Approval of purchase orders is a common, highly used process in World Procurement with many companies using multiple differing Approval Routes to establish and direct the approval requests to the appropriate levels / persons for approval.
Occasionally, due to attrition, change of responsibilities or changes in the level of approval needed, you may find you need to make changes to the 'approvers' on an approval route or may even need to delete an existing approval route as it is no longer needed.
When these changes/deletions are attempted, you may run into error 2788 - Delete Not Allowed, blocking you from making this change.
The Data Dictionary defines the 2788 error as follows:
Cause. . . . The person that you have attempted to remove from the approval table has pending orders which require his/her approval or rejection.
Resolution . . Either change the person responsible for the pending orders, or wait until the orders have been approved or rejected.
Note : The "Orders Awaiting Approval" screen (P43081) is a helpful tool in determining which orders are awaiting approval by a specific approver.
So how do you resolve this error and continue on with you updates/changes/deletions to these approval routes?
As stated in the error text, this error is generated because the person or route you are attempting to change/delete has orders pending approval. An Approval Route cannot be deleted, nor can an approver be removed from an Approval Route when the approver has orders pending their approval.
Troubleshooting Approval Processing Issues (Doc ID 1547635.1) addresses the 2788 error and provides options for making the desired changes or deleting the approval route.
The first step is to identify the approver who has a pending approval request and as the Data Dictionary error information states, the Orders Awaiting Approval screen (P43081) is a helpful tool in determining which orders are awaiting approval by a specific approver. Another option for identifying these approvers is to review the data in the F4209 – Held Orders file. A record in this file designating approval is pending from a specific approver is identified by a value of 2N in HOASTS - Approval Status field.
Once you have identified which approvers have orders awaiting their approval (App Sts = 2N), you have the following options:
- Have this approver actually approve or reject any pending approvals for the related route.
- Use the Approval Delegation process/program P43280 so that all orders pending this person’s approval can be delegated to a different approver. The new approver can then approve or reject any orders that are pending their approval.
- If your intent is to delete the entire approval route, you will need to use one of the first two methods to approve / reject all orders that are pending approval for this route. The existing approver must approve or reject all pending orders before you can remove him or her from the route or delete the entire route. An Approval Route cannot be deleted, nor can an approver be removed from an Approval Route when the approver has orders pending their approval.
Once all pending approvals have been acted upon so that there are no pending approval records (F4209 HOASTS = 2N for this route), you can go to the P43008 - Approval Level Revisions, Inquire on the Order Type & Approval Route Code to pull the Approval Route record into the video and then delete it using the D Action Code.
Full details on the set up and use of Approval Processing can be found in Approval Processing (Doc ID 626779.1) with additional topics discussed in FAQ: Approval Processing (Doc ID 1535323.1).