Approval Workflows: What They Are, And Why You Needed Them Yesterday

Jeremy Francis

November 16th, 2018 workflow  

Approval workflows rescue office staff from wasting crucial time spent sifting through spreadsheets, clunky email threads, and phone calls to team members. Unfortunately, many people spend incredible amounts of hours trying to process approvals within the organization.

But automated approval workflows can turn things around, streamlining the entire process and freeing employees to get some real work done.

What are Approval Workflows?

An approval workflow is a logical sequence of tasks, including human approvals, to process data. Approval workflows are unique in that the process will halt until the specific person approves the data. Automated approval workflows can eliminate bottlenecks in the process, boost efficiency and improve workplace productivity.

Approvals are often given by direct managers, quality assurance executives, or a cross-department manager, depending on the process. For example, a purchase order approval may involve your direct manager and also someone in finance to ensure there is sufficient cash flow.

Let’s take a look at what an approval workflow can do, through the example of invoice approvals through KiSSFLOW.

Automated Invoice Approval Workflow Through KiSSFLOW

KiSSFLOW gives you a pre-built invoice approval app, but you can also create your own from scratch with a simple 3-step process.

Step 1: Start With a Form

First, you need a form to collect and display the data involved, such as the initiator, their department, the category of product being invoiced, the date, and the invoice itself (attached as a PDF or other format).

You may further automate the form by auto-assigning sequence numbers, auto-populating custom fields with common customers or vendors, and tables that automatically calculate the invoice price based on quantity.

Step 2: Create the Approval Workflow

This is where you define the actual invoice approval workflow. You can choose to make it a simple one-step approval from a sales team manager, or a more complicated process with more team members involved according to parameters you choose.

For instance, invoices valuing over $10,000 might need a once-over from the Sales VP or CFO. With enterprises, other departments might have a say. You can create a workflow that best suits your organization with conditional approvals.

The task owners get notified through email or mobile push notifications. From there, they can do any checks they need to, and then hit ‘Approve’.

Step 3: Execute, Analyze, and Improve

Once you’ve created your invoice approval app, you can instantly start getting team members to use it. You can choose to make changes to the app as and when you see fit, or when a team member suggests something.

Insights give you in-depth data regarding specific tasks, or where a particular approval workflow is. You can use this data to drive insights for improvement.

Why Use KiSSFLOW for Approval Workflows: The Benefits

No More Mistakes

Manual errors are a major hole in any workflow, but running them through a structured workflow means that there are no accounting errors just because someone didn’t copy the figures right from an invoice approval email.

Accessibility

Any team member can look up the right information in a second; plus, you can control who gets to see what with level-based access to sensitive data. With automation in the picture, everything gets digitized for instant access whenever you need it.

Compliance

Accounting laws and rules regarding financial transactions need to be followed on every last transaction. With your invoice approval workflows implemented, you can be sure that they are.

The Ease

With KiSSFLOW, you have the power of prebuilt approval workflow templates, meaning you don’t even need to create your workflow from scratch!

Security

In a business world where one leaked financial detail can cause considerable damage to an organization, where would you rather have your crucial financial data? In a flimsy file folder, or on the most sophisticated cloud-based paperless workflow system?

With KiSSFLOW, you’re guaranteed improved security and with data backed up, and infinite data recovery options in the event of a disaster.

“But What About Choices Like Sharepoint?”

Microsoft’s Sharepoint is undeniably a strong player in the “automation through workflows” software vertical. However, it comes with a few shortcomings we’ve listed here, like

  • You can’t create workflows without getting certified first
  • Making changes to these workflows generally requires time and money
  • KiSSFLOW launches new releases, and you can suggest product suggestions knowing they are likely to be addressed quickly if relevant. This might not be as easy to accomplish with Sharepoint.

Take Your Approval Workflows to the Next Level

With so many benefits coming your way with an approval workflow engine taking care of this crucial process, it would be a crying shame not to take advantage. Try KiSSFLOW’s approval workflow template today and see for yourself with a free trial!