With our fantastic Approvals feature, you can streamline any processes that need authorization by another person. You can create single instance approvals, multi-stage or sequential approvals within your workflows.
This feature not only helps you to set a structure for your approval process but also saves you heaps of time since hand-offs will become a breeze!
Plan: Approvals are a feature on our Standard Plan.
Users: In order to add or edit Approvals in your workflows, you must be an Administrator or a Member who has been given ‘edit’ access by your Administrator.
Common use cases for approvals
Holiday request or paid time off
Most companies require team members to submit a paid time off (PTO) request and have their manager sign off on it. This is a simple one-stage approval that you can set up really quickly.
Approving new hires to your team
When a candidate is going through your interview process, there may be several levels of approval to go through before sending an offer letter. Different team members or managers may be involved in different stages of the process, and each stage requires sign-off before the candidate can progress to the next stage.
Discount approvals on sales deals
If you offer products or services to customers or clients, there may be occasions where you want to offer a discount. Discounts over a certain percentage need to be signed off and approved by your manager before being agreed with the end-user.
Expense report approvals
When somebody in your business submits an expense report, any expenses under $100 are automatically approved, whilst any over $100 always require manager approval. Using Conditional Logic, you can set the tasks in your workflow run to show the approval step only when needed, and the manager can approve or reject only those expenses that need to be dealt with.
Getting started building your approvals
Head to your Library and find the workflow that you’d like to add an approval into. Click on the three dots next to your workflow’s name (or click its name) and then select “Edit” from the right-hand menu.
In the workflow editor, you’ll find the Approvals button in the menu at the bottom of your task list (bottom left of your screen). This button adds a new task, but not just any task, this one has Approvals superpowers!
Once you’ve decided where you’d like the approval to sit in your process, click a task to highlight it, click the approvals button, and the approval task appears below that task, as shown above.
Give your approval task a name – in the example below, we’ve called it “Marketing Approval”.
Next, you’re going to click on the green button in the center of the screen to select the tasks you’d like to get approved. You can choose individual tasks, whole sections of your workflow run by clicking on the headings, or you can select all the tasks to approve.
You can double-check which tasks you’ve selected as they will appear in a light blue highlight on the left of your screen. From the center panel, you can add more tasks to approve, or delete them via the trash can icon.
Once you’ve selected the tasks you’d like to be approved, click “Done” and then save changes to your workflow.
When those tasks are approved or rejected, the user or group will receive an email notification that those tasks have been dealt with.
If the task/s have been rejected they will also re-appear in that person’s inbox, so that they know they have to resubmit the task/s for approval a second time around.
If there are no task assignees, no one will be notified of the approval or rejection of those tasks.
On the approval task
It’s equally as important to assign a user or group to the approval task itself.
Assign the user or group you would like to handle the approval and give this task a due date too if required.
This enables that person assigned to the approval to receive an email notification when all the tasks that need approval have been completed. The Approval task will then also appear in that person’s Inbox.
Note that if only two out of three tasks to be approved have been completed, the notification won’t be sent to the approver. Only when all three tasks are complete, will they receive that notification.
Due dates, stops and permissions
- A due date will remind the person approving the task by email when it’s due, and it will also be prioritized in their Inbox
- A stop task will pause the process until the task has been approved
- Set the task permission to only show this task to the person assigned to approve it, that way any sensitive data or comments in the approval task (or in the rejection comments) will only be visible to the appropriate person
The gif below shows you how to add all these steps.
Save the changes to your workflow and you’re ready to start running workflows with approvals!
That’s it for building your approvals, so now we’ll move on to seeing how you can submit tasks for approval in a workflow run.
Submitting tasks for approval
If you are the person filling out the workflow run, you’ll work through the tasks as normal, completing each one assigned to you.
If you see an approval task is assigned to another user, you need to wait for them to deal with that task before you can move on with the workflow run.
In the content section in the center of your screen, you’ll see a reminder that the information you enter into this task (or tasks) is waiting for submission for approval, by the person assigned to the Approval task.
If you don’t see an approval task, it may be hidden from you because task permissions are preventing you from seeing it. You may need to wait for an email notification about the tasks you submitted for approval before being able to complete the workflow run.
Whether you can see the approval task or not, you’ll need to wait for the notification that your task(s) has been approved before being able to continue working through the rest of the workflow run and eventually, completing it.
Approving or rejecting
You are the person asking for approval
When you check off a task/s for approval, the person assigned to the approval task receives an email notifying them of the information you submitted. A new Approval task will also appear in their Process Street Inbox.
Once they have made a decision, you will receive an email notification with their comments (if they added any) and the status of the approval.
If it has been rejected, click the blue link in your email and this takes you directly back to the task in question. The task has been un-checked so that you can amend the information you entered and complete the task again to send it back to the approver for another review.
Once the task has been approved, you’ll receive another email notification to let you know, and then you can click the blue link, which takes you back to the workflow run.
Now, if there are no more tasks waiting for approval, you can go ahead and complete the workflow run. Cue the confetti!
You are the person rejecting or approving the task
You can see tasks that you’ve been asked to approve in your email. Click one of the blue links to take you to the approval task.
If you have more than one task to approve, you can approve all or reject all, straight from your email.
You can also find tasks to approve in the Approvals tab in your Process Street Inbox. Use the filter to only show Approvals tasks you need to address.
Approve or reject it with comments as appropriate. If you reject a task, the Approval task will disappear from your Inbox, until the task has been updated and re-submitted to you for sign-off.
If you reject a task you can reject it with no comments, or when you’re approving in the Process Street app, you can add a comment saying why you’ve made that decision and ask for updates to be made to the information. Click the comments bubble to add a comment, or click Reject to send without comments.
Note that you cannot add rejection comments from email notifications, only when you’re in the mobile app or the browser version of Process Street.
If you’re sending the rejection with comments, after you’ve clicked the comments bubble, type your notes and click Reject and Send Comment to notify the person who submitted the information that they need to make some changes.
Once you have rejected a task, the Approval task will disappear from your Inbox, until the task has been re-submitted.
This process will loop back around to you until you approve the task.
When you approve a task, the person who submitted it will receive a notification that allows them to go back into the workflow run, where they will be allowed to complete any more tasks they need to work on.
They can complete the workflow run once all the approvals in that workflow run have been signed off.
You can edit your decision to approve this task if the situation changes and you now need to reject it, or if you’d like to make a change to your comments.
Approvals with apps
If you’re using our Slack app, you can Approve or Reject tasks without even needing to open Process Street. If you would like to reject with comments, you will need to click to open the workflow run.
If you’re using our mobile app, you can approve, reject or reject it with comments. To reject with comments, click “Reject”, type your comments, then click “Reject and Send Comment”.
Don’t forget if you need help setting up Approvals, you can reach out to our Process pros team for support.