Summary: This tutorial article and accompanying video will demonstrate how to configure Association Settings in Vantaca to allow board approval of invoices. This video will also demonstrate how to setup homeowners with the role of Board Invoice Approver, for the approval of invoices through the Owner's Portal.
With Vantaca, Board approval of invoices is easy. The management company can define exactly which invoices require board approval and board members can approve invoices straight from their Owner’s Portal so no separate logins are required! In Vantaca, Board Approval is an optional step in the invoice action item process that is customizable by association, by Association Service Contract and by bank account.
There are three ways to set up Board Approval for Invoices. The Vantaca system will search for them in this order:
For example, if an Associations Settings are not marked for board approval and the Bank Account or Service Contract is marked for board approval, then the invoice will go to the board for approval.
Approval by Association
To turn on board approval of invoices for an association, go to the Association -> Setting page, navigate to the A/P Payment section and change the Require Board Approval Setting to Yes.
If Board Approval is set to "Yes," the Board Approval Threshold will define the invoice amount that will be required to send an invoice to Board approval. Any invoices under this threshold will not be sent for board approval. So, for example, if your board wants to approve all invoices over $500, you will want to set Require Board Approval to “Yes” and the Board Approval Threshold to $500.
Using Association Service Contracts to Override Board Approval Settings
In Vantaca, you can setup an Association Service Contract to override your association’s Board Approval settings. Changing approval settings by service contract will allow:
- certain invoices to go to board approval or conversely,
- prevent specific invoices from going to board approval based on their service contract
To setup board approval criteria for association service contracts, go to the Association -> Services page, and select the dropdown next to your service.
If no Service Contract yet exists you can create a new contract by clicking the New Contract button, or to edit an existing Service Contact, click the edit button. Always be sure that your service contract has a unique contract account number and that the start date and end dates are active for the period in which you would like the contract to be active. You always need a start date, but you do not need to enter an end date.
Now, Click on the approvals section and use the Board Approval dropdown menu to define whether you want this service contract to “Require Board Approval or override your associations/ Board approval settings by selecting “No Board Approval.” Click Update to save your settings.
Approval by Bank Account
Vantaca also gives you the ability to allow for board approval of invoices paid out of specific bank accounts through the Association -> Bank Accounts page. Just click edit and select the Require Board Approval box.
Once your board approval setup is complete, any invoices flagged as requiring board approval will stop on the Board Approval step of the invoice action item, which is assigned to the role of “Board Invoice Approver.”
Creating Board Invoice Approvers
To assign a Homeowner, Board Member or non-homeowner member the role of Board Invoice Approver, go to the Association -> Board/ Committee page and select the Board/ Committee tab. Be sure to confirm your association at the top of the page. If you need to change associations, you can click on the association and begin typing to search for your association. Now, click on the Assign New Board/ Committee member button.
If your board invoice approver is not a Homeowner in the association you have selected, then you will want to set your Board Invoice Approver up with Non-homeowner member access. A classic example of non-homeowner access is a developer who does not have homeowner login credentials, but still needs to approve invoices for that association. Select the Role of Board Invoice approver and select a type, such as Board member. The start date and end date should be entered for the term of their approval access, although an end date is not required. Keep in mind that this user will lose access to their role upon reaching the end date and will no longer to be able to approve invoices after that time.
From here, you will need to assign a Username, email address and password. If you do provide a phone number for your non-homeowner member, that will be displayed in the directory of the owner’s portal. Any additional contact information entered here is purely notational, is not displayed on the portal directory and is not required. However, this information can be helpful for you to keep track of your Board Invoice approvers.
If your board invoice approver is a homeowner in the association and they already have a login established, you can scroll to search for and select their existing portal login. By selecting an existing login, your invoice approver will be able to approve invoices using the same website and login credentials as their Homeowner access, through the Vantaca Owner’s Portal.
Please note that you will NOT need to assign a password for the access you just created, the password for the board invoice approver access will be the same password that the owner uses to access their owner’s portal. Simply select the role of Board Invoice Approver and the appropriate type and then click update.
Once an Invoice has been flagged as requiring board approval, those with the role of Board Invoice Approver will receive invoice action items in their homeowner portal on the Board Action Items page. Board members can approve, decline, or message about invoices. Any invoices that a board member declines will be sent to the Board Declined Invoice step for further review. Board members can also research invoices using the Invoices tab on their homeowner portal, depending on their board portal securities.