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Coupa Success Portal

Workflow Management

Workflows allow you to configure specific approval chains to be used in various scenarios. For example, although all new requisitions may require approval, the list of approvers may differ depending on the type of requisition, the spend amount, the functional groups involved and more.

This article describes how to configure the following approval workflows:

  • Candidate
  • Requisition
  • CW Rate Change
  • CW Extension
  • Project

MSP users can navigate to Main Menu  ➔  Workflow Management  ➔  (select any of the workflow types listed above)


When there are existing workflows on the page:

  • The Show Workflow icon displays a preview of the workflow
  • The Edit Workflow icon allows you to modify the workflow and add/remove approvers
  • The Delete Workflow icon removes the workflow from the list
  • Priority determines which workflow is initiated when more than one satisfy all necessary conditions. To change a priority, hover your mouse over a workflow and click the icon that displays to the left of the priority number. Press and hold the mouse button and drag/drop the workflow up or down to change its priority.

Create a New Workflow

Select Create new default workflow. The interface has three sections: Create Approval Chain, Approval Conditions and Approvers. Note that each section can be collapsed/expanded.

Create Approval Chain

Give your approval chain a unique name (required) and a brief description (optional).

Approval Chain Conditions

Define the conditions that trigger the approval chain:

  • Match all conditions: create a workflow where each condition must be satisfied to trigger the workflow
    • i.e., the workflow is initiated when Condition 1 AND Condition 2 AND Condition 3, etc., are all true. 
    • Example: a candidate approval workflow is initiated when a candidate's Job Title, Cost Center and Work Location all match the workflow conditions.
  • Match at least one condition: create a workflow where at least one of the conditions must be satisfied to trigger the workflow
    • i.e., the workflow is initiated when Condition 1 OR Condition 2 OR Condition 3, etc., is true.
    • Example: a candidate approval workflow is initiated when either the candidate's Job Title, or the candidate's Cost Center, or the candidate's Work Location match the workflow conditions.
    • This option allows multiple approval scenarios to be covered in one workflow.

Select a condition, operator and value

Click the dropdown menu to see a list of conditions that can be used to trigger the workflow/approval chain.


  • Condition field: Select a condition, or begin typing into the search box to find a matching condition and then select it; e.g., Job Title
  • Operator: Select an operator; e.g., Equals. The operators available depend on the selected Condition 
    • Operator can be Equals or Not Equal to when referring to static values selected from a list
    • Operators can include Greater Than, Less than, Greater than Equal to, Less than Equal to when referring to certain numeric values
  • Values: Select from a list of available options.
    • Some conditions, such as Job Title and Requisition Type, support multiple values. Begin typing until you see the value you are looking for, and select it. Then, to add another value, begin typing again, etc., e.g., Administrative assistant, Business Analyst, Associate Network Operations (where the condition was Job Title)
    • Some conditions, such as Exempt/Non-Exempt, limit values to specific selections from a list


In the example shown above, the workflow will initiate if:

Job Title = Administrative assistant or Business Analyst or Associate Network Operations 


Exempt/Non-Exempt = Exempt

When a condition specifies more than one possible value - such as three possible Job Titles in the example above - the condition is true when at least one of the specified values matches.

To remove a condition, click the red X to the right of it. To add a new condition, click the green plus sign to the right of the most recently added condition.

Once a new condition row is added, values must be entered or the workflow cannot be saved.


An approval chain can be triggered based on the Chart of Accounts (COA) or any account segment associated with a transaction.


  • Condition: Chart of Account
  • Operator: Equals or Not Equal to 
    • You can also select Is blank (workflow triggers if there is no COA) or Is not blank (workflow triggers as long as any COA is associated).
  • Value: Select a COA from the list available.



  • Condition: Account
  • Operator: Equals, Not equal to, Starts with, Contains, Does not contain,
    • You can also select Is blank (workflow triggers if there is no Account associated with the transaction), and Is not blank (workflow triggers as long as there is any Account associated with the transaction)
  • Value: Select a COA from the list available.
    • Each available account segment displays a free text field (250 characters max).
    • It is not necessary to enter a complete valid string. 
    • Enter partial or complete values into any or all of the segments. The approval chain will trigger if an associated account segment matches what is entered here. For example, if you enter "2112" for "Cost" and the transaction has a Cost segment of "21123" the approval chain will be triggered. 


Additionally, for Project and Update CW workflows, Chart of Account and Accounts will be available as the Workflow Trigger Rules fields as well (the Non-Financial/Financial fields that drive the approvals)


Define the approvers who are part of the approval chain.

Select an approver or functional group listed in the workflow to add a new approver/group using the Workflow Controls popup.


  • Add an individual Approver or a Functional Group using the first two tabs.
  • Type the first few letters of the approvers name, until the full name appears. Select the name and click Add Previous, Add Next or Add Parallel to insert the new approver (or group) before, after - or in parallel with - the position you selected.
    • Use the IF tab if the new approver should only be included if a specific condition applies
      • Example: A worker who is a former employee must be approved by HR
  • Repeat these steps until the workflow you desire has been created. Click Save.

Workflow Trigger Rules

Using Workflow Trigger Rules, you can decide whether transactions can be edited after a workflow is completed and approved. If edits are allowed, an additional workflow can be triggered by all edits, or just by edits to specific types of fields.

Options available under Workflow Trigger Action depend on your specific configuration. For example, if Edit Requisition is selected, two settings are displayed:

Allow requisition edit after approval

  • Never - Once a requisition workflow is completed, that requisition cannot be edited
  • Non-Financial fields only - After a requisition workflow is completed, only the fields listed in the Non-Financial column can be edited
  • All fields - After a requisition workflow is completed, all fields can be edited

Edit requisition workflow trigger

  • Never - After a requisition workflow is completed, subsequent edits will not trigger a new approval workflow
  • Financial fields only - After a requisition workflow is completed, subsequent edits to fields listed in the Financial column will trigger a new approval workflow
  • All fields - After a requisition workflow is completed, subsequent edits to any field will trigger a new approval workflow

Admins determine which fields are available to trigger approvals when edited. Each field listed can be moved between the Financial or Non-Financial column by dragging and dropping.

Chart of Account and Account can be included among the fields listed for Project and Requisition Workflow types

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