Experience Seamless Automation

On-boarding Checklist

Data Sets

The datasets we require to setup each Business in Zahara are as follows:

  • Users
  • Suppliers
  • Nominal Codes
  • Tax Codes
  • Cost Codes (Optional)
  • Projects (Optional)

For users, we need First Name, Last Name & Email Address. These can be sent in a spreadsheet. See the section below on user membership and structure.


If you are using a sync finance system (Xero, MYOB, QuickBooks) or have opted for SmartSync, your suppliers will sync directly and you don't need to take any action on this. Otherwise we will require a CSV or Excel spreadsheet with at least Supplier Name, Account Code (Short supplier name). However the more information you provide us the more we can map to corresponding fields in Zahara.

Nominal Codes

Same as suppliers in terms of sync but if you are supplying a CSV file we need the code and the description.

Tax Codes

Again sync if we can otherwise a CSV file with Tax Code, Tax Rate and description.

Cost Codes

These are our optional select lists for line items. You can use them in anyway you like. Xero users can map them against one tracking category. Sage users might want to use them as a department code if they don't use Projects and Cost Codes. Again, if we can sync them we will otherwise provide a CSV file with Code and Description.


Projects should be used as projects if possible and can be synced with a Xero tracking category or a Sage Project. The key fields we need here are Project Code, Project Name, Description, Start Date and End Date.


For every Business / Company you wish to have setup, we need the structure in terms of departments and people. A Business Unit in Zahara will map to a Company / entity in your finance system and are ring-fenced. For every Business we need to know:

  • Division Names (Departments)
  • User membership for the Division
  • Division Head (manager)
  • Approval workflows for Purchases
  • Approval workflows for Invoices

For every business we are setting up we need the key datasets above with the users sitting across all of the Businesses.


Divisions are the natural groupings of people inside the organisation. You can use these as departments, sites or locations. Once the Division is created - as an example, "Sales", we assign the users we have already created, and then create the workflows.

User Membership

On a spreadsheet just list the Division and the users. Each user can have one of five roles - Finance, Admin, Receiver, Buyer & Approver. Please state their roles on the spreadsheet. We can fine tune permissions later. A user can belong to more than one Division.

Division Head

For each of the Divisions, if there is a manager or head, flag this so we can use that variable in Approval workflows.

Approval Workflows

Approval workflows are created in Divisions and if we have our structure correct and our users created, we can create approval workflows for both purchases and invoices. How you get the requirements to us is up to you. We can work with a flow chart diagram or set of rules. Have a look at the diagram below to understand how workflows work.

Purchase Order Approval Wokflow

In this example, we have 3 approvers involved. The HOD will only be asked to approve if the price of the order is over £500. The GM will be asked to approve if its over £5000 and the CFO when it's over £20000. Any one of them can reject and cancel the order. The workflow will jump to update the buyer if the approver isn't required to approve, and the previous approval step was positive. This is a typical approval workflow for Purchase Orders.

Approval Workflows for Orders

A typical order workflow will cover approvals, notifications and sending a purchase order. Wherever possible we will want to create one workflow and then distribute this across all Divisions changing the people involved. You can supply a matrix to us with the rules. A typical workflow will have 3 conditional approval steps, a step to email the buyer to say the order has been approved and a step to send the purchase order to the supplier. Our advice is to keep it simple. Don't agonise and over engineer. Something will be better than nothing and will help you to save money faster.

Invoice Approval

The main thing to think about here is what conditions will push an invoice out for approval. Non PO invoices will be handled differently to PO invoices. What price threshold do you want for an order invoice to require approval. The outcome for an invoice approval should be to export the invoice to the finance system. If you have a sync finance system this can be an automated step, otherwise you will need an output file.

Invoice Approval Wokflow

In this example, for invoices that are linked to an order, we are testing a condition to see if the Invoice exceeds the order by more than £10 or 5%. If this is true then we will ask the buyer to approve the invoice.

An invoice that is standalone - example, a utility bill, will typically follow the same approval workflow as an order.


If you are rolling budgets from the start we will need to import budget data. Budgets can be assigned to either a department or a project. The key data we need is:

  • Budget Name
  • Budget basis - Nominal Codes, Cost Codes or Absolute amount
  • Budget period - Year, Ongoing (Project), Monthly, Quarterly
  • Budget amount - usually code, period, amount
  • Budget carry forward - do we enable over or underspend to be carried into the next period?
  • Budget assignment - what is this budget being assigned to - Department or Project
Budget Setup

Budgets aren't difficult to setup but do require the right information to be provided to us. We would recommend Budgets are setup towards the end of on-boarding once we have all the other data in place.

On-boarding Procedure

Setting up Zahara isn't complicated or time-consuming. If your finance system syncs with Zahara we will pull in a lot of the data we need. In that scenario, we just need the users and the workflows for each of the entities we are setting up

Our on-boarding team will get to work straight away. A typical project will work like this:

  • Schedule a kick-off meeting to understand your expectations. Agree a go-live date
  • Setup key information working with data you have supplied
  • Schedule a training session to show you the Zahara setup
  • You now test Zahara and get familiar with everything
  • Schedule any additional training
  • Make any changes to setup or required refinements
  • Go Live - start using Zahara
  • You deliver end user training
  • Liaise with our on-boarding team for help and support
  • Move over to ticketing support when comfortable
Useful Help Guides
Take control and book in with one of our AP Specialists today.