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ApprovalMax: Streamline your budget and expense approvals

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Nick Houldsworth

Jun 9, 2021

Xero connects with over 1,000 apps that help small businesses and their advisors succeed, with most available in our app marketplace. Each month we celebrate an app partner who stands out for helping small businesses thrive. Find out more about becoming a Xero app partner here.

Congratulations to our June app partner of the month, ApprovalMax – a sophisticated approval automation app for sales invoices, bills, purchase orders (POs) and more. Co-founder and Director of Operations, Helmut Heptner, tells us how ApprovalMax helps businesses save time and create more efficient workflows, all while keeping the auditors happy.

Building from experience

Founded in 2014, ApprovalMax was created with a vision to help businesses transform their daily operations and make them more efficient. Focussing on automating the approvals process for billing and expenditure, ApprovalMax helps businesses create a system where all invoices, bills and POs are approved by the right people, with the delegated authority to do so.

So what does this mean in practice? For businesses that have different staff managing different budgets across their operations, keeping on top of where money is being spent, by who, and on what, can be challenging. Working out these details can be a very manual process that eats into precious staff time. ApprovalMax automates this process in the cloud, so staff can focus their time on more important things.

“ApprovalMax really facilitates automated paperless approvals. By eliminating paper and email-based approvals, we can save staff time, boosting overall efficiency,” says Helmut.

Seamless approvals

Key to this efficiency is the way ApprovalMax pulls information from Xero and structures approvals. It allows businesses to determine staff authorisation levels, and create rules that send approvals to the right person based on criteria such as account codes, spend levels and others. Then items, like bills and POs, can be marked as ‘Awaiting Approval’ in Xero, and ApprovalMax will import that data automatically. Approvers are notified via the ApprovalMax app so they can take the next steps, all from their desktop or mobile, without needing to log into Xero.

Tightening up the approval process and using ApprovalMax has paid off for cloud financial consulting business, Tinka Consulting, that helps small businesses be more efficient and productive.

One of their clients was using email-based approvals, which often resulted in people losing or missing emails. Tinka implemented ApprovalMax alongside a data-entry tool to centralise this process, and the result was a saving of AUD$39,000 per year across the business’ 30 staff.

“Replacing email approvals freed up people’s inboxes, boosting time efficiency across the company. Invoice accuracy has increased greatly, and there is now a transparent approval process that helps with cash flow forecasting and reporting,” says Trent Todd, Technical Director at Tinka Consulting.

Added assurance

Every step in the approval process is also captured automatically in a comprehensive audit log in ApprovalMax. The combination of this audit trail and the approval process means that come audit time, every transaction can be accounted for to keep auditors happy.

“Approval automation with different authorisation levels and customised spend authorisation keeps the approval process on the surface for easy scaling and quicker audits,” explains Helmut. “Quicker audits means less time and money spent on compliance.”

Moving into the future

ApprovalMax is working continuously to improve and develop their product wherever they can.

“We’re currently working to use more of the available Xero APIs, like quotes, to offer more value to our customers,” says Helmut. “We’re also ensuring stability and enhanced user experience by investing in our technology. Sustaining the highest customer satisfaction while expanding our product capabilities is always a top priority for us. 

“The most rewarding part about being a Xero app partner, is being recognised by the Xero community. We’ve also been recognised by Xero as App Partner of the Year in both NZ and the UK. It’s a great honour, as it shows that our work brings amazing results to our shared customers,” Helmut concludes.

Learn more about how ApprovalMax can streamline your business in the Xero app marketplace.

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