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Is it possible to create a sort of "Initial Action" when a record enters a specific approval step? (Separate from the Initial Submission Actions)

I have a multistep approval process (about 6 steps) with some complex logic and criteria where records may hit only one step instead of all 6. I want the status of the record to change when it enters the step, before an approval or rejection is made. Setting this field update in the initial submission actions wont work because the status that it goes into would depend on the step itself.

I'm aware of the possible workarounds below (which I'm trying to avoid for reasons that we don't need to get into, but will use if there is no better way):

  1. Create separate approval processes for each of the current steps
  2. Create a RT flow that reacts to the steps and changes status accordingly (overkill, probs)

Any thoughts would be appreciated, though it seems I may need to just use option 1 above.

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So as we know there can only be one active approval process per object. 2nd solution might be a fit solution for your use case. Create a record-triggered flow on create/update.

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