From XU Magazine, 
Issue 16

Approval Donkey: Doing the Donkey Work for Approvals!

They say there is a lot in a name and we often get asked why we called our app Approval Donkey...

The first part is easy; as a piece of software we focus on one task, i.e. Approvals. However, there are a few underlying reasons why we named our app after a Donkey - an often maligned yet very humble, loyal animal.

If we look up the definition of Donkey Work, we get the following:

Donkey Work – tedious, repetitious work; drudgery                                                        

-Dictionary.com

In summary, Approval Donkey takes care of the Donkey Work associated with completing approvals for your business. Here’s how:

Donkey Work #1

Managing loads of responses via email when you need approval from multiple people.

Feature – Group Approvals

Approval Donkey is an affordable solution that allows non-technical users to easily create approval workflows (or Panels). Create as many Panels as you need, for whatever purpose you require, with as many members as you like from the one account.

Automatically track who has and hasn’t responded to a request with full visibility so you can easily see where things have stalled. Approvers can respond via email or the Approval Donkey dashboard, meaning Approvers don’t have to login to Xero at all.

Donkey Work #2

When you need approval requests to move along a chain of different people or departments as they are approved.

Feature – Multi-Step Approvals

Easily create workflows with the appropriate steps and approvers you require. Requests mapped to a multi-step approval workflow will automatically come into Approval Donkey from Xero and go through the sequence you have set up. This means approvers in the latter steps only receive an approval request when all the approvers in the preceding step have approved their part.

Approval Donkey automatically keeps things moving along so you don’t have to, massively cutting down email trails and endless chasing of approvers.

Donkey Work #3

When you need approval from a group all with equal approval rights and anyone within the group can take on the task.

Feature – Required Responses

As an example, a business may have four people in its admin team who can all approve purchases up to a certain amount but only one person from the team is required to make the approval. With Approval Donkey, you can set the number of required responses to change a requests status to approved or declined. So, in this example, you would set the number of ‘Required Responses’ to one, meaning only one person out of the group of four is required to approve or decline the request.

Anyone from the Panel can respond to the Required Response level you set, meaning the workload can be shared and whoever is available can keep things moving.

Donkey Work #4

Having to send out endless reminders to approvers to 1) tell them they have an approval and 2) remind them to respond when they haven’t.

Feature - Automated Notifications

When transactions are ‘Submitted for Approval’ in Xero, all request notifications are automatically sent out by Approval Donkey. This means no one in your business has to lift a finger to let anyone know they have an approval to review.

Automated reminders are sent out to any approvers that have not responded within a time of your choice, with any un-actioned requests being moved to overdue so a workflow owner can easily identify where blockages are occurring.

Notifications and consolidated reporting can be switched on/off to a timing of your choice, to keep you informed along the way without clogging up your inbox.

Donkey Work #5

Searching through tens or even hundreds of transactions that have nothing to do with you so you can find those that are greater than a certain amount, or have specific tracking IDs to approve.

Feature - Conditional Field Mapping

Approval Donkey brings in all the fields from any Invoices, Bills, Purchases and Credit Notes you have entered and Submitted for Approval in Xero. This includes Tracking ID’s, Amounts and Reference numbers, etc.

With Approval Donkey’s mapping matrix, you can set conditions against specific fields to map to specific Panels for approval. You can even use ‘+And’ conditions to get really specific. For example, for all transactions with the Tracking ID ‘Operations’ +And an amount greater than 10,000 go to the ‘Manager’ Panel for approval.

This means you no longer have to send a myriad of emails to different approvers based on what each transaction is. It also means approvers only ever receive what they are supposed to, saving loads of time and frustration looking at transactions that have nothing to do with them.

Donkey Work #6

When your business is still using email for more general approval, decision and sign-off requirements outside of Xero.  

Feature – Integration with Email and Zapier

Consolidate any general requests you may send via email into a single application with Approval Donkey. Each Panel (approval workflow) you create auto generates a unique Panel Email address. Use this email address to turn any email into a robust approval workflow with all the aforementioned characteristics.  

Zapier enables you to connect over 1,000 different apps to further automate your business, including Online Forms (Wufoo), Messaging (Slack) and Project Management (Trello) apps that can feed directly into an Approval Donkey request or status update.

Why leave it there?

To learn more about ApprovalDonkey

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