Step 4: Approve and Export your bills

Step 4: Approve and Export your bills

The time has come! Here we'll take you through approving and exporting bills. Your approval workflow is going to depend on how you customize your account settings which is actually our next step. For the purposes of this guide, we'll be looking at an example of the Single Approval workflow. The guide for Step 5 will let you know which user permissions are required for each stage of the Approval process.

How to approve and export Bills from Lightyear on Vimeo.

We're not going to cover all of the functionality each Tab offers in this guide, we're going to focus simply on moving a bill through the system and into your Accounting Software. Check out our User Guides section for more info on what can be done in each Tab.

The Approval Tab

Once a bill is in the Approvals Tab, it's ready to be approved! Let's take a look at the Approvals Tab itself and how to move a bill through the system and into your Accounting Software.
Only users (and admins) that have 'Approver' permissions set up will be able to action and edit bills in the Approvals Tab. Users with only 'Accounts Payable' permissions will have read only access to the Approvals Tab

Panel 1 shows a list of the bills that are waiting to be approved.
Panel 2 shows the data extracted from the bill, the original email the bill arrived with, plus any notes that have been added to the bill.  You can access these three levels of information via the three sub-tabs at the top of panel 3.
Panel 3 is a preview of the original bill.

This format is the same across all tabs within Lightyear. There's quite a lot going on, but we'll keep it simple for now.

Panel 2

This is where you'll be doing most of the work in the Approvals Tab. Here you can edit any of the information that has been extracted or manually entered from the Processing Tab. These include:

  • Bill type
  • Supplier
  • Bill Number
  • Bill Date
  • Due Date
  • Purchase Order Number
  • Product Codes
  • Product Descriptions
  • Quantities
  • Currency
  • Unit Price on Line Item bills and Line Amount on Service bills
  • Tax Codes
  • GL Codes
  • Tracking Categories

Mandatory fields are marked with a red asterisk. The Currency, Tax Code, GL Code and Tracking Categories can all be changed at a bill level using the dropdowns under the column header, or can be changed on an individual line.

Remember that once you make any changes to a bill in the Approval Tab, you'll need to click the green Save button to the bottom right to keep these changes. Once you're happy with a bill, click the green Approve button to approve it and move it through to the Review Tab,

Check out this complete guide to the Approval Tab to see how to send bill tasks, leave notes, dispute a bill and more. 

The Review Tab

After the initial approval, Bills move to the Review Tab to be ultimately signed off before exporting. In terms of functionality, you can do anything in the Review Tab that you can in the Approvals Tab, including making changes to the bill in Panel 2 if required. If something doesn't look right, you can use the 'Approvals Tab' button to send the bill back to the Approvals Tab, but if you're happy, click Sign Off to move the bill to the Signed Off Tab. If you're using Executive Approval, this step is mostly the same but check out this guide on Executive Approval for more specific info.

Only Admins and Users with Accounts Payable permissions will be able to action and edit bills in the Approve Tab. Users with only Approver permissions will have read only access to the Review Tab

The Signed Off Tab

The big moment is here! The final step before your bill is exported to your Accounting Software of choice. The look and layout of the Signed Off Tab should be familiar by now, as it's the same as the Approvals Tab and Review Tab, however you can no longer make changes to the bill in Panel 2. If at this stage any mistakes are discovered, the bill must be sent back to the Review Tab for correction. Once a bill is exported, changes or corrections cannot be made within Lightyear and will need to be made in your Accounting Software.

Once you're super duper sure the bill is good to go, mark the checkbox next to the supplier name in Panel 1 for any bills you're happy with, then click the green Export button.

Depending on what Accounting Software you're using, the data will either flow straight in, or Lightyear will automatically download a file for you to upload. Note that the length of time it takes to complete the export depends on a few things such as the number of bills being exported. It's very important that you don't refresh or close the Lightyear window until the export is complete. It shouldn't take too long however, normally no more than a second or two per bill. Lightyear will let you know once the export is complete.

That's the flow! Super simple and quick once you know how. Anything that's exported now lives in your Archive.

Now that's all set up, you can go ahead and Customize your account settings in the next step.


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