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.

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)

    When the approver is the same as the 'Person performing this action', then the request gets auto-approved. You will be able to see the status of the request as 'System Approved' with the photo of the approver next to it. For eg., if you have set 'Reporting to' as the Approver and the Reporting manager raises a request on behalf of his/her subordinates, then the request gets 'System approved' with the photo of the Reporting Manager (i.e - Approver) next to the status. This option is not applicable in case of bulk approvals or mass updates. 

  • 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

  • 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

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. 

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 a 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 notify employees whenever their approval request is approved or rejected?

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.

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 a request when a given criterion is not satisfied?

    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 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. 

    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 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.

    Is it possible for a user to edit a record after it has been submitted for approval?

    Yes.This is possible provided this option is enabled.

    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.

    I have configured an approval with the Reporting Manager as the approver. What happens in cases where there is no reporting manager?

    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.

    I do not want the record owner to be notified of the approver's details and comments. Is this possible?

    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.

    I would like to have the experience letter updated automatically for employees depending on the approval status of the resignation form. Is this possible?

    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.

    In one of the approval requests, I can see the status as 'System Approved' along with the photo of an employee. What does this mean?

    When the 'Person performing this action' is the same as the Approver, then the request gets automatically approved with the status as 'System Approved' along with the photo of the approver. Let's take a scenario to understand this better. Assume that you have set an approval for the leave from with 'Reporting To' as the Approver. The one who is raising the leave request is the 'Person performing this action'. Assume that the Reporting manager is raising a leave request on behalf of his/her subordinates. In this case, the approver and the person performing the action are one and the same. In such scenarios, the leave request gets automatically approved with the status as 'System Approved' and the photo of the reporting manager also gets displayed along with this status.

    Note: This option does not work in case of bulk approvals or mass updates. For eg, if there is an update in a field and as a result of this update there is an approval triggered, then when there is a mass update for more than one record, it will not get automatically 'System-approved'. Similarly, in case of mass approvals too, this does not work.

    Can an Admin directly approve a request with multi-level approvals?

    There may be circumstances when there is a need for the Admin to approve a request in absence of the respective manager or when there is a paucity of time. In such a case, the following steps can be taken to ensure completion of the approval process:

    Method 1

    • Go to Approvals
    • Select the request that you would like to approve
    • Click on 'Approve/Reject' at the top of the page

    • Add in comments if required
    • Click on 'Approve All Levels'

     

    Now the request has been approved at all levels.

    Method 2

    • Go to Self Service > Approvals
    • Select the request that you would like to approve
    • Click on 'Approve' if you are the current approver. Click on the current approver's image icon (if you are not the current approver) and click 'Approve'

    • Add in comments if required
    • Select 'Approve All Levels'
    • Click 'Confirm'

    Now the request has been approved at all levels.

    Method 3

    • Go to the respective Form tab
    • Select the request that you would like to approve
    • Click on 'Approve' if you are the current approver. Click on the current approver's image icon (if you are not the current approver) and click 'Approve'
    • Add in comments if required
    • Select 'Approve All Levels'
    • Click 'Confirm'

    Now the request has been approved at all levels.

    Method 4 (applicable to Timesheets)

    • Go to Time Tracker > Timesheets
    • Select the request that you would like to approve
    • Click on Approve if you are the current approver. Click on the current approver's image icon (if you are not the current approver) and click Approve
    • Add in comments if required. Select Approve All Levels
    • Click 'Confirm'

    Now the request has been approved at all levels.

    When bulk approvals need to be done, we can follow these steps:

    • Go to Approvals
    • Select the requests that you would like to approve
    • Click on Approve/Reject at the top of the page

    • Click on 'Approve All Levels'

    Now, all the requests have been approved at all levels. 

    I would like to validate any record before sending it for approval.Is this possible?

    Yes, 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.

     TipClick 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.