Send Email For Approval: From the Originator's Point of View

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Level III Feature


The AnyPO Level III program has the ability to notify an individual with approval authority that a PO is ready to be approved.  The process begins with a user who prepares the PO's and then sends an email request to the approver for them to approve the PO.

It's helpful to define three terms associated with the email approval process:

Originator. The person who prepares the purchase order and initiates the process is called the "originator."  Everything begins with the originator.
Request for Approval / Approver. Once the purchase order is prepared, the originator sends a "request for approval" or "Approval Request" to an individual who has approval authority.  This person is called the "approver."

This portion of the Help Documentation is for the Originator

The information below is for the originator.  It explains how to send an email requesting PO approval, and it explains some of the messages that you may encounter when sending email requests.

In order to use email notification, the person who takes care of your computer system will need to prepare the program for its use.  Complete information on setting up the Email Approval System is found: set-up.  Information on the entire process is found here.  The following information describes how it works from the perspective of the originator . . .

How to Send Requests for Approval

Let's say that you can prepare PO's but you do not authority to approve PO's.  Let's also say that you need to order some office supplies.  In this case you would be termed the originator since you are preparing the PO, and you'll be sending off an email to an another individual (the approver) letting them know that a PO is ready for their approval.

You'll start at the Main Purchase Screen and enter the information on the screen, indicating from whom you want to order the supplies and what supplies you need.

Once you finished entering the information on the screen, select ORDER TOOLS >> SEND EMAIL FOR APPROVAL from menu (shown below).   (You can also, press CTRL+Q on your keyboard to do the same thing.)



If there is more than one approver, a list will appear from which to select:



If there's is only one approver, no list will appear, and the program will go right to the email screen (below).



When the email screen (above) appears, make sure the proper PO number is showing.  It will be the same as the PO that is showing on the Main Purchase Order Screen.

If desired, at this point, you may add additional information to the message of the email.  For instance, you might say that the office is completely out of paper for the photocopy machine - and you've found the better price for paper from an alternative vendor.

When you are ready, click on the "Send" button

A message will appear informing you that the email will be sent with a special attachment.  It will also ask you to make one last check to make sure you are sending the correct PO number.  Re-check the PO number, and then click "Yes," it's okay to continue.

If you are sending the approval request to additional people, the email screen will appear again with a new person's name and email address.  If desired, you can add a message to their email.  Once you are ready, click "Send."

To help you keep track of emails sent to approvers, AnyPO enters the approver's initials and date in the "Notes" area at the bottom of the Main Purchase Order Screen.  You'll see something like this:


This <RDW: 10/21/12> means that you sent an approval request to the approver with the initials of RDW on 10/21.  If you have two approvers, then you would see an additional entry with their initials.

At the same time you send the email request, AnyPO makes an entry on a "to-do" list which it maintains for the approver.  The "to-do" list is a list of all PO's that need to be approved, and it's a way for approvers to keep track of which PO's need approval.  As they approve PO's, they are removed from the "to-do" list.

Your part of the process is done.  The approver will look over the PO and let you know if it has been approved.  You may, however, receive messages during the process of the sending the email.  Information on those is found below.


Messages That May Appear

When sending emails to approvers, several messages may appear. The following will help explain these in more detail.


Approver's Limit Reached.  You may get the following message:

"This approver has 35 outstanding PO's to approve.  The limit has been reached.  Contact the approver and ask them how you should proceed.  If desired, you can continue and send the email to the approver but the earliest PO request will be dropped from the approver's to-do list.  Would you like to exit and contact the approver?  Select YES or Cancel to exit.  Select NO to go ahead and send the email request anyway."

As mentioned above, when you send the email, AnyPO adds the PO number to a "to-do" list which is kept for the approver.  This list will hold up to 35 PO's.  When the limit of 35 is reached, this message will be triggered when you try to send the email.

If this message appears, you should select "Yes," I'd like to exit.  Contact the approver and ask them what you should do.

They may tell you to wait for a bit while they catch up on PO approvals.  Or they may tell you to go ahead and send the PO anyway.  If they tell you to send the PO, you'll need to select the "No" option when this message appears which will allow the process to continue and send the email.


Already Received an Approval Request - PO Still on To-do List

"This individual has already received an approval request - and the PO is STILL ON THEIR to-do list.  If desired, you may wish to send this email as a reminder - or if that's not necessary, click the 'Cancel' button."

When you receive this message it means that some prior date, you (or someone else) has already sent the approver a request for approval.  You can verify that by looking at the "Notes" area, and you'll see the approver's initials and the date on which the request has been sent.

There is a second part to this message.  The second part informs you that the PO is still on the approver's to-do list.  That means that the approver has not yet considered the PO.  

You may wish to send them a reminder by selecting "Yes," go ahead send the email.  Or you may cancel sending the email, deciding to wait a bit longer.


Already Received an Approval Request - PO is NOT on To-do List

"An approval request has already been sent to this individual.  The PO is NO LONGER ON their to-do list.  If you wish to have them re-look at the PO, click 'Send.' Or to exit without sending the email, click 'Cancel'"  

This message is the same as above, but the PO is no longer on the approver's to-do list.  In other words, you (or someone else) has already send the approver a request for approval and the PO has been removed from their to-do list.

There are two possible reasons that a PO has been removed from the to-do list:

It is possible that the approver accidentally removed the PO from their list, and if that's the case, you'll want to click on "Send" to have them re-look at the PO.
It also can mean that they have looked at the PO and have decided not to approve it.  In this situation, they will usually contact you and tell you why the PO isn't approved.  If they haven't made contact, however, you may wish to give them a call to find out more information - or you may also click "Send" as a reminder to re-look at the PO.


Other Messages

On a network system, you may also get a message or two related to file problems such as "unable to create file" or "file conflict."  These usually occur when two are more users are running the same processes at the same time.  Sometimes, it's just a matter of waiting and re-trying the function that triggered the message.  If the messages keep re-occurring, exit from the program and re-start it.  That will often clear things up.


Messages for Your IT Department (Or the Individual That's Maintains Your Computer Equipment)

There are a number of other messages which may be triggered that are involved with configuring AnyPO's internal email or setting-up approvers.  If you get these types of message, report them to the individual who takes care of your computer equipment and software.

Here's an example:

"Unable to find an approver with the internal number of: xxx in the local file.  Check and make sure that the approver(s) you selected are listed in File >> Basic Set-up >> Email >> Email Approval.  If you continue to get this message, you can, on a temporary basis, manually send the approval the email."

Each approver is assigned a number by AnyPO.  You can find the numbers by select File >> Basic Set-up.  Then click on the "Email" tab.  Then click on the "Email Approval" button.  If you have more than one approver, you can see the internal numbers by clicking on the "More Approvers" button.  They will be shown on the top right of the screen that appears.  The best solution in this case is to delete any problem approvers and re-enter them.  That will re-assign the internal number and fix the problem.

Here's another example:

    "The following LOCAL fields are without values . . . ."

This or a similar message will appear in red font below the "Subject" line on the email screen (shown below).  If you see this message, report it to the person who is in charge of your computer system.  For his or her information, there's an explanation of why this message appears and how to fix things: here.