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Creating Approvals in Vtiger CRM

This article helps you understand the complex working of approvals in a simpler way.
R
Rashmi Kashyap
2 Dec, 2021 - Updated 5 months ago
Table of Contents

Introduction

Businesses have processes that require approvals by managers or other team members. Process owners can set up approval processes using Vtiger’s approvals to automate their business processes. 
An Approval process may be configured to, 

  • streamline discounts allowed on a Quote.
  • budget utilized in a Campaign.
  • approval for a new hire.
  • approval of the leave by a user and so on.


Feature Availability and Limits

Supported modules for Approvals:

Inclusions:  Leads, Contacts, Organizations, Opportunities, Cases, Projects, Project Tasks, Assets, Service Contracts, Inventory Modules (Quotes, SO, PO, Invoice, Subscriptions), Events, Payments, Campaigns.

Exclusions: Comments, Inbox, Email Campaigns, Phone calls, Olark, Esign, Mail Manager, SMS Notifier, Tasks, Time Logs, Transactions, Marketing List, Email Sequences, Journey Templates

Process limits:

  • Number of Approval processes - 5 per module
  • Number of Approval rules - 5 rules per process
  • Overall Process limit - 25 processes


Approval Process in Vtiger CRM

Vtiger approval process automation allows administrators or process owners to set up an approval process adhering to their business processes. There is also an option to set up a multi-level approval hierarchy.  The Approver can be any user or a reporting manager.        

If the approval process’ entry criteria are met, rules are processed sequentially with approval requests sent to each approver defined in the rule’s approval matrix.

When the record is waiting for approval, the record is locked and cannot be edited until the process is completed.

The process stops if an approver rejects the request for approval and final rejection actions are run. Otherwise, the next rule is processed for approvals.
When there are no more rules to execute, the record is approved, and final approval actions are run.


Submitting a Record for Approval

When a sales or marketing representative creates a record that matches at least one approval rule, then they are prompted to send the record for approval to the approvers configured while setting up.
 

Note: Make sure that your admins have set up an approval process before you submit an approval. To know more about setting up approvals, click here.


Follow these steps to send a record for approval:
  1. Create a record in any module that matches the entry criteria of an approval process.
  2. Enter the necessary details and click Save.
  3. You can add a note for the approvers in the Needs Approval window.
  4. Click Submit for Approvals.
  5. The record sent for approval is locked.

You can also attach related documents while sending a record for approval. This will provide the approver all the details they need to see to approve without having to log in to the CRM. For example, while sending a quote for approval, you can add cost sheets and other receipts as attachments.

  • You can attach up to three documents per approval.
  • The file size of each document must not exceed 25MB.
  • This enhancement is available in Sales Enterprise and All-in-one Enterprise editions.
 

Note: When the destination fields are updated with the source field values via approvals, the CRM account owner’s preferences are applied. The preferences are set up under My Preferences and Calendar Settings.

 

Consider this example: If a deal’s Description field (destination) is updated with the deal’s Expected Close Date (source) via an approval, then the date format in the Description field takes the CRM account owner’s format.


List View in Approvals

By default, the List view is the screen that is visible when you click on the Approvals module. This view sorts and lists all approvals based on the last modified approval record.

  • Columns in List View 

    The columns that are visible by default in the List View are :

    • Approval Name: Displays the name of the approval.
    • Status: Displays the status of the approval record.
    • Related To: Displays the module to which the approval is related.
    • Assigned Approver: Displays the name to whom the approval is assigned to.
    • Requester Note: Displays the message written by the submitter.
  • List actions

You can perform quick actions such as Comment, Export, etc., on the approval’s records in the List View.

To learn more about List View actions in Vtiger CRM, click here.

 

Did you know?

You can create lists to sort and store the records displayed in your List View and save them for future reference. This feature enables you to create different lists for multiple purposes. 

To know more about creating a list, click here.

 

Searching for your approvals

The search bar in the List View is a unique feature on its own. It is one of a kind because it filters, searches, and delivers the result brilliantly.

The search bar helps you search for a record as well as filter the rest of the records using field names that you specify. This feature comes in very handy if you have a large number of records in the CRM.

To know more about the search bar in List View, click here.


Summary View of an Approval Record

Summary View is the view that appears when you click a particular record from the List View. Summary View displays a collection of all key information for the selected record.

The Summary View can be divided into five sections. Each section has a particular functionality.
 

  • Summary View actions

    • Follow: You can follow any approval record to get updates on all the activities performed on that record.
    • Tags: You can add tag names to the record to identify the record easily.
    • Open in new tab: You can open the approval record in a new tab in your browser.
    • Link: You can copy the URL of the approval record directly.
  • Requestor Note

    This section displays the message written by the submitter to the approver.
  • Activity

    This section lists all the activities performed on a selected record. You can also add filters and view specific activities.
  • More

    You can do the following from the More button:

    • View the followers: You can see the users who are following the approval.
    • Print: You can print the approval or save it as a PDF for future references.

If you have defined relationships between the Approvals module and other modules in Settings > Module Layouts & Fields, then you will be able to add records of those modules from this button. The records added will be displayed in their respective widgets.
 

  • Widgets

    • Details - You can view and edit all the fields and information related to the approval here. You can click on the expand icon to go to the detail view of the approval.


Approving or Rejecting a Record

An approver can approve any record in the following ways:

  • From Email 

    When an approval record is sent, you (as an approver) will receive the notification in your email. You can directly approve or reject the record from the email notification.
  • From Actions

    You will also receive the notification when a record is submitted for approval in the CRM under the Actions module.
  • From Related record

    You can approve the record from the related record also by clicking the Approve or Reject buttons.
  • From Approval record

    • List View

      You can approve or reject a record in the List View of Approvals module. All you have to do is hover over an approval record and click the  or X icons.
  • Summary View

    You can also approve a record in the Summary View. You can find the Approve and Reject buttons when you open a particular approval record that has been submitted.
 

Note

  • If there are multiple approvers, the date and time when the record was approved by each approver will be displayed.
  • You can send Whatsapp message notifications to the submitters mentioning the record approval or rejection.
  • You can create a link between Approvals and Workflows if you set conditions on the same field in both of them.


Approval Status Field in Approval Record

Each approval record has its own status field, which will change according to the approver’s actions.

The above statuses are also viewable in the Approval widget of the related record.

Approval Status Field in Related Record

The approval status field is added to a record when a module is linked to at least one active approval process. When a record is submitted for approval, the approval status field can be one of the values listed below.

Note: 

  • Any approval record is auto-approved when the approver is the record submitter.
  • You cannot create any related records to a record that is waiting for approval. For example, when a quote is waiting for approval, you cannot create a sales order.


Mapping Approval Status and Related Record Status

The status field in the Approval record affects the status field in the related record as well.
 

If the Approval Status field in the Approval record is, 

Then the Approval Status field  in Related Record  is,

Submitted

Waiting for approval 

Pending 

Waiting for approval 

Rejected

Rejected

Not applicable

Not Submitted

Auto Cancelled

Cancelled

Approved

Approved
Auto Approved


Actions Not Possible

A submitter cannot perform specific actions depending on the Approval status after the record is sent for approval.

Approval Status

Actions unavailable

Waiting for approval

Edit, Print related actions, convert actions

Rejected

All print-related actions and convert actions

Not Submitted

All print-related actions and convert actions

Approved

None

Not applicable

None


Approvals in Vtiger CRM Mobile App

With the Vtiger CRM mobile app, you don't have to worry about leaving work behind. You will always be updated, and you can keep in touch with your clients and co-workers on-the-go.

Click here to download the Vtiger CRM mobile app.

Vtiger CRM mobile app enables you to approve or reject records that are waiting for approval. You can 

The records created from the mobile app are evaluated for any matching approval process and submitted for approval if applicable.

To know more about the features of the Vtiger CRM app, click here.


Limitations

  • Workflows and Webhooks adhere to the edition limits.
  • Imported records matching the existing approval process is set to ‘Not Submitted’ status. Actions are restricted on a record in this status.
  • Comments on records waiting for approval are not available in the customer self-service portal.
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