FAQs on Approval Process | Zoho CRM FAQs

FAQs on Approval process

1. What is an approval process?

Approval processes allow organizations to automate the approval of various business activities. For example, an organization may need a senior member to approve sales orders, budgets, capital expenses, discounts, vacation time, or documents before they are processed.
In these cases, it can streamline things to create 'z' dependable and repeatable process that automatically sends approval requests to the designated approvers. By creating a process, you can ensure a systematic approach that will prevent delays and establish uniformity across team members. 
Click here to watch a video on approval processes.

2. Can only CRM administrators be assigned as approvers?

No, any CRM user can be selected as an approver. These users can be selected from any role, profile, group, or level or the record owner can be selected.
The levels available for selection depend on the number of levels defined in the organization's role hierarchy. You can select how many levels in the hierarchy above the record owner the approval request should be sent to.
In addition to this, all CRM users who have Administrator privileges will be able to view records in My Jobs and approve or reject them by default. 
Read more about selecting approvers, here.

3. Can a user who doesn't have access to the record approve it?

Yes, even if you do not have access to the record you will be able to approve it.
Read more about approving records, here.

4. I don't have the permission to edit and manage approval processes. What should I do?Ask your manager or the CRM Administrator to update your profile permission.

To enable profile permission:
  1. Go to Setup > Users and Control > Security Control.
  2. Click on your profile from the list of profiles.
  3. In Profile page, go to Setup Permissions > Webforms > Approval.
  4. Toggle on. 

Tip: Before configuring the approval process, it is best to verify the profile permission of the users who you want to set as approvers. 

5. Where can I find the records that are awaiting approval?

Records that are awaiting approval can be viewed on the Approval tab of the  My Jobs module. You can approve or reject the records from here.  As an approver, you can also reject or delegate the record approval to another user. 

Note that a record can only be converted, edited, or deleted once it has been approved.

If you are a CRM Administrator, you will also be able to view records that belong to other approvers. 

Read more about approving records, here.

6. Where can I view the approval history?

Approval history gives you a list of records that have been submitted for approval. Approvals will be displayed in a chronological order. You can use the module type, user (approver), or status (rejected, approved, delegated, etc.) or time to filter the records.
To view the approval history:
Go to the My Jobs module > Approval Process > Approval History in the top-right corner.

Read more about viewing approval history, here.

7. How does the approval process work when there is more than one approvers?

You can set how the approval must take place by selecting one of the following options:
Anyone: Any of the approvers can approve the record.
Everyone: All the approvers must approve the record. You can choose if it should be in parallel or in sequence.
  1. Sequential: The record will only be sent to the next approver in the queue when it is approved or rejected by the previous approver. The approver at the top of the list is the first approver.
  2. Parallel: All the approvers must approve the record simultaneously.
Read more about selecting approvers, here.

8. Can I execute an approval process when a record is edited?

Yes, the approval process can be executed when a record is edited. It can also be executed on when a record is created or when a record is either edited or created. Records awaiting approval can be viewed in the My Jobs module.
Learn more about the execution of approval process, here.

9. How will I know if a record is waiting for approval? What actions can be performed on the record?

A system generated email alert is sent to the approvers, stating that a record has been submitted and needs their approval. The approver can check the  My Jobs module and check the record and then approve, delegate, or reject it.
The following will apply while a record is waiting for approval:
  1. The Convert, Delete, and Edit options will be disabled.
  2. The record can be viewed in the module list view as a locked record. You can identify it by the locked sign.
  3. The Waiting for approval and Respond (Approve, Delegate, or Reject) options will be available on the detail page. 

10. What happens when a record meets the requirements for more than one rule?

If a record meets the requirements for more than one rule, it will be submitted for approval to the rule which it matched first. You can reorder the rule entries as required to have the system check for a match with higher priority rules first.
To reorder the rule entries:
  1. Go to Setup > Automation > Approval Process.
  2. Open an approval process and click on Reorder Rules in the top-right corner.
  3. Drag and drop rules to change their execution order.
  4. Click Save New Order

11. Can automatic actions be assigned to users on approval of records?

Yes, you can configure a set of actions that will take place automatically on each approval, if there are multiple approvers, or on final approval.
  1. Actions that can be configured on each approval: fields updates in the record. For example, after each approval a field is updated to display "1st approval completed", "2nd approval completed", etc.
  2. Actions that can be configured on final approval: sending email alerts, updating fields, assigning tasks, calling webhooks, and triggering custom function. 

Read more about associating actions, here.

12. Who receives an email if a record is rejected?

You can configure an email alert to be sent on rejection of a record to different users:
  1. Requester's manager: The manager of the requester who submits a record for approval will receive an email alert upon rejection. The manager is the person immediately above the requester in the role hierarchy configured in CRM.
  1. Everyone who approves: If there are multiple approvers, all the approvers will receive an email notification on rejection.
  2. Both: This option sends a rejection notification to the submitter's manager as well as the approvers when the record is rejected.
To select these options:
  1. Open an approval process and click Edit.
  2. Choose Actions upon Rejection.
  3. Click on Email Notifications and choose the user to send the notification to.


13. How long can a record be in the Rejected state?

A rejected record can be resubmitted for approval within 60 days of rejection. A resubmit button will be displayed in the record detail page. 

14. How is the approval process different from the review process?

In approval process, the entire record is sent for approval and the approver must check every field and attachment before approving or rejecting the record.
In review process, you can mark the fields that the reviewers must check and they can approve or reject each field and give a reason for rejection. A personalized rejection message can be configured, which can be sent to the record submitter, reviewer, and CRM administrators.

Read more about the differences, here

15. How is a record matched with a rule if it is resubmitted?

When a record is resubmitted, it is checked to see if it matches the criteria of any of the available rule entries in the following order:
  1. First, the system will check if the record still matches the criteria of the process from which it was originally rejected.
  2. If it fails to match the original criteria, then a check will be run across all the rule entries and the record will be locked based on the result.
  3. If it fails to match any rule entry it will be unlocked from the approval process and moved into the module's list view. 

16. How can I reorder the rule entries and what happens if I reorder them?

To reorder the rule entries:
  1. Go to Setup > Process management > Approval Process.
  2. Open an approval process and click on Reorder Rules in the top-right corner.
  3. Drag and drop rules to change their execution order.
  4. Click on Save New Order.

When you reorder the rule entries, the system will check the criteria of the rules in the new listed order to find a match for the record. If the record meets the criteria of more than one rule entry, it will be submitted to the rule which first matched the criteria.

By default, the rule entries are listed in chronological order with the first rule that you create on the top of the list.

17. Can a record that is approved enter an approval process again?

Yes, it is possible if a record was previously approved to meet the rule criteria of an approval process due to edits and renter the process.
This can happen if the rule criteria is set to create/edit or edit of a record. You will notice that the record is locked and will be listed under My Jobs awaiting approval.

18. What happens to the records which are waiting for approval if the approval process is deleted?

You can delete a process at any time. The records awaiting approval will be unlocked and added to the module's list view. 

Read more about reordering rules, here.
We hope that this list of frequently asked questions about approval process is informative. If you still have questions that haven't been addressed, please let us know  here. We will be happy to discuss them with our subject matter experts and add them in the future. And please don't forget to share your rating below :)

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