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Coupa Success Portal

PO Change Approvals

In this article we will discuss the benefits and the “how-to” of adding a user to the approval chain for PO Change requests.

Your instance may or may not be setup to allow users to request changes to their Purchase Order. The default setup for any PO Change is to include the original requisition approval chain for any change to the PO. If the change request goes above the original approver’s approval amount, then someone else with the proper approval amount will be added to the change request.

To allow your users to request changes to a Purchase Order you can select Users can request changes to their POs (take a look at the image below, for an example).

If you want your buyers to review any approved changes and only allow them to send the changes to the supplier, then select Buyer must review and send all PO Changes, once approved.

Access these settings from the Setup > Company Setup > Company Information page.

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These settings allow a lot of flexibility. However, you may want to add a user or approval group to review all PO Changes in addition to the original approval flow. We will explain how to set this up for your instance.

Why Allow Employees to Request PO Changes?

In all honesty, you may not. However, there are certain areas where this would be helpful. For example, if you have a service PO open for $300,000 for a service to be performed onsite for the entire year and let’s say that by July you have used $295,000 of this PO. Based upon the usage your user knows that he/she will need more money applied to the PO to cover the rest of the year. Your process could require them to enter a new requisition for the additional funds, which will create a new PO to be sent to the supplier. Another simpler solution would be to allow your user to request a change to the original PO for the additional funds.

What about approvals? In the example above, the original requisition had to go to someone with $300K approval authority. If the PO is changed to add $300K more, the PO Change would need to go to someone with a $600K approval authority. All of the approvals required for a $600K PO will be received when the PO Change makes it through the approval process.

This service PO is an excellent example of when you might want to allow a user to request a change.

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. First, you need to create an approval group for the individual(s) you would like to review and approve all PO Changes. (Setup > Approval Groups >Create) For the purpose of this article we created an approval group called PO Change Approver.

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  1. Next, you will want to create a custom Checkbox field on the Requisition line. Be sure to name it Change Request, make it active, editable, and not required. Then click the Save and Copy to Order Line button. Click Done when you're finished.

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  1. Now go to the Custom field for Purchase Orders and scroll down to the PO Line area of the page. You will see a checkbox named Change Request that you just copied from you Req line. Click on the new checkbox and set it to Required.

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Let’s pause for a second. So what are we doing? We’ve created a field that isn’t required on the requisition but is required on the Purchase Order. Your user will not have to select this box until they are requesting a change to a purchase order. Concerned that your user’s won’t remember to check the box? Don’t worry I’ll show you how it works after the next step.

  1. Now that we’ve created the approval group and the custom field, we need to build an approval chain for a requisition. Select Setup > Approvals > Add Requisition Chain. After clicking Add Requisition Chain, name the new approval chain Change Request, set the Priority to 1, if you want this group to be the first approval for a change. If you want them to review after the original chain approves then set priority to over 50.
  2. We are then going to set the following conditions:
  • If it exceeds $0.00.
  • If Line Change Request “equals” “True” or “Not Equal to” “False”.

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  1. Now let’s add the approval group as the approver:
  • Add PO CHANGE APPROVER as the Approver.
  • Place $1.00 as the Amount.
  • Click Save at the bottom of the page.

So far we’ve created the Approval Group, Custom Fields and the Approval Chain. Now let’s test it to see how it works.

  1. As a user, open a PO that originated from a requisition you created and click Request Change. Change the price of the PO or the Qty and click Submit.

I submitted the change and received the following error because I did not check the Change request checkbox.

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Now we know that a user cannot submit a PO Change without checking that required checkbox and we know our Approval Chain will always fire off because the Checkbox will only be True on PO Changes.

  1. Now let’s test the change and click the Change Request checkbox:

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Other conditions

Now that you have the “Change Request” as a required field, you can now limit your users to only those commodities that you want change requests available. By setting up a submission blocking requisition approval chain, where “Line Change request = True and Commodity does not equal “Services”, you will keep your employees from requesting changes to quickly fulfilled POs such as Office Supplies.

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Key take-a-ways

  1. If you haven’t allowed your users to request changes before, you now have the ability to allow changes within your Coupa instance.
  2. If your business process requires additional approval, when there is a PO Change, the steps above show you how to accomplish this requirement.
  3. Building off the concepts in this article you could even lock the PO Change request process down to a specific commodity.