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Set up vendor invoice workflows [AX 2012]

Updated: July 23, 2014

Applies To: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3

This topic explains how to set up one or more workflow configurations for vendor invoices and vendor invoice lines. For example, you might set up workflow for vendor invoices that aren’t for a purchase order, or to automatically run invoice matching on invoices that are for a purchase order. If workflow approval is set up for vendor invoices, additional controls are displayed at the top of the Vendor invoice form. These include a yellow information bar, and either a Submit button or an Actions menu. For more information, see Submit a document and Workflow actions.

Some buttons in the Vendor invoice form are not available when an invoice has been submitted for workflow journal approval. When the invoice is approved, the options in the Post group on the Action Pane are available, and the other controls and fields in the form are not. If a user changes an approved invoice, the workflow status is reset, the options in the Post group are not available, and the other controls and fields are available. The user must resubmit the changed invoice for approval.

The following illustration shows how to set up vendor invoice workflows. The numbers correspond to the procedures later in this topic.

Flowchart for setting up vendor invoice workflows

The following illustration shows an example of a vendor invoice workflow that includes the following workflow elements:

  • An automated task, Evaluate policy rules for invoices

  • A manual task, Review vendor invoice matching

  • A conditional decision, Is the total amount under 10,000?

  • An approval task, Approve vendor invoice

  • An automated task, Post vendor invoices

Workflow with a conditional decision

The following table shows the prerequisites that must be in place before you start.

Category

Prerequisite

Related configuration tasks

Set up Accounts payable invoice matching

Key tasks: Vendor invoice policies

Accounts payable parameters

To use workflows together with vendor invoice policies, make sure that the Post invoice with discrepancies field is set to Allow with warning in the Accounts payable parameters form.

You can set up expenditure reviewer configurations to route expenditures for review based on the user who is assigned to a project role or the financial dimension where the expenditure is being charged. The workflow process uses the specified project role or financial dimension owner to determine whom to route the expenditure to.

You don’t have to set up an expenditure reviewer configuration. You can assign a specific user or user group as a reviewer when you define the workflow. However, if you have a complex organization, you can improve the efficiency of the approval process by specifying expenditure reviewers. Also, you won’t have to change the workflow reviewer assignments every time that a reviewer changes job roles.

To set up expenditure reviewers for vendor invoices, follow these steps:

  1. Click Accounts payable > Setup > Policies > Vendor invoice expenditure reviewers.

  2. On the Action Pane, click New.

  3. Enter a name for the expenditure reviewer definition.

  4. On the Project distributions FastTab, select the check box for the project role that is responsible for reviewing vendor invoices that are assigned to a project. You can select Project manager, Project controller, or Project sales manager. Expenditures will be routed to the user who is assigned to that role. You can also route the expenditure to the financial dimension owner by selecting the appropriate financial dimension check box.

  5. On the Organization distributions FastTab, select the check box for the financial dimensions that you want to use to route vendor invoices that are not assigned to a project. Vendor invoices will be routed to the user who owns the financial dimension.

Complete this procedure if you set up an expenditure reviewer and selected any of the options in the Project authority field group in the Vendor invoice expenditure reviewers form.

You can assign people to the roles for project distributions.

To set up the roles for project distributions, follow these steps:

  1. Click Project management and accounting > Common > Projects > All projects.

  2. Select a project, and then click Edit on the Action Pane.

  3. In the Projects form, use the fields in the Responsible field group to assign workers to the roles that are required for your business practices. Use the information in the following table to decide which roles to assign workers to.

    Field

    Description

    Sales manager

    This role corresponds to the Project sales manager role that is specified for the expenditure review participant.

    Project manager

    This role corresponds to the Project manager role that is specified for the expenditure review participant.

    Project controller

    This role corresponds to the Project controller role that is specified for the expenditure review participant.

Complete this procedure if you set up an expenditure reviewer and selected any of the options in either of the Financial dimensions field groups in the Vendor invoice expenditure reviewers form.

You can assign people to be owners of a financial dimension. This lets you set up workflow approvals by financial dimensions, for example, by department or cost center. You can also require that approvals for a vendor invoice be sent to the owners of all the distributions for a line item. For example, if you enter a vendor invoice for rent expense and distribute the line item to three different departments, the workflow approval step will go to the owners of all three departments.

To set up the owners for financial dimensions, follow these steps:

  1. Click General ledger > Setup > Financial dimensions > Financial dimensions.

  2. Select a financial dimension, and then click Financial dimension values.

  3. Select a dimension.

  4. On the General FastTab, in the Owner field, select the user ID of the person who is the owner of this dimension.

  5. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the remaining financial dimensions.

You can create multiple workflows for vendor invoices.

To create a workflow for vendor invoices, follow these steps:

  1. Click Accounts payable > Setup > Accounts payable workflows.

  2. On the Action Pane, click New.

  3. Select the type of workflow to create, and then click Create workflow.

    Select from the following options:

    Type

    Purpose

    Vendor invoice

    Create workflows for vendor invoice headers. You can view the invoices in the Vendor invoice form.

    To use workflows together with vendor invoice policies, make sure that the Post invoice with discrepancies field is set to Allow with warning in the Accounts payable parameters form.

    Vendor invoice line

    Create workflows for vendor invoice lines. You can’t run a vendor invoice line workflow by itself. You must add it to a vendor invoice workflow. You can view the invoices in the Vendor invoice form.

    To use workflows together with vendor invoice policies, make sure that the Post invoice with discrepancies field is set to Allow with warning in the Accounts payable parameters form.

  4. Configure each element of the workflow. For more information, see Configure workflow elements.

  5. Repeat steps 2 through 4 to create additional workflows for vendor invoices.

Complete this procedure if your business practices require any of the following:

  • A person to review a vendor invoice

  • A person to review the results of invoice matching

  • An automated process to evaluate policy rules for invoices

  • An automated process to post the invoices

You can use a combination of automated and manual tasks in the same workflow.

Each of the following workflow tasks can perform an action on a vendor invoice. Use the information in the following table to decide which workflow tasks to use.

Task

Type

Description

Post vendor invoices

Automated

Post vendor invoices automatically. This task can be used with other tasks, but should be the last task element in the workflow configuration. If a review or approval process is used, that process should occur before this automated task. For an example of how the Post vendor invoices automatic task is used, see Workflow with a conditional decision.

This automated task does not work with vendor invoices that are from an approval journal. Post approval journals manually.

Evaluate policy rules for invoices

Automated

Evaluate policy violations on vendor invoices. For information about how to use workflow and policies together, see Key tasks: Vendor invoice policies.

If one or more policy rules for an invoice is violated at the header level, the violations are displayed in the Policy violations form for that invoice. For an example of how the Evaluate policy rules for invoices automatic task is used, see Workflow with a conditional decision.

Review vendor invoice

Manual

Assign this task to a user who is authorized to review the vendor invoice lines that are in the vendor invoice. You define the steps for the review in the description section when you create the workflow.

The difference between a review manual task and an approval workflow element:

  • If the review manual task is assigned to multiple users, the workflow can continue after any one of those users completes the task.

  • If you assign an approval workflow element to multiple users, all those users must approve the document before the workflow can continue.

For more information, see Workflow with multiple users in a task.

Review vendor invoice matching

Manual

Match product receipts automatically to vendor invoices by creating a batch task to run in a batch job.

  1. Click System administration > Inquiries > Batch jobs > Batch jobs.

  2. In the Batch job form, click the View tasks button.

  3. In the Batch tasks form, in the Class name field, select VendInvoiceMatch.

This batch process will match product receipts to their corresponding invoices. The batch process applies to vendor invoices that were entered in a vendor portal or received through a service.  

For more information, see Create a batch job.

To configure automated and manual tasks for a vendor invoice workflow, follow these steps:

Complete this procedure if your business practices require any of the following things:

  • A person to review the results of invoice matching

  • An automated process to evaluate policy rules for a vendor invoice line

You can use a combination of automated and manual tasks in the same workflow.

Each of the following workflow tasks can perform an action on a vendor invoice line. Use the information in the following table to decide which workflow tasks to use.

Task

Type

Description

Evaluate policy rules for invoice lines

Automated

Evaluate policy violations on vendor invoice lines. This automated task differs from the Evaluate policy rules for invoices task because it evaluates only policies that use a rule type that is based on the Vendor invoice lines query name. For information about how to use workflow and policies together, see Key tasks: Vendor invoice policies.

If a vendor invoice violates one or more policy rules at the line level, this task reports the violations in the Policy violations form for that invoice. For an example of how the Evaluate policy rules for invoice lines automatic task is used, see Workflow with a conditional decision.

Review vendor invoice line

Manual

Assign this task to a user who can perform a review of vendor invoice lines that are in the vendor invoice. You define the steps for the review in the description section when you create the workflow.

The difference between a review manual task and an approval workflow element:

  • If the review manual task is assigned to multiple users, the workflow can continue after any one of those users completes the task.

  • If you assign an approval workflow element to multiple users, all those users must approve the document before the workflow can continue.

For more information, see Workflow with multiple users in a task.

To configure automated and manual tasks for a vendor invoice line workflow, follow these steps:

Complete this procedure if your business processes require different workflow processes depending on the amount of the invoice or other amounts such as sales taxes or charges.

The Invoice amount field is used with vendor invoice and vendor invoice line workflows. For each workflow, you can set up conditions that include this field. For example, you can require that invoice amounts that are greater than 5,000 require one approver and that invoice amounts that are greater than 20,000 require two approvers.

Calculated field

Description

Invoice amount

The total invoice amount for the vendor invoice.

To create conditions, see the following topic:

You can associate a workflow element with the following groups of participants.

User group

Description

Security role participants

Assign the workflow element to a Microsoft Dynamics AX security role. You might use this option if a group of workers can approve invoices and it doesn’t matter which person approves a particular invoice.

User group participants

Assign the workflow element to a Microsoft Dynamics AX user group. You might use this option if a group of workers can approve invoices and it doesn’t matter which person approves a particular invoice.

Vendor invoice expenditure participants

Assign the workflow element to expenditure participants. Expenditure participants can include users who are associated with specific projects or who are owners for specific financial dimensions, such as departments and cost centers. This option provides the most control and the most flexibility for vendor invoice and vendor invoice line workflows.

If you don't have access to the pages that are used to complete this task, contact your system administrator and provide the information that is shown in the following table.

Category

Prerequisite

Configuration keys

No configuration key is required for this task.

Security roles and duties

To perform this task, you must be a member of the -SYSADMIN- security role.


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