In the first step, consider who, what, when, why, and where. These questions can help to design your approval workflow:

  • Which documents need to be approved?
  • Which key factors could be changed or considered while approving?
  • Who is responsible for approving? Why and when?
  • Which factors influence assigning approval responsibility to a particular person — location, department, project, and threshold?

Your approval chain should be as efficient as possible — thus, it needs to be simple and clear:

  • Your teammates should understand why certain requests/orders/invoices require approval;
  • Responsible people should know the key factors and how they will be tracked;
  • There should be no extra steps.  

Approval Process Simplicity & Clarity are critical because: 

  • Approval is a time-consuming process, and "time is money." The longer the process, the more steps you have, and the more expensive the purchasing process is;
  • Unclear and extra steps can lead to confusion or create mistakes and deliver unwanted results;
  • Ordering, invoicing, and making payment depend upon the proper functioning of the approval process. 

To set up the Approval Workflow, follow these steps:

1. Define the variables that will impact your Precoro Approval Workflow: 

To make the Custom Field available for selection in Approval Workflow, you must mark the 'Available in Approval Workflow' checkbox as active. After that, you'll be able to set up approval based on Departments, Projects, or other Documents Custom Fields:

Mark the 'Available in Approval Workflow' check-box as active on the Document Custom Fields page

2. Once done, follow the next steps and add the approval chain:

  • Go to the left side of the menu and choose the Configuration Approval workflow
  • Hit on Create New Step, enter the name for the step, select the user and documents you want to set the approval for. 
  • Add as many steps and approvers as you wish but remember to keep it simple and clear. 

Follow these steps to set up the approval workflow

You can add Approval steps at any place within the Approval Workflow:

Add a new approval step at any place within the Approval Workflow

Please note: changes made to the existing Approval Workflow will not affect previously approved steps or any 'pending documents.'

How to set up an approver:

Every approver can have a set of rules: 

  • Approval Threshold of the document;
  • Locations;
  • Departments and Projects or any other Documents Custom Fields;
  • Custom Approval Thresholds per Location or Department/Project;

For example, a user can approve all purchases in the IT department and all purchases up to $500 in the CSM department. To do that, hit on Customize Threshold

You can customize your Approval Workflow for the users by hitting on the button Customize

You can add an Approver for multiple approval steps in the Approval Workflow — so one user can be an approver for two or more steps.

add an Approver for multiple approval steps

What is more — you can set up the documents auto-approval
This feature will automatically authorize all previous approval steps, including yours, if you are the creator or approver of the document.
Note: it activates an auto-approval for all company documents and approvers.

To configure auto-approval:

  • Go to Configuration —> Basic Settings —> MISC 
  • Mark the checkbox Allow Documents Auto-Approval as active

set up the documents auto-approval

Here is a widespread case of how to configure the Approval Workflow:

One of the approvers is the CFO. The CFO:

  1. Approves all purchases of Finance department as a first approver
  2. Approves all purchases of other departments as a last approver if the purchase amount exceeds $10 000
  3. CFO is assigned to the first approval step and the last approval step. 

Approval chain example

Someone from the Finance department creates a Purchase Order with the total amount of $15 000. In that case, the CFO has to approve the document twice — as the first approver and the last one.

But if the CFO is the creator of this Purchase Order, there can be two options:

  • If the documents auto-approve is active — the document will be automatically approved on the last step after confirmation;
  • If the documents auto-approve is inactive, the first step will be automatically approved after the document confirmation.

In case the CFO should approve the document only once (as a first approver only), we suggest removing the Finance department from his second approval step.

How to delete a user from the Approval Workflow

To remove somebody from the Approval Workflow please consider the following article.

How to check Revision History in the Approval Workflow

You can see and compare the changes made in the Approval Workflow using the Revision History button. 

This function is available for all Approval Workflow documents in all the steps.

To utilize this function:

1. Click the Revision History button in the Approval step to see the changes were made.

2. Select the two revisions for comparison and click the Compare Revisions button below.

3. Press the Show Changes Only button to see which alterations were made.

How to Build a Parallel Approval Workflow

Please consider this article, which will provide you with the helpful additional insights on the parallel worlkflow in Precoro.