Approval Process: Definition and Examples

An approval process is a type of workflow which comprises a series of steps that a work must pass to be approved. The steps typically involve different departments and employees who review the work and either approve or reject it.

Understanding Approval Process in Salesforce | How to create an approval process?

Elements of an approval process

Although each process is typically unique to the department and work types involved, the components of an approval process are typically the same for many different types of work. To help you understand, the fundamental components of an approval process are listed below:


The work that must go through the approval process is referred to as a submission, and businesses typically provide requirements or guidelines to follow. Work must first be submitted to the appropriate department in order to begin the approval process. Depending on a company’s or department’s objectives, submissions may come from a variety of sources. For instance, a manager might submit their department’s expense report to their company’s accountant or a graphic designer might submit a logo design to a marketing team.


An employee, or group of employees, who approves or rejects work as it progresses through the approval process, is referred to as an approver. They determine whether a piece of work should be returned to the author for editing or passed on to another approver. The final approver determines whether the work is acceptable or ready for publication. By selecting the ideal approvers, you can ensure that work moves through the approval process quickly and that the final product is consistent and of high quality.


Permissions or permission levels govern who can view, edit, or approve work during the approval process. Setting permissions for each approver and work creator is crucial because some work may contain sensitive information or data that should only be changed by specific individuals. Setting the appropriate permission levels for each approver helps you avoid errors, maintain the integrity of the work, and speed up the approval process.

Due dates

Due dates assist submitted work in receiving approval quickly. To keep the workflow moving and guarantee that all approvers have enough time to carefully review the work before approving or rejecting it, it is crucial to establish due dates for approvers. You should first be aware of the final deadline by which your business anticipates publishing or accepting the work in order to establish effective due dates for approvers. With this knowledge, you can make a project plan that specifies how much time each approver has to review the work before moving on to the following step.

Records and logs

To determine how effective and efficient your approval process is, it is a good idea to keep notes and logs of each step. Records and logs enable transparency for your work creators and company to know who is approving work and allow you to check where errors may have occurred as the work flowed from one approver to another. You can keep track of all work that has completed the approval process using records and logs.

What is an approval process?

A type of workflow known as an approval process consists of a number of steps that a piece of work must complete in order to be approved. Typically, the process involves numerous departments and staff members who evaluate the work and either approve or reject it. The work either flows back to the previous step for edits after one department approves or rejects, or it moves forward to the following step for additional approval. Many modern businesses use computers to automate their approval procedures, but some may still rely on manual approvals, such as when a paper document is passed from one department to another.

It is possible for businesses to produce consistent, standardized work through the use of approval processes, which could include anything from invoices and budgets to marketing initiatives and magazine articles. This kind of procedure aids staff in spotting errors before they publish or accept a piece of work, assisting businesses in maintaining publishing or marketing standards and preventing accounting errors. As a result, the necessity of approval procedures for running a profitable business

Examples of approval processes

To see how the fundamental components may alter depending on the type of work being approved, take a look at the following examples of various approval processes:

Invoice approval

A list of goods or services that need to be paid for is on an invoice, also known as a bill. Invoices may be issued by a variety of parties, including contractors who performed services, vendors who sold goods, and employees who need reimbursement for travel expenses. A single approver may be required for the simple approval process for an invoice before it is accepted. Given how frequently businesses receive invoices, the approval procedure for this kind of work is typically the same across all businesses. The invoice is created and sent to the business’s financial department, which reviews it for accuracy and either accepts or rejects it.

Budget approval

Budgets are essential for businesses to know how much cash they have to effectively run their projects and departments. Before being approved by the company, a potential budget created by company executives must pass through a number of reviews and modifications. Because several approvers must review all the details to ensure the budget meets the needs of the company, this process typically necessitates changing the budget several times before final acceptance.

Content approval

The author, at least one editor, and possibly more approvers, such as quality assurance teams, clients, or agents, participate in the approval process for content like articles and books. A writer either works independently or in accordance with a set of rules to produce the content. After that, the author sends their work to agents or editors, who either approve it or send it on to another approver after reviewing it. Editing may be done several times on content to make sure it accurately represents the publishing company.

Design approval

For a business, graphic designers frequently collaborate with marketing teams to create logos, advertisements, and merchandise. It’s crucial that designs go through the approval process before being used because they help businesses establish their brand and style. The marketing team may receive some design concepts that graphic designers have first created. The group then selects an idea they like and returns it to the graphic designer so they can update it. The design may go to high-level approvers after the marketing team has given their approval before being used in marketing campaigns.

How to create an approval process

The steps you can take to develop an approval process are as follows:

1. Define the work task

Identification and definition of the work task is the first step in developing an approval process. The majority of these tasks are specific, like writing an article about a particular subject or developing a departmental budget. Create a set of instructions once you’ve determined the task to let the person submitting the work know what you expect of them. By avoiding some mistakes up front, a thorough list of expectations and requirements speeds up the approval process.

2. Set approvers, permissions and due dates

Decide when you need to publish or accept the approved work to begin this step. Then choose who you want to approve the work. Editors, marketing managers, and financial directors might be involved, depending on the type of work and its intended use. Once approvers have been selected, you can then establish the other crucial steps in the procedure, such as permissions and deadlines. Establish each approver’s permission levels, including who can edit the work and whether other employees can view it.

Think about the deadline by which you want to publish or accept the final version of the work when setting due dates for your approvers. Set a deadline for each approver to review the work, approve, or reject it using a timeline or project plan. This could be a specific period of time after they receive the work or a particular date.

3. Assign the work task

Once you’ve established your approval criteria, you can appoint the task to a work creator. This individual may be a freelancer or an external firm, such as an accountant or writer. Give the work creator access to the task description, submission instructions, and the contact information of a person who can respond to questions or provide additional information about the assignment. The creator can begin the task after you assign it and submit it to the initial approver.

4. First approver receives work

The work is sent to the first approver by the creator, usually via email or online submission software. This approver makes sure that the work adheres to the fundamental standards you’ve established and is free of fundamental errors. Depending on the type of work, they can review it in a variety of ways. For instance, editors may check for both basic requirements and proper grammar since they are typically the first to approve written pieces. An automated program that checks documents for things like plagiarism and simple mistakes is sometimes the first approver.

5. First approver approves or rejects work

The initial approver has the option to accept or reject the work after reviewing it. The work may be sent back to the author for revisions if the initial approver rejects it. This provides the author with the opportunity to correct any errors they made and produce an even better work, which they then submit again to the initial approver. The work advances to the following stage once the initial approver accepts it.

6. Submit to final approver

The work is submitted to the final approver following a series of approvals. This individual determines whether the piece is appropriate for publication or approval by the business. Final approvers are typically mid- to high-level employees, such as the department head or the project manager, though they may even be the CEO of a company for very important works. The final approver decides whether a work is prepared for approval based on predetermined criteria and their own discretion.

7. Publish or accept work

The publication or acceptance of the work is the final step in the approval procedure. When a piece of work reaches this stage, it ought to be flawless and consistent with other works created by the company. Before moving on to this stage, it is crucial that the work has successfully completed all stages of the approval process in order for it to reflect the company’s standards.


What are the types of approval process?

Steps for Creating an Approval Process
  1. Identify potential requesters.
  2. Document required information needed to make approval judgment.
  3. Design the request form to capture all relevant information.
  4. Determine potential exceptions and handling procedures.
  5. Identify required approvers (individuals or groups).

Why do we need an approval process?

5 Methods to Improve Approval Workflow & Boost Productivity
  1. Create a clear workflow with precise roles. …
  2. Only involve the right people for approval workflow. …
  3. Let responsible personnels know the expectations. …
  4. Make it easy to collaborate between involved personnels. …
  5. Automate approval workflow, reduce unnecessary steps.

What are approval process actions?

Actions in the Approval Process:
  • Initial Submission Actions: The first time a user submits a record for approval, certain procedures are taken.
  • Final Approval Actions: …
  • Final Rejection Actions: …
  • Recall Actions:

What is project approval process?

If other related processes are delayed, it is highly dependent on how smoothly your approval process runs. Obtaining approval for purchases is crucial to finishing the work. You must improve the effectiveness of your processes in order to increase the output of your team.

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