Product Approvals - via Coordinator Access

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You can enable that purchases of Products by members of Organizations can be approved or denied by Coordinators for that Organization. Coordinators are Cart Users who have special access to tools and data via a Dashboard. Organizations can have Departments, so you can have different Coordinators be responsible for different Departments. Coordinators can have purchase approval limits, so if the Product's cost is more than the Coordinator's approval limit, then they will only be able to Deny the purchase; the ability to approve the purchase will go to other Coordinators via a hierarchy.

For a lighter weight version of Product Approvals, you can learn about Product Approval via email here.

Note: The setup for this feature is involved. If you are unfamiliar with Organization Mode, or if you have any questions about setting up Product Approvals, please contact, and we would be happy to assist.  

Getting Started

First, you need to define how Accounts are affiliated with Organizations, so that the approvals gets routed to the correct Coordinators. There are a number of Configurations that are relevant to the feature. Start by logging into the Administrative side of your database and navigating to Settings --> Setup --> Configuration. Search for "Organization". Turn Organization Mode to ON, and determine how Accounts and Organizations become affiliated.

Affiliation Options

You have options regarding how the System creates the affiliations between Cart Accounts and Organizations:

  • Determine the Org from the Cart Landing Page entrypoint: the System determine that Account is affiliated with that Org via the context of the registration coming from the Cart Landing Page. If the User registers for an Account via another page, eg the Main Product List page, then there will be no affiliation.
  • Ask for the Org on the Account Registration Form: the System will simply always ask for the User's Organization via an question on the Account Registration Form  
  • Determine the Org from the Cart Landing Page entrypoint, otherwise, ask for it: the System will determine the affiliation if the registration is coming from the Cart Landing Page, otherwise it will ask for it as a backup.

Note: there is also an option to "Associate the Org via the Email Domain". This is always the last fallback for the other options. That is, if affiliation fails via the configured methodology, then the System will try to affiliate by matching the domain of the Organization with the domain of the User's email address.

Other Relevant Configurations

There are two other relevant System Configurations to take a look at. Search for "approve product" to find it.

  • Term you use to describe a person who can approve product purchases and account creation: this is what the Coordinator is called in regards to product approvals.


  • Allow Customers and Coordinators to Process Refunds: Turn this configuration ON to enable Coordinators to process refunds.
Creating Refund Profiles
Refund Profiles enable you to define the conditions under which a Coordinator-refund can occur. Go to Settings --> Management --> Refund Profile and click the "Add New Refund Profiles" button.

The New Refund Profile screen is now shown. Input a title and click the Save button.

Please Note: You can create as many Refund Profiles as you wish, however when you go to give a Refund Profile to a Product, only five profiles will be shown.

Creating Refund Tiers

Now that you have saved your Refund Profile, you can create your first Refund Tier. Click the Add New button.

The New Refund Tier screen is shown. Input a title and choose your criteria. The criteria options are: Start Date, End Date, and Order Date. So, you can create refund windows that are based on those three types of dates. Define the percent to refund. For example, if you input 75, the customer will get a 75% refund during that window. Check whether or not the refund will require approval. If left unchecked, the refund will go through automatically. If checked, an Admin will have to approve it.

Please Note: The Start Date and End Date are Event specific -- they are the Event's Start and End Dates. So, tiers with those criteria will only work for the Event type of Product.

Now, define your range, or refund window. This is when the refund tier will be in effect. Define when the range will begin and when it will end. In this example, I am allowing a refund to occur within one week of the order. Then, click the Save button.

You will be shown the Edit Refund Profile screen. Here, you can view, edit, or delete a tier. You can add a new tier. You can also inactivate or delete the profile. If inactivated, it will no longer be able to be assigned to a Product.

Creating a Second Tier

Click the Add New button to add a second Refund Tier. Define the tier parameters in the same method as above. In this second example, I am creating a 50% refund window for a month after the purchase.

Prioritizing your Tiers

The Edit Refund Profile will be shown. It will list both tiers, and it will allow you to prioritize them via controls. This prioritization allows for the system to handle overlaps. In my example, both of the tiers begin on the day of purchase, and so the month-long tier overlaps the week-long tier. By prioritizing the week-long tier first, if the self-refund occurs during this highest tier's window, then the customer will be refunded by that tier's percentage, and the refund will have to be approved, unlike with the lowest tier.

Adding Refund Profiles to Products

Navigate to Products, search for the Product that you would like to add the profile to, select the Advanced tab, look at the Billing section, and you will notice a "Coordinator Can Refund & Remove" checkbox. Check the box, and you will see that there will be a refund profile selector. Choose your desired profile, and click the Save button.

Please Note: You will need to do this for each Product (and Product Variation) that you are enabling Coordinator-refunds. If you would like to roll out this feature to many Products, please contact us at and we may be able to do this pro-grammatically for you.    

Account Form -- The Organization Question

You will need to ensure that the Account Form contains the Organization Question even if you are not going to affiliate via the Account Form Question. If you do not want it to show it to users, you can mark it "Admin Only." Go to Settings -> Assignments -> Forms, find the (active) Account Form, and click the Edit Questions icon.

Click the Add New Question button.
Select the Organization Question.

Create the Form Question by inputting a Title, display text, and choose "Admin Only" if you don't want to show it to your customers. Click the SAVE button.

CRM Integration -- Creating Organizations

Organizations are created like any other CRM Lead. Navigate to the CRM, click the NEW LEAD button, and select the "Organization" box.

After the organization has been created click on "Organization Settings"


Adding Domains to an Organization

You can associate your Organization with a domain by inputting the domain name and clicking "New Domain". You can add multiple Domains. You can remove them via the REMOVE DOMAIN button. Click SAVE when you are done adding Domains. 

CRM Integration -- Creating Coordinators for the Organization

Coordinators are the individuals in an Organization who will approve the user Accounts. Coordinators are created as Contacts in the CRM under the Organization. This will also create them a Cart Account. They will need this Cart Account to login to the publicly facing side of the database (the Shopping Cart), and access tools such as the Account Approval tool.

After creating the CRM Contact, it is important to update the Cart Account with a new password so that the Coordinator can log in. This update can either be done by them or by you.

Creating a CRM Contact

Navigate to the CRM, select the Organization, and click the Contacts tab. This will list all of the Organization's Contacts. Click the CREATE CONTACT button, input a First Name, a Last Name, and an Email address. Optionally, add other information such as their Gender or their Birthday.

Making them a Coordinator, a Primary Coordinator, a Learning Coordinator, and a Product Approver

Start by navigating to the CRM, selecting the Organization, clicking the Affiliations tab, and clicking the "Edit Affiliation" button for the Contact.

Click the "Coordinator" option to make the other coordinator options such as "Primary Coordinator, Learning Coordinator, Account Payer and the Approver" checkboxes. Click the SAVE button when done.   


Approver Hierarchy: Departments, Max Approval Limit, the Coordinator's Approver, and the Primary Approver

Once you have multiple Coordinators, you can create an Approver Hierarchy. If you are using Departments, you can indicate for which Department the Coordinator will be responsible. If you want to limit the maximum price of a Product that the Coordinator can approve, input that value as the Max Approval Limit. You can also indicate who is the "Approver's Approver" -- this allows for purchases from that Coordinator to be approved, and it allows for an approval to go to someone above them if the product's price is higher than the Max Approval Limit. You can mark an Approver as Primary -- the Primary is (for example) the Organization's President; each Organization can only have one Primary, and this allows for the approval to go to someone if the product's price is higher than all other Coordinators Max Approval Limit.

This creates a hierarchy. For example, if a Member is part of a Department, and if the Product's price is higher than the approval limit of the Department's Coordinator, then the ability to approve the purchase goes to that Coordinator's approver. And if the price is higher than the "Approver's Approver" limit, then it will go to the Primary Approver. In this example, the other Coordinators can deny the purchase, but only the Primary can approve the purchase.

Setting-Up the Products
Begin by creating your Product as usual. On the Advanced Tab of the Product, check "Require Approval for Purchase" (so the System knows that it needs approval) and indicate the Product's Organization (so the System knows to put it on the Cart Landing Page). Then, click the SAVE button.

The Member's Purchase Experience

From a Member's experience, purchasing a Product that requires approval does not differ at all from purchasing a Product that does not require approval. If the purchase is approved, then they will get an email notification. If the purchase is denied, then they will get an email notification, and the Order will be refunded and removed. In their Order History, the product will be tagged as "Removed".

The Coordinator's Experience

The Coordinator who is responsible for approving a Product purchase will be sent an email notification with information about the purchase, and a link to the Coordinator Dashboard. They can follow the link to approve or deny the purchase. If the price is higher than their Max Approval Amount, they will only be able to deny the purchase.
Updated 6/2019

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