A Guide to Providing Better Clarity Around Approval Process Entry Criteria

In the world of Salesforce, approval processes play a crucial role in ensuring that the right people review and approve key business decisions. However, in certain scenarios, users can encounter challenges when attempting to submit records for approval. The error messages generated in these situations can sometimes be vague and leave users in the dark about the specific conditions that caused the submission to fail. This lack of clarity can be frustrating and time-consuming,especially in large organizations where multiple people may face similar issues. 

The Challenge of Customizing Error Messages

Salesforce is always looking for ways to enhance the platform and make it as user-friendly as possible. Although the Salesforce team recognizes the need for more customized and informative error messages in the approval process, implementing this feature has proven complex. Their focus on improving Flow and Flow Builder means that any changes made to Approvals would need to align with this ongoing work. While they can’t provide an exact timeline for this enhancement, we encourage you to stay tuned for future updates. 


Workaround to Improve Error Message Clarity

In the meantime, we understand that users require immediate solutions to the challenge of generic error messages. That’s why we’ve provided a workaround that can help you gain better insights into the specific conditions that triggered the error as well as provide more flexibility in managing your approval process.


Manage the Approval Process from a Screen Flow

Step 1: Navigate to “Flow” in Salesforce Setup.
Step 2: Click on “New Flow” to create a new screen flow.
Step 4: Design the flow with a screen element that displays a customized error message based on the approval process entry criteria.
Step 5: In the flow, invoke this screen element whenever a record fails to submit for approval due to specific conditions.
Step 6: If the flow meets the criteria to submit for approval, invoke the approval process from the “Submit for Approval” core action element.
Step 7: Activate the flow and test it out by submitting records that meet the entry criteria and those that don’t. Observe the different error messages displayed.
Step 8: Finally, create a custom action on the object from which the flow-triggered approval process should be invoked and add it to the record page layout.



The Bottom Line

While Salesforce continues to explore ways to improve this aspect of the platform, the workaround provided above is an excellent interim solution. By leveraging the power of flow, users can gain more clarity on why their approval processes aren’t triggering as desired. Furthermore, these workarounds can be integrated into existing processes with relative ease, ensuring a seamless user experience. Remember, a well-crafted error message can save time, boost productivity, and prevent unnecessary frustrations. 

If you’re interested in learning more about this topic or want to join the discussion, check out the full Idea Exchange article here.

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