SAP Knowledge Base Article - Public

1944022 - Default Approver Determination for Expense Reports from Managers - Self- Approval is Not Allowed

Symptom

  • In your system you work with an approval process for expense reports based on the Default Approval Process for Expense Reports. According to this process, employees who are the responsible manager, cost center manager or project responsible can approve their own expense reports.
  • In your system self-approval is not allowed. 
  • You, as employee who is either the responsible manager, cost center manager or project responsible create an expense report and receive an approval task for it. However, you cannot approve your own expense report due to the error message "Self-approval not allowed".
  • You wish the cost center /project manager's line manager to receive the approval task. 

Environment

SAP Business ByDesign

Reproducing the Issue

To set up the approval process for expense reports: 

  1. In the Application and User Management go to the Approval Processes view.
  2. Find the process for Expense Reports. 
  3. Press View. 
  4. In the Process Steps the Process Step 1-Default is defined with Work Distribution set to Approver of Highest Cost.
  5. Under Conditions at least one condition appears for group 1: "Expense Report Approval Configuration Equal to Yes". 

Self-Approval is not allowed in the system: 

  1. Access the Business Task Management for Expense and Reimbursement Management fine-tune task in the Business Configuration work center. 
  2. Choose the Edit self-approval and self-audit settings link. 
  3. Here, the Allow Self-Approval indicator is not selected for any country/region version. Or, there is no entry at all in the table. Or, the fine-tune activity might not even added to the project. Therefore, self-approval of expense reports is not allowed. 

Log in with business user XYZ, which is defined as manager of cost center ABC (XYZ is the name/ID of the managing employee; ABC is the name/ID of the managing cost center). 

  1. Find the New Expense Report activity, for example in the Travel and Expense work center.
  2. Maintain all the mandatory data. 
  3. Press Finish. Expense report XXX is created (XXX is the expense report ID). 
  4. An info message appears: ""Expense Report XXX saved and sent to XYZ for approval". 
  5. Go to the Approvals view of the Managing my Area work center. 
  6. Find the approval task for expense report XXX. 
  7. Press Approve. 
  8. An error message appears: "Self-approval is not allowed." You now wonder how this expense report shall be approved.

Cause

As the work distribution of the approval process is set to Approver of Highest Cost, the manager themself, here user XYZ, receive the approval task. But they cannot approve the task as self-approval is not allowed.

Resolution

You could maintain an alternative approver for expense reports:

  1. In the Application and User Management go to the Employee work distribution view. 
  2. Select 'Alternative Approver for Expense Reports' and press Edit.
  3. Add a rule and define the respective employee as alternative approver. 

The alternative approver now receives an approval task for each expense report created for the company defined.

If you do not wish for the alternative user to receive approval task for every expense report but instead require the cost center/project manager's line manager to receive an approval task only when they create expense reports you can request Support to change the approval process to one of the following options:

  1. System standard: the approver is cost center manager, project manager or sales order responsible depending on the major cost object (cost assignment of receipt items) of expense report;
  2. Reporting line manager: the approver is claimer's reporting line manager no matter how the cost is allocated;
  3. Standard with exception for cost center managers: approver determination is like standard, but if the employee of the expense report is also the cost center manager of the cost center covering the largest part of the expenses, then the line manager of the cost center manager is the approver instead;
  4. Standard with exception for project managers: approver determination is like standard, but if the employee of the expense report is also the project manager of the project covering the largest part of the expenses, then the line manager of the project manager is the approver instead;
  5. Standard with exception for both cost center and project managers: this is the combination of item 3 & 4. Neither cost center managers nor project managers can self-approve expense reports claimed by themselves. Their line managers have to approve the expense report instead.

Note: By default, the first option is active in all systems. If you need this system behavior to be changed, create an incident. Explicitly specifywhich approval mechanism you'd like to use and provide SAP the permission to make this change through backend modification.

See Also

Review and Approval of Expense Reports

Keywords

approve expense report, manager expense report, line manager, approval process , KBA , self approval , expense report self approved , SRD-FIN-ERM , Travel and Expense Management , How To

Product

SAP Business ByDesign all versions