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Eliminate manual approval bottlenecks with our no-code approval workflow template. Give your team a clear idea of what needs to be approved, by when, and how so that no approvals get stuck in the pipeline for long.


What is an approval workflow?

An approval workflow is a set of steps that a document or a task needs to go through before it can be approved and completed. The steps in an approval workflow are usually set up to ensure that the document or task is reviewed and checked by the right people and that any issues or problems are caught and addressed before the document or task is finalized.


Why is an approval workflow process important?

As an organization grows, the number of tasks that need to be reviewed increases. This task which could've been done over email now needs a proper structure.

Approval workflows help businesses monitor the flow of approvals to keep the pipeline of task moving. Here are some reasons why an approval workflow process is essential for enterprises:

  • Ensures tasks are monitored and done properly
  • Makes sure tiny details aren’t overlooked.
  • Allows different people or groups to review and approve a document or task on time.
  • Enables to track the progress of the document or task through the approval process.
  • Helps to catch and address any issues or problems before finalizing the document or task.
  • Improves communication and collaboration among the different people or groups involved in the process.
  • Enhances overall organizational efficiency and accountability.

About the Nanonets Approval Workflow Template

Do your projects get delayed because one of the reviewers forgot to provide you required approvals?

It’s time to change this.

Automate and enhance visibility into the entire approval process using an automated approval workflow template. Ensure all your stakeholders are updated about the incoming documents, improve accountability and drastically reduce the time to process your approvals.


How to use Nanonets Approval Workflow Template?

To use the Nanonets approval workflow template, log in to your Nanonets account or create a free account if you haven’t already.

Let’s see how we can create an invoice approval workflow on Nanonets.

Step 1: Create an OCR model.

Go ahead and select the invoice OCR model.

Invoice OCR model on Nanonets platform
Invoice OCR model on Nanonets platform

Once you’ve opened the model, upload an invoice of your choice. See all the extracted data. We will use the extracted data to trigger the approval workflow.

Invoice data extraction on Nanonets
Invoice data extraction on Nanonets 

Step 2: Create invoice approval workflow.

Setting up invoice approval workflow on Nanonets 

Set up invoices workflow by clicking the banner and selecting workflow from the left menu.

Step 3: Add workflow parameters

Scroll down to see the approval module in the workflow.

Approval workflow on Nanonets
Approval workflow on Nanonets 

Here you can do the following:

Add Reviewers

Add reviewers who will receive flagged files in their inboxes for manual review.

Update Rules

Define the conditions to flag or select a file for manual review.

Add multiple stages.

Need more than just one check? Add multiple stages and rules for a thorough review.

Automate

Once done, Nanonets will run all rules for every document on autopilot.

Let’s check some use cases

  1. Check whether the dates are valid: If we want to check whether they are proper, here’s how you can do it.
Checking if dates on invoices are proper on Nanonets approval workflow
Checking if dates on invoices are proper on Nanonets approval workflow

2. Verify Vendor details: If you want to verify vendor names by matching them in your existing database, you can do so using the following conditions.

Verifying vendor details on Nanonets approval workflow
Verifying vendor details on Nanonets approval workflow

Flag invoices under a particular amount: If you want to flag invoices with a total amount of less than 5000, here’s how you can do it.

Flagging invoices under a particular amount on Nanonets
Flagging invoices under a particular amount on Nanonets

Approval workflows are effortless to set up on Nanonets. If you face any issues, our team is here to help.

Reach out to our team to set up custom Approval workflows or try them youself.


Benefits of using Nanonets Approval Workflow Template

Pending approvals can have ripple effects on project deadlines. As a business, you would want to streamline approval processes to accelerate project timelines and impact revenue.

With Nanonets approval workflow template, you can

  • Set up an automated approval process in minutes.
  • Create approval workflows with 0 errors
  • Improve financial accountability with real-time approval statuses
  • Eliminate approval bottlenecks with Intelligent Automation.

Why Nanonets for Approval Workflows?

Nanonets platform introduction

Nanonets is an intelligent AI-based document automation software that allows you to automate document approval processes with no-code rule-based workflows.

Nanonets has a wide range of tools like automated workflows, document verification, 3-way matching, and OCR API, along with service choices like personalized training, annotators, 24x7 support, and a free trial.

Intelligent Automation in a few clicks

Automates manual approval with no-code workflows.

24x7 Support

Get complete migration assistance, round-the-clock support, a dedicated customer success team, and more with Nanonets.

No-code platform

Integrate, automate and implement sophisticated AP automation without writing a single line of code.

Free Migration Assistance

Planning to shift to Nanonets? Our expert team will help you set up an account and make your workflows work the way you want.


Automate approvals with a few clicks. Use the Nanonets Approval workflow template for free.


Supercharge your Approval Workflows

Automate your approval workflows with a no-code intelligent automation platform. Optimize your business performance, save costs and boost growth with Nanonets.

Get in touch with our automation experts, or create an approval workflow yourself.


What are the different types of Approval Workflow?

Approval workflows are important for making an organization work better and be more productive. They save time and reduce mistakes. Approval workflows ensure that people in the company and important people in charge agree on things before they are put into action. There are different types of approval workflows that organizations can use.

Process Workflow

Process Workflow is the most common type of workflow. It is good when a project's tasks are the same every time. This kind of workflow helps make the way to finish the project clear. An example is a Document Management Workflow which helps organizations process papers.

Project Workflow

Project Workflow is good when the project's goal is clear, but the way to get there may not be. This kind of workflow helps make the way to finish the project clear. An example is a Finance Management Workflow, which helps organizations manage money.

Case Workflow

Case Workflow is also called an Investigating Workflow. This is good when the goal is clear, but the way to get there is not. An example of this is a Monetary Reward Workflow. This workflow helps determine if someone should get a reward and how much they should get. It goes through different levels for approval. If everyone agrees, the person receives the reward. If someone does not agree, the reward is not given.


Create any kind of approval workflow with Nanonets. Create a free account or reach out to our expert team to set up your workflows.


Best Practices for Approval Worflows

Any company, with the help of approval workflows, can increase its profits and help to reduce time and effort, which can, in turn, be used in doing something productive. In addition, it can make the whole approval process easy for the company, and teams can work more productively and flexibly. Given below are some best practices to follow when using an approval workflow.

  • Determining the approvers for each team.
  • Streaming multi-stage approvals with the help of automated workflow templates.
  • Identifying redundancies in the workflows for an optimized approval procedure.
  • Preparing for delays and bottleneck situations while assigning tasks.
  • Ascertaining that every team member has the resources they need to finalize tasks.

Five Key Challenges of a Manual Approval Workflow

Requires a lot of time

Approval work can take a lot of time if done by hand. It can be tiring and make mistakes. But with approval workflow automation software, it can be done quickly without wasting time and effort. This helps employees have more time to do important things for the company.

Result in Delays

In the manual approval process, email takes the members' approval. It could be lengthy as you'd have to wait for the person to respond; if he doesn't, you need to send the email again, which leads to added delays.

Reduces Transparency

It is hard to determine the bottleneck in a manual approval process. With the approval workflow template, you can make the entire process transparent for everyone in the organization. Moreover, approval workflow with customizable dashboards helps you track the approval workflows, increasing the company's combination and productivity.

Repetitive tasks can be counterproductive

Entering manual data could be a repetitive and tedious task, and this could result in errors. In addition, handling many physical documents could be time consuming, increasing the chances of mistakes, which could be bad for the company's growth. Approval workflow processes can help to reduce these errors and stressful issues for employees, giving them time to engage in something productive for the company.


Shift from manual approval processes to automated approval workflows with Nanonets. Set up approval workflows in 5 mins!


FAQ

What is approval automation?

Approval automation is a process where the project work is sent at one or more levels for rejection or approval. This process helps to enhance communication, promotes flexibility, and reduces time, effort, and chances of errors making the organization thrive. 

How do you create an approval matrix?

To create an approval matrix, it is essential to formulate the hierarchy of approvers. For example, the VP of Finance is placed at the top tier, and direct team managers come into the scene. Most probably, this hierarchy is based on the organization's structure. 

Why are approval workflows critical?

Approval workflows are essential for any organization because it helps to reduce the time and effort of employees doing the approval process manually. It also reduces the chances of any reports, enhancing the company's productivity.

What are the steps to use the Nanonets approval workflow template?

Once logged in, you can add an approval workflow to your document OCR models.

  • To add approval workflow, go to WORKFLOW > Approvals
  • You’ll see a module like this where “General checks” and “Vendor verification” are different review stages.
  • Under every review stage, you can add the following
  • Review types
  • Reviewers
  • Rules to flag files
  • You can add the following conditions under the rules to flag files:
  • Is a valid date: Checks if the string is one of the accepted date formats
  • Is not a future date: Check if date is after current date
  • Content length: Checks number of characters in a field
  • Is score >=: Checks confidence score is higher than the value specified
  • Match databases: Looks for a captured value in your database or ERP (2-way or 3-way matching)
  • Match to the field: Should match another field captured on the invoice
  • Python script: Create your own custom rule with Python

What is an approval workflow example?

Let's explain the approval workflow process with the example of budget approval. While drafting an organization's budget, it is necessary to pass it to numerous levels for changes and approvals. Budget is an essential part of an organization to function smoothly as it keeps track of how much money is spent and received, showing the company's profit at the end. As the approval procedure is multi-tiered and requires several approvals for every tier but with the help of approval workflow, they could complete this process quickly. 

An approval workflow management software creates and sends the forms for modifications and approval to all the company members. In the long run, this reduces the time, effort, and possibility of errors establishing transparency in the budget-making process. In addition, they automatically generate documents, forms, sheets, and data and send them through email or any other source as registered by the company for approval, making it a flexible process.

What are the different elements of the approval workflow process?

Every company needs an approval process for the organization to run correctly. They need it for various operations like billing, discounts, invoice processes, etc. Better approval workflow performs better functions which enables the organization to function smoothly. Approval workflows are unique, but some common elements are available in all approval workflows. They are.

Submission

The submission process is necessary for the functioning of an approval workflow. Staff members must submit the data, such as documents, to initiate the workflow process. Different projects require different data, but all of them require data submission in the first place. 

Task List

The breaking down of higher-level objectives into more refined steps is the work of a task list. This is done to make the staff members conscious of their work and the team as a whole. 

Permission Levels

The function of permission levels is to allocate the level of authority for every member of the organization. The whole objective of administering authority is that the company's operations should be performed smoothly. It also enables the management to give the power to reject and approve the data. 

Approvers

The whole approval process relies on who will approve the work. Approvers help the company divide the approval work among each member so that who will approve what data. It turns out to be a multi-level approval process which helps to maintain flexibility in the organization. 

Approval Conditions

As the name suggests, approval conditions put away some standards by which a submission is rejected or approved. The standards are defined as per the task for each project. For example, in graphic design approval workflow, approval conditions could be unique design and quality. 

Alerts and Notifications

This is one of the essential elements of the approval workflow, as updates are necessary so that the team can keep up with the task. In addition, rejection and approval notifications can help staff members work on them immediately to be forwarded to the next level. It allows the company to function smoothly and increase productivity. 


Looking to automate manual processes? Nanonets' automated workflows can save 80% of your time by automating mundane tasks. Try no-code workflows now!


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Update: The blog was updated on 11 January 2023 with updated content.