’s precisely what we facilitate in Zoho Expense. Lets see how thats done:

  1. Go to the expense report containing expenses you wish to reject.
  2. Go to the expense you wish to reject and click on the Menu overflow icon on the far right corner of the row. Reject expense in reports
  3. Choose Reject expense from the list. Reject expense in reports
  4. Mention the reason for rejection in the pop-up that follows and click on Confirm
  5. The expense has been rejected.

Filtering submitted expense reports under Reports module

Given below are the list of available filters for submitted expense reports:

  • All - Displays all submitted expense reports.
  • Pending - Reports that are pending for approval.
  • Overdue - Reports that are overdue.
  • Approved - Reports that are approved.
  • Rejected - Reports that are rejected.
  • Reimbursed - Reports that are reimbursed.
  • Archived - Reports that are archived.

Filter Approvals

Filtering submitted expense reports under All Approvals section

Following are the list of filters available under All approvals:

Filter Approvals

  • All - Displays all submitted expense reports across the organisation.
  • Pending - Reports that are pending for approval across the organisation.
  • Overdue - Reports that are overdue across the organisation.
  • To be reimbursed - Reports that are approved across the organisation and waiting to be reimbursed.
  • Rejected - Reports that are rejected across the organisation.
  • Archived - Reports that are archived across the organisation.

Exporting expense reports

Perform the following steps to export your expense reports.

  1. Navigate to Reports Approval > My Approvals/All Approvals.
  2. Select the reports you would like to export. To select all the expense reports in that page, click on the checkbox located in the header. Exporting expense reports
  3. Click on the Export button located on top of the expense reports. Exporting expense reports for approvers
  4. If you want to export all the expense reports available under All Approvals, click on the Hamburger icon located on the top right corner and select Export Reports. Exporting expense reports for admins
  5. Choose the template for the export.
  6. Choose the filter as All to export all the reports.
  7. You can also select the filter as Custom and choose the expense date range. (eg. June 1st to June 30th). All the expenses which were created within that date range will be coming up.
  8. Approvers can export the report either in CSV or XLS format, containing all the fields.
    Exporting expense reports for admins
  9. Admins can also choose the template for exporting the expense reports along with the format. Click here to learn how to create an export template with the fields of your choice.
  10. Click Export.

Sorting submitted expense reports

Under the Reports Approval section, expense reports can be sorted through various parameters such as:

  • Created time
  • Report Number
  • Report Title
  • Start Date
  • End Date
  • Status
  • Submitted on
  • Amount

Sorting Approvals

Custom Views

Having to look for a particular expense report among a long list of expense reports can be quite tedious. For instance, you are looking for a couple of expense reports pertaining to a particular project for a given duration of time. Although advanced search can help, you would still prefer an easier route. 
Using ‘Custom views’ you can sort your expense reports the way you like.

Here’s how it’s done:


  1. Go to Reports Approval module. Custom views
  2. Click on the filter drop-down on top of the list.
  3. Select +New Custom View.
  4. Provide a name for the custom view, here it can be ‘Expense reports for Skylark web designing’.
  5. Provide a criteria for segregating the expense reports. In this case, it will be:
  • When Project is Skylark web designing.
  • AND Start Date after 3 Nov 2016.
  • AND End Date before 25 Nov 2016. Custom views
  1. Select the columns you would like to see while viewing the list of expense reports.
  2. As an admin, you can choose to share the custom view with other users. Approvers and submitters cannot share it with other users. Custom views
  3. Click Save.
  4. By doing so, under the filter ‘Expense reports for Skylark web designing’, you would only see expense reports submitted between 3rd and 25th November 2016, related to the project Skylark web designing.
  5. To edit/delete a custom view, hover over the custom view name and click the edit icon. Make changes if necessary or scroll down to delete it. Custom views

Note: You can create custom views under Reports and All Approvals module also.

More Options

On opening an expense report, you can perform the following functions by clicking on the More drop-down.

  • Forward: Allows you to forward the expense reports to other users in the organisation
  • PDF: Allows you to download the expense report as a PDF
  • Print: Allows you to print the expense report along with the receipts
  • Export: Export the expense report in CSV or XLS format
  • Download Receipts: Download all the receipts associated with the expense report in a zip file.
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