In this article, you will learn how the approval workflow works in Ocerra. You will also get familiar with the setup process and definitions. This is a great place to start building your first workflow. 

How does Ocerra workflow work?

We are following an industry-standard approach for an approval workflow. If you ever came across the approval workflow setup in another system, you should be familiar with the workflow setup logic. Read this guide to get started with approval process. 

NOTE: There should be always one workflow with no vendors selected

  • Go to Settings – Workflow – Click on the "Invoice Approval". This is your default workflow with no vendors selected:

  • When you open it up, you will see STATES screen:


On this screen you can edit:

  • Name

You can edit you approval workflow name here, e.g. “Invoice Approval.”

  • Description

You can edit and give a more detailed description of your approval.

  • Active flag

You can enable or disable this workflow. 

Workflow states

There are five state types in the approval workflow (WF). They have pre-defined functionality and cannot be changed:

  1. Start – this state type tells the system to search for the first step of the WF. It is commonly named as Received. 
  2. Submit – this state type is used to confirm that data extraction has been verified. It is commonly named as Submitted. 
  3. Approve – this state type tells the system that invoice is approved and ready to be exported and then archived. It is commonly named as Approved.

Click +Add Item to add the other two states if required: 

  1. State – this is a generic state for a multi-approval scenario. However, this state type does not allow automation. E.g. it cannot be auto-archived or auto-exported. 
  2. Decline – is an experimental state type; it might be used for additional notification. It needs more data to understand if it is viable. Read more about decline state here.

Types are hidden from end-users. These are stages of the workflow that tells the system where the first and final steps are. 


Names are visible on screen as statuses to end-users. You can add as many statuses as you like, however, we recommend not adding more than 3-4 and to keep it simple. Here are common invoice statuses people use:

  • Received
  • Submitted
  • Approved

You can learn more about approval statuses here. 


On this screen you can fully configure your workflow:



Name of the transition or action (button), e.g. Submit. Name doesn't need to represent the final status. It is convenient to do so but may not be required. For example, you can give a transition a "Reject" name but it will move invoice from submitted to received status. 


From what status you want this action to happen, e.g. Received


To what status you want to move it to, e.g. Submitted


What role can move it from this status to the next one. In Ocerra, there is a set of pre-defined roles: clerk, accountant, supervisor and employee. Each user can have one or more roles, learn about setting up roles here. You can build transitions first than set-up roles, or other-way around. 


You can select a specific user instead of role or just a role. It should be either one or another.  


Can they add comments when moving from one status to another? 


Up to what limit can they approve invoices? 


Is there any threshold limit?


A condition to move from status to status automatically. You can select from:

  • By Limit – When invoice amounts are matching, and the amount is less than a limit move to the next status
  • PO Approved – When invoice amounts are matching, and the PO is found, and the amount is less than a limit move to the next status.
  • PO Approved & Amount Matches – When invoice amounts are matching, and PO is found, and PO Amount is equal to Invoice Amount and amount is less than a limit move to the next status.
  • PO Approved & Amount / Quantity Matches – When invoice amounts are matching, and PO is found, and PO Amount is equal to Invoice Amount, and PO Line quantities are matching to lines on Invoice, and the amount is less than a limit move to the next status.


On this screen you have an option to add one or more vendors for this workflow. If you would like to have one workflow for your approval process, leave vendor selection unfilled. 

Note: You should always have at least one workflow with no vendor selected. This way when you receive an invoice from the vendor that is not in any workflow, it can be still processed.

Invoice that arrive with a blank supplier name will be auto-enrolled into the default workflow.