Contract Tracking Part II, Invoice Approval

A few months back, a general counsel of non-profit organizations wanted to see examples of how their legal and contracts team could use SharePoint. Our team built this proof of concept to show how SharePoint forms and workflows can be used to build a system to track contracts and invoices against those contracts. This is part two of the video series.  Part one of the video can be found here.


The transcript for the video is below…

Welcome to part two of a two part video series on using SharePoint for contract tracking. Hi, I’m Dean, a SharePoint expert at Xgility and in this video I’m going to demonstrate how to apply invoices against the contracts stored in a contracts library.

First, a quick recap of the first video. In that video, I demonstrated that a SharePoint library is an excellent tool for storing and tracking contracts, metadata and views are essential tools for gaining insights into the status of contracts, the available balance and percentage value remaining of a contract can be tracked, the ability to track changes within Microsoft Word is still available within SharePoint, and that SharePoint will automatically store previous versions of a contract.

Now, onto part two…Applying Invoices Against a Contract. We begin with an accounts payable clerk having already received and reviewed an invoice from Vendor C for Contract 1. The clerk opens the vendors invoice submission form. There, the clerk selects Vendor C from the vendor drop-down and selects Vendor C, Contract 1 from the contract drop-down. Note that the contracts displayed in the drop-down will automatically change based on the vendor that’s selected. Upon selection of a contract, the available balance of the contract will be displayed. This field is for reference purposes only and cannot be overwritten. The clerk then enters the value of the invoice and attaches the invoice to the form and finally clicks submit to add the invoice to the library. When the file is added to the library, an automated email is sent to the invoice approver. In our example, the email message is fairly simple, but please note that the content of the email can easily be changed and you can put whatever you want in it.

Clicking the link in the email will open the invoice form again, but this time to the approval view. Here, the invoice approver can open the invoice and review it, add the decision date, select the approval decision, and add comments about the approval decision. Clicking “Submit Decision” saves the decision information. If the invoice was approved, the invoice amount is automatically deducted from the available balance of the associated contract and the accounts payable clerk is sent an automated notification that the invoice was approved and the check can be cut. If the invoice was denied, both the vendor and the accounts payable clerk are sent automated notifications including the approval decision comments.

That is all there is to it. Now, lets revisit the contracts library to see that the amount was deducted. As you can see, the remaining balance of Vendor C, Contract 1 is now down to $100 and the percent remaining is now well below 20%.

Lets take a quick look at the below 20% remaining view to see if the contract shows up. Click on the below 20% remaining view and there it is. If you remember from the last video, we did not have any contracts that were below 20% remaining, so nothing displayed in this view and now we have something.

In this video I demonstrated a fairly simple but very effective solution for processing invoices against a contract. This is just the baseline solution. There’s so much more that can be done to enhance the visibility and tracking of your contracts using SharePoint.

If you have addition questions are would like help automating your workflow in SharePoint, Office 365, or SharePoint Online please contact us.


Author: Dean Virag

Editor: Alex Finkel