Document Approval Workflow

  1. Overview
    • For a typical use case of Document Approval Workflow, please check out the example in Document Workflow (Paperless Approval System).
    • With Document Approval Workflow, employee roles such as Line Manager, Head of Department and Head of Branch (more roles coming soon upon popular demand, leave your feedback here) have been added to support a complete Document Approval Workflow with minimum intervention from Administrator (as employer role).
    • Administrator/ Manager still plays an important role in the Document Approval Workflow, for instance, only Administrator is able to Escalate a pending document transaction (such as Timesheet or Expense Claim) from current workflow stage to the next. Escalation happens for various possible use cases, such as approving officer is not available, unassigned, or takes too long to decide etc.
    • Other than some very special occasions such as performing workflow escalation for document transactions, you should try to minimize the use of Administrator role.
    • In addition, an important Document Approval Workflow History feature has been added to trace the status of various workflow stages, including changes performed by Administrator and to provide a full audit trail to each document transaction approval process.
  2. Setting up Document Approval Workflow
    • To enable full document approval workflow support, you have to set it up first via Team->Document Approval Workflow.
    • You could now add a new workflow and give it a proper name. The workflow Code will be shown in the subject line of email notifications.
    • You are presented with 3 Approver levels, from 1st Approver to 3rd Approver. The first approver is mandatory while the rest of them are optional. However, you have to set up a lower level approver first before assigning one for higher level.
    • You may also repeat the roles in different levels, say 1st Approver being Line Manager, 2nd Approver being Head of Department and 3rd Approver being Line Manager again. This kind of set up will require the employee Line Manager to review the document transactions at 1st and 3rd stage of the document workflow respectively.
    • Reducing Document Approval Workflow levels while there are some document transactions (such as Timesheet or Expense Claim) which have completed initial approvals but still pending final approvals, will reset these document transactions back to first approval level. For instance, changing from 3 levels of approval to 1 level will reset the approval level of document transactions that have completed the 1st and 2nd levels.
    • Note: Document transactions associated with inactive Document Approval Workflow will not show up in the Document Review for review.
  3. Using Document Review
    • If an employee happens to be an Approver (a Line Manager to some other employees, or as a Head of Department or Head of Branch), then he/ she would be able to review the document transactions (such as Timesheet or Expense Claim) by other employees who are connected to his/ her supervisory roles. For instance, as a Head of Deprtment, an employee will be able to review the document transactions of other employees who are within the same department.
  4. Managing Document Approval
    • Using Employee Roles
      • Besides the 3 system roles for approving officers, i.e. Line Manager, Head of Department and Head of Branch, you may also create your own Custom Approvers for designated roles, such as Boss, Payroll Manager, COO etc. The 3 system roles usually vary among employees (as employees may have different Line Manager or Head of Department), but the Custom Approvers will always remain the same for all employees (such as CEO or Boss).
      • Note: Line Manager is assigned via Employee->Job Status, while Head of Department or Branch is assigned via Employer->Department and Employer->Branch respectively. Custom Approver is assigned via Employer->Custom Approver or Team->Custom Approver.
      • As an approving officer, if you reject a document transaction (such as Timesheet or Expense Claim), the document transaction will be concluded as Rejected immediately, regardless of whether there are further stages in the entire workflow. However, if you approve current document transaction, whether the document transaction is concluded as Approved depends on how the workflow is set up:
        • If there is no further workflow stage after current stage, then current document transaction will be concluded as Approved.
        • If there are additional workflow stage(s) after current approval, then current document transaction is not concluded yet but it will be routed to the next approval level.
        • A document transaction is concluded as Approved only if it goes through the entire workflow without being rejected at any stage.
        • Just like approving/ rejecting document transactions using Administrator role, as an approving officer, you may leave a Document Approval Remark to explain why a document transaction is approved/ rejected.
      • When a document transaction appears in the Document Review view, the factors that determine if current document transaction is removed from your view after you process it (by approving or rejecting it) are:
        1. Your supervisory roles and how the roles are set up in Document Approval Workflow
        2. Current workflow stage of the document transaction
        Let's say you are both the Line Manager of an employee and the Head of Department for the same employee. If the Document Approval Workflow is set up so that 1st Approver will be the Line Manager and 2nd Approver will be the Head of Department, then you will need to approve the document transaction 2 times (or reject it once) before it is removed from your Document Review view.
    • Using Administrator Roles
      • When you are managing via Employer account as Administrator, you are approving/ rejecting document transactions as Employer.
      • Administrator's document transaction approvals will also be logged as part of the workflow history. Changing the document transaction status will cause the pertinent change to be logged, including Escalating the document transaction to the next workflow stage.
  5. Administering Document Transaction by Administrator
    • Besides approving/ rejecting document transactions, Administrator is empowered to Escalate, Cancel or Reset a document workflow. Administrator is able to Escalate a pending document transaction from current workflow stage to the next. Escalation happens for various possible use cases, such as when approving officer is not available, unassigned, or takes too long to decide etc.
    • Document transactions (either approved or still pending review) may also be Cancelled by Administrator if the applicants would like to withdraw their document transactions.
    • In addition, if for whatever reason you would like the document transaction to go back to the beginning stage of document approval workflow, you may Reset it to Pending Approval.
    • Resetting document transaction status will also reset it's associated workflow back to the beginning stage. Resetting could be caused either by changing the document approval status (from Approved or Rejected to Pending Approval), or by reducing the stages of current Document Approval Workflow (which only affects document transactions that are pending for final approval, but have already completed some initial workflow stages).
  6. About Document Approval Workflow History
    • All possible actions that any of the approving officers or Administrator perform on the document transactions will be tracked in the Document Approval Workflow History.
    • In addition, you may also find out from current document transaction's workflow history whose approval is needed for the current workflow stage.