What is an Approval Process?

An approval process is a business process that includes steps to approve work from different levels of an organization. The workflow varies from business to business and requires involvement from different departments such as invoicing, project management, and sales quoting. These workflows and approval processes can rely on emails, paper forms spreadsheets, ledgers, and sometimes custom automation.

Most businesses still use Excel spreadsheets and email for their approval management processes. However, these processes can be slow, inefficient and subject to delays especially when they are not created and optimized accurately. While most businesses start digitizing their approval processes, they still aren’t actively automating these processes, which can lead to decreased productivity and efficiency.

Many businesses prefer to use email and spreadsheets as a way to handle approvals since it's free and does not require technical knowledge. But managing approvals using emails and spreadsheets can be time-wasting and risky as emails might get lost in the shuffle, spreadsheets can be inefficient, and in the end, someone ends up handling it manually.

Using Excel Spreadsheets for Approval Processes

Microsoft Excel is being used by businesses for many purposes. The main reasons why it is preferred so much is that it is free, flexible and simple for everyone to use even if you are a non-tech person.

Businesses often use Excel as an approval process tool. But how are the approval processes are handled with excel spreadsheets?

  1. Businesses/departments prepare a spreadsheet in a desired form, suitable for their need.
  2. Send it as an attachment to an email message.
  3. Each person in the approval chain manually approves or rejects, makes annotations on that spreadsheet and saves their changes.
  4. Then, they send it to the next person in the chain.
  5. The final spreadsheet then shared drive or locally or be stored on a network drive.

The use of Excel can be straightforward especially if businesses are using it for something simple but it’s still inefficient. People still has to compile the results manually and track the process carefully. The approval process becomes an obstacle when a process requires approvals from multiple parties when everyone in the approval chain has to open the attachment, review it, make changes, save it under a new name and send it to next person.

Because of these disadvantages businesses tend to use technology to automate these tedious manual tasks that slows down every day work. But while automating their approval processes, businesses might not have the money to hire more people or expand their tech budget. At that point, modern, cloud-based software becomes a lifesaver and they give businesses the power of automated, digital processes.

Streamline Approval Processes with SpreadsheetWeb

SpreadsheetWeb is a No-Code platform designed to give businesses the ability to turn their spreadsheets into full-blown web applications with a variety of extensible features. One of those features is enabling approvals and workflow capabilities.

With SpreadsheetWeb, businesses can manage approval workflow effectively, transparently, and accurately and can regain countless hours every week by automating their approval processes while providing better visibility into every process. If you are using Excel spreadsheets to manage the approval process you can easily turn that spreadsheet into a web application, apply custom business rules and track every step of the process.

By configuring an approval mechanism with a workflow to manage the life-cycle of user responses from creation to completion, you can enable participants to see where approvals are, and auditors to see the complete history of who approved what and when to enhance the process workflow and stay on top of critical deadlines.

With SpreadsheetWeb you can boost your team’s efficiency by improving accountability. You can choose to let right people know that their approval is needed for a particular process. With the help of custom tags you can restrict users to what they can access in the system. Plus, you can securely manage your applications and at scale with a platform that offers enterprise-grade security and well-defined permission controls.

Finally, using SpreadsheetWeb’s integrations with numerous apps, you can push your spreadsheet data to downstream systems with the click of a button to automate your workflow and manage your business operations with ease.

Every business has its own set of workflows for everyday tasks. These tasks and workflows often need to be approved by managers and directors before formally starting or moving to the next step. This process is called the Approval Process which is a common feature in businesses that legal documents, invoices, internal documents etc. go through one or more people/department for approvals. That’s why approval management plays a crucial role in businesses where time is valuable and transparency is mandatory.

With SpreadsheetWeb, businesses can automate every step of their approval process to enhance their team’s efficiency and productivity, can get faster business results and avoid critical mistakes by reducing human error.