Create an approval process in Jotform. Different companies or businesses will always have their approval process. Surely, we can’t cover all of them so this guide will be leaning more towards discussing general guidelines on how to come up with a workflow that fits your requirements.
First off, what’s an approval process? You may already have one in place and want to incorporate it with your forms. In layman’s terms, this process is just a way to have someone approve or deny a submission, entry, registration, or request.
Note that every approval flow starts with a form so go ahead and create your first web form with Joform.
How to Create an Approval Flow
You can build an approval flow easily with Jotform Approvals. Without any coding, you can turn your online forms into custom automated approval flows. Just drag and drop to add approvers, emails, conditional branches, and more to your approval process. To create an approval flow…
- Go to the Settings tab in the Form Builder.
- Click Approval Flows on the left.
- Next, click the Create an approval flow button.
This will redirect you to the Approval Flow builder. By default, the basic flow is created automatically.
Here’s a demo form to try out a basic approval process with Jotform Approvals.
To learn more about creating an approval flow, visit our guide on “How to Create an Approval Flow in Jotform”.
The Old Method for Creating an Approval Process Workflow
The information below is our old method for creating an approval process workflow. We aim to merge this method in our new Jotform Approvals, but in some cases, this may still come in handy.
We’d like to showcase some key features and options we have that you can take advantage of, how to utilize them properly, and combine them to come up with an alternative approval process on your own.
Here’s a typical use case to give you an idea of how it works:
- The customer submits a form.
- Manager A receives it via email and reviews the entry.
- Manager A confirms and approves it by editing the submission and re-submitting it.
- Manager B (or someone else) receives another email after Manager A’s approval.
- The customer receives an email whether he’s approved or denied.
With the scenario above, one key ingredient would be the emails. Regardless of how long the approval process is (e.g. if two or more managers need to check and review the submission), it all boils down to notifying the intended recipient before or after a submission gets approved or denied.
So, in theory, these are all the features you need to make this work:
- A hidden field – will serve as the approval status. Our recommendation is to use a drop-down menu. This will simplify the process by only allowing someone to pick from 2 different options – either Approved or Denied.
- Email Notifications – will be used to send emails to managers, staff, or anyone needed in the approval process.
- Autoresponders – will be used to send emails to your customers. You may create different Autoresponder templates for approved or denied customers.
- Widgets – you need the Get Form Page URL widget which will be used in conjunction with Conditions and a Signature Field as a part of the approval process if necessary.
- Edit Link – the submission’s edit link which will be used with Conditional Logic to trigger an action based on the URL where the form is being filled out.
- Conditional Logic – will be the core of the entire workflow and there are plenty of reasons why we need conditions, all of which will be discussed later.
So, let’s get started:
- Build your form or if you already have one, use that.
- Add a Dropdown element to your form with Approved and Denied options.
- Let’s move on to emails. Set up your Email Notifications and Autoresponders at your discretion. If you need different email templates when someone reviews a submission, approves it, denies it, etc, it’s all up to you. These templates will then be used later on with your Conditional Logic.
One important feature that needs to be enabled on your Autoresponders is the Send on Edit option. Ensure that this is enabled so your customers will receive the Autoresponder upon editing their submission.
- Add the submission’s Edit Link to the email template that would be sent to the person in charge of deciding the approval.
- If your approval process requires an e-signature from the boss or manager who approves the submission, then add the Signature element to your form.
You can also use any of the signature widgets.
- Next, add the Get Form Page URL widget.
- Lastly, set up your Conditional Logic. Since this part highly depends on how you want the process to work, we’ll lay down some possible scenarios and the needed Conditions to make them happen:
To send the Autoresponder template to the customer if he has been approved, add a Change E-Mail Recipient condition:
To send the Autoresponder template to the customer if he has been denied, add a Change E-Mail Recipient condition:
To show the hidden Approval Status and Signature fields once the Manager views the entry through the Edit Submission Link, add a Show/Hide Field condition:
This would also cause the Approval Status and Signature fields to be hidden by default, and will only be shown once the form is being viewed from the submission’s Edit Link.
And that should be the bare minimum to make this work. Here’s the completed form: https://www.jotform.com/213264898439975
The demo form above has the following:
- 1 Email Notification – this is for the initial email alert sent to the approver or reviewer.
- 2 Autoresponders – one for an Approved email and another for a Denied email both of which triggered after editing the submission.
- 4 Condition Logic – to show the hidden fields on edit, to send out the initial Email Notification on the first submission, to send the Approved email alert, and to send Denied email alert.
Since this is a fairly advanced topic, it’s recommended that you’re familiar with how Conditions work. To better understand, we strongly suggest you clone the demo form.
Comments and suggestions are welcome below. If you have a question, post it in our Support Forum so we can assist you.
I would like to add notes in an approval/denial of a form into the email in the approval process however it is saying in the email settings that there are no approval fields.
How do i create this ability to comment/add an approval field.
Can I set up an approval process where for instance if the name is John Smith it will go to supervisor A, but it the name is Jane Doe is would go to supervisor B etc?
Hi, does "The Old Method for Creating an Approval Process Workflow" require an Approval process? or is the Old Method used instead of an Approval process?
I am attempting to have two people be approvers, with only one signature being needed. So,
(Manager A signs OR Manager B signs) ----> Approve/Deny email is sent
But then how can I have access expire for the other once one manager has signed off? Right now the approval flow is working correctly and pushing the approval through with only one email. My problem is that the other optional signature is still shown as "Pending". Can I fix this?
How can I make it possible for two people to sign a document?
Once a person signs the form, and it's approved, then I must be able to add my signature to make it legitimate.
Hi JotForm. When user submit the form, there is an email will send to manager. If manager approved, MS Flow will create item in sharepoint and otherwise go to end workflow. The question is: how to catch the "approved"/"rejected" action from manager on MS Flow?
Hi Jotform. I would like to know is that possible to create approval form that is automatically pop up message APPROVE or DENIED based on the field that my customer click ? I am gonna build form for student health declaration that they need to answer before coming to school. So the question will be like :-
Question 1 : are you having fever ?
If student answer YES, then after the student submit the form, automatically they get answer approve or deny WITHOUT need approver to view the form.
Can you advise ? Thank you.
When viewing submissions, it keeps telling me "submission not connected to approval flow" and I have to manually do it, even though I connected the entire approval flow to the form. Assist please.
Dear Support team,
I would like to know if second approval is doable.
Let's say, a form has been submitted from a user, and then a approver denied it because of some missing fields or wrong data. As soon as it is denied, the user will get the email with edit link to edit the corresponding fields to be approved. Once the user re-submits the form with the edits, the approver gets second approval email to review and approve it.
Would it be possible?
Is it possible to modify the approval status from Approved to Deny (or vice versa)?
We already subscribe to Jotform can we build an Approval workflow using the subscription that we have?
hi , may i know how to setup the second approval ? i know only set up if only one approval..how about the second approval? please assist.thanks
My question is similar to deanborst's, but it's the opposite.
I'd like to enter some information on to the form and send it to a customer.
Customer enters more information and signs
Their submission triggers an email to send them two more forms (or a link to them).
I thought the answer to deanborst's question would help me, but clicking on it gives me a 404 error.
I want to have the specific sections shown only to who should be filling them (teacher section is shown to the teacher, parent section shown to parent, and admin section shown to admin)
I am trying to use this to make my process.
I would like
Customer to fill out form and submit
Me to fill our rest of form and sign.
Send back to customer to review and sign.
Is there an easy way to do this?
Taking this approval one step further, can we integrate with a payment processor for those forms that are approved after been edited? e.g we are enrolling students into courses they have to pay for however some have outstanding fees from the previous course.
So once enrolled our finance dept need to check if any O/F apply and adjust the tool cost and payment schedule. Then approve the form, this then needs to be sent back to the student to be signed and paid for through an integrated payment processor or API and payment provider??
Is this currently possible.... formstack have approvals built-in but cannot trigger a payment processor after approval.
I am trying to set up a form that must be signed electronically by a parent, teacher, and administrator. I have done all of the steps except setting up the conditions, which will need to go to different parents and teachers each time the form is filled out. I am the administrator, so that will be the same, can you let me know step by step how to create this in my jotform.
How can I collect multiple printed names along with their signatures to a PDF form that I already have uploaded onto a jotform?
I cloned the form. Submitted the answers. Redirected to Thank you page.
But the are some issues:
1. The submissions view is empty.
2. I also didn't receive the NOTIFICATION WITH EDIT LINK
I cloned the demo form as recommended and it does not work for me. It looks there is a condition on the signature that is no longer working or setup that could be causing the problem.
Do you guys have any forms with a multi-level approval that I could test out?
For instance if after Manager A approves, it goes to Manager B who also needs to approve/deny it before Manager C would receive the completed version?
There's a native, easy to use integration for creating approval workflows around Jotforms
I make approval form.
How to change notification email to the approval mail directly?
I have field in the form where requester should put their supervisor's mail.
Then when she/he click submit, the form should go to the that address.
How do you prevent the first approver from changing the document after the second approver submits. in other words how do you "lock" the form from further editing?
Very helpful.. Love it...!! And worked for my needs.!
So this wont work for basic plan because of notification limit?
How do I get the form to alert the sender that the leave has been approved? I just keep getting the same response into my inbox that the form can be edited
as far as I can see I have the receiver emails set up correctly
Is there a way to stop the form from submitting to a good sheet if the status is not set as approved?
This solution was suggested after my email support question. However, there may be a simpler way should I explain the process in more detail.
I have a form that is used by Referee Coaches to provide feedback to referees. The Referee Coaches add their names and email addresses to the form so they receive a copy of the coach report via email. They also provide the names and email addresses of the referees so they also receive a copy of the coach report via email. As the Referee Development Manager, I receive a copy of all coach reports generated via email. I have one field in the Jotform called "Admin: Game/Referee Feedback". What I would like to achieve is to make this field hidden to the referees but visible to the Referee Coaches and myself once the form is submitted and sent via email. This field will allow the Referee Coaches to make statements about the referees/game that may be to direct or blunt for the referees to see, but would be helpful to the Referee Coach team in order to build a strategy for the referee's development. Is there a way of achieving this type of output without the approval process?
I too have to make a similar project. Can i get the code of this approval/rejection system?
I've done this but am not receiving the original submissions that allow me to click the link through to edit (approve/deny). Any reason why the submission emails would not be received?
I also have been trying to get a work flow like this working in a form. I submitted a ticket and was told to turn on "send on edit" option on my emails but I am not using auto responding emails - only notifications and turning that option on will send out multiple confusing emails to the users. I focused on the conditional logic of the email as being the issue but I cannot find the problem.
Thank you for any assistance,
We wish to create a Leave form Approval.
Leave request submitted by Employee will be reviewed by respective supervisor.
How can I accommodate this supervisor selection process, while employee submits leave form.
Emp A works in Sales Team >> sales manger will be Supervisor
Emp B Wokrs in Logistic >> Logistic manger will be super visor
Empl C works in Packing >> Packing manager will be Supervisor
Emp D works in Finance >> Finanace maneger will be supervisor
And CEO will approve leave requeuset of all supervisors.
How to address this scenario
I was able to complete all the listed steps. but when the approver goes in and changes the status to approved or declined, it does not initiate the email notifications.
Here is a new integration for free approval workflows for Jotform by ProcessMaker.
This is also not working for me -- its not letting us edit the hidden field from submissions. Has anyone had any luck?
Can I make the form un-editable for the approver, such that the approver cannot edit anything that the requester entered.
The only field that the approver can edit is the 'hidden' fields to requester i.e the 'Approval Status' and signature.
Instead of the email having a link which sends the manager to then click approve or denied, is it possible for the email itself to have two links - approve and denied? That way the manager just needs to click once inside the email. i.e. the email says click APPROVE to approve or click DENIED to deny
I am having difficulties with the approval process flow. There are three steps to complete the purchase.
1 - Requester send forms for approval.
2 - Approver receives notification with the request, selects approved and submit the form to a purchaser.
3 - Purchaser completes purchase and sends a receipt to requester.
How would that work best. I tried everything I could and I still can get it to work.
thank you this sounds great, will try in the next week or so.