Approval workflows in SAP Ariba Procurement

Approval workflows in SAP Ariba Procurement | con4PAS

Approval rules in SAP Ariba Procurement determine which users or groups are added to the approval flow of a request.

October 27, 2021

SAP Ariba Procurement solutions include a set of default approval processes, that process administrators can customize to create their own business rules. The process settings can be tested by previewing approval flows generated for selected test approvable.

For each type of approvable document (also referred to as an approvable), it is possible to build a flow diagram of approval rules, defining the conditions and actions for each rule., e.g., if a purchase requisition contains an IT hardware commodity item, the IT manager is added to the approval flow.

Types of approvers:

  • single user,
  • user group,
  • approver list (users and groups),
  • approver field path, when an approver is specified based on data in the approvable, e.g., cost centers owners, etc.


Approval flow diagram

SAP Ariba Procurement – Approval flow diagram

Approval types:

  • Serial – approver nodes for serial approvers are ordered from left to right in the approval flow. Each serial approver is notified only after the approvers to the left have approved the document (Approver A and B in the picture).
  • Parallel – approver nodes for parallel approvers are placed in parallel with each other vertically in the approval flow. All approvers in parallel are simultaneously notified about the approvable pending approval (Approver C and D in the picture).

Approvers receive an email notification message when the approvable is waiting for their approval. They can approve or deny the approvable. Based on the edit rules that are included in the approval processes, the approvers may be enabled to edit the approvables. The edit rules also define how their edit influences the approval flow – it may have no impact at all, the approval flow may be regenerated or reapprovals may be required.


Approval process

SAP Ariba Procurement – Approval process

It is possible to include watchers in approval flows. A watcher is an approver who is notified of the submission and status of an approvable but doesn't participate in the approval process. Once a watcher is activated, that watcher receives all notifications related to the approvable.

Approvers may delegate the approval authority to other users, e.g., when they are out of office during their vacation. The solutions also enable administrators to activate email approvals or mobile approvals through the application SAP Ariba Procurement.


The approval workflow management applies to the following solutions: SAP Ariba Catalog, SAP Ariba Buying, SAP Ariba Buying and Invoicing, SAP Ariba Invoice Management, and SAP Ariba Contract Invoicing.



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