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Automation - Approvals

This article will help you set up an approval rule in the CRM.
Rashmi Kashyap
11 Feb, 2021 - Updated 7 months ago


Administrators or process owners can set up approval processes using Vtiger’s approvals to automate their business processes. Most businesses have processes that require approvals by managers or other team members.

In this article, you will learn about setting up an approval process adhering to your business. You will also learn to set up a multi-level approval hierarchy where the approver can be your reporting manager or any user. 

To know more about how to submit approval or how approvals work in Vtiger, you must look at the Approvals article.

Setting up an Approval

Any user with Administrator privileges can set up an approval process

Before you get started, analyze the approval process entry criteria for the module you are defining.

Entry criteria and the sequence impacts the process that gets executed for a record.


Note: Expenses is a custom module used in the example.


For example, if there are two approval processes with entry criteria as “Expense location is the USA,” Expense location is India,” the process whose entry criteria matches the submitted record is run. If there are two approval processes defined for India, the first process that matches the record is run.

Flow Chart

To set up approvals, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your CRM account.
  2. Click the User Menu on the top right corner of the screen.
  3. Click Settings.
  4. Go to Automation
  5. Select Approvals.
  6. Click +New Approval.
  7. Provide Basic Information.
Basic Information
  1. Select the module from the drop-down. 
  2. Provide a unique name for approval.
  3. Set the approval as Active or InActive.
  4. Give a short description that explains the approval.

  1. Setup the Entry Criteria.
Entry criteria
  1. Add entry criteria for the approvals process.
  2. Set unique field criteria that the record must meet to proceed with the approval process. Only when the entry criteria are met, the Approval process is run on the save of a record.
  3. For example, If the Expense location is India, execute India process rules. If the Expense location is the US, execute US process rules.

  1. Configure the Rules. Set the rules for the approval process to execute. The rules are executed sequentially only if the entry criteria are met.
Adding rules
  1. Rule Name - Provide a unique name for the rule and set the criteria. If the mentioned criteria are met, the rule is executed.
  2. Owner profiles - Select profiles from a drop-down. A rule gets executed if the record owner profile matches the rules configured.
  3. Approval matrix - Choose the approvers for the rule. It can be your reporting managers or any other user.
  1. Configure Final Approval and Rejection Actions.
Final Approval and Rejection actions
  1. Select the action to be executed on Final Approval and Rejection of the record. 
  2. You can add up to 8 actions for a single approval.
  3. The actions can be adding an event, task, creating the record, updating fields, sending email alerts and push notifications, calling webhooks, or custom functions.
  1. Lastly, activate all the actions and click Save.

Deleting an approval

A user with Administrator privileges can delete the approval process. This does not impact any record that is already submitted for approval.

Approvers of a rule in a record

You can configure up to three approvers for a single approval rule.

Approver of the rule can be:

  • Level 1 manager (Direct Reporting Manager)
  • Level 2 manager
  • Level 3 manager
  • Any specific user such as Bill - Accounts manager, Mary - HR Manager


  • The ‘Reports to’ field in the user record is used to determine the reporting manager of the record owner submitting for approval.
  • You can set up Wait Time for each approver, after which a record is sent to the next level approver even if not approved.
  • Groups cannot be added as an approver.

List View in Approvals

By default, the List view is the screen that is visible when you click the Approvals tab. This view lists all approvals created by the administrator.

Columns in List view 

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

  • Module - Displays the icon of the module related to which the approval is created. If you hover over the icon, you can see the module name.
  • Name - Displays the name of the approval.
  • Entry Criteria - Displays the All and Any conditions set by the admin as the entry criteria.
  • # of rules - Displays the number of rules that are set up in the approval.
  • View Rules - If you click the down arrow button, you can see the rules, final approval, and rejection actions set up in that particular approval.

List actions

You can perform these quick actions on Approvals:

  • Edit an approval by clicking on the approval record in the List View.
  • Changing the status by clicking the toggle button on the approval record. You can make an approval active or inactive by doing so.
  • Delete an approval by clicking the Delete icon on the approval record. 

Note: A user with Administrator privileges can delete the approval process. This does not impact any record that is already submitted for approval.

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