Approvals

Approvals

Setting up an Approval

To configure an approval, you need to follow the steps given below.

  • From Home, go to Setup > Approvals > Add Approval
  • Give basic details like Form Name and name of the approval

Note: The approval created is, for a specific form. Hence selecting the right form is very important.

  • Set Criteria:

Define the criteria here based on which the approval will be triggered.

  • Approvals:

You can either configure an approver or select one of the two options which are Auto approve and auto-reject.

Approver types are as follows: Reporting To (up to 5 levels), Department Lead of Login User, Approver based on Role, Department Head, Department Members, Employee, Project Manager based approval, Form Field and Allow employees to choose the approver when adding a record.

Form Fields are helpful in scenarios where you want to select the approver based on the fields of a particular form. For eg. assume that you are configuring an approval for a travel form, and the travel form has a field called 'Travel team head'. In case you want the travel requests to be approved by both the reporting manager and the head of the travel team, then you can configure a two-level approver. In the first level, you can select 'Reporting To' and in the second level, you can select, Form Field and select 'Travel head' from the drop-down. 

  • Enable follow up:

Check the box if you would like to do a follow-up for the approval.

  • Configure suitable message template:

In the From field, define who is the sender of the email and in the To field, define the recipient of the approval email. Type the message that needs to be in the email. In the To field, there are few options listed from which you can select the one you need. 

System options

  • Approver - If you select this option, the email will go to the Approver who is configured
  • Team mail id of the person performing this action - If you select this option, the follow-up email will be sent to the Team mail id of the person who submitted the approval request
  • Person performing this action - This action refers to the user who is actually triggering the action like Requestor(create/ edit actions), approver(approve/reject actions)

    Note: In case of reminder alone "Person performing this action" refers/ points out to the employee's record(the user whose record is in question)

  • Reporting Manager of login user - If you select this option, the email will be sent to the Reporting manager of the person who submitted the approval request

User list

This option pulls out the list of all users. You can select the person who needs to receive the follow-up email. You can also search user here.

Role List:

This option pulls out the list of all roles. You can select the role to which the follow-up email needs to be sent to. You can also do a search here.



Department List - If you select this option, the email will be sent to the respective department head.

Form Fields - If you select this option, all the lookup fields of the selected form will be displayed. 

You can select the 'Notify All' if required

Approval Notifications

Once the approval configuration is done a notification goes automatically to the one who sent the request for approval along with the status of the request.This notification informs employees regarding their approval status, whether it is approved or rejected.

  • Give a cc and Bcc if need and enter a Subject
  • Under Message, you can either retain the standard template or 'Edit the template to include your text
  • Click Save

Levels of Approvals

Approvals can be configured up to five levels of Reporting To. Apart from this, you can also configure approvers based on the options given in the drop-down like Employee, Approver based on role, Department head etc. 

Let us consider a scenario where you have configured three levels of approvers.

The first level is Reporting To, the second level is Department Head and the third level is HR Head. In this case, the approval request will be first sent to Reporting To, next to the Department Head and finally to the HR head because this is the order in which you have configured. If the request is rejected in the first level, then it will not go for approval to the second and the third level at all.

Note: The Reporting To field is purely based on the record owner and is a dynamic field. This applies to the Department Head too because this field is also based on the department to which the record owner belongs to. 

As for the email messages too, initially, an email alert will be sent to the Reporting To as per the email template that you have created. Once the first level approval is done, the same email alert will be sent to the second level approver - i.e the Department Head and after this level of approval is also done, the email alert will go to the third level approver. If the request is not approved at one level, the email alert will not be triggered to the next level approver at all. 

Let us consider another scenario as explained below.

You would like to configure an approval for a travel form which has criteria that if the travel claim is in a particular range, it should go to approver A and if the travel amount is more than a particular amount, it has to go to approver B, then you will have to create more than one Approval for this. You need to configure 3 approvals to achieve this scenario. 

Approval I with the condition that If the total travel amount is from $ 500 to $ 1000, it has to go to approver A. 

Approval II, with the condition that if the total travel amount is more than $1000, then it has to be approved by approver B.

Approval III with that condition that if the total travel amount exceeds $5000, it has to go to Approver C.

In this case, if an employee submits an approval request for $6000, the approval request can go to either Approver B or Approver C depending on how the configuration is prioritized in the Approvals tab.

When you click on the Approvals tab, all the approval configurations are listed. In this list, the priority should be set. For example, if you would like to set the Approval request exceeding $5000 as top priority, then this approval configuration should be listed as the first one. If this is done, then, requests which exceed $5000 will automatically go to Approver C, instead of going to Approver B. 

To set the priority, follow the steps given below.

  • From your home page, go to Set up(gear icon) > Approvals

You will see the list of the approval configurations that are created for various forms.

  • Select the form from the drop down to see the approval configurations that are done for that particular form
  • Drag and drop the one which you need to set as top priority 

Note: This drag and drop will not work when approval configurations of all the forms are listed. So, it is mandatory to select the form for which you would like to see the approvals configured so that you can set the priority using the drag and drop option.

Once you have done this, the Approval will be triggered depending on the priority that you have defined.

Approval Follow-ups

Once you have configured the email alert to be sent to the approver for approval, you might want to do a follow up until the approval is done. The Follow-up option is useful in this scenario.

Check the 'Enable follow-up option for this approval' box and define if the follow-up has to be one-time or a repeated follow up. If it is a repeated follow up, you can define the number of times the follow-up email has to go to the approver.

This option is for sending automatic notifications for a follow-up to the approver.

There is also an option in the request screen, to manually follow up while sending a request for approval.

Approval Settings

Allow records to be edited during the approval process

This option will enable records to be edited by users, after submitting it for approvals and simultaneously re-triggering of the approval process.

As an administrator, you will be able to edit any record even after it is sent for approval. Also, the approver has the permission to edit records of users whose approvals he/she is approving. However, if you would like to enable your users to edit their records after sending it for approval, you need to follow the steps given below.

  • From your home page, go to Settings > Approvals
  • Select the form for which you would like to enable this option
  • Click on Approval Settings and check the option 'Allow records to be edited during the approval process'

  • Click Save

When you enable this option, users will be able to edit the record even after submitting it for approval. Further, you can also include the fields, that, when edited will re-trigger the approval process. The Approval process can be re-triggered based on editing of the record or based on any of the fields of the record.

Note: 1. Each time there is an edit in the record or any of the fields (if set) of the selected form, the entire approval process will be triggered again. The email notifications will also be sent to the first level approver for each edit. By default, the approver and the administrator have the rights to edit the record that is submitted for approval.

Note: 2. Editing of records by users is not possible for Leave form, Attendance regularization form, Multi-Rater form, Compensatory Off form and for Timesheets that are submitted for approval.

Notify record owner of approver details and approver comments

By default, when a request is sent for approval, the record owner will be notified (through feeds and email) of the status of the approval along with the comments made by the approver. However, if you do not want this notification to be enabled, it is possible to keep it disabled.

Follow the steps to do this

  • From your home page, go to Settings > Approvals
  • Select the form for which you would like to disable this option
  • Click on 'Approval Settings' and un-check 'Notify record owner of the approver details and approval comments'

  • Click Save

Once this is disabled, the record owner will not receive any notification (through feeds or emails). Only the final status of the approval can be viewed in the record view. No other details (like approver names etc) will be seen in this view.

The request (along with status) can be viewed only by the approver(s) and the administrators. It can also be approved by everyone up the approval hierarchy until the Head of the Department.

Note 1: In case you have disabled notifications and still want to have the notification email to be sent when the record gets approved, you can have this done by creating a workflow.

Note 2: If the record owner and the approver are one and the same person, then the complete status of the request (at each level) can be viewed by the record owner.

Validate before sending for approval

It is possible to validate a record, and then send it for approval later when required. Approval Settings for the same should be set in the first place.

  • From your Home page, go to Settings(Gear icon) > Approvals
  • Select the form and click on 'Approval Settings'

Note: This option is not applicable for module forms like Leave, Compensatory Off, Timesheet, Attendance, Multi-rater, Goal and Goal Sheet forms

  • Enable option 'Validate before sending for approval'
  • Click 'Save'

Now if an approval is configured for a form, whenever a record is added, the record will not go for approval immediately. It can be validated and sent for approval when needed.

 Tip: Click here to know about configuring approvals.

To validate and send the record for approval,

  • Add a record to the option enabled form, enter details and click 'Submit'

Now the record will not be sent for approval. You can validate the record as necessary and then send it for approval later.

  • Click 'Send for Approval' after validating as required.

Note: The 'Send for Approval' button will be visible only to the record owner, other than the Administrator.

 

Criteria Mismatch

Any request for that does not match the criteria set in the configuration gets auto-approved by default. However, you can have a different approver configured for requests that do not match the criteria given. Follow the steps given below

  • From your home page, go to Settings > Approvals
  • Select the form for which you would like to enable this option
  • Under 'Configuration', go to 'For Criteria Mismatch' and select the required option from the drop-down

  • Click Save

When a request does not match the criteria that you have defined, it will follow the settings that you have defined here. 

For a better understanding, consider this use case on how to auto reject approvals.While adding the Approval, you can define the criteria and under 'Approvals', you need to select 'Auto reject'. In this case, when the request doesn't match the criteria, it gets auto-rejected.

For example, in a travel form, you can set criteria to auto reject claims that are above 10k $. However, it is mandatory to put this approval on top of the list of approvals configured. So, when a request is raised, the system will first check if the request satisfies the auto reject approval, and then proceed with the other approvals that are configured.

In Case of No Approver

Generally, when there is no approver as per the approval configuration, the request comes to the administrator for approval. However, you can have a different configuration done for such approvals. 

Follow the steps given below to do this.

  • From your home page, go to Settings > Approvals
  • Select the form and click on 'Approval Settings'
  • Under 'Configuration', select the desired option from the drop-down under 'In case of no Approver' - you have various options like Employee, Group etc
     

  • Click Save

Assume a scenario, where you have configured an approval for the travel form, based on a criterion. I.e - you have defined that if the travel claim amount is less than $1000, then it should be approved by the Team lead. Now, with the help of this new configuration, you will be able to define that the requests that do not match this criterion should be sent to someone else (whoever you define) for approval.

Note: 1. The Approval Settings is applicable only when there is an approval configured. The approval configuration can, however, be done before or after completing the Approval Settings. In case you have defined an approver for criteria mismatch or for no approver, but there is no approval configured, then the Settings will not be applicable.

Note: 2. In case there is more than one level of approvers, and there is no approver found for the first level, then the request will go to the second level of approver. It will only follow the order of approvers as per the approval configuration. Only when there is no approver available for all the levels in the approval configuration, the request will abide by the rule set under Approval Settings.

 

Relative Use Cases

Use case-1: To configure approvals for leave form

  • From your home page ,go to Settings (gear icon) > Approval
  • Click Add Approval
  • Give the name of the form for which you need to add approval

  • Enter Name of the Approval

    You can set a Criteria if needed. You can also set more than one criteria by using the Add new icon (add icon).

Under Approvals, You can either configure approver or allow the system to auto approve or auto reject the record based on the criteria requirements.

Follow the steps given below to configure an approver:

  • Click Configure Approver
  • In the first tab, there are various options given out of which, you can select one

Reporting To - Approval goes to the Reporting To of the employee.

Department Lead of the Login User - Approval goes to the Department Lead of the user who is sending the approval request.

Approver based on Role - Approval goes to the people who are in the role that is selected.

Department Head- Approval goes to the head of the chosen department.

Department Members - Approval goes to the members of the Department of the user.

Employee - When this option is chosen, then the user can choose the name of a particular employee for the approval to be sent to.

Project Managers - Approval goes to all Project managers.

Allow Employees to Choose the Approver when adding a record - In this option, the employee has the option to select who the approver is, while the record is being added.

Note: Approvals can be set up to five levels of Reporting To

  • Check the 'Enable follow-up option for this approval' if you would like to do a follow-up for the approval.

When you click on this, you can define if the follow-up has to be a one-time or a repeat follow up and define the number of days after which the follow up needs to be done.

This option is for sending automatic notifications for follow-up to the approver. There is also an option in the request screen, to manually follow up while sending a request for approval.

  • Under Message template details, you can define the follow-up email template
  • In From, you can either select Perform performing this action or give an email id
  • In To, you have the options listed below:

System options:

Approver - If you select this option, the email will go to the Approver who is configured.

Team mail ID of the person performing this action - If you select this option, the approval email will be sent to the Team mail address of the person who submitted the approval request.

Person performing this action - Person performing this action refers to the user who is actually triggering the action like requestor(create/ edit actions), approver(approve/reject actions).

Reporting Manager of login user - If you select this option, the email will be sent to the Reporting manager of the person who submitted the approval request.

User list - This option pulls out the list of all users. You can select the person who needs to receive the approval email.

Role List- This option pulls out the list of all roles. You can select the role to which the email needs to be sent to.

Department List - This option pulls out the list of all departments. You can either select a department or do a search.

You can also check the Notify All box to send a mail to everyone in the Organization.

 

Note: Under CC, you can select 'Team email id' from system options for the team to get notified when a member of the team applies for leave.

  • Once you are done with the 'From' and 'To', you can proceed to enter a Cc, Bcc and Reply-To,if there is a need
  • Give a subject for the email
  • Create a message using the Available merge fields as shown in the image below
  • Click Save

Use case-2: To configure approvals for Compensatory Off

When an employee applies for compensatory off, the approvals that are configured for the leave form will become applicable for this. However, approvals or notifications (email alerts) can be configured even when an employee records TOIL to be taken as compensatory off later. Follow the steps given below to achieve this.

To configure approvals, the form name needs to be selected as 'Compensatory Request'. The other steps are the same as that of leave approval configuration.

To configure notifications:

  • From your home page, go to Settings (Gear icon) > Workflow > Add Workflow
  • Under Form Name, select 'Compensatory Request'
  • Select Execute based on action, because the notification needs to be sent when a request is added for marking compensatory off
  • Set a criteria if needed
  • Under Action, select Mail alerts
  • Enter the details like From, To etc
  • Give a subject to the mail alert. For eg. Compensatory Request
  • Click Create new template if you would like to create a new template
  • Use the merge fields to draft the message
  • Click Choose from Existing template if you would like to map a template that has already been created

  • Click Save

Use case-3:To have the experience letter updated automatically for employees depending on the approval status of the resignation form.

Yes. This is possible. In a scenario like an Exit process, you can have the experience letter updated automatically for employees depending on whether the record is approved or not. There are two steps involved here.

1. To create the Experience Letter using Record Template or Mail Merge Template

 Tip: Click here to know how to create record template and here to know how to create Mail Merge Template

2. To configure the Approval for the Exit Form setting that once the record is approved, the Experience Letter should be automatically uploaded. Follow the steps given below.

  • From your home page, go to Settings > Approvals
  • Click on 'Add Approval'
  • Under 'Form', select 'Resignation Form'
  • Give a name for Approval - Eg Approval for Resignation
  • Under 'Criteria', click on 'Set Criteria'
  • From the 'Resignation Form', select 'Resignation Accepted?'
  • In the next drop-down, select 'True'
  • Under 'Approvals', click on 'Configure Approver'
  • Select the approver from the drop down from options like 'Reporting To', 'Employee' etc
  • Enable follow up if required
  • Click on 'Configure Email Template'
  • Select values for fields like 'From' 'To', 'CC', 'BCC' etc
  • Give a subject and click on 'Create new template' and type the message using available merge fields
  • Click on 'Choose from existing template' if you would like to select one of the already existing templates
  • Under Attachment, click on the list icon and select the template from Record or Mail Merge template

 

  • Click Save

Now, when a record added in the Resignation form is approved, the Experience Letter can be automatically updated in the Resignation form with the dynamic fields like date of joining, years of service etc replaced dynamically.

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