Approval Flow

Using Approval Flows, workflows for system functions in Focus can be established and maintained. The first steps in this process include defining Direction Nodes, Approval Groups, Individual Approvers, and Permissions for every ERP approval flow within the district.

The “Edit Approval Flow” sub-permission set via Setup > Profiles > Setup tab allows users to determine if select profiles have the ability to move, edit, or delete approval flow nodes on the Approval Flows tab. If enabled, users will have the ability to input fields or edit fields on the Approval Permissions and the Approval Substitutes tabs. I.e. Not selecting the Edit Approval Flow check box for profiles ensures that those users will have view only permission.

Adding an Approval Flow

1. From the Setup menu, click Approval Flow.

2. Select the type of approval flow that needs to be set up from the Flow Type pull-down.

3. To add a direction node or approval node to the flow, click the Add Direction Node (sign post) or Add Approval Nodes (people) icons at the top of the screen. 

Approval flows are created using approval nodes and direction nodes, which are connected to each other. Approval nodes (people icon) represent the user or group of users in the workflow. Direction nodes (sign post icon) identifies the field in the form that will trigger the workflow.

An approval flow should start with a direction node.

4. To name an approval node, click the node. Then, enter the Group Name at the top of the screen. 

The Group Name may be the name of the profile, but does not need to match the name of the profile in order to function.

5. To set the criteria that will alert the approval group, click the direction node preceding the approval node. 

6. Select the field in the Property pull-down that will trigger the alert; the options displayed here vary depending on the Flow Type selected, such as Facility, Fund, etc.

7. Select the Operator (=, >, >=, <, <=, or !=)

8. Enter a Value that corresponds with the selected Property code.

You can enter an * (asterisk) to select all facilities; if the Value field is left blank, it will be treated as a catchall for all elements within a given property.

Example (below): the first direction node has a specified approval flow for Fund 410, but the second Direction Node Value field was left blank (“All Others”). All approval flows will follow the second path unless funds are requested under 410.

9. Enter a Wildcard Character, if needed. Doing so allows approver setup at a higher level. Example: if 03XX is entered for Fund and “X” as the Wildcard Character, approvers can approve any budget maintenance transfer request within the Fund 0300 range (0340, 0360, etc.).

10. To connect two nodes, click the Connect Nodes icon at the top of the screen. Then, click the first node and the second node. 

11. To disconnect two nodes, click the Disconnect Nodes icon at the top of the screen. Then, click the first node and second node. 

12. To move a node, click the Move Nodes icon at the top of the screen. Then, click and drag the node to the desired place on the screen. 

13. To delete a node, click the Delete Nodes icon at the top of the screen. Then, click the node to delete. 

14. In the confirmation message, click OK

Changes to the approval flow are auto-saved.

See the example of an Approval Flow below when complete.

Assigning a User to an Approval Group

The users who belong to each approval group are set in the Approval Permissions tab of the Approval Flow screen.

1. Click the Approval Permissions tab.

2. In the User pull-down, select the user to assign to the approval group.

3. Select the Approval Group. The options listed reflect the Group Name titles defined in the flow.

4. Select the Sub check box to set a user as an approver substitute, which allows the user to approve any request for the group upon navigating to the corresponding screen. The user set up as the sub will not receive alerts via the Portal page when approval is needed for a submitted request.

Setting a user as a Sub from the Approval Permissions screen differs from setting a user as a substitute via the Approval Substitutes tab because the Sub check box set up via Approval Permissions defines a substitute for an approval flow group while substitutes set up via Approval Substitutes defines a substitute for other users that have already been assigned as an approver for a specific group.

5. Define the Approval Permissions (based on accounting strip elements). The fields default to an asterisk, which implies that the selected user will responsible for all applicable elements. For example, if the asterisk is entered for Facility, the user will be responsible to approve all fixed asset transfer that pertain to all facilities (this is also depend upon the facility assigned in the approval flow).

You can also assign specific elements to specific users; i.e. make select users responsible for approving asset transfer for specific facilities, as shown in the image below.

6. Press Enter to save the data.

The entry is auto-saved and turns blue when saved.

See the example of an Approval Flow below when complete.

Setting Up an Approval Substitute

If an approver will not be available for a length of time, an approval substitute can be designated to approve or deny forms on the user's behalf.

1. Click the Approval Substitues tab.

2. In the User pull-down, select the user who is the substitute.  

3. In the Substitute for pull-down, select the approver for which the user is subbing.

4. Enter a Start Date and an End Date to define the amount of time the user will be subbing. You can define a Start Date and leave the End Date blank to be completed at a later date, if applicable. Note: You can leave the Start Date and End Date text boxes blank, so the substitute can sub until a subbing window is defined.

5. Press Enter to add the line. You will know your data has saved when the line turns blue and the delete button (red minus sign) displays.

Additional Features

Use the Filter text box located in select pull-down to quickly find a selection. Begin typing the name or number of the data in question to pull it to the beginning of the list.

If there are multiple pages of data, click the Prev and Next buttons to sift through pages. You can also enter a number in the Page text box to jump to a page.

Click the Excel icon in the Export section to export the table of data to an Excel spreadsheet, which can then be saved to your computer.

Click the Printer icon to print the table of data.

Click the Import button to import data from a CSV file. Once clicked, browse for the CSV file on the computer to import data.

a. In the Import CSV pop-up, select the applicable column headers from the pull-downs to ensure data is imported to the correct columns. Then, click Import CSV.

Click the Filters button to filter data and apply filter rules.

a. To add more than one filter to a column, click on the green plus sign.

b. To delete an added filter, click on the red minus sign.

c. Select the gray arrow for additional filtering rules.

For more information on how to use the Filters feature, see Filters.

You can also sort data by clicking on any of the headers. Click once for ascending results; click twice for descending results.