WiJiT Tip of the Month: Use Workflow Models to Customize Approval in Costpoint

By December 12, 2019 No Comments

A few years back, Costpoint’s workflow system was overhauled with a new Approval Workflow (WFA) feature allowing organizations to configure their approval process across multiple screens using rules based on any Costpoint function. While WFA is a powerful feature, many users are missing out.

This year we learned that – while 90% of Costpoint users are interested – only 10% of them use workflows. This suggests that many are not yet aware of the capabilities that workflows offer, enabling them to mold their Costpoint experience around business strategy and goals.

To demonstrate the power and sheer versatility of workflows, in this article we’ll share three workflow tips for streamlining the approval process using Costpoint’s new WFA feature. Let’s dive in –

  1. Setting start conditions

Start conditions allow an approval workflow to be configured so it only runs when certain thresholds or rules are met. These rules are defined by data entities which map discrete values (like invoice total) to a screen, giving businesses the flexibility to choose when approval is necessary and when it’s not.

For example: project managers may wish to forego approval for POs under a certain dollar amount (e.g. $10K). From the Approval Workflow Models application, they can configure the rule using logical operators and data types as shown in the screenshot below:

With Role Filter Fields (WFMARF), a workflow can also be configured to filter the approver based on role when conditions are met. For instance, payments above a certain amount may require the approval of upper-management while payments beneath this threshold can be delegated to lower-tier users.

Role filtering can select either from built-in user-types (Employee and Project Manager), or custom user groups, which can also be configured using workflows. This brings us directly to our next tip –

  1. Implementing multi-level approval

Some decisions are so serious they require the input and approval of multiple parties: employee termination, for instance, may pass from HR to benefits and system administrators. Using conditions, a workflow can be configured for multi-level approval with many different steps and logical operators:

  • Multiple users – define conditions when approval is required from more than one user or user group and the order it must pass through
  • Escalation – after a certain amount of time has passed without response from the approver, delegate the approval process to a different user or set of users
  • Approval threshold – define a minimum set of users for approval when unanimous consent is not required; multiple sets may be configured
  • Prioritize decision makers – key decision makers may be given the power to reject a decision even when multiple users have approved it

Fundamentally – as illustrated in the above screenshot – approval workflows give organizations the versatility of a programming language, allowing them to anticipate situations to an arbitrary degree of complexity and manage the outcome with granular detail.

  1. Email-based notifications

Costpoint’s default approval system does not notify the approver when a screen is ready to be approved, which leads to frustration when a decision falls by the wayside. Organizations can fix this omission by configuring workflows to notify relevant users by email, including those selected through delegation or escalation.

Notifications are triggered by the Notify node which is part of the Workflow Models application, and email templates can be configured from the Approval Email Message (WFMAEMAIL) screen. Conveniently, the recipient can immediately access an approval screen simply by clicking on a link generated with the &approveUrl function.

Notifications can also be triggered by different events, including additional time (a user has been given extra time to approve), delegation and escalation, workflow approval or completion. All in all, users can be updated at every stage of a workflow, keeping productivity on track and preventing unnecessary delays.

Harness the Power of Workflows

Hopefully these tips show that businesses who don’t use workflows are missing out on a major benefit of the Costpoint platform. And it’s only a small taste of everything that workflows can do from managing projects, accounts, billing and data capture to automating routine processes, they offer an unparalleled level of control over almost any business activity.

To fully harness the power of workflows and many other Costpoint features, choose a partner that understands business processes and how to implement them through control flows and programming logic. At WJ Technologies, our highly trained professionals have years of real accounting and technical expertise which they combine to meet the demanding challenges of government enterprises.

WiJiT is always searching for new opportunities to transform companies with intelligent solutions and real expertise. To learn more about our business and services, get in touch: we’d love to hear from you!