Practical examples / How to set up document approval

How to set up document approval

In QuickBPM, document approval can be easily organized with the pre-built solution for contract management. When a new document is created in the system, it is sent to approvers for review. If one of them decides that the document needs editing, the system sends it back to the author. All the approvers, as well as their decisions, are listed on the document's page.

Contracts workspace

Use the prebuilt Contracts workspace to set up document management procedures. You can find it on the main page of the system, and it is already configured for working with contracts, supplemental agreements, and sign-offs.

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Later on, you can adjust the workspace to better fit your business, for example, by adding other document types, changing the sequence of approval or creating additional business processes.

Document route

Each electronic document has a predefined route. It is sent from one person to another for completing the document tasks in a set order. The contract approval route looks like this.

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A new contract is created in the system and is sent to the lawyer for review. The lawyer checks if the contract complies with the legislation and company policies and sends it further on to the next person, the finance specialist. The finance specialist also reviews the contract and if all is fine, sends it to the CEO. This kind of approval is called sequential. If you wish, you can set up parallel approval in which case the contract will be sent to all the approvers at the same time. You can read more about approval settings in the Approval article.

At each step, someone can reject the contract, for instance, the finance specialist decides that payment conditions need to be reworked. In this case, the contract's author will be assigned with a task to correct the contract and send it back for review and approval.

On the process diagram tasks are placed in rectangular boxes called swimlanes.  Each swimlane represents a person or persons who will be completing the tasks. In our process, the task executors are Lawyer, Finance specialist, and CEO.

For each of these roles, you have to assign someone from your team. For example, as the Finance specialist, you can appoint either the head of Finance of a finance consultant. The system will then assign approval tasks to this designated person.

To do that, open the Contracts workspace menu and click Groups.

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Click on a role's name and edit it. If contracts in your company are approved by other people, you can edit the role, change it for a different position, or even delete a swimlane from the process diagram.

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You can read more about swimlanes in this article. Groups and roles are described here.

Additional settings

The time for reviewing a contract is limited, users have four hours to either approve or reject the document. It is easy to set up any task deadline: click on the Approve contract rectangular shape on the diagram (the shape represents the task), then open the Deadline tab and specify the time.

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Once a new contract is sent for approval, it automatically receives the Pending approval status. After it is approved, the status changes to Approved. You can add any other status that you think necessary. For example, when the client signs the contract, its status can be changed to Signed.  To configure additional statuses, use the Manage status task, which is thoroughly described in this article.

Statuses let you see where all the contracts are at the current moment, how many are still pending approval, and how many have already been signed and closed. Read the Kanban article to learn more about it.

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When all the reviewers have approved the contract, it can be sent to the customer. The contract itself will be stored in the Contracts workspace. You will be able to open its page, modify information or download and view the actual document file.

Adding a contract

To add a new contract to QuickBPM, open the Contracts page and click +Contract. A form will open for you to attach the file and enter the contract details: the client's name, contract's number, date, amount. This information will be saved on the contract's page and will be shown in tasks that the system will assign to approvers.

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A template is used for naming new contracts, it automatically inserts the contract number and the contractor's name - "Contract #15 with MegaVents". You can edit this template, for example, to also add the current date - "Contract #15 with MegaVents from 15.01.2020". You can read more about naming documents items in this article.

Once you enter all the information, QuickBPM will save the contract and send it to the first approver. At each step, the system will keep you updated on the decisions that the approvers make by sending notifications to your feed.

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The information about the approval process is also displayed on the approval sheet. The approval sheet is a list of all approvers. It also shows the decisions that the approvers have made as well as the date and time of each decision. The approval sheet is displayed on the right-hand side of the contract's page, so you can always check who and when has approved or rejected the document.

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In a similar manner, you can set up approval of invoices, schedules, and other documents.