Users And Staff

Multi-Level Approvals


Multi-level approvals provide a thorough review process before time and expenses are billed to the client and before they're posted to your accounting system. Plus, extra reviews can catch small, but costly mistakes, like erroneous time entries.

Have up to three levels of approval review a staffer’s time and expenses when you use multi-level approvals, a BigTime feature available for Premier subscribers. Pro level users get one level of approval. You decide who reviews your staffer’s submissions and when they’re reviewed. For example, Company A has a team lead, manager, and a finance administrator review a staffer’s time and expenses. Company B has a manager and financial administrator review them.

This article is all about multi-level approvals. You’ll learn:

  • How to access multi-level approvals,
  • Who can approve time and expenses, and
  • What the multi-level approval workflow looks like.

Access Multi-Level Approvals

Follow these steps to access the multi-level approval feature in BigTime.

  1. Click My Company...Pending Approvals from the navigation bar.

  2. Click Edit Settings under Timesheets and/or Expenses. 

  3. Click on the red arrow and a picklist of options—none, Team Lead, Staff Manager, Financial/Admin—will populate in each of the three categories: Primary Approval, Secondary Approval, and Final Approval.

    Select one option for each category, for up to three categories. In other words, you can choose only to have one primary approver; a primary and a secondary approver; or three approvers.

  4. Click Save to save your work.

Who Can Approve Time and Expenses

The following roles can have a role in the multi-level review process:

  • Staff Managers,
  • Project Team Leads, and/or
  • Financial/Administrators.

Any combination of these roles can function as your “primary,” “secondary,” or “final” approver, as shown in the image below. 

Keep in mind that you don’t have to have use all three levels of approval. In the “timesheets” image above (the image on the left), we only have one level of approval.

Workflow for Multi-Level Reviews

See our example below to better understand the workflow for multi-level reviews.

Based on the image above, this is how the multi-level workflow works:

  • Staffer submits time and expenses.
  • Team lead (primary approval) reviews the submission and approves or rejects it. Once approved, the submission moves to the next stage in the review process.
  • Staff Manager (secondary approval) reviews the submission and approves or rejects it. Once approved, the submission moves to the final stage in the review process.
  • Financial/Admin (final approval) reviews the submission and approves or rejects it.

NOTE: If time or expenses get rejected at any level, the approval process starts over again and goes through each level of approval.

Only approved items will be available for the next approver to review. For example, approved items from the primary level will be available to review on the secondary level.

To learn more about this feature or our three product levels, please contact your sales representative or email us at


Was This Helpful?