3 Google Workspace Approval Workflows To Save Time and Money

Finance Use Cases , General , How-To , Sales Use Cases , Use case

3 efficient approval workflows that you can build using familiar Google Workspace environment instead of expensive automation platforms, and save a lot of time and money in the process.

Table of Contents

What is Google workspace approval workflow

Approval workflows are a systematic, digital method of managing and tracking requests for approvals within an organization. By defining a structured process through which requests such as reimbursements, invoices, and legal document approvals are submitted, reviewed, and approved or declined, approval workflows facilitate efficient decision-making and maintain operational continuity.

Google Workspace — an environment that many organizations use natively — offers a versatile platform for creating customized approval workflows, making it an ideal solution for businesses of all sizes. From small teams looking to manage expense reimbursements to large corporations needing to streamline invoice processing or legal document approvals, Google Workspace workflows can adapt to various needs.


Who can benefit from Google Workspace approval workflows

Approval workflows in general, and approval workflows built using Google Apps (such as Gmail, Slides, Forms, Sheets, Docs, Calendar and more) in particular, are very beneficial in streamlining administrative tasks, minimizing delays, and ensuring compliance with internal policies and external regulations. By automating the approval process, organizations can significantly reduce the likelihood of human error, enhance transparency, and improve the auditability of transactions.

For companies that already use Google Workspace, leveraging workflows within Google Apps offers seamless integration, enhancing productivity and collaboration. This not only saves time and resources but also ensures a smoother operational flow and better utilization of Google Workspace capabilities. Read more on best practices in automating your document approval workflows.


Invoice approval workflow

Creating an invoice approval workflow in Google Workspace usually involves utilizing Forms for submission, Sheets for tracking, and Apps Script for automation. This setup streamlines the process, from invoice submission to approval. It enhances efficiency, reduces errors, and accelerates payment cycles. Integrating with Gmail and Calendar can also notify approvers, ensuring timely responses and a smooth, transparent invoicing process, beneficial for both finance teams and vendors.

If you’re not that versatile in coding, you can use a popular Apps Script alternative — Zenphi.

Zenphi is a no-code Google Workspace automation platform that allows you to build complex workflows hustle-free. A great advantage of Zenphi is that it offers a wide range out-of-the-box templates that also allow deep customization.


Invoice approval workflow description (step-by-step)

The flow begins by actively monitoring a designated Gmail inbox for incoming invoice emails. Once an invoice email is received, the template utilizes a Google Sheets table to retrieve the employee responsible for reviewing and approving the invoice. This intelligent lookup guarantees that the invoice is promptly directed to the appropriate individual for timely action.

The invoice is then promptly sent to the designated employee for approval. With automated notifications in place, the employee is immediately notified of the pending invoice, ensuring they can swiftly review and provide the necessary approval. This eliminates the need for manual follow-ups and significantly reduces processing time.

Once the invoice receives the required approval, the template seamlessly progresses to the finance processing stage. This ensures a smooth transition from the approval phase to the subsequent financial steps, optimizing the entire invoice approval workflow.

Invoice Approval Workflow Template | Zenphi

This template streamlines the approval process for supplier invoices, ensuring efficient routing and minimizing delays. It enables automated notifications, escalations, and seamless integration with other systems, resulting in a highly optimized and streamlined invoice approval workflow.

Launch The Template

What Is Included In The Invoice Approval Template

– Automated Workflow;

– Pre-built Approval Tasks.

Watch this tutorial on how to launch the Invoice Approval automated workflow.

Reimbursement approval workflow

Just like with invoices, for reimbursement approval Google Workspace workflow you’d most probably be using Forms for submission, Sheets for tracking, and some “glue” for automation. It can be Apps Script. Or, alternatively, you can use Zenphi. The solution already contains a ready-to-use expense reimbursement workflow that can be launched, customized according to your business needs and deployed within 30 minutes.

No-coding environment doens’t mean that you’ll have lower control over your workflow and customization. On the contrary, you’ll have all necessary tools to rebuild and adapt to workflow in a way to reflect you company’s unique practices. 


Expense reimbursement approval workflow description (step-by-step)

  1. The employee’s manager from Google Directory should assign a Task Form to them for swift approval.
  2. Once the manager gives the green light, the expense reinbursement request is streamlined to the finance team for processing.
  3. At the end of the flow the employee is notified via Gmail.

Expense Reimbursement Template | Zenphi

This template revolutionizes your expense reimbursement process by automating every step. Your employees can easily submit their expense claims using a user-friendly digital form, providing essential expense information and attaching receipts.

Launch the Template

What Is Included In The Expense Reimbursement Template

– Expense Claim Form;

– Automated Workflow;

– Table to Store the Data;

– Dashboards with Process Insights.

With the Expense Reimbursement Template from Zenphi, you can say goodbye to tedious manual processes, reduce errors, and gain complete control over your expense reimbursement workflow. Watch the video tutorial on how to launch the template.

Sales Quotes generation and approval workflow

There can be different approaches to automate sales quotes approval workflow using only Google Apps. The most popular and widely used starts with submitting a Google Form.

Utilizing Google Forms, sales teams can easily submit quote requests, which are then automatically routed to a Google Sheet for centralized tracking. You’d also want to notify an approving athority that a quote needs their attention using Gmail. Here, again, there are 2 ways of doing it. First, is using  Google Apps Script to trigger notifications. Another way, is to use Zenphi — the #1 Google Workspace Workflow Automation tool.

The biggest benefit of using Zenphi is that you get instant access to Google Workspace workflow templates — including a template for quotes approval.


Sales quotes approval workflow description (step-by-step)

  1. As mentioned above, start with submitting a Form.
  2. Send the data from the Form to a relevant Google Sheet.
  3. Notify an authorized person that a new quoted demand their review and approval.
  4. Let an authorized person review and approve the quote directly from their email or a dedicated Sheet.
  5. Automatically update the quote status on the tracking Sheet.
  6. Notify relevant sales manager.

This workflow would not only speed up the approval process but also ensure accuracy and transparency by keeping a detailed record of all actions. 


Sales Quote Workflow Approval Template | Zenphi

This template will allow you to unlock the full potential of Google Workspace, and create a highly efficient, transparent, and scalable sales quotes approval workflow, minimizing manual intervention and allowing sales teams to focus more on client engagement and less on administrative tasks.

Launch the Template

Watch this tutorial on how to build Sales quote approval workflow using Zenphi.

Using Google workspace workflows  to save time and money

Google Workspace offers a powerful suite of applications capable of transforming traditional approval processes into streamlined, automated workflows. By leveraging the capabilities of Google Forms, Sheets, Gmail and Zenphi to build automations and connection between them, organizations can create efficient approval systems for reimbursements, invoices, and legal documents.

These automated workflows not only significantly reduce the time and effort involved in manual approvals but also minimize errors and enhance transparency across the board. The integration and simplicity of Google Workspace enable businesses of all sizes to implement these workflows with minimal setup, fostering a more productive and cost-effective operational environment. Embracing these approval workflows is a strategic move towards optimizing business processes, saving time, and reducing costs, ultimately driving organizational success in today’s fast-paced business landscape.