Document Approval: To Excel Or Not To Excel?

Approving documents for things like purchase requisitions, teacher absence requests or expense reports is a common every day task in all organizations. Even in today’s world, this document approval is performed by an employee printing out the document in question and physically taking it to everyone who needs to approve it. Using email instead of a physical document makes the document’s progression much more efficient, but there are still many issues with how the document approval process is currently handled.

For instance, a common practice today to get the requisite approvals for important reports, requisitions, plans, and other documents is for the employee who first requested the document to fill out an Excel spreadsheet and email it to the people who need to approve it. As you can see, this is basically an electronic version of the print-and-carry approval method referred to above, and it has most of the same problems. If the document is updated or an error is corrected, it needs to be sent out and approved again. If not everyone receives or responds to the email, the whole system is held up. If signatures are required, the document needs to be printed out, signed, and scanned. In addition, the whole process needs to be closely tracked by the original requester by phone or email. This is not a good use of anybody’s time, and this waste of time is costing your company money.

An automated workflow is the perfect solution to this problem – simply create one or more online forms customized to your business requirements and route them electronically to obtain the needed approvals. The online forms drastically reduce and even eliminate errors, perform calculations automatically and can often be pre-filled with routine information to reduce data entry. Once setup, the automated approval workflow send the forms electronically to the right person at the right time , sends notification messages and reminders to any of the people that need to work on it, accepts revisions and fixes in real time, and uses electronic signatures so there’s no need for printing, signing, and scanning. It tracks the activity of everyone involved so progress is easily measured. It even keeps a record of the entire process for future auditing.

New cloud-based solutions make automated approval workflows fast, easy and affordable. You can get a positive return on your investment in just a few months.

Best of all, the automated approval process allows employees to focus on their work rather than waste time tracking down an emailed Excel spreadsheet. If the question is to Excel or not to Excel, the automated workflow shows the right answer is clearly “not to.”


Frevvo allows organizations to employ online web forms and approval workflows to greatly reduce paper, email and approval bottlenecks.  Easily build forms for your team that meet your business requirements, route them for approvals and access from any device – whether it’s a mobile phone, tablet, or computer.  With Frevvo, you will easily be able to track where you are at any point in the approval workflow, and identify and correct any bottlenecks in the process.