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Coupa Success Portal


Use Cases

 Explain why this feature exists and how it can be used. Provide common scenarios and use case benefits. 

Self approvals can allow for faster cycle times and reduced overhead for scenarios where the end user is entrusted to make the purchase themselves. Given that with Coupa there is full spend visibility, reporting, watchers, and spend guard alerts - self approvals can become a less daunting endeavor. 

Many organizations look to define these holistically across their user base for consistency and transparency in terms of what is allowed and what is not. And while there's no magic number to set these at, typically self approval limits range from $250-$1000. 


List out any configuration/design considerations that should be taken into account when defining the design. Include details on common mistakes, misconceptions, or things to look out for. 

  • Standard self approvals trigger as part of the management hierarchy and will not override any custom approval chains configured.
  • If your core approval design focuses on dynamic approvals (ex: cost center based) rather than management hierarchy you will want to consider having consistent self-approval limits to allow the dynamic chain to be triggered after the dollar threshold for self approval. 
  • Self approvals can be enabled at a global level and defined at a user level or through custom approval chains by listing the approver as the 'Requester'. The latter should be used to a limited degree to avoid extensive approval chain management. 

Do's & Don'ts

 Define clear recommendations and explain why this is a best practice or why Coupa specifically is making that recommendation. 

Define clear risks (can be specifically related to the recommendations - if they are not followed, or others) and why these can lead to problems in the implementation or post go-live. These should be styled in a yes/no format - where someone can understand and clearly state whether their design has that risk or does not. Try to remove any ambiguous language. 

Best In Class Risks

Define self approval limits at a user level if using management hierarchy or use a custom chain to set a single limit for everyone. 


Keeping the design simple helps with administration of the system and ensures users are clear on the policy. Complex rules for when self approval is allowed (excess of 50 chains to define self approval rules)

Not only is this a significant amount of work for admins to maintain, this can become a challenge for users as they are unclear on scenarios where they have the authority to self approve. 

Feed approval limit information from HR system along with other user record details. Avoid timely maintenance effort by providing these details through an integration No source of truth for self approval limits (if defining as part of the management hierarchy)

Without a source for this information this will need to manually maintained for each user. 

Define review process to manage spend guard alerts or other reports related to self approval Monitoring alerts can help reduce overall risk and ensure users are not intentionally misusing the system.    

Heat Map Assessment

 (heatmap descriptors remains the same for all) 

For this specific feature/design element articulate why the heatmap should be colored one way or another.

Some things may not be applicable for "Out of Scope" or "External Solution" - list N/A if that is the case. 

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Self Approvals will not be used for any scenarios No Risks are incorporated into the current design and the design is fully defined.  Customer is still determining use cases for Self Approval One or more Risks are incorporated into the current design Self approvals are happening offline or via a third party application

Related Success Metrics and Value Drivers

List out relevant metrics/BVDs that this feature/design may have an impact on and any considerations that should be taken into account because of this. 

  • Approval Cycle Time
  • Avg. Number of Approvers per Transaction

If these are key metrics for a customer's business, enabling self approvals could make a significant impact to these values while not leveraging this feature may be a risk in itself. 

Additional References

 Provide links to other articles/content for configuration, technical information, or other details. 

Self Approval Settings

Speed Up Requisition to Order

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