From this article you will learn:
- What is the approval workflow
- How to activate approval workflow on your account
- How is the approval workflow built
- Who can approve the documents
- How does the approval process work from the perspective of the annotator
- How does the approval process work from the perspective of the approver
- What are the current limitations of the approval workflows
What is the approval workflow
Rossum allows you to implement automated routing of approval requests in the company. The process works based on data extracted from the document and the rules that our team is going to help you create.
Simple example of a workflow is – all invoices below $500 are going to be approved automatically, but documents with a higher amount will be sent to the team leader for further acceptance.
The feature allows you to create unlimited workflows with unlimited steps and assignment rules so the routing can be much more complex.
How to activate approval workflow on your account
“Approval workflows” is an additional, paid feature that has to be activated by our team. If you would like to give it a try, please contact your dedicated Account Manager or reach out to email@example.com.
The workflow needs to be prepared and configured by us as well. We are going to gather your requirements and set everything up for you. The only thing you need to do is enable the workflow in queue settings once it is ready.
How is the approval workflow built
For each approval workflow you can define an unlimited set of steps. Each of them contains a condition that has to be met in order to route the documents correctly.
Conditions are created using data extracted from the document or provided by annotator manually. Example of the condition is – total amount of the invoice is less or equal $500.
Steps of the workflow can be then put in the specific order. In case the condition included in first step is met the document is sent for approval. If the condition is not met, the workflow moves to the next step etc. If no condition in the whole workflow is met, the document is automatically rejected.
When condition is met and the document is sent for approval it can be processed automatically or by a person assigned to the workflow as an approver. In the second scenario you can decide if it should be accepted by only one or by all approvers assigned to that step.
Documents sent for approval are “read only” and their status is changed to “In workflow”.
Approved document is moved to another workflow step. When the last step is accepted, document status is changed to “Confirmed” or “Exported”, depending on your settings.
Status of rejected documents is changed to “Rejected”.
Example of a workflow:
Step 1 – if the total amount of an invoice is less or equal then $500 the document is approved automatically
Step 2 – if the total amount of an invoice is greater than $500 the document is sent to team leads for approval, approval of one team lead is enough to proceed
Step 3 – if the total amount of an invoice is greater than $5000 the document is sent to manager and CFO, approval of everyone is necessary to proceed
Who can approve the documents
Documents can be approved by users with the “Approver” role in Rossum. This group has “Viewer” permission and, on top of that, can accept or reject documents.
Approval permission can also be granted to users with other roles (e.g. “Annotators” or “Managers”) by selecting the “Can approve” option in their profile.
“Admins” can access, approve, reject and reassign all the requests on behalf of other users.
How does the approval process work from the perspective of the annotator
Once the data on the document is validated, annotators are asked to submit the record for approval.
It’s a default option for queues that are part of the workflow, but not the only one. To make sure that process is not blocked, annotators can still confirm the document instead of moving it further.
“Confirm (bypass workflows)” option can be configured on queue level and disabled on request.
Annotators can check current status of the request using “Workflow activity” feature.
How does the approval process work from the perspective of the approver
Users with the approver permissions have access to the new tab in Rossum – “Requests”. All requests waiting for a decision are kept there.
Users with “Admin” role can additionally filter the requests using “My requests” (requests assigned to them) and “All requests” options.
To make sure approvers won’t miss any document, Rossum sends email notifications:
- when new request is waiting for the decision
- when someone else already approved the request and no further action is needed
- when someone else already rejected the request and no further action is needed
Email notifications are currently predefined and active by default.
To make the decision process smooth we have prepared an approval screen containing the most important information about each request such as:
- document preview
- highlighted values extracted from the document (displayed values can be defined in workflow configuration
- workflow steps and their status
- activities history
Here you can approve or reject a document. It is also possible to add comments to the decision (pop-up window shows up when you click either “Approve” or “Reject”).
When accepted, the file changes status to “Confirmed” or “Exported” depending on your setting or is moved to the next steps of the workflow.
Rejected records change status to “Rejected”.
Approvers can also:
- reassign the request to another approver
- move the document back to review with a comment
- send the document via email e.g. back to vendor
- reject the document via email
What are the current limitations of the approval workflows
“Approval workflows” is currently an early stage feature. We are going to develop it further and increase its capabilities based on feedback from our users. Some of the known limitations of current version are listed below:
- workflows have to be configured with Rossum’s team help – no settings are available directly in the app
- email notifications are always active, content cannot be edited (apart from highlighted fields defined for each workflow)
- approvers have to be specific users (no support for user groups or roles)
- it’s not possible to approve document via link from the email notification without logging in
- there is no search bar in “Requests” tab
- only users with admin permission can filter requests using “My requests” or “All requests” options
- only pending requests are visible in “Requests” tab
- requests have to be processed one by one – batch approval is not available
If you have any questions or if you would like to share your feedback with us, please reach out to your Account Manager or to firstname.lastname@example.org.