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Configure Expense Approval Email Templates

Approvers receive one email for all items in each expense report to which they’ve been assigned. Chrome River offers the HTML version of these expense approval emails in several formats via standard templates. For complete information on each of these templates, see Expense Approval Email Templates. Note that each user's email preference must be set to HTML in the People Admin Screen in order to receive emails in these formats.

Using the Entities Admin Screen in Chrome River, you can select which type of HTML email your users receive and customize certain aspects of its appearance, including the placement of the Approve and Return buttons and the content and placement of the instructions.

Create an HTML Approval Email Template

In order to make modifications to HTML approval emails, you will need to create a template entity type. This will allow you to add and customize entities in order to customize the email's appearance.

1. Click ADMIN SETTINGS > MASTER DATA > ENTITIES.

2. Use the search box to see if the required "EmailFormat_APP1_default" entity type already exists for your organization. If so, skip to Step 5. Otherwise, continue to Step 3.

3. Click the blue + button to the right of "Entity Types" and enter the following:

  • Name: Email Approval Notify Default
  • Description: Default Expense Approval Email Template
  • Code: EmailFormat_APP1_default
  • Sort Order: Use the Sort Order drop-down to change the order in which this entity type will appear in the list. You may sort by Entity Name, Entity Code or Sort Order.

4. Check the Do Not Delete (from feed) box, click APPLY in the pop-up box, and then click SAVE.

For more details on the Languages option, see "Add and Edit Entity Type Languages" in the Entities Admin Screen.

5. Next you will add an entity to the Expense Approval Email Template entity type that allows you to customize the appearance of the approval email notification to create multiple Expense Approval HTML Email Templates. In the Entities grid in the lower half of the screen, click the blue + button.

6. Add the following entity:

  • Name: Custom Email Template
  • Code: TemplateName
  • Extra Data 1: std-btn_b-inst_b

Check Do Not DELETE (from feed), leave the other fields blank, and click SAVE.

7. The value you put in the Extra Data 1 field determines which of the Expense Approval HTML Email Templates your users will receive. Below are the standard templates you may choose from. See Change the Location of Instructions and Buttons, below, for a complete list of ways to customize these.

  • Standard Approval Email: std-btn_b-inst_b
  • Standard Approval Email with Expense Details: det-btn_b-inst_b
  • Standard Approval Email With Header UDA Data: std-btn_b-inst_b-uda_h
  • Standard Approval Email With Reason for Assignment: reason-btn_b-inst_b

Create an HTML Return Email Template

The process for creating a Return Email Template is similar to creating an Approval Email Template.

1. Click the blue + button to the right of "Entity Types" and enter the following:

  • Name: Email Return Notify Template
  • Description: Expense Return Email Template
  • Code: EmailFormat_RET1_default
  • Sort Order: Use the Sort Order drop-down to change the order in which this entity type will appear in the list. You may sort by Entity Name, Entity Code or Sort Order.
  1. Check the Do Not Delete (from feed) box and click SAVE.

From here, you may add entities following the instructions starting at Step 5 in Create an HTML Approval Email Template, above. You may also use the instructions below to customize the location of buttons, edit the return instructions, add a link, etc.

Change the Location of Instructions and Buttons

Once you have selected a standard Expense Approval HTML Email Template, you can determine where the instructional text and the ACCEPT and RETURN buttons appear in the email simply by changing the value of the Extra Data 1 field of the TemplateName entity of the Expense Approval Email Template entity type.

By default, each of the templates has the instructions and the ACCEPT and RETURN buttons at the bottom of each email.

1. Use the following chart to find the desired combination of button and instruction placement for the template you’ve chosen.

STANDARD APPROVAL EMAIL
ACCEPT/RETURN buttons and instructions at the bottom of the email std-btn_b-inst_b
ACCEPT/RETURN buttons at the top, instructions at the bottom std-btn_t-inst_b
ACCEPT/RETURN buttons and instructions at the top of the email std-btn_t-inst_t
ACCEPT/RETURN buttons at the bottom, instructions at the top std-btn_b-inst_t
ACCEPT/RETURN buttons at the top and bottom, instructions at the bottom std-btn_y-inst_b
No buttons, instructions at the bottom no-btn_x-inst_b
No buttons, instructions at the top no-btn_x-inst_t
STANDARD APPROVAL EMAIL WITH HEADER UDA DATA
Header UDA data at the top, buttons and instructions at the bottom std-btn_b-inst_b-uda_h
STANDARD APPROVAL EMAIL WITH EXPENSE DETAILS
ACCEPT/RETURN buttons and instructions at the bottom of the email det-btn_b-inst_b
ACCEPT/RETURN buttons at the top, instructions at the bottom det-btn_t-inst_b
ACCEPT/RETURN buttons and instructions at the top of the email det-btn_t-inst_t
ACCEPT/RETURN buttons at the bottom, instructions at the top det-btn_b-inst_t
ACCEPT/RETURN buttons at the top and bottom, instructions at the bottom det-btn_y-inst_b
No buttons, instructions at the top det-btn_x-inst_t
No buttons, instructions at the bottom det-btn_x-inst_b
STANDARD APPROVAL EMAIL WITH EXPENSE DETAILS AND HEADER UDA DATA
ACCEPT/RETURN buttons and instructions at the bottom of the email det-btn_b-inst_b-uda_h
STANDARD APPROVAL EMAIL WITH REASON FOR ASSIGNMENT
ACCEPT/RETURN buttons and instructions at the bottom of the email reason-btn_b-inst_b
ACCEPT/RETURN buttons at the top, instructions at the bottom reason-btn_t-inst_b
ACCEPT/RETURN buttons and instructions at the top of the email reason-btn_t-inst_t
ACCEPT/RETURN buttons at the bottom, instructions at the top reason-btn_b-inst_t
STANDARD APPROVAL EMAIL WITH REASON FOR ASSIGNMENT AND HEADER UDA DATA
ACCEPT/RETURN buttons and instructions at the bottom of the email reason-btn_b-inst_b-uda_h
STANDARD APPROVAL EMAIL WITH DETAIL AND REASON FOR ASSIGNMENT
ACCEPT/RETURN buttons and instructions at the bottom of the email reason-det-btn_y-inst_b
STANDARD APPROVAL EMAIL WITH DETAIL, REASON FOR ASSIGNMENT AND HEADER UDA DATA
ACCEPT/RETURN buttons and instructions at the bottom of the email reason-det-btn_y-inst_b-uda_h

2. Select the Email Approval Notify Default entity type, then click the Custom Email Template entity to edit it.

3. Click EDIT in the lower right corner.

4. In the Extra Data 1 field, enter the code corresponding to the desired combination of button and instruction placement, then click SAVE.

Customize the Instructions

You may customize the instructions that appear at the top or bottom of the email, up to 500 characters (including spaces). If desired, you may use basic HTML tags to style the text.

1. Select the desired entity type (Email Approval Notify Default, Email Return Notify Template, etc.).

2. In the Entities grid in the lower half of the screen, click the blue + button.

3. Enter the following information in each field:

  • Name: Custom Instructions
  • Code: Instructions_Top (if you want the block at the top of the email) or Instructions_Bottom (if you want it at the bottom)
  • Note: This must correspond to the placement of instructions as determined by the template you selected in the chart above. You will not be able to override the placement of instructions using this field.
  • Extra Data 1: Enter your new customized instructions of 500 characters or fewer, including spaces.

4. Leave the other fields blank, check "Do Not Delete (from feed)," and click SAVE.

Customize Expense Approval Watcher Instructions

Chrome River offers customers the ability to allow certain users to be CCed on approval email notifications so they can watch specific expense reports or line items as they route through the approval process without being able to approve or return them.

To display and customize the Instructions text in the approval email received by watchers, you will need to use the Messages Admin Screen. See Customize Watcher Email Instructions for complete details.

Add a Custom Link in Instructions

By default, the instructions section includes a direct link to the expense requiring approval. However, if desired, your organization may customize the URL for this link. If you choose this option, the text “To view this expense report or access the Chrome River application, click here” will be inserted, along with the Chrome River URL you choose.

If your organization uses SSO to log in to Chrome River, be sure that the URL you add goes to your SSO login page, not to the public login page for Chrome River.

1. Select the desired entity type (Email Approval Notify Default, Email Return Notify Template, etc.).

2. In the Entities grid, click the blue + button and enter the following information in each field:

  • Name: Instructions URL
  • Code: Instructions_URL
  • Extra Data 1: Enter your desired URL

 

3. Leave the other fields blank, check Do Not Delete (from feed), and click SAVE.

Add a Reminder Count to the Subject Line

For emails triggered by the Approval Reminder (EXPENSE) scheduled report, you may configure your selected HTML email template to show a reminder count in the subject line of the expense approval email.

1. Select Email Approval Notify Default in the Entity Types list.

2. In the Entities grid, click the blue + button and enter the following information in each field:

  • Name: Show Reminder Count
  • Code: SHOW_REMINDER_COUNT
  • Extra Data 1: true

 

3. Leave the other fields blank, check Do Not Delete (from feed), and click SAVE.

Add/Remove a “View Receipts” Link in the Email

For instructions on adding to your HTML email template a “View Receipts” link and/or individual "View" links to line item receipts, see Add a "View Receipts" Link to Expense Approval Emails.

Adding Expense Owner's Person Data

You may add data from an expense owner's Person record—like their title and office—next to their name on an expense approval email notification. The data will appear next to the name in brackets and separated by commas.

1. Select Email Approval Notify Default in the Entity Types list.

2. In the Entities grid, click the blue + button and enter the following information in each field:

  • Name: Expense Owner Data
  • Code: ExpenseOwnerData
  • Extra Data 1: [TableName.Column, EntityType.Code ]
  • To display Person record data (tbl_Person) about the expense owner, enter the TableName.ColumnName
  • Example: Enter Person.Title to display the expense owner's title
  • To display Entity data (tbl_Person_Entity) of the group the expense owner belongs to, enter the EntityType.Code of the group or entity
  • Example: Enter OFF to display the expense owner's office

 

3. Leave the other fields blank, check Do Not Delete (from feed), and click SAVE.

Add "High Priority" Flag for Microsoft Outlook

Customers who use Microsoft Outlook may enable a flag that will cause Outlook to mark expense approval notifications as "High Priority."

1. Select EmailFormat_APP1_default (EmailFormat_APP1_default) in the Entity Types list.

2. In the Entities grid, click the blue + button and enter the following information in each field:

  • Name: High Priority
  • Code: HIGH_PRIORITY

3. Leave the other fields blank, check Do Not Delete (from feed), and click SAVE.

Add "Private" or "Confidential" Sensitivity Flag for Microsoft Outlook

Customers who use Microsoft Outlook may enable a flag that will cause Outlook to mark expense approval notifications as "Private" or "Confidential" to prevent other users with access to that email inbox from viewing them.

1. Select Email Approval Notify Default (EmailFormat_APP1_default) in the Entity Types list.

2. In the Entities grid, click the blue + button and enter the following information in each field:

  • Name: Use either Private or Confidential, depending on the level of sensitivity desired.
  • Code: SENSITIVITY
  • Extra Data 1: Enter either PRIVATE or CONFIDENTIAL, depending on the level of sensitivity desired.

3. Leave the other fields blank, check Do Not Delete (from feed), and click SAVE.

Show an Entity's Extra Data (UDA) in Line-Item Detail

Customers who have User-Defined Fields (i.e., UDAs) with extra data may display ExtraData1 and ExtraData2 information in the Line-Item Detail section of approval email notifications based on the Email Approval Notify Default template.

1. Select Email Approval Notify Default in the Entity Types list.

2. In the Entities grid, click the blue + button and enter the following information in each field:

  • Name: Show Entity Extra Data
  • Code: Show_Entity_Extra_Data
  • Extra Data 1: This should list all the Entity Type Codes that this extra text should be shown for, separated by commas. If an entity within these listed Entity Types is listed on a line item, the extra text will be visible.
  • Example: EntityTypeCode1, EntityTypeCode2, EntityTypeCode3

3. Leave the other fields blank, check Do Not Delete (from feed), and click SAVE.

Exclude an Entity's Extra Data (UDA), CRM or Cost Code

Customers who have User-Defined Fields (i.e., UDAs) with extra data may exclude the display of specific types of UDA data from the Expense Details section of approval email notifications based on the Email Approval Notify Default template. This feature may also be used to exclude CRM and Cost Code data, even though they are not UDAs.

1. Select Email Approval Notify Default in the Entity Types list.

2. In the Entities grid, click the blue + button and enter the following information in each field:

  • Name: Exclude UDAs
  • Code: ExcludeUDA
  • Extra Data 1: This should list all the Entity Type Codes that this extra text should NOT be shown for, separated by commas. You may also enter "CostCode" to exclude Cost Code data and/or "isActivity" to exclude CRM data.
  • Example: UseTax,EventName,isActivity,CostCode

3. Leave the other fields blank, check Do Not Delete (from feed), and click SAVE.

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