Approval procedures and authorizations are two aspects of role definition in SAP Business One. By granting and limiting authorizations of a specific user, you determine what functions the user can access and what actions he or she can perform. Approval procedures provide the administrator a way of fine-tuning what each user can do.
Perhaps you are wondering about the relationship between authorizations, approval procedures, and document creation. Well, these features can be combined; for example, a salesperson can create sales orders and grant specified discount percentages. As the administrator, you can then fine-tune this authorization so that the salesperson can create sales orders up to a specific amount. You can also use approval procedures so that a salesperson’s manager has to approve sales orders that exceed a certain discount percentage.
The process of setting up authorizations in SAP Business One is like handing out a set of keys that allow access to certain features and functions. Authorizations permit or prevent certain users or groups of users from performing such functions as:
- Creating certain types of documents
- Viewing or managing certain types of data
- Creating user accounts
- Setting permissions for other users
- Accessing features from the main menu
Authorizations make use of the organizational model of your business to allow access to be controlled by the management level of a staff member. Authorizations can be copied from one user to another, and all changes made to authorizations are tracked.
The authorization mechanism of SAP Business One provides fine-grained control of which features of the application are available to each user. the Authorizations window (reached by selecting Administration → System Initialization → Authorizations) brings together a list of users and a list of all functions available in each module of SAP Business One.
Approval procedures in SAP Business One are a collection of powerful mechanisms for controlling who can do what and who must be consulted to permit exceptions. Approval procedures involve setting limits on the size and nature of the business transactions that each user is authorized to execute. When someone tries to post a document that exceeds a limit set through the approval procedures, that document is automatically saved as a draft during the approval process.
SAP Business One supports thresholds for approvals, stages for approvals, and a general purpose mechanism that can subject almost any type of document to approval. When a document is flowing through the approval process, it is stored as a draft until approval is granted, and that is when the person who initiated the document can post it.
Approvals have two dimensions:
- Approval thresholds, which are criteria above or below which approvals are needed for various categories of documents
- Approval stages, which are the steps the approval follows from the originator of the request to one or many people who must approve the work
The best way to get an idea of how approvals work is through an example. Let’s imagine that Fred, a departmental administrator responsible for ordering office supplies, has a limit of Rs.1000 per purchase order. One day, to prepare for a large meeting, Fred has to order a much larger than normal amount of supplies, which results in a purchase order for Rs.2,000. When Fred tries to add that purchase order, he gets a message that indicates approval is necessary, and that it has been requested. The purchase order is not added but saved as a draft, and a message is sent to Fred’s manager. If Fred’s manager grants approval, Fred can add the purchase order.