An approval process is an process used to approve a record created in Salesforce based on certain criteria. The approval process involves approval or rejection of a record. It allows us to specify actions on a record at different stages. When a record gets approved, rejected, recalled or at initial submission.

Why use Approval Process within Salesforce?

Consider a business scenario where a sales user creates an opportunity record in an organization. If the record is created with a discount of 50% or more, it requires an approval from a higher authority let us say the Manager. If the record does not fall into the above category then it must be created as usual.

Such scenarios can be handled using approval process. When a record is created and criteria are met, it should automatically be routed to the authorities for approval. Once they receive the request, they can either approve or reject the record.

Based on the action taken by the authorities the sales user can proceed with the further business process. Salesforce talks about the necessity and can explain why a ‘Salesforce approval process’ plays a key role in automating business processes automating business processes.

Main Elements of Salesforce Approval process

Following are the main components required for setting up an approval process.

Object – This is the object for which you need to define the approval process

Criteria – This is condition based on which the approval would be submitted.

Approver selection – This plays a major role in the approval process. We need to choose a correct user who can approve / reject the record

Actions based on Approval/rejection/recall of Record: You can choose among the four possible actions. They are field update, email alert, assigning a task and outbound Message. These actions can be invoked based on the status (Approve/Reject) of the record.

Steps to configure a simple approval process

Following are the steps for set up a simple approval process. We have described in a step by step manner.

  • Click on setup ->Navigate to build -> create -> Workflow & Approvals and select Approval Processes.

Navigate to build

  • Select an object from manage Approval Processes dropdown

Approval Processes dropdown

  • Click on Create new Approval process drop-down and select ‘Use Jump Start wizard’ as shown below

Create new Approval process

  • Provide details for the fields: Name and Unique name

Name and Unique name

In Specify entry criteria section

  • Select ‘Criteria are met’ option and enter the criteria

Specify Entery criteria

In Select Approver section

  • Select ‘Automatically assign to Approver(s)’, click on the lookup field and select the user to whom you want to submit the record for Approval .Now click on save as shown in below the example image

Automatically assign to Approver

  • After clicking on save you will be Redirected to a page, click on ‘view Approval Process Detail Page’.

View Approval Process Detail Page

Here, you can define new Actions or you can use existing Actions to be performed when a Record get  Approved/Rejected/Recalled.

Record get Approved or Rejected

Example of defining an Action when a Record gets Approved:

Now I am going to create an Action which Updates a field when record is Approved.

  • From ‘Final Approval  Actions’ Section click on Add New and Select ‘Field Update’.

Final Approval Actions’

  • Provide the details for fields: Name , Unique Name, Description(optional).
  • Select a field from ‘Field to Update’ drop-down list and enter a value for the field. Click on save.
  • Here, I have selected the field ‘submission status’, which is a pick-list. So, pick-list options are displayed in ‘Specify New Field Value’ section. If a text field is selected, you need to provide a value for that.

Field Update Edit

In the same way, you can define actions for rejected/recalled records etc. Now, you have to activate the approval process as shown below.

Opportunity approval

Automation of Approval Process through Process builder

After activating the approval process and creating a record meeting the approval criteria, we have to manually click on the option ‘Submit for Approval’ to send approval request to the approver.

Submit for Approval

It’s efficient when records to be submitted for approval are less in number. If there are hundreds of records which need to be submitted then, it consumes a lot of manual effort an time. To avoid this, we can create a process builder which triggers a specific approval process automatically.

Steps to configure approval process through process builder

  • Click on Setup ->goto build ->Create -> Workflow & Approvals and Process builder.
  • Create a Process builder with the same Object and Criteria used in creation of the approval process.
  • Click on ‘Add Action’, select ‘Submit for Approval’ for Action type and give Action name
  • Click on ‘Approval process’. Select ‘specified approval process’ from drop-down.
  • select the approval process that you have created and Select current user as Submitter and click on save.
  • Click on ‘Activate’ button.

Select and Define Action

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