How to Use Microsoft 365 Power Automate for Document Approval

In this How-to Paper, we will focus on building an automated approval flow within a SharePoint list. We will show you how to create an approval process so that every time an employee adds an item to the Equipment Request list, somebody will receive a request to approve it. We’ll also discuss how information is shared, approved and/or rejected between IT managers and users.

What is Microsoft Power Automate?

Microsoft Power Automate is a powerful business process management tool that helps organizations automate business workflows to collect, view, manage and communicate information between multiple systems without the need for developers or coding knowledge. With its intuitive drag-and-drop features users can easily create and integrate flows for multiple Microsoft 365 business applications including SharePoint libraries or lists, Microsoft OneDrive and / or Microsoft Teams.

Getting Started – Detailed Steps to Trigger Approvals from Microsoft Lists

  1. Create a list within Microsoft Lists.

    We have created the list below as an example.Equipment Requests

  2. Launch the Power Automate platform

    You can find the Power Automate Platform here.

  3. Select Create, then Automated Cloud Flow.

    Power Automate Platform

  4. Name your flow

    Choose When an Item is Created as the flow trigger.

  5. Select Create.

  6. Chose the SharePoint site address and List Name that you want to trigger the approval.

  7. Select New Step and then Start and Wait for an Approval.

  8. Choose Approve/Reject – First to Respond.

    This means that that the approval process will be complete after the first response, regardless of whether it is Approved or Rejected. Depending on your needs you could choose:

    Wait for all Responses – this means that the approval process will not be complete until all reviewers have selected one of the custom responses.

    Everyone Must Approve – this means that the approval process will not be complete until all reviewers have approved, or one reviewer has rejected.

  9. Fill in the remaining fields using the corresponding dynamic content.

    The Assigned to field is the person in your organization who should receive the approval request.

    Before we move on it is important to note that a semi colon appears after the name in the Assigned To field by default. You must remove the semicolon for the flow to work successfully!

  10. Select New Step then choose Condition.

    Fill in the condition as shown below.

  11. Within the If Yes section choose Update Item and fill in the required fields as shown below.

    You will also want to update the Approval Status column within the SharePoint list. To do that, choose Show Advanced Options then select Approved within the Approval Status Value field.

  12. To finish the If Yes section, select Add an Action then Send an Email (V2).

  13. Draft your email to the requestor, using the below example as a guideline.

  14. Finally, repeat these steps for the If No section.

    When you are done, your flow should look like this.

what happens next?

That’s it! Your flow is ready for use. Every time an employee adds an item to the Equipment Request list, the IT manager receives a request to approve it. The IT manager will get an email to approve or deny the request and the requestor gets a notification informing them of the result.

To learn more about leveraging Microsoft Power Automate, please visit the Microsoft Experts of our website or contact us at 202.602.6662 or

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