Here is an overview of what you need to know to successfully review and approve your employees’ expense reports, including:
- common errors
- how to approve, deny, or reject a report
Below are the resources you need to complete expense reports and more step-by-step instructions.
If you are supervising an employee that travels for NYS business, here are some of your responsibilities:
- Know the state’s travel rules and regulations.
- Know employees’ official stations, and their effect on travel reimbursement.
- Grant prior approval when travel is necessary.
- Ensure the traveler uses the most economical method of transportation.
- Ensure the traveler attaches all required documentation to the expense report in SFS.
- Review expense reports thoroughly and approve correct expense reports timely.
- Train staff on all state travel rules, regulations, and guidelines.
Items to Review
Completely review the expense report to identify any issues. Here is a list of some items to review:
- Traveler's name (or proxy if applicable)
- The business purpose of the trip (e.g. for a conference, routine travel)
- Expense total - if $500 or more or out of state travel, B1184 approval code is required
- Expenses and travel dates
- Attachments to ensure they are all included
- Comments in Description and/or Notes
Step-by-Step Approvals in SFS
To approve an expense report1 follow the steps below:
- Log in to SFS.
- Select the drop-down arrow on "My Homepage."
- Click on "Travel and Expense Approval" from the list of actions.
- Click on the "My Exp Approval Assignments" tile.
- Click on the hyperlink under "Report ID" to select the expense report you are approving.
- Confirm the following items for each trip:
- official station
- dates of travel
- normal start/end times
- start location/destination location
- leave/return time of the trip
- accounting details
- expense line review
- split receipts
- itemized hotel bills
- return to state charges
- non-reimbursable expenses
- amount due to company
- budget status
- Approve, deny, or reject the expense report as appropriate.
You may take these actions on your employee's expense report:
- Approve: The supervisor confirms expenses, follows established guidelines, and move the report forward for reimbursement.
- Deny: SFS returns the expense report to the employee when the supervisor finds errors the employee has to correct. The employee may make corrections and resubmit the report to the supervisor.
- Reject: The supervisor should not approve the expenses or the employee cannot correct the report. An employee may not modify or resubmit rejected expense reports.
Issues Approving Expense Reports
If you are having trouble approving an expense report, there may be a few reasons why:
- You are trying to approve the report from the worklist. If the report has a warning icon, the system does not allow approval from the worklist.
- The report hasn't passed budget check yet. The budget check runs every few hours so wait and check it again after a few hours have passed.
- The expense report may have failed the budget check due to several factors. You would need to check with your Finance office for a specific reason.
- You may not be set up to approve that employee's reports due to permission levels. You need to contact your Agency Security Advisor or your travel liaison to make sure you have the correct roles assigned to you.
How to Deny a Report
Here are the steps to take when denying an expense report:
- Enter the denial reason in the comment box.
- Click on "Deny."
- Click "Ok" on the Submit Confirmation screen.
- If you deny the expense report, let your traveler know and what steps they must take to correct it.
Contact the BSC Travel Team
Please include "travel" or your expense report number in the subject line of an email.
Still have questions? Try the BSC Help Center where you can send a question to our support team or search a database of FAQs.