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How to Create an Approval Workflow in Microsoft Dynamics 365?

When looking for maximum efficiency within business processes, the first thing you need to do is automate everything that can be automated. But what about the bits and pieces that inevitably require manual intervention? Approvals are an integral part of almost every business process that requires human personnel to review the request being raised and decide the direction of the process workflow afterward.  

For instance, a simple order processing workflow would require the seller to review the order and approve it before dispatching the product. The seller may choose to take any action regarding the approval request. He can reject, approve, request further changes, or delegate them to another person. The workflow will have to realign itself according to the action taken and ensure proper execution.  

The Microsoft Dynamics 365 approval Workflow helps you do that and more with its intuitive features. Read on to know more.  

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Approval Workflow

The Microsoft Dynamics 365 Approval Workflow is a specialized feature from the comprehensive Dynamics 365 platform. It allows you to specify detailed workflows with relevant roles, authorized approvers, notifications, conditionals, and more to set up approval workflows within your organization.  

You can use the Dynamics 365 Approval Workflow to keep track of all your approval processes and ensure maximum efficiency.

Who Can Give Approval?

Any user with the proper privileges can be assigned to become an approver for an approval workflow. You can also define specific roles that can be given the authority to make approvals and assign the same to a user. Using the Approval user setup page, you should identify the users who are most likely to be involved in the approval processes and add them as approval users.  

This can be a salesperson, manager, admin, or service representative. You can choose the approval users according to their relevance to a particular approval process carried out in your organization.  

While setting up the approval users, you can choose to specify the type of requests, delegation capabilities, and any other amount limits related to the request types for the approval user.

Here are the steps to create an approval user:

Go to the Approval User Setup page  

Create a new line and fill up the fields with the relevant information. This involves setting the appropriate user id, salesperson code, approver id, approval limits, and approval admin details.

What Actions Can An User Do With Something That Has An Approval Workflow?  

Once added as an approval user, the user can perform the following actions on any approval they are requested with:

  • Reject
  • Approve
  • Delegate

The status of the approval request changes to Approved or Rejected when the corresponding action is taken.  

If the approval request needs several people to approve, the status will be shown as Pending Approval.

If delegated, the substitute approver will be given notification via their email.  

Example Of What Could Need An Approval Workflow

If you are still wondering how exactly you could benefit from this feature, let me give you an example to clarify. Consider an employee wanting to apply for leave time. In the usual manual process, the employee may have to talk to the manager, wait for their approval, and then pass it on to the HR team to get it updated in the database.  

While this process may seem direct, it is still a lot more time-consuming than what an automated process can do. The employee may have to send emails, reminder emails, or even drop in person to get the approval email back from the manager. The same goes for the interactions with the HR team.  

The situation could get even more complicated when any concerned party is unreachable, or the request involves multiple personnel or hierarchy or approvers to get approved.  

Approval workflows eliminate the uncertainty and inconsistency involved in the manual workflow processes.  

With an automated Approval workflow, the employee can rest assured his leave request will be taken care of at the right time because the system automatically sends notifications to the approval users, keeps track of the entire process, and keeps him informed of the current status of the request.  

Here are some reasons why approval workflows are the way to go:

  • Improves efficiency
  • Assures a consistent workflow
  • Prevents bottlenecks and human errors
  • Allows for a transparent workflow

Setting Up Your Own Microsoft Dynamics 365 Approval Workflow

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Approval Workflow: Step 1

Create an approval workflow: Right-click on the approval element in the workflow editor and click on Properties.  

Name your approval process with a unique and relevant name. You can enter the name under the Basic settings > Name field.  

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Approval Workflow: Step 2

Setup the automatic tasks on a document or record item. Click on Automatic actions -> Enable Automatic Actions and then Add condition.  

You can add as many conditions as required and test them with the help of the test Workflow condition form.  

The next step is to configure when the notifications should be sent. To do so, click on Notifications and enable the events that should trigger notifications. The events are Delegate, Escalate, Approve, Reject, Approve, and Request change.  

You can also add custom notification messages by inserting placeholders and adding translations.  

Add recipients who should receive the notifications

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Approval Workflow: Step 3


One of the most important steps is to specify the final approver. You can set this by clicking on Advanced Settings -> and enabling the Use Final Approver check box. Then select the final approver from the list of users available.  

Time limit

You can ensure the requests are processed adequately within a stipulated time frame. To do so, make use of the time limits provided. Click on the Advanced Settings and select Set a Time Limit for the workflow element. Select the duration type and fill in the corresponding time limit you want to set.  

Do you need some more help ?

Your first time setting up an approval workflow can be tricky. And wise people know that you can always seek help from experts if you want uninterrupted process workflows. For any assistance regarding the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Approval Workflows, contact Gestisoft today.

Experts at Gestisoft have long been tinkering around the Dynamics 365 platform and are well versed with the practicalities of executing efficient business processes. We can help you analyze your existing workflows and set up well-planned approval workflows that align with your existing business workflows.

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April 18, 2022 by Lukas Vézina Marketing Content Specialist

Marketing specialist working at Gestisoft since 2017, I firmly believe any subject can be interestingly presented. It just takes empathic and creative storytelling.