8. Configure Approvals unit

8.1       The role of approvals in AlSuite
AlSuite has an inbuilt workflow that tracks the chain of project activities. Typically, staff in a given Department raises an activity plan together with the associated requisition and supporting documents, and presents these to the designated approvers. The approver could be a Department Manager or Director. Once an activity plan has been approved, the financial requisition associated is booked against the Chart of Account line, the project and the client bearing the costs. The requisition is then presented to designated requisition approvers, e.g. Director of Finance. The activity is then executed and eventually, a field report should be filed if requested. A field report so filed should also be approved by designated approvers.

The approval system in AlSuite is designed to manage the approval of activity plans, requisitions and field reports. 

8.2       Access the Approval section
Accessing the Approval section of the application assumes that you have the right to access the approval unit. Furthermore, we assume that you have the right to manage approvals.

In order to access the Approval section, log into the application -> Click on My Units -> Select the unit “Approvals”. In Navi-Bar-2 we see three links: Dashboard, My Approvals and Approval levels.

The approval section has the following functionalities: 

  • Navi-Bar-1 has the default set of drop down buttons, i.e. Operations and Reporting
  • Navi-Bar-2 has three buttons, i.e. Dashboard, My Approvals and Approval Levels.
  • A filter in Navi-Bar-3 enables you to select the approval level, i.e. Activity Plan, Requisition or Field Report. In the graphic, we are looking at “Activity Plan Approver” instance dashboard.
  • In the panel, the Approval Level Stand, highlights approvals that are pending, approved or rejected for the instance selected.
  • Below the Approval Level stand section, we see the Instance AVG Approval in Days, i.e. the average number of days it is currently taking the approvers to run approvals for the given instance.
  • In the middle column we have the Pending Approvals Day Distribution, which gives a picture of pending approvals in days.
  • In the right column we have My Alerts and Reminders that is standard across the whole application

8.2.1       Configure approval levels
For each instance, i.e. Activity Plan, Requisition and Field Report, we can define approval levels. Approvers at each level must approve any given instance before that instance is flagged as fully approved. Where triggers are involved, Level I would have to invite Level II to approve. More on this in later sections.       Define approval level
In order to manage approval levels, go to Navi-Bar-2 in the unit “Approval” and click on “Approval Levels”. You will be presented with the dashboard.

For any given instance, click on “Approval Level” to define the number of levels that will apply. You will be expected to specify the Name, Instance, Coverage, Approval Rule and Status.

  • Name: This is the name given to an approval level, e.g. Activity Plan Approvers Level I, for the first AP approver level.
  • Instance: Specify the instance for which the approval level is being defined.
  • Coverage: Specify whether the approval level is valid for all instances (global) or unit-specific. If you would like to define a level as unit-specific, after creating the approval level, you will be expected to define the units for which it applies.       Define approvers
After defining Approval Levels, now you can determine user accounts that are supposed to run approvals for specific levels.

In order to define approvers, go to Navi-Bar-2 and click on “Approval Levels” -> For the instance of interest, click on “Approvers” -> Click on “Assign” -> Select approvers for the level -> Save and view all or Save and view level.       How to define approval triggers
Approval triggers define how approval levels interact with one another. In some instances, you might want to configure Level II approvers to only approve upon request by Level I approvers. In this case, that particular instance will be considered approved after Level I has approved, unless if at the time of running the approval, Level I requests Level II to approve.

8.2.2       Manage approvals
In Navi-Bar-2 we have the section called “My Approvals”, where designated approvers manage approvals, i.e. approve or reject approvals for any given instance. We shall not delve into this in this manual, because this is a setup manual. To gain a better understanding of how this works, please refer to the user manual.

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