Approve an Invoice​


You can approve invoices on the Approval or the Multi Proc screen, depending on your agency's process.  Your Administrator may enable approvals by detail line, which will give you different options to approve invoices. Also, your Payment Services Administrator may restrict you from approving certain PCAs or Indexes.

On the final approval, you can set the date that the invoice payment is sent from Payment Services to STARS, or the date that the invoice payment will process in STARS (the effective date) after it is sent from Payment Services. Otherwise, invoices approved at the final level by 6:30 PM MST of the business day will be sent to STARS that night. After that time, approved invoices will be sent at the end of the next business day.

Batch Numbers

If your agency records or tracks batch numbers, the “Today’s Batch Number” is displayed at the top of the Payment Services page. When invoice payments are approved and released from Payment Services, they will be automatically assigned this batch number.

Figure 1 - Batch number

batch number highlighted 

Select an Invoice

(If you are a Fiscal Coder and an Approver, you can click Save & Continue on the Distribute screen, and then click the Approval tab.)

1. From the Payment Services main menu, click Invoice.

2. If needed, you can search for invoices on the Status screen:

a. Select the appropriate status from the Status drop down menu. The status should be Awaiting Name of Approval Level. (Your agency’s Payment Services administrator will create the Name of Approval Level.)

b. Enter any other search criteria to help you find an invoice, such as Vendor Name, Invoice Date, etc.

c. Click Find.

Figure 2 - Status screen

Status screen with three invoices shown 

3. Click Select next to an invoice.

  • If you do not have appropriate permissions to open a document, a message will be displayed stating so (it could be that your administrator has restricted your approvals by PCA or Index).

Approve Invoice Payments

If you are unable to approve an invoice or line item e.g., if an Approve button or the check box of a line item is unavailable (a stop symbolred stop circlewill be displayed), it is possible that:

  • Your Payment Services Administrator has enabled approval by detail line.
  • The line item is coded with a PCA or Index that you have not been assigned.
  • The BFY of the invoice detail line may not match the BFY of the PCA or Index (as set up on the STARS PCA or Index Descriptor Table).

1. Review the invoice details (invoice number, payment date, vendor and vendor number, amount/distributed amount, etc.) as well as the fiscal coding (RefDoc, PCA, Expenditure Subobject, etc).

Figure 3 - Invoice details

Invoice shown with invoice number, payment date, vendor name and address, total amount and fiscal coding fields highlighted 

2. To see more information about some of the fiscal coding fields, select the ‘Title check box’ for the fiscal code to display its title. For example, select SubObj Title to display the title of the subobject code. Uncheck the ‘Title check box’ to hide the title.

Figure 4 - Fiscal code titles

PCA title check box and description field highlighted 

3. To see any history of previous approvals for an invoice or a line item(s), click View under the History column.

Figure 5 - Approval history

View link and approval history pop up window shown 

4. If you are the final approver, a Payment Request Date dialog box appears. See below for your options before approving.

5. To approve all items on the invoice, click the Approve button.

  • To unapprove the invoice, click Undo Approval, select the “status” you want to set the invoice back to, and then click Save.

Figure 6 - Approval and Undo Approval buttons

Approve and undo approval buttons highlighted 

5. After saving the approval, you can send e-mail notifications whether email functionality has been enabled by your administrator or not. If enabled, a prompt to send notifications will be displayed when you approve or unapprove the invoice. Use it to send an e-mail to the next level of approver(s). Otherwise click the Send Email Notification button to notify the next level of approvers.

Approve by Detail Line Item

If your Payment Services Administrator has enabled approvals by detail line, use one of two options:

  • check box will be displayed next to each invoice line item. Select each line item's check box to approve, and then click Save & Continue or Save & Clear.
  • If you do not have any assigned PCA/Index for approval (i.e., you can “approve all”), an Approve button may be available as well. Click this to approve all detail lines, even if you have selected only some of them.

Figure 7 - Detail line approvals

Approval check boxes and save buttons highlighted 

Final Approval, Payment Request Date, and STARS Effective Date

1. When the final approval level is selected, a Payment Request Date dialog box appears. This allows the final approver to select:

  • The Payment Request Date - the date when Payment Services sends the invoice transaction to STARS (at the end of the business day of that date).
  • The STARS Effective Date - the date when STARS processes the invoice transaction.

Figure 8 - Payment Request Date and STARS Effective Date

Payment request date and STARS effective date fields highlighted 

2. Choose one of the Payment Request Date options to set when the transaction is sent from Payment Services to STARS:

  • Keep the default date or enter a new date in the Payment Request Date field (or use the calendar icon to select a date).
  • Select Invoice Payment Date. This will use the date that is entered on the Payment Date field of the Invoice screen.
  • Select Invoice Approval Date. This will use the date on which the invoice is approved.

Invoices approved after 6:30PM MST of the business day will be sent to STARS at the end of the following business day.

3. If needed, change the date in the STARS Effective Date field or use the calendar icon to select a date.

  • STARS uses the Effective Date to post the transaction in either the prior month or the current month.
  • You can enter a prior month effective date only within the first three days of the current month. This is when STARS considers the prior month to still be “open”.
  • Changing the STARS Effective Date will not change the Payment Date on the Invoice or Status screens.

4. Click Save & Continue.

5. Click the Approve button.

E-mail Notifications

You can send email notifications whether email functionality has been enabled by your administrator or not. If enabled, a prompt to send notifications will be displayed when you complete fiscal coding and/or distribution.

If e-mail functionality is enabled by your administrator

1.  An e-mail dialog box will appear after you approve an invoice or undo an approval. The e-mail dialogue box should list of all recipients for the next approval level.

2. Highlight a recipient’s name. Press and hold CTRL and click the left mouse button to highlight multiple names.

3. Type a comment if desired.

4. Click Send. Click Queue if you want to save notifications to be sent automatically at the end of the day.

  • Queue: e-mails are queued for all distributions that you save. Then only one e-mail notification will be sent to each recipient automatically at the end of the day.
  • Otherwise, click the Send E-mail Notification button at the bottom of the page to send queued notifications manually..

Figure 7 - E-mail notification

list of email notification recipients 

If e-mail functionality is not enabled by your administrator

1. Click the Send Email Notifications button at the bottom of the page.

2. Follow the steps above to select and send notification.

Figure 8 - Send Email button

 Send email notification button