I have a custom object Child__c in a master-detail relationship with Account. The account has a single owner but I want different users to create and submit Child__c objects for approval. SalesForce requires that an initial submitter be either the owner or the creator which limits me to Creator for now.

However the same Child_c object may later be the responsibility of someone who is neither the account owner nor the creator. That user will not be able to submit the record for approval in the future. That user is related to the record as the Responsible__c user for that item.

The ideal solution would be that a related user could submit for approval. This doesn't seem to be an option correct?

Can I later change the creator Id?

Remove the master-detail relationship (and give up my rollup fields!)?

Any other ideas?

I can't see how specifying a User/Group/Role can help here as I would need to specify a static entity which would mean having a different approval process for each organisational unit!

1 Answer 1


Yeah you're correct in that you can't use a User lookup field as the "Specify Initial Submitters" value.

However, there is a somewhat acceptable workaround. You specify that All Internal Users (or whatever is the most appropriate broad category) can submit the object for approval. But then you add criteria to the Initial Entry Criteria which says that the current user must be the same as Responsible__c ($User.Id = Responsible__c).

The downside is that when the user is not allowed to submit for approval, the error message they get is not user-friendly and doesn't say "You must be the Responsible User".

You can address the error message / initial submission flow with a bit more work by creating a custom button that uses the Approval API to submit for approval, and then you get the luxury of being able to give your users very customized messaging and up-front workflows upon approval submission, but that's quite a bit more work.

  • Awesome thanks! So I'll specify "Group: All Internal Users". I already have a custom button/page replacing the Submit for Approval so I can make friendly messages. Thanks again!!
    – Marc
    Mar 15, 2013 at 7:03

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