NetSuite Workflow Approval Using Email

One of the most popular use of NetSuite Workflow is record approval process. For example, custom Journal approval workflow. These approval workflows will expect one or more NetSuite employees to provide approval response for the record.  Most common way to provide approval response is for employees to log into NetSuite and click Approve or Reject button. While this method works for most customers, there are few reasons why Approval using Email approach is better option:

  1. Employee who needs to provide the Approval does not have access to NetSuite
    This can happen when an employee does not require access to NetSuite but still plays a vital role in providing approval.
  2. Require faster more efficient way to provide approval
    When an employee who needs to provide approval is constantly on the road, it is time consuming for them to login to NetSuite to provide approval. More efficient way would be for him/her  to respond to an email notification.
  3. Employee who needs to provide the Approval does not have access to view the record type
    This can happen when primary employee who needs to provide approval is on vacation.
    Approval can be delegated to someone who may not have access to the record type due to role restriction.


How it works

While back, we wrote about how to use Email Capture for Inbound Integration option.  In this solution, we use Email Capture to process approval response from employees via email.

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Custom workflow action script will generate email notification.  The email is designed to automatically reply to email capture email address.


  • Email generated by custom workflow action script will contain information about the record that is being approved.  For example, record internal ID or approving employee internal ID.
  • Email Capture will only execute next step when senders’ email matches the next approver or delegate assigned for that approver.
  • Error handling will notify sender as well as admin team.
  • Additional SMTP server set up will allow Email Capture email address to be associated with user friendly company email address. For example can be associated


  • Specific keyword must be used in the body of the email:
    Currently, user can use Approve, Approved, Reject, Rejected.
  • Rejection reason needs to be provided by the user using separating character.
  • Current solution will use first occurrence of matching key word in the body of email.
  • It requires the reply to include original email message.
  • If the email is forwarded, it loses the automatic reply email address.  User need to know what email address to send to.

Ability to provide approval using email improves response time and acceptance of the business process by the users.  If you have a need for approval using email or building out approval workflows, please feel free to contact us!

About Abaci
Abaci is a premier NetSuite Solution Provider with deep knowledge in both business process and technology architecture. Our team is passionate about NetSuite and has an exclusive commitment to NetSuite and to providing the highest level of system expertise on its full suite of cloud-based business management applications.