What are the steps to configure an approval template?

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.

Example for predefined(Dynamic) form fields

Jeremy, the marketing analyst, creates a Travel approval request. According to the organization, his request needs to be approved by two approvers (Product Manager for XYZ team, and Travel desk manager)for his travel request to be processed and the tickets to be booked.

Form fields - Scenarios where Approvers are pre-defined/ preset:

When Jeremy creates a request, it triggers a notification at "level 1 approver" or immediate approver (Product manager,XYZ team in this case) that reviews his projects/tasks and approves them. Once she's done with her part, his request will be finalized by the final approver (Travel report desk). Then a check list triggered for the tickets to be booked.

These form fields were pre-assigned while creating form for a travel request.

  1. In this case, when he chooses “Form field” under Approvals, he'll find the preset approver (Eg, Product manager) from the drop-down for the look-up field. To select the final level approver, he'll be clicking “+” sign next to it.
  2. Then, he will be choosing the final level approver from the drop-down box that appears in the next row . Here he selects Travel desk manager (Eg, 'Employee') from the drop-down for the field. From the field for the next drop-down, he will choose the respective department head (Eg, Jasmine Frank).
  3. When form fields are already set 'Allow employees to choose the approver when adding a record' option cannot be used. With this option, Jeremy wouldn't be able to choose his approvers more than once.
  • 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.

Is it possible to configure more than one level of approval? If yes, what is the order in which the request will get approved? 

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. 

Is it possible to trigger approvals only for specific requests in a form?

You can have multiple requests satisfying different criteria in a workflow.For eg. If you would like to configure an approval to approve only the sick leave of employees who fall under the designation 'Trainee', you can do this by adding more than one criteria.

However, if 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 workflow for this.

Let us assume a scenario as explained below.

You have configured an approval with the condition that If the total travel amount is from $ 500 to $ 1000, it has to go to approver A. 

In another workflow, you have configured that if the total travel amount is more than $1000, then it has to be approved by approver B.

The third workflow has been configured with the 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 priorty, 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 done 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.

What is the purpose of "Follow-up" option in Approval template configuration?

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.

How do I configure a suitable message to the employees whenever their approval request is approved or rejected?

Once the approval is done a notification goes automatically to the one who sent the request for approval with the status of the approval request.

How can I configure approvals for the leave form?

Setting approvals for forms like leave, compensatory off etc can help you have a track on your employees' absence.

Click here to know how to configure approvals for the leave form.

How can I configure approvals for compensatory requests?

The procedure to configure approvals is explained here. In the Form Name, select 'Compensatory Request' and follow the same steps.

    What happens to the request when a given criteria is not satisfied ?

    Any request for that does not match the criteria set in the configuration gets auto approved by default.

    How does auto reject work? How can I get a request auto rejected by default?

    While adding the Approval, you can define the criteria and under 'Approvals', you need to select 'Auto reject'. In this case, when the request doesnt match the criteria, it gets auto rejected.

    For example, in a travel form, you can set a 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.