Approval Decline Workflow


Here is the workflow I am using.

-Fiscal Monitor - creates a requisition and sends approval notice to Fiscal Manager

-Fiscal Manager has to reject with a comment in his/her email/SS notification (via the form generated in a Request an Update workflow) back to the Fiscal Monitor.

-Fiscal Manager has put in his/her comments in the comments box and hits decline.

I want the Reason of the Decline entered by the Fiscal Manager in his/her notification to be recorded in the PR Status box-not the comments section of the row.

What is wrong with my workflow (second screenshot below)? Will this only work if I setup a workflow with Requesting an Update from the Fiscal Manager after he/she has declined the request once?

How should the workflow look like?



  • Genevieve P.
    Genevieve P. Employee Admin

    Hi @Sri Rangarajan

    With an Approval Request, you cannot update other fields in the row, so you won't be able to update the PR Status cell in the sheet (you can only add a comment on the row, versus within the cell of the grid, does that make sense?)

    As an alternative, you could split up this workflow and instead of an Approval type of workflow you could use an Update Request type of workflow from the beginning.

    In this instance, you could lock all columns in your sheet except for the PR Status column and a new dropdown column called "Approval" where you have your approval values.

    Then you would create your own "Approval Request" using an Update Request action to ask that the user Approves / Declines by selecting the option from the drop-down, then updating the "PR Status" field if it's declined.

    You would then need to set up two separate workflows for what to do based on the update that has come in:

    1) If the Update Request updates the row to say "Approved", create a new workflow with this as the trigger for the Alert & Record a Date.

    2) If the Update Request updates the row to say "Declined", then you can send out another Update Request with the fields needing an update. Now the reason will be contained in the "PR Status" field.

    Keep in mind that since you're using a column field for the comment, the next person who receives this Update Request can change the text in that column. You can view previous versions by checking the Cell History in the sheet.

    Alternatively, you could keep your process exactly as it is, but for your Update Request use the "A Comment" field as the Specific Field to send, instead. This would show the user all the comments for that row (see the dropdown arrow in your second screen capture that says "13 Comments" and allow them to add another comment one on top (without overwriting the previous comment).

    Let me know if you'd like to see screen captures of anything I described above.



  • Thank you Genevieve for the detailed guidance. I will try out the split up two workflow method to see if this will work for us.

    I will contact you if I need additional guidance.

    Thanks again!

  • Hi Genevieve,

    I was able to create multiple Update Request workflows to achieve what I wanted Smartsheet to do in case of a Decline workflow.

    Thanks for your assistance and guidance!


  • Genevieve P.
    Genevieve P. Employee Admin

    Hi @Sri Rangarajan

    I'm glad you were able to figure out a solution! Thanks for letting me know.