According to the McKinsey Global Institute, emails take up as much as 12 hours of an employee’s week. As this represents more than a quarter of the time they spend working, you would be hard pressed to find professionals who want more emails.
On the other hand, the most important stages in any workflow involve approvals from managers and others who oversee completed tasks and deliverables. This approval process is vital to quality control in any project or company and requires a constant stream of communication between employees and managers.
To solve this conflict, many companies integrate robust approval software into their workflow, creating a one-stop solution that cuts down on emails and organizes approval communication.
Automate your approval process with ease
Collect HR requests, job applications, IT tickets, and more with online forms and turn them into tasks in an automated approval flow. Contact the Jotform Enterprise sales team to start your journey today.
What does approval software do?
Before approval software, workers conducted a typical approval process via email or through direct contact in the office. As you might imagine, keeping tabs on each approval step and its related notes was a time-consuming activity that overwhelmed employees during crunch times.
Approval software automates and manages messages, files, and feedback, tracking and logging progress along the way. Today, companies use this software to approve things such as new hire requests, document approvals, expense approvals, new product requests, and branding approvals.
Each stakeholder in the approval process — including human resources staff, CEOs, and product managers — can access a breakdown of any approval request and see who completed each step. With proper integration, approval software increases the quality of your work, saves time, and prevents miscommunication.
Common approval software features
Almost all approval software uses a single platform to upload and distribute files to everyone in the workflow. This means all the data appears in one location, which can be either web based or installed on your device. Users can divide each approval into individual review steps and make notes and recommendations everyone can see. Managers can assign due dates to approval steps and set up automatic reminders for stakeholders.
Approval software can also integrate with other programs to enhance their functionality and fit into the way your company does business. For example, in the past, many approval steps required a manager’s signature to ensure proper accountability. Services now allow for e-signatures, limiting disruption to your staff while they transition to online approvals.
Top approval platforms
The first step to upgrading your team’s approval productivity is choosing the right program. Here’s a look at some of the top services available today:
Jotform’s newest product automates and streamlines approvals for HR requests, IT tickets, job applications, and more with online forms. You can set up your workflow in minutes with the drag-and-drop interface, and track approvals through email, Jotform Tables, and the Jotform Mobile Forms app.
One of the key benefits of Jotform Approvals is how easily you can create new forms through Jotform’s robust Form Builder. This makes form customization easier and improves organization by keeping your templates in a centralized platform.
Plus, with the help of unique features like Jotform’s e-signature widget, stakeholders can approve forms with little extra effort.
This online document approval application assists with creative workflow reviews and can scale up or down for a variety of business types and sizes. ProofHub includes integrated chat and discussion boards along with accessibility through Android and iOS devices.
Known for its wide usage in workflows and integration with a number of productivity applications, this project management tool includes approval and review features. Teams create workflow boards and approval tasks online to share them throughout the company. However, some find monday.com’s mobile app clunky — the notification feature requires a lot of manual input.
This service’s cloud-based file storage organizes the sometimes overwhelming number of approval documents a company or department may be dealing with. The platform supports visual proofing and allows users to quickly tag team members for file requests.
Wrike also integrates with more than 400 productivity apps, including other document management services.
Gain focuses on interactions between clients and content producers. By facilitating direct communication between outside parties and the team members working on a project, Gain’s feedback loops and collaboration prompts to keep your work on the task and within scope. This platform supports a variety of files, including PDFs, Photoshop files, and PowerPoint presentations.
Another workflow management tool that includes approval features, Integrify offers process and form builders, KPI reporting, and API integration. Although it’s touted for requiring no coding knowledge to set up — a vital feature for fledgling businesses — some reviewers say Integrify is too complex and lacks flexibility.
Choosing the right software to bring your approval workflow online is the best way to improve productivity. Starting with an easy-to-understand platform like Jotform Approvals can make this transition easier on your team. Jotform also provides resources and guides that make switching to online approvals as simple as signing your name.