Multi-stage approvals

We are often asked if Turbine can support multi-stage approvals, such as 'all requests need to go to a line manager for initial approval and then to the CFO for final approval.'

The short is, unfortunately, no. Turbine does not have this functionality.

This helps us keep the application simple and easy to set up.

How Turbine handles requests

By default, Turbine requires a single approval to change a pending request into an approved request.

(See our guides on setting up teams managers and approvals and our breakdown of who can see and approve requests for more information.)

Workarounds and alternatives

There are several workarounds that may help:

  • Turbine tracks precisely who approved a request and when and stores all that information on the system. People who are used to manual systems look for multiple sign offs to provide checks and balances but with greater visibility and accountability it may be possible to dispense with a second signature.
  • Split approvals. Turbine does support routing requests based on value, so you could send high value requests to the CFO, for example, but low value requests to line managers. 
  • Budgets. Turbine has some limited support for budgets so if you need to a second approval to sign off against a budget allocation you may be able to do that automatically in Turbine. Read more about budgets in Turbine.
  • Managers can approve but they can also comment or veto a request. A person can have multiple managers, so you could set up teams in Turbine for line managers for the 'first' approval and then a separate team with everybody in it for the CFO. So the CFO could then see all requests and veto any they didn't approve, even if a line manager previously approved. See our guide on setting up teams managers and approvals for more information.
  • Use 'Received' as a quasi-second approval stage. Typically POs are pending, then approved, then received, then completed. The members of the special 'people responsible for purchasing' can see all approved purchase orders (but not approve any pending ones) and mark them received and completed. You could use this as a second approval stage. On request, we can change the labels for the different stages so that 'received' might change to 'Final approval'. But note that the original requester can also mark an approved request as received (but Turbine tracks who makes any change so fraudulent approvals are easy to detect). Read more about how to set up purchasing.
  • You can change your process. Do you really need two sign-offs?


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