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Workflows & Approvals (part 2)


This is the second of 2 x articles on workflows. Here is a link back to the first one 

Absence & delegation

If you are an approver and you will be away for an extended period of time, you or your tenancy admins can set a delegate to under-take the approvals while you are away. Once set, the delegate will receive approval notifications instead of you. 

To set your own absence settings, look for the help icon and on the drop down list choose Absence Settings. 

Zahara Screen Shot

Firstly, enable the absence and set the dates you are away. 

For every Business Unit you belong to, you have the option of setting the delegate. A delegate will only appear in the dropdown list if they are designated an approver – they have the approval role. If they don’t appear, the tenancy admin needs to provide them with similar roles and permissions to you. 

Once you are all set, click Save at the bottom. 


Admin Override


If your approver goes on Safari for three months and forgets to set his delegate, fear not. You can set this yourself. Head into the user settings in Admin >Settings. Find the user in the list and click their name. You will then see the following:

Zahara Screen Shot   

Click the link at the bottom – “User Absence Settings” and set the approval delegate for them.

Approval Delegate

With this feature we are answering the question “Can I stop someone approving their own purchases”. Example, you want to prevent the CEO from raising a purchase request for $500K and approving it themselves. To do this you enable the feature in Business Settings >Purchase Orders

“Prevent users from approving their own purchase orders”

Then for each user, you set their Approval Delegate in their user settings.  Perhaps for the CEO you set the CFO. To do this, edit the users settings and choose the delegate from the drop-down list where you see the words “Approval Delegate” as shown below.

Zahara Screen Shot

This means, very simply, when set, Zahara will bypass the originator in the approval list and go onto the next approver. If our person here is the last approver in the workflow, we will use the delegate instead. 

Sending PO to The Supplier

There are 3 ways to send a PO to the supplier:
  1. Send as a workflow step
  2. Send from within the order using the send email icon
  3. Download a copy of the PO and send it yourself

1 & 2 above have an audit trail behind them and the ability to have links in the email that ask the supplier to accept or reject the order so these are our suggested methods. A typical process though is where you want to let the buyer know that the order is approved and that they can send the PO off themselves. There is no way to send a copy of the PO to the buyer in an email. You can send the buyer an email and provide a link to the order. This would be achieved by adding a “send email” step to your workflow. You can provide as much information as you like about the Order using the placeholders and the links.

Best Practice

The best solution is to add a “send purchase order to supplier” step at the end of your purchase order approval. This step has the ability to “CC Originator” – this is in effect what you want to do. This method gives you a good audit-trail and shows you if the order was accepted by the supplier (add the relevant placeholder to your supplier email template). Just make sure your suppliers email addresses are all up to date

Automatic Invoice Export

One of the available invoice approval steps is to export this invoice. This step needs to be after an approval step and will only work with QuickBooks Online, Xero & SmartSync & MYOB exports. As you would expect, once the workflow hits this step, it will export the invoice. 

Export to FileDirector

FileDirector is a document management system written by Spielberg – 
This is a great system for storing all your documents. It can be on-premise or in the cloud. Our workflow step allows invoices and purchase orders to be be archived into FileDirector. 

Secure Approval Requirement

You can set that all email approvals are secured by the user logging in. This would prevent the email from being forwarded to someone else and approved without control. In Business Settings > Workflows you will find the setting – “Require log in for approvals” –
Enable this if this is a requirement for you.

Mandatory Approval Comments

You can ensure that your team is reasonably informed of why a PO or Invoice has been rejected. Using our “Mandatory approval rejection comment” feature available in Business Settings>Workflow. You can make it mandatory that a user must provide a reason for why they are rejecting an order from our approval emails or our approval review screens. You can also provide some options available via a dropdown menu to quickly provide a reason:
Zahara Screen Shot
With this feature turned off, the user can optionally leave a comment when rejecting by populating the comment box:
Zahara Screen Shot
With this feature turned on. The user must enter a comment to be able to reject the PO or Invoice:
Zahara Screen Shot
This comment will then appear in the document history of the PO or Invoice

Approval Reminder Email

You can set an approval reminder email in Business  Settings > Workflows. Look for the Enable Digest Email switch. The settings below will send a reminder email every day at 8 am.
Zahara Screen Shot

Approving - How to Approve

The approver will by default receive an email within a few minutes of the order or invoice being raised. They can approve or reject from this email or click the Review with details button. The approver also has their own dashboard – make sure they have the Approver role ticked in Admin Settings, the Divisions tree as shown below: 
The approver role in Zahara
The user can also approve from the mobile app if this is enabled for them in their user settings – again under Admin Settings. 

Skip Duplicate Workflow Steps

You can enable this setting in Business Settings > Workflow. This will stop a single approver from having to approve more than once for the same document. This can happen when the approver has multiple roles. 

New Approvals

have now been released with the same functionality but a nicer way to create approvals. Please read this helpful article as well 
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