Bonfire - Approvals

Creating and Using Approvals

Feature Summary

Buyers are able to set up various approval requests, and send these requests to an approver in order to collect an approval response. 

  • Approval requests can be configured to include a number of different pieces of information such as a description, relevant URLs, and documents. 
  • Approvers are notified of the request for their approval via email, and can follow the link in the email to both respond and leave a comment on the approval. 
  • Both buyers and approvers are notified and reminded of crucial stages in the approval lifecycle.
  • Approvals will automatically be available on Projects and Intake for organizations with those modules enabled. The functionality is the same in both modules.

Roles & Permissions

For Approvals on Projects

  • Any user that can edit the project has access to create and edit approval requests on the project. Any user who has view access to the full project (ie. observer roles) will be able to view the approval requests on the project.

For Approvals on Intake:

  • Any user that can manage intake requests has access to create and edit approval requests on intake requests. Any user who has view access to the intake request will be able to view the approval requests on the project. 

Accessing Approvals

On both Intake and Projects, the Approvals page can be accessed through the navigation menu on the left.

Intake Request Page:


Project Details Page:


Creating and Sending an Approval

NOTE: The contents of the following sections, unless otherwise stated, apply to Approvals in both Intake and Projects.

Approvals Index Page

The Approvals Index Page is the main page showing all Approval Requests that have been set up on the Project or Intake request. 

From this page, a user can create, edit, or view approvals on the Project or Intake request.


Create an Approval

A user with edit access to the Project or Intake Request can click “Add Approval Step” to start creating a new Approval Request. This will redirect you to the page which contains a number of fields to be filled out prior to sending an Approval Request.


Approval Details

Approval Title: The name of the Approval Request. Common examples would be Bid Document Approval, Budget Approval, Approval of Requirements, etc. This is a mandatory field.

Description of Approval: A brief description that will help the approver understand what they are reviewing and approving. This is a mandatory field. 

Procurement Stage: This field is independent of the project or intake stages that change as a procurement progresses. This is a mandatory field.

URL Link: Any URL that a buyer may want to share with an approver to facilitate the approval. Examples could include SharePoint links, Google Docs links, etc. This field is optional.

Attachments: Any files that a buyer may want to share with an approver to facilitate the approval. The most common example would be the bid document and other project files. This field is optional. 

Adding an Approver

Anyone can be added as an approver:

  • Users who are already in Bonfire will appear in the dropdown and are searchable. 
  • New users can be added by typing in their email address. This is similar to adding users in other places within Bonfire. 


To finalize adding an approver, type in the department the approval is from, and enter a due date for the approval. 

Once you’ve filled in the fields, you have the following options:

  • Delete - Deletes the Approval Request and the data on the screen. Returns the user to the Approvals Index page.
  • Save for Later - Saves the data on the screen. The approval request is not sent, and can be edited and then sent in the future. Returns the user to the Approvals Index page.
  • Send Now - Saves the data on the screen. Sends the approval request to the approver. After an approval has been sent it can no longer be edited. 

Viewing Approvals

For approvals in the “Out For Approval”, “Approved”, “Declined”, and “Late” statuses, clicking on the link next to the approval title will open the “View Approval Page”.

The View Approval Page shows a record of all of the information that was sent with the Approval Request. 

If the Approval doesn’t have a response yet, the View Approval Page will indicate that a response is pending:


If the Approval does have a response, the View Approval Page will show that response along with the comment submitted by the approver:


Editing an Approval

Approvals that were previously “Saved for Later” can be edited by clicking on the link next to the title of the approval on the Approvals Index Page.


This will open the “Edit Approval Page”, which looks similar to the Approval setup page and includes pre-populated information. 

NOTE: Only approvals that are “Not Scheduled” can be edited.

Status Change Notification

When an Approver responds to an approval, the buyer is immediately notified of this update via email.

Request has been approved email:


Request has been declined email: 


Late Notification

If an approval is late, the following email notification is sent to either the Project Owner or Intake Assignee on the morning of the first day after the approval’s due date.



The Approvers Perspective

Approval Request Email

When an approval request is sent to an approver, they receive an email letting them know that their approval is needed. The email includes a number of pieces of information about the approval, as shown below. 

Clicking on any “Relevant Link” will open the link in the approver’s web browser. Clicking on the project name, document links, or “Respond to Approval request” buttons will take the user to the approval request page to see this information.



Reminder Emails

To help ensure that Approvers respond to a request in a timely manner, Bonfire will send them automated reminder emails that are based on the date the approval is due by. 

The emails are sent 5 days before, 2 days before, and on the day the approval is due by. 


Once an approval is late, there is a specific email that is sent to the Approver communicating that they are late. This email is sent the morning of the first day after the approval’s due date. 


Responding to an Approval

After an approver clicks on the link in the Approval Request Email or any of the Reminder Emails, they will be brought to the Approval Response Page. 

From this page, the approver can view all information related to the approval, download or view all approval documents, and respond with their comment:


After the approver responds to the request, the page will show their response:


Approvals Stages

An approval request can move through a number of stages from the setup process through to the response from the Approver. 


The stages and the details associated with each stage are as follows:


Criteria to Enter this Stage


Out For Approval

Approval is fully configured and has been sent to the Approver.

Approval is “Read Only” after it is sent


Approver has Approved the request.

Approval is “Read Only” after it is sent


Approver has Declined the request.

Approval is “Read Only” after it is sent

Not Scheduled

The buyer has not sent the Approval yet. Think of this as a draft.

Approved can be edited and sent. 


The due date for the Approval has passed and the Approver has not responded.

Approval is “Read Only” after it is sent



There are two reports that can be downloaded which capture the approvals on a project, and one report that can be downloaded to capture the approvals on an intake request.

On both Projects and Intake, the Approvals table can be downloaded. The download is an excel file, which matches the approvals table for the Project or Intake request. 


On Projects, an Approvals page has been added to the word report that shows all of the approvals that have been requested on the project. Approvals that are “Not Scheduled” will not appear on this report because they were never sent to a recipient.



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