A workflow is a defined sequence of activities in a company. Often this workflow is supported by standard or industry software. Therefore, a workflow is also referred to as the computerised automation of business processes, operations or routing of electronic documents (hence often called operation processing).
A workflow can be fundamentally distinguished from a business process. The two are closely related, but not synonymous. A workflow is the automation of a business process.
Workflows are standardised processes. This makes them well suited for automation. A workflow specifies, among other things, who must perform certain activities and when in order to complete the process. It also specifies who has to submit which documents so that all persons participating in the process have access to the required information.
Modern business software maps complete processes, not just a section or subsection. This includes, among other things, the checking and approval of documents, orders, incoming invoices and the like. Recording, account allocation and booking are also part of it.
Workflow is not to be confused with business process. The two terms are closely related, but not synonymous. The business process is the template that is to be automated by a workflow.