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Northwestern University

Expense Report Automated Signature FAQ

How should we proceed with expenses if a designated supervisor is not reflected at the time of online expense entry?  

Employees who do not have a visible designated supervisor to select at the time of expense submission should use the previous printed paperwork signature process until supervisor information is viewable in the NUFinancials expense module. Please contact the Financial Coordinator to coordinate any expense supervisor changes needed.

How do I check the status of a specific expense report and monitor its progress through workflow?

In order to view the details of a specific report, navigate to the view tab on NU Financials. (Main Menu->Travel and Expense - > Travel and Expense Center-> Expense Report -> View-> Enter Report ID)

You can then enter the report ID and view the report. Once you pull up the report, click on the link next to status. If the status is “Pending” this means the report still needs to be submitted. If the status is “Submitted for Approval” this means in the report has been submitted, click on the link the view which step in workflow the report is currently in.

Alternatively, run a SC026- Expense by Submission & Workflow Status to view multiple reports’ workflow status.

Before making approval/send back request from department or financial approvers, please confirm that the report is in the appropriate workflow step.

How can I set up a periodic review process of expenses within our department/program rather than rely on individual real-time e-mail notifications?

For expense supervisors who approve a larger volume of reports, it may be preferable to complete a more periodic review of expenses utilizing the SC026 workflow report (with or without corresponding expense paperwork) rather than relying on real-time email notifications.  Below are guidelines for implementing and following this optional process within the department:

  • When submitting an expense report, department staff should retain a printable view of the expense report (accessible in NUFinancials) along with paper copies of support documentation (receipts, preapproval documentation, and any other details included with reimbursement for later review).
  • On a consistent basis (weekly, biweekly, etc.) the Department BA/DA should provide an updated version of the SC026 Expense by Submission & Workflow Status report (which provides a snapshot of expense report workflow status in a specific department) for the expense supervisor along with printed expense detail so that a full review can occur outside of NUFinancials. See SC026 Expenses Submission/Workflow Report Guide.
  • Using this “periodic review” approach for reviews and approvals, the Expense Supervisor can utilize the report and corresponding documentation to review/approve any reports straight from the NUPortal Approval Inbox.   With this process, expense supervisors do not need to rely on the real-time e-mail notifications from FFRA, but should still certify each expense online in order to apply their approval. See FFRA Workflow Notifications Guide (page 5) to set up e-mail filters based on e-mail subjects (Subject contains “Expense report 000”) that will send any FFRA-generated notifications into a specific Outlook folder rather than the general inbox.
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