Back to Blog Tour Status

Expense Approvals



An important aspect of every business is tracking expenses. You need to know what you are charging the client and what to reimburse. A good way to do this is by requiring approval for expenses before invoicing.

Mavenlink’s Expense Approvals functionality makes it easy to track and approve expenses while keeping them organized.

You can make project expense approvals the default at the account level or manage the need for approvals on a project-by-project basis. Note that if you enable them at the account level and have projects in progress, only new projects will require expense approvals by default.

Once enabled, members with Project Lead (or higher) account permission and Edit Financials (or higher) project permissions can approve expenses for that project.

Expense Approvals Queue

All expense reports that you are able to approve are collected in Time & Expense > Expense Approvalstime-and-expense-expense-approvals.png

This page displays a paginated list of every pending expense by project in order from oldest to newest. expense-approvals-queue-page.png

  • Project—The name of the project for which the expense report was submitted.
  • Expense Report—The name the member gave the report. Selecting it gives you a detailed view of included expenses and lets you Approve or Reject the expense report.
  • Status—Defaults to Pending, letting you know what expense reports still need to be reviewed and approved.
  • Created—Date the expense report was submitted.
  • Updated—Date changes were made to the expense report.
  • Submitted By—Name of the member who submitted the expense report.
  • Total—The amount for all expenses included in the expense report.

Filters Modal

Click the Filters button to open the Filters modal.expense-approvals-filters-button.png

The Filters modal lets you filter by project so you can quickly see expenses related to the selected project, or projects.Expense_Approvals_Filter.png

You can use the Search field(s) at the top of the Fields and Projects sections to quickly locate a specific project. This is a reductive search that narrows what you currently have available to choose from. As you begin typing the first few letters, all results that match your query will appear below the Search field.Search-bar.png

When you are finished configuring your filters, click the Apply Filters button. The Filters modal closes and the results on the Expense Approvals queue will reflect your selections.


Expense Approvals will show any pending expenses for the selected project, or projects. If there are no expense reports listed for a selected project, then there are no pending expense reports for that project. expense-approvals-filter-applied.png

Expense Report Details

You can view details, and approve or reject an expense report by selecting its name from the Expense Report column. expenses-detailed-expense-report-with-receipts.png

At a glance, you can quickly see the date each included expense was created, its category, whether it is for a vendor, any notes and receipts attached, and the amount. Note that Account Administrators can see all expense reports regardless of whether they are a participant on that project. Account Administrators must be a participant on a project in order to approve an expense report.

Select Expense Approvals to return to the list of pending expense reports. If you want to see all the expense reports you have submitted, select Your Expense Reports.

Canceled Expense Reports

Sometimes an expense gets overlooked, or there is some other error in an expense report, and a member cancels it. When that happens, the report will not appear on the Expense Approvals page. To resubmit a canceled expense report for approval, the member must create a new one.

Approving or Rejecting an Expense

You can see the detailed expense report and Approve or Reject it by selecting it from the Expense Approvals page, the project's Activity Feed, or the expense report link in the notification.Approve-Expenses.png

Once an Expense Report is approved, the member who submitted the expense report will receive a notification and see the update in the project's Activity Feed. expense-approval-activity-feed-notification.png

How to Edit an Approved Expense

    1. Once expenses are approved, they are considered locked and ready to add to an invoice sent to QuickBooks. If you need to edit an approved expense, you can reject it to make it editable again. There are two ways to reject approved expense reports:
      • Hover over the top-right of the notification in the project Activity Feed and click Reject this approved expense report when it appears.
    1. Reject-Approved-Expense-Report.png
        • Hover over Time & Expense in the left-hand nav bar and select Expense Reports. Click on the name of the expense report to open it, and then click the Reject button on the bottom-right.
    2. After the expense report has been rejected, open it from Time & Expense > Expense Reports and click the Resubmit Expense Report button to edit and resubmit.
Note: A member with Edit Financials (or higher) project permissions will be able to Approve or Cancel their own expense reports from the project’s Activity Feed.

Related Articles

Created on