Ralph Waldo Emerson famously exclaimed, “How much of human life is lost in waiting!”
It’s almost criminally wasteful – waiting for the bus, waiting for a call, even waiting for approvals at the workplace!
Thankfully, approvals can be optimized for speed and efficiency with the help of workflow automation.
What is Approval Workflow Automation?
A majority of business processes require approvals from key positions before they can be completed. For such processes, businesses create approval workflows that sequentially lay out all the tasks involved. The surefire way to improve the efficiency of approval workflows is to automate them using workflow management systems.
An Approval Workflow in Action
A typical example of an approval workflow is employee expense reports. When employees incur expenses pertaining to work, they can either request funds in anticipation or claim reimbursements later. Either way, they need to submit expense reports and supporting bills.
- The process starts with an employee submitting an expense report to the head of his or her department. The head of department reviews and either approves it or sends it back to the employee for changes. Once approved, the report is forwarded to the finance department.
- At the finance department, the authorized team member reviews the report. The finance team can also approve the amount for payment or request more clarifying information or changes.
- In case there is a reimbursement claim included, the approved report is passed on to the payments team, which then proceeds to pay the employee through a cheque or account transfer. Alternately, if the employee has returned some part of the advance, the collections team receives and acknowledges the same.
As you can see, a simple process like expense reports can involve many people and require multiple approvals. When workflow automation is not applied, such processes can devolve into chaos and endless delays very easily.
The Need for Approval Workflow Software
Approvals can be much more efficient with the use of approval workflow software. These applications are necessary for businesses to achieve
- Streamlined processes and reduction of manual entry
- Faster Approvals
- Reduction in errors and improperly approved requests
- Improved compliance with industry regulations and audit trails
- Minimized delays and bottlenecks
Without approval workflow software, processes can tend to be inefficient, inaccurate, and time and effort-intensive. Businesses that desire maximum efficiency invariably choose to invest in them.
Features to Look for When Choosing Approval Workflow Software
A checklist to identify approval workflow software best suited to your needs would include the following features.
Intuitive visual designer
The ideal approval software will score high in ease of use. Employees who don’t have coding knowledge should find the experience friction free.
The form builder should feature exhaustive fields to enable maximum customization. Irrespective of the nature of the requirement, the user should be able to design a form with ease.
If you’re seeking approval workflow software to maximize productivity, you’re better off considering options based on cloud technology. With minimal network downtime and a centralized database, your processes will see a boost in turnaround time.
Data security is often a major concern for businesses that are considering moving to cloud-based applications. Effective approval workflow software addresses this through features like role-based access. You can restrict access to specific information to relevant people only, thereby protecting sensitive information.
Considering that businesses use a variety of applications, one of the topmost criteria for good approval workflow software is easy integration. Spending precious time and energy trying to integrate existing apps with the new software is inefficient.
Analytics and reporting
The right approval workflow software should feature powerful reporting and analytics abilities. The idea is to monitor, analyze, and improve processes cyclically to heighten efficiency.
An often forgotten feature to consider is scalability. An approval workflow software should be viewed as a long-term investment and the application should, therefore, be capable of scaling alongside your growing business.
The Right Choice for Quick Approvals
If you wish to make your approval processes faster and more efficient, Kissflow can help you achieve that with ease. It checks all the boxes you need and is even fun to use.
Kissflow powers smooth functioning of processes through notifications that can be set up based on your requirements. Kissflow Workflow Approval Software, streamlines the approval process across all industry business, Such as Marketing, Finance, IT, HR, Education, Government and other kinds of services. It helps you build insightful dashboards that can inform you of process status effortlessly. What’s more, the pricing model is transparent and as simple as it gets.
Workflow approvals play an intrinsic role in day-to-day business operations, be it in any industry. Try Kissflow's free trial today, the free approval workflow software that leverages automation to save countless hours wasted on manual approvals.