Managing Approval Chains for Vendor-Based Approval

In Certify AP, there are two types of transactions that need approval: Purchase Requisitions and Invoices. To view and edit approval chains for these transactions, you can use Vendor-Based Approval, the Signature Authority Form (S.A.F), or User-Based Approval, or you can choose to use a Flexible Approval workflow. Your company-wide and department approval chains were set up during your company's original Certify AP setup.

Vendor-Based Approval is an approval chain created specifically for an individual vendor. You can designate one or more approvers for a vendor on either Purchase Requisitions, Invoices, or both. There are no approval dollar limits associated with this approval chain.

This article will show you, a Certify Administrator, how to set approval chains for Vendor-Based Approval.

Once a vendor has Vendor-Based Approval set up, Purchase Requisitions or Invoices for that vendor will route to the approvers in the order configured. To learn how to generate the Vendor-Based Approval Report to see the Vendor-Based Approval Chains that you currently have configured, click here.

Please Note: Each Invoice is only associated with a single vendor, so Invoices for vendors with Vendor-Based Approval set up will route to the approvers as configured for that vendor. Purchase Requisitions, however, can contain products from multiple vendors. Therefore, submitters are only be able to include products on Purchase Requisitions that either all have or all do not have Vendor-Based Approval set up. If a submitter tries to create a Purchase Requisition that contains products both with and without Vendor-Based Approval configured, they will receive an error message.


Managing Vendor-Based Approval Chains Manually

1. On the Certify AP account home page, click the gear icon.

2. Click Vendor-Based Approvals.

3. A list of active vendors will appear on the page. Search for a vendor by entering the vendor name in the field provided. Or, select the vendor's name from the list.

4. Stay on the REQUISITIONS tab to configure the approval chain for Purchase Requisitions or click the INVOICES tab to configure the approval chain for Invoices.


5. Here, you will see all users who have the approval permission for either Purchase Requisitions or Invoices, depending on which tab you are on. To include someone as an approver for the selected vendor click the plus icon to add the approver to the approval chain. You may search for a user by entering their name in the field provided.

Please Note: If an approver does not have the appropriate approval permissions, they cannot be added as Vendor-Based Approvers.


6. Under Included Approvers, the approvers appear in the order of the approval chain. The approver at the top is the first to approve a Purchase Requisition or Invoice, the approver in the second row is second to approve the transaction, and so on. To set or change the order of approvers, click the Up or Down arrows next to the approver's name. To remove a user from the approval chain, click minus icon to remove the user from the approval chain.

7. When complete, click APPLY.


Bulk Updating Vendor-Based Approval Chains

Vendor-Based Approvals can be configured in bulk using Setup Utilities or Data Import Utility. This allows you, a Certify AP Administrator, to easily upload new approval chains or update existing approval chains.

Please Note: Bulk upload can be used to configure or delete the full approval chain, not to add or delete a single approver from an existing approval chain. If you need to make small adjustments, use the manual process above.

Your Vendor-Based Approvals upload file must contain the following columns:

  • Vendor: name of the vendor
  • APVendorID: AP Vendor ID of the vendor
  • Approver: user’s email address
  • ApproverOrder: indicate what order will the approver be in the approval chain. For ex, 1 means this is the first approver in the approval chain
  • TransactionType: indicate what type of approver will this be for. R refers to Requisition, and I refers to Invoice
  • Action: indicate whether you wish to add approver or delete. I refer to adding the approver, and D refers to deleting the approver


To do a one-time update of your Vendor-Based Approval Chains, use the Setup Utility. To set up automated updates of Vendor-Based Approval Chains, use the Data Import Utility.

Was this article helpful?