Approval Process Basics

Many business processes require approval from a manager or another department in order for the process to move forward.  Salesforce allows users to automate those approvals and track them through each step using Approval Processes.  We’ll use the Salesforce Approval Process help documentation to walk through the high level steps of how to create an Approval Process and then check out the SaaSy5 Pinterest board to check out some examples.

#1 Prepare to Set Up an Approval Process

Salesforce has a great checklist to consider before setting up an approval process.  Here are a few key takeaways.

  • Evaluate all possible scenarios to make sure the automation fits for each one.
  • Consider who the approvers are and how they will be notified when their approval is required.
  • Are there time limits before the approval is escalated or a manager is notified?
  • How are records pending approval handled?
  • Review and test the approval process in a sandbox before activating it in your production environment.

#2 Choose the Right Approval Wizard

Salesforce offers two wizards (the Jump Start Wizard and the Standard Wizard)to help set up Approval Processes.  As a System Administrator it’s important to evaluate which wizard is best suited for your skill level and needs.  The Jump Start Wizard is a great option for newer System Admins or for Approval Processed that are more simplistic.  The Jump Start Wizard allows system admins to create approval processes more quickly with a set of default options predefined.  Once the approval process is created in the Jump Start wizard these options can be changed, if needed.

In the following steps we’ll outline the steps to create an approval process with the Jump Start Wizard.

#3 Add an Approval Step

Once the approval process is created you’ll be brought to the page below.  It’s a lot, I know but we’ll get through it together.


We’ll need to add Approval Steps, these are the users that should approve a record based on the business requirements.  In the image above there is only one step, but approvals can have several steps of approves that would need to approve a record.

#4 Add Automated Actions

Next we can add actions.  There are several types of actions we can add — initial actions, final approval, final rejection and recall actions.

  • Initial Actions – These are automated actions that occur when a record is first submitted for approval.
  • Final Approval or Rejection Actions – These are actions that automatically occur when after the final approval or rejection.
  • Recall Actions – If you’re giving your users the ability to recall a record that is pending approval you’ll need to define what automated actions will happen.

#5 Review and Activate the Approval

I can’t stress this enough –review the approval process before activating it.  I like to review my approval processes in the diagram form before activating them, especially the more complex approvals.


Approval processes keep users from having to remember what must be approved by whom.  They decrease human error and help put safe blocks in place to prevent a users from progressing through a process that may not meet organizational standards.
Make sure to follow our Pinterest for more information.

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