Approval forms are used to get official consent or permission for a specific action, decision, or request. In this tutorial, you will see how to build approval forms in 4 easy steps.
You can find approval forms in various contexts, including business, education, government, and organizational settings.
Approval forms help you to guarantee that you have received the required confirmation from all necessary parties or authorities. These forms often provide fields for recording crucial data, like the requester’s identity, the request’s goal, the specifics of the action or decision being requested, and the approver’s signature or electronic confirmation.
Examples of approval forms
Approval forms can vary considerably depending on the context and purpose for which they are utilized.
Here are a few examples for approval forms:
- Expense reimbursement forms
- Project approval forms
- Purchase requisition approval
- Leave request approval
- Travel authorization approval
- Training request approval
- Change request approval
In this article, we are going through making an “Expense Reimbursement” form. Then, You can see how to make an app, manage your approval status, and track your business processes.
If you want different managers or departments to review and approve your form separately, you can build a separate app for each manager and share the link with them.
A step-by-step guide to creating an efficient approval form
Making your form is the first step to automating your expense approval process. You can make it from scratch or use one of our 200+ templates and customize it.
Expense reimbursement tracking
Sales CRM app template
Team evaluation form template
Let’s start making the expense reimbursement approval form.
If you don’t have a Formaloo account yet, signup here now and follow these steps:
Step 1- Create your form
Open your dashboard and click the big plus button to create a blank formaloo. Here you add the fields you want on your form.
Then, use the drag-and-drop interface and start customizing the look of your form. For example, change the background color, add your logo, insert images if you want, change the font and size, etc.
You can also add “Page Break” fields to show your single-step form on multiple pages.
Step 2- Add an approval status field
In the approval forms, the submitted requests can be routed to your finance manager or another member of top management before it is officially approved.
To track the status of the request, add a status field to your form. Here’s how you can do it:
Each submitted request can have only one status. So add a “Single-choice” field and add two options on it: one for “Approved” and one for “Rejected“.
Then, make the field “Admin-only“, to prevent showing it on the form to the users who are filling the request form.
In the next step, you can see how to use this field in your approval workflow process and manage the status of your responses on this template.
Step 3- Organize approval status in a Kanban
Now, let’s build your app to manage your approval workflow.
Go back to your dashboard and click on your formaloo. On the opened page, click “Edit App” from the left menu to start making changes to your app.
The structure of your app
On the left, you can see your apps’ menu and all pages inside them. You can add new pages to your menu or remove the existing ones.
By default, all apps have a page to show the results of the form in a table view and also another page to show the charts for that data.
For our approval workflow, we need two main pages on our menu:
- All requests: to show the result of the submitted forms.
- Final approval status: to categorize the status of the forms by the manager in a kanban board.
We already have the “All requests” page. It’s the default result table of our approval form and shows all reimbursement requests that are submitted on our form.
Add a page to show the approval pipeline
To add a page for “Final approval status“, click on “+Add Page” on your menu. Then select the “Block” option to create a new block on the page. Here, type in the page title, for example, “Final approval status”. Then select your form from the dropdown field to show its data in the view.
To choose the data view type, select “Board” and then select the “Kanban” view. Next, you should choose the field you want your Kanban view grouped by.
You can select to group your Kanban by any single choice or dropdown field. In this example, you can select to group it by the “Status” field you created in the previous step.
Select which field should show as the title of cards in your Kanban board and which fields to display on the card as extra information. When you finished adding all necessary fields, save your changes to create your custom Kanban board.
When you create the Kanban board, your Kanban board will automatically group your data into two columns: “Approved” and “Rejected“. These are the two options for our admin-only field that we created in Step 2.
Test your Kanban approval workflow
Now, submit your form once to see how it works. Go back to your dashboard, right-click your formaloo, and select “View”. This will open the “form view” of your formaloo. Submit your form and then get back to the app to see the result.
When you open the Kanban page, you’ll see another row named as “Uncategorized“. This is a column that Formaloo automatically uses for uncategorized cards and is the default for cards’ categorization.
You can drag the card and drop it into the Approved column, to approve it. Or drop it into the Rejected column to reject the request.
Also, you can see a table of all submitted data from the left menu.
Step 4- Create a custom email template for approvals
The final step is to send an email to the manager whenever a request form is submitted. This way, the managers will get notified about the request and can review it in the app and approve or reject it.
To create a custom email template, click on your profile icon and go to the “Email Templates” page. Here, you can create a new template for the manager.
How to create custom email notifications
The ability to get emails for each new form submission is known as email notifications. Formaloo’s autoresponder helps you automate your workflow by sending an automatic response email to your form respondents.
Custom notification emails let you personalize the email’s text and even customize the SMTP settings to send the emails from your email address.
Add the URL of your app inside the email content box to allow the manager directly review the requested submission in your approval app.
Don’t forget to set this email template on your approval form. To do so, edit your form, go to the “Notifications” tab, and enable the “Send me a notification email” option. Then, you can insert your email address and also the email address of the manager(s) who should receive a copy of the submitted data. Finally, select the email template to be used in your notification email.
You can choose to send a notification email to the submitter as well. For this purpose, you must have an email field on your form to collect the requester’s email address. Then, enable the “Send submitted data to the submitter” option. And finally, select the email template to use for this email notification.
So when a form is submitted, this email will be sent to the managers and they can see the results and complete the approval process.
Learn more about how to use the email templates in forms.
Congrats! You have created a customized approval form in just a few clicks! With this approval app, you can automate your manual processes. It helps you boost your team’s collaboration and save time.
Approval forms are great tools for businesses looking to improve workflow automation and communication. You can streamline your approval procedures, increase transparency, and speed up decision-making by using these forms on your website.
In this article, we went through a step-by-step guide to creating an approval form and workflow. You can customize it based on your needs and personalize it for your own use.
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