How to Design and Set Up an Approval Workflow

TABLE OF CONTENTS


In the first step, define the who, what, when, why, and where. The following questions may help you design your approval workflow:

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

To set up an Approval Workflow, follow these steps:


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

  • Location
  • Department
  • Project
  • Threshold.

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




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

  • Go to the left side of the menu and choose ConfigurationApproval Workflow.
  • Press Create New Step, enter the name for the step, and 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. 



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




Please note: Changes made to the existing Approval Workflow will not affect previously approved steps.


Also, please be aware that in documents, the step numbers from the flow are not displayed, only the names of the steps you have entered:

How to Set Up an Approver

To set users as Approvers they must have the corresponding Role for the needed document and make sure you provide a user with access to the needed Locations and Custom Fields. 


Approval Roles, Locations, and Custom Fields can be appointed on the User Management page:

More information on User Roles in Precoro can be found here.

With Direct Manager Approval Functionality


You can multi-select the Document Requsters — users with Create roles for whom the Approver will perform the document approval. This additional option to select the authorized Approvers for particular Creators will simplify your workflow and allow the approval process to be more seamless.

This functionality works as follows:


1. Proceed to ConfigurationsBasic SettingsApprovalDirect Manager Approval and activate this setting for your company.



2. When you edit the existing or add a new Approver to the step, you will see the Document Requester list of users who have Creator roles for the document. By default, the setting All Document Requesters is applied.


3. Select the needed users from the list, adjust Threshold, Locations, and DCF settings, and save the changes.

The Document Requester works in connection with other settings: Threshold, Locations, and DCF. 

For example, suppose you, as an Approver, selected your coworker as a requester and activated certain DCF options. In that case, you will get to approve documents created by that coworker who used your DCF options in the document.


4. All is set! Now, the added Approver will process documents from the chosen users.

You can also customize limits for the Document Requester field in the Customize threshold settings. To proceed, you need to confirm that you want to customize approval thresholds, and after the confirmation, you will see the edit icons next to the Requester Names. Click on the edit icon, and you will be able to set the custom limit with the help of these filters:

  • Any — no matter what the document total is, you will always approve the documents created by this Requester.
  • Less or Equal — lets you set the minimal and equal thresholds for the document total. So, by selecting Less or Equal 3000, you will be approving only those documents whose total is less or exactly 3000. If the total in the document is 3001, the document will not be sent for your approval.
  • From — lets you set the starting threshold for the document total. So, by selecting From 3000, you will be approving only those documents whose total is greater than 3000. If the total in the document equals 2999, the document will not be sent for your approval.
  • From To — lets you set the threshold for the document total, setting the minimum and maximum amount where your approval for the document will get triggered. For example, by selecting From 3000 To 6000, you will be approving only those documents whose total is greater than 3000 and less than 6000. If the total in the document equals 2999 or 6001, the document will not be sent for your approval.

After setting up the limits, you will also be able to use the Reset Approval Threshold function and make the necessary changes.

 

Important to Note with Direct Manager Approval:

  • If the creator of the document is changed and it affects the set workflow, reapproval will be triggered.
  • Super User still has the ability to approve documents with direct manager approval.
  • The Parallel Workflow process is working as usual.

Without Direct Manager Approval


Firstly, remember to provide the needed Approval roles to the people who will be responsible for the process.

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.

Make sure that the user you appoint as Approver has the necessary access to Locations, Items, and Documents Custom Fields to perform document confirmation in User Management and in the Workflow itself.

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, press Customize Threshold




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.




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 and 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 → Approval.
  • Activate the Allow Documents Auto-Approval checkbox and click Save.

Common Approval Workflow Configuration Case


One of the approvers is the CFO. The CFO can do the following:

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



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




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

  • If the document auto-approve is active, the document will be automatically approved on the last step after confirmation.
  • If the document 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 the first approver only), we suggest removing the Finance department from his second approval step.

How to Update the Existing Approval Workflow


You can edit and make updates in the existing Approval Workflow, to learn more, please consult this article.

How to Delete a User from an Approval Workflow



To remove somebody from the Approval Workflow please consider the following article, where you can find two ways of user removal:

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 at the Approval step to see the changes made.


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


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



You can also check the last date update in the top right corner of the Approver card:


How to Build a Parallel Approval Workflow


Please read this article, which will provide you with additional helpful insights on parallel workflows in Precoro.