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Product Features

How pre-spend approvals in travel and expense management improve compliance and efficiency

June 7, 2021
Min Read

For some expenses, like travel spend and advances, post-spend approval is almost futile. In such cases, as a Finance team, you have to deal with policy non-compliance, overspending and a lack of visibility. The company may have had rules in place, but it’s likely that the employee wouldn’t have remembered.

On the other hand, if you introduce approvals before the spend occurs, you and your employees have more control over the process. Fyle’s modules are created to adapt to pre-spend approvals. Couple this with Fyle’s underlying automation, and you have the perfect way to ensure compliance.


Employees often book trips out of policy because they don’t know the rules. With Fyle’s pre-trip approval module, you can enforce trip policies more efficiently. And real-time policy checks ensure your employees don’t have to risk forgetting the rules.

An employee creates a detailed trip request that contains the dates, mode of travel, hotel details, and any trip-related advances.

Trip requests on Fyle

Your team can enforce policies applicable to the trip requests. Fyle has a dedicated policy enforcing system that helps you define highly complex rules. For example, an employee who isn’t in Level 1 can not request flight travel. Or requests need to be made at least one week before the travel date. You can also make budget details mandatory.


Fyle’s ‘Advances’ module follows a similar pre-spend workflow, where your employee first files an advance request. This contains basic details like amount, description & purpose. As a Finance Admin, you can customize the fields in the request form to collect more information.

Advance requests on Fyle

For example, a project field can be added. The employee will have to specify the project the advance is associated with.

Fyle’s policy engine also allows you to configure policies for advance requests. You can define who the policies apply to: employees belonging to specific departments, levels, titles, or custom groups. And for actual policy conditions, you can set:

  • maximum limits
  • project-specific conditions
  • number of advance requests allowed every month
  • custom policies

Expense Approval Workflows: Trips and Advances  

Fyle enables you to set up an approval flow that suits your organization. This can be simple manager approvals or more complex ones, like:

  • Sequential approvals allow the request to be approved by several people based on hierarchy.
  • If you have multiple subsidiaries and need cross-org approvals, that’s possible too.
  • If you want conditional approvals, you can configure policy-based additional approvals. For instance, if employees from the Customer Success department request a flight, they need further approval from your CFO.  
Approving trip requests on Fyle

The actual approval process for your managers is hassle-free. They can approve or reject a trip or advance request from their mobile app, web app, or even from their email. Since this is all pre-spend, any request that doesn’t get approval won’t incur costs.

Expense claims in the case of pre-approved spend

Employees can claim their travel and advance expenses when they’ve actually incurred the cost. Expense reporting on Fyle has been optimized to improve the employee experience. They can file expenses on our mobile app or web app. ML-based data extraction auto-populates most of the expense form, so employees need to put in minimal effort. They can also use Fyle’s Gmail & Outlook plugins, which sit right within their inbox.

If your company has a separate travel desk that’s making bookings for employees, travel management becomes even easier. The travel agents can confirm bookings and initiate expense filing on behalf of employees. An employee only has to fill in details, and submit the expense.

In the case of advances, employees can select the issued advance as the mode of payment. This way, the money is accounted for at all times.

Enhanced tracking and visibility for Finance

With automation on Fyle comes an enhanced tracking system. You can get a bird’s eye view of all trips and advances in the organization across all states. For larger companies, an employee-specific view is also essential. Fyle shows you all trips and advances requested by a particular employee and how it’s being utilized. For example, in the case of advances, you can see if they have claimed expenses from previously issued advances.

Greater control over spend while adhering to policies

A pre-spend expense approval limits spending. Expenses are only incurred after the approval has come through, meaning no unnecessary costs. Fyle’s policies also ensure that you can put spending limits in place, cutting down costs incurred. If you have compliance as a priority, give Fyle a try, and schedule a demo with us today!

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