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Everything about Workflow Approvals

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

Team Kissflow

Updated on 8 Mar 2024 4 min read

In the coming years, humans will account for 58 percent of all work, with machines managing the remaining 42 percent.

Approval workflows can be a game-changer in maximizing operational efficiency within an organization. Staff often find themselves inundated with spreadsheets, cumbersome email threads, and phone calls — all in pursuit of approvals. This can lead to an unnecessary drain on time and resources.

However, the introduction of automated approval workflows can dramatically alter this scenario. By streamlining the entire approval process, these workflows liberate your team members from administrative tasks, enabling them to focus on more strategic initiatives.

What are approval workflows?

An approval workflow is a logical sequence of tasks, including human approvals, to process data. In an approval workflow, the process halts until a specific person or group approves the data.

Workflow automation is the key to unlocking the full potential of digital transformation." - R. Ray Wang.

Automated approval workflows can eliminate bottlenecks in the process, boost efficiency and improve workplace productivity.

Everything about Approval Workflows

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 a direct manager and also someone in finance to ensure there is sufficient cash flow.

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

Automated invoice approval workflow

Kissflow comes with a pre-built invoice approval app, but users can also create their own from scratch with a simple 3-step process.

Step 1: Start with a form

First, use 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).

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 the actual invoice approval workflow is defined. Pick either making it a simple one-step approval from a sales team manager, or a more complicated process with more team members involved according to defined parameters.

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. Business users can create a workflow that best suits their organization with conditional approvals.

Got a complicated approval assignment? Regional + functional managers? Need to get a group of people to approve a request? Or just a certain percentage of a group? Or as long as one person in a group approves it's fine?All of this is possible in a platform like Kissflow. 

All this happens in a no-code visual designer. Anyone who has an in-depth knowledge of the solution is able to structure the workflow exactly as they want without writing any code. 

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 the invoice approval app is created, you can instantly start getting team members to use it. Choose to make changes to the app when roles change, or when a team member suggests something. Since Kissflow is a simple no-code tool, you can make the change and instantly go live.

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

The benefits of using Kissflow for approval workflows

No manual 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.


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


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.


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


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 a 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.

☛ Learn More About 7 Benefits of Workflow Management Systems to Free You From Chaos

But what about choices like Sharepoint?

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

  • You can’t create workflows without getting certified first.
  • Making changes to these workflows generally requires time and money.
  • Sharepoint makes it hard to link several workflows together. 

How Journeyone streamlined their Contract renewals

JourneyOne, an innovative consulting firm, faced inefficiencies in their contract approval process. The task of tracking contracts and managing timely renewals was challenging, with the existing system of emails and calendars leading to distorted data and missed opportunities.

Susanna De Bari, Principal Business Consultant at JourneyOne, recognized the need for a more efficient solution. That's when Kissflow entered the picture. This automation platform streamlined their approval processes, making contract renewals a breeze.

Kissflow's robust features allowed JourneyOne to set up clear approval workflows, ensuring that every contract went through the necessary checks before renewal. This not only increased visibility and control but also minimized manual work, freeing up the team to focus on more strategic tasks.

Moreover, the ability to have real-time updates on each contract's status meant that no opportunity for modification or renegotiation was missed.
In essence, Kissflow revolutionized JourneyOne's contract approval process, enhancing productivity, efficiency, and their ability to secure better deals.

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, manual approvals in email will feel extremely slow. Try Kissflow. Kissflow is a great choice for automating workflows. Its easy-to-use platform helps businesses make their processes more efficient. No matter your business size, Kissflow can help cut down on manual tasks, reduce mistakes, and save time. With Kissflow, you're choosing a tool that improves productivity and work quality. Try Kissflow today and see how it can transform your business operations.

Approvals made simple with Kissflow