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Title: Procedures for Manager Approval

Brief description:

This Quick Topic provides an overview of approving a timesheet and expense report. A description of the approval process and timesheet statuses is also provided.

What’s covered in this document:

Manager Approval process

Approval Groups are used to help manage the Approval process for Timesheets, Leave Requests, Expense Reports and Expense Requests. These groups contain lists of Approvers and Submitters, and help control who should approve each user’s entries and in what sequence a series of approvals may occur.

View Approval Group Report

Managers can query and list their approval groups and the users for whom they approve time and expenses via the “My People” screen and the “Approval Group” report.

Click on the “Reports” dashboard, then click on the "Reference" menu, and select “Approval Group Details” link under the “People” section as shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3 – Access to the Approval Group Report


 “Report – Approval Group Criteria” screen is displayed. The users can then click on the "Run Report" button to view the “Approval Group” report (see Figure 4).


Figure 4 – View Approval Group Report

Approval Queues

Items that have been submitted for approval are reviewed and managed through approval queues. E-mail notifications can be sent to managers when new items have been added to their approval queue with the E-mail options enabled.


Managers can get to their approval queues by going to their “Home” Dashboard. The “Manager Approval” table summarizes the pending approvals. Managers can click on the listed links or go to “People” >> “Approvals” to see the full queue as illustrated in Figure 5.



Figure 5 – Access approval queues.

(a) Click on “Primary (or Alternate) Approvals” links in Unanet Home Dashboard;

(b) review full details of the pending approval queues.

Approval/Disapproval Steps

A Manager can approve or disapprove all timesheets in a section by using the “Approve All”  or “Disapprove All” icons. Individual timesheets can be approved or disapproved by clicking on its own “Approve” or “Disapprove”  icon. 


For timesheets and expense reports, the manager may be required to view each item before approval or disapproval. Click on the eyeglasses icon next to each one of them, and then the details of the pending item are displayed (see Figure 6 for an example).

Note: Leave Requests can be approved on the summary level without click into the detail page. Simply click on the “Approve”   or “Disapprove”  icon to finish.


Figure 6 – Details of a pending Timesheet after clicking on the Eyeglasses icon


Each of the circled buttons in Figure 6 can be used to complete various functions. Please see the list below:

  • Press the ‘ < Queue ’ button to do nothing with the timesheet and be routed back to the approval queue
  • Press the ‘ Approve’ button to approve the timesheet and be routed back to the approval queue
  • Press the ‘ Approve > ’ button to approve the timesheet and display the next timesheet pending approval
  • Press the ‘ Disapprove ’ button to disapprove the timesheet and be routed back to the approval queue
  • Press the ‘ Skip ’ button to do nothing with the timesheet and display the next timesheet pending approval


Before completing approving or disapproving action, the manager is provided with a screen where he/she may enter comments (see Figure 7).

Note: the manager must enter comment if disapprove an item.

Figure 7 – An Example of Approval Comments Screen


As items are approved or disapproved, they are removed from the manager’s queue. If a manager is acting as an alternate for another manager, they can perform both their primary and alternate approvals using the same queue.

Timesheet Status Reports


One report is very useful for managers to keep track of their people’s timesheet status – the Timesheet Status Pie Chart. It can be found under “Status Reports” section in “Reports” menu as shown in Figure 8.


Figure 8 – Access the Timesheet Status Pie Chart


Once click on the “Timesheet Status Pie Chart” link, the report criteria screen follows. Choosing the specific time period that you wish to view the timesheet status, and then click the "Run Report" button (See Figure 9).


Figure 9 – Timesheet Status Chart Criteria


A pie chart result appears similar to the one in Figure 10.  The manager can view the details of whose timesheets are missing, submitted or completed by clicking on the specific pie chart section.

Figure 10 – Alternate Approvals of pending queues.

Set up Manager Alternates

To set up his/her manager alternates, the manager can simply click on the “Preferences” menu on the right hand corner of any Unanet screen then click on “Alternates” menu on the left side. Next, the manager can filter for his/her manager alternate by typing in the first few letter of the person’s last name and click on  button next to it. As the next step, choose the role the manager wants to grant to the alternates, and click on the   button. Finally, save the configuration and click on the “Save” button. See Figure 11 for the step-by-step illustration.

Figure 11 – Setup manager alternates. (1) click on “Preference”; (2) choose “Alternate”; (3) filter for the person as Alternate; (4) choose the role to grant; (5) flow the selected to the right column; (6) Save the configuration.

When the alternate manager log onto his/her Unanet system, in the “Home” Dashboard, he/she is able to see the pending approval queues for the other manager, which are listed as the “Alternate Approvals” (see Figure 12).


 Figure 12 – Alternate Approvals of pending queues.

The alternate manager can then proceed to approve or disprove them following the same procedure as the primary manager.

Additional Information

KC - FAQ - Can I require that expenses be pre-approved?

KC - FAQ - How do approvals and partial approvals work?

KC - Quick Topic - Alternate Manager Approvers in Unanet

KC - Quick Topic - Approval Order (Project and Manager approvals)

KC - Video - Manager Approvals

Help Docs - Time and Expense Approvals


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