This article takes its point of departure in Roger's web app, since approval flows and rules can only be set up there. Nonetheless, rules will apply to a company account across all platforms (web and smartphone).

In this article we'll explain in depth how rules can help your company and how you use them in your company's approval flow.

We will first present a few general details about rules, including what they mean for your company's approval flow. We will then provide a few examples of creating and using rules - how it looks for the co-worker creating a rule and how it looks for the co-worker appointed by the rules.

  • If you do not wish to set up an approval flow but only wish to use rules to automatically perform actions in Roger, you must still follow the guide in this article. You can skip selection of approvers, though, and move on to selecting automatic actions. You can read more about automatic actions in this article.

You can see a video of Roger's approval flow in action here:

Rules

What do rules do?

Rules automatically appoints one of more co-workers to approve a bill depending on what is on the bill, where it comes from, and to whom it must be paid (it is also possible to let a rule appoint no approvers if no approval is required). When a rule has been "completed", i.e. the bill has been finally approved by the appointed co-workers, the bill will become "Upcoming" and automatically be paid on the due date provided. 

  • A rule only determines which co-workers are automatically appointed to approve a bill. A rule can be overruled, however, by a co-workers' role and/or permission if these conflict with the rule. 

How do rules look?

Rules always consist of two fundamental components:

  1. The rule's criteria (how a bill should look to activate the rule)
  2. Appointed co-workers (which co-workers are appointed to approve the bill that activates the rule)

Rules are always built on the core principle If this, then that, where the criteria are stated in the first clause and the appointed co-workers are stated in the latter clause:

  • If a bill lives up to [criteria], then appoint [co-worker(s)] to approve the bill.

You can add as many criteria and as many co-workers to a rule as you like and hereby create a longer chain of multiple clauses. 

FYI: Bills that do not activate a rule will require approval as per the roles and permissions of the company account's co-workers defined in the co-workers settings menu.

How do I use rules?

To be able to create rules, you must have toggled the Approve module on in Settings > Plan and modules > Modules:

To create a new rule, edit an already existing rule, or view all your rules, go to the menu Approval flow via the side menu:

In the following part we will provide a few examples of how rules can be set up and of how they are used in practice. The first example will show a rather simple scenario, and in the following examples, we will gradually make the scenario more complex to show the various combinations that are possible with rules.

Example 1

1. Create a new rule

Click the button Create new rule in the right side of the screen in the menu Approval flow.

2. Define the criteria and appointed co-workers of the rule

A new window will be opened where you must define the critera that a bill must meet to activate the rule. You must then define the co-workers that are appointed to approve the bill.

As can be seen in the newly opened window, a rule in its simplest form looks like this:

  • If a bill's [amount/biller name/biller vat/etc.] is [greater than/lesser than/contains/etc.] [amount/name/etc.], then require approval from [any/all/at least] of the following [co-workers/departments].

In this example we create a simple rule with the name Example 1 for which the following criteria and appointed co-workers have been defined:

In other words, the rule Example 1 states the following:

  • If a bill's amount is greater than $100, then require approval from any of the following co-workers Carl Lebowitz and Lars Nielsen.

3. Save the rule

Click Save to save the rule and make it active. This rule will be activated each time a bill is submitted with amount greater than $100 and appoint the co-workers Carl Lebowitz and Lars Nielsen to approve the bill.

When you have saved the rule you will be able to view it in a more legible version in your rule overview:

To the left, below the grey box where the rule is written, you will see some info about the rule:

  • Name of the rule (Example 1).
  • Time of creation.
  • Number of times that the rule has been activated and appointed one or more co-workers to approve a bill

To the right you have a few clickable options:

  • Copy rule (the square icon).
  • Edit rule (the pencil icon).
  • Delete rule (the trash can icon).
  • Pause/un-pause rule. If you click this the rule will be paused/un-paused. When a rule is paused it will not be activated even though a bill may meet the bill's criteria. When a rule is un-paused it will be activated as soon as a bill that meets its criteria is submitted.

4. When the rule is activated

When the rule is activated the co-workers Carl Lebowitz and Lars Nielsen will see the bill that activated the rule under the tab Pending where they can either approve or decline the bill:

The two "bubbles" next to the Approve button shows the co-workers appointed to approve the bill.

  • The yellow border around the bubbles mean that the co-workers have not yet approved the bill.
  • The tiny label Any above the bubbles means that one of the co-workers must approve the bill for it to be finally approved (as defined in the rule). If the rule had been defined to require approval from all the appointed co-workers, this label would have said All.

Example 2

In the previous example we showed a relatively simply, single rule. Often, there will be a need for multiple and more complex rules so that all different scenarios in the company's processes are taken into account.

Below we will show an example of a little more complex approval scenario where we have added the rule Example 2 to the approval flow in addition to Example 1: 

Example 2 looks as follows in the rule creation window: 

In other words, the rule Example 2 states the following:

  • If a bill's biller name equals MyGarden, then require approval from all of the following co-workers Gitte Clausen and then require approval from all of the following co-workers Christian Rasmussen

Two things should be noted that makes Example 2 stand out compared with Example 1:

  • The rule has multiple clauses Example 2 has two clauses after the first comma where the appointed co-workers are specified. This means that the rule will first appoint the co-worker in the first clause (Gitte Clausen) and after this (when Gitte Clausen has approved the bill), the co-worker in the next clause (Christian Rasmussen) will be appointed to finally approve the bill. You can add as many clauses as you wish to create an approval flow in multiple steps. This is done by clicking the big + in the left side of the window where rules are created. You can add multiple clauses with both criteria and with appointed co-workers.
  • The rule overlaps with another ruleAs informed in the red box at the bottom of the rule creation window, the rule Example 2 may overlap with one of more existing rules. This means that Example 2 may be activated simultaneously with Example 1, e.g. if a bill's biller name equals MyGarden (which activates Example 2) but simultaneously has amount greater than $100 (which activates Example 1). 

When the rule is activated

When the rule is activated the co-workers Carl Lebowitz and Lars Nielsen will see the bill that activated the rule under the tab Pending where they can either approve or decline the bill:

Instead of the bubles of the appointed approvers, a tiny fork is shown next to the Approve button: 

The fork is shown because multiple bills have been activated simultaneously. Click on the fork to view a complete overview of all activated rules in a new window:

The overview shows which rules must be completed before the bill can be finally approved. In other words, the bill can be finally approved in two ways:

  • When Carl Lebowitz or Lars Nielsen has approved the bill (completion of the rule Example 1)
  • or when Gitte Clausen and then Christian Rasmussen have approved the bill (completion of the rule Example 2). 

Example 3

In the previous example we showed how a bill that activated both of the rules Example 1 and Example 2 could be finally approved in two ways. In this example we want to ensure that Carl Lebowitz and Lars Nielsen cannot be in charge of finally approving the bill. Rather, we want the bill to require approval from Gitte Clausen and then Christian Rasmussen for it to be finally approved.

We ensure this by marking the rule Example 2 as "mandatory" in the rule overview by clicking the tiny pencil icon below Example 2 and then clicking the slider next to Mark this rule as mandatory?:

As explained in the on-screen text, a mandatory rule is a rule that must be completed before the bill that activated the rule can be finally approved. When we have marked the rule Example 2 as mandatory, this will be visible in the rule overview:

When the rule is activated

When the rule is activated all of the appointed co-workers will see the bill that activated the rule under the tab Pending where they can either approve or decline the bill - just as in the previous example. However, if they click the fork next to the Approve button they will see in the overview of activated rules that the two rules Example 1 and Example 2 have been separated and that this has added an extra step to the approval flow:

As explained in the overview the bill will only be finally approved when the co-workers appointed by the second rule (first Gitte Clausen and then Christian Rasmussen) have approved the bill. Co-workers appointed by the first rule (Carl Lebowitz or Lars Nielsen) must still approve the bill, but for bill to be finally approved it must be approved by Gitte Clausen and then by Christian Rasmussen at some point. 

  • Did you know? You can create custom lists and labels under Settings > Lists that you can use as criteria in your rules. For instance, if your company divides work into projects you can create a list called Projects and then add all the company's projects as labels in that list. You can then define a bill's project as its criteria and use that in your approval flow. 
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