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New SharePoint Feature: Request Sign Off

Having a Partner review documents is an important and frequent process in an Accounting firm. So how has it been done to date? Well, some firms still print documents, put them on the Partner's desk, changes are scribbled down and this is repeated until complete. Other firms email it to the partner, manage feedback and changes via email, then make a personal note whether it’s been signed off or not. But what if they forget to save the email and don’t keep a history or record of changes and approval. I don’t know about you, but this sounds pretty inefficient to me.

Microsoft recognised this issue and have developed a new feature in SharePoint called ‘Request sign-off’ expected to be fully rolled out by the end of May 2018. This feature provides an easy way to send documents for approval to someone else. It increases visibility, so everyone can see what has, hasn’t and is due to be signed off. And what makes this even better is that there’s no setup required. You don’t have to do anything! Just start using it!

But just before you do, start by documenting your sign-off process and run through it with your entire practice – you’d be surprised how many don’t know or can’t remember the process.

Step 1

Select a file or list item and click the ‘Flow’ menu item and select "Request sign-off".

  • This flow will appear among any other flows that you or others may have added to the library.

  • Ensure you are signed into Flow on another tab (

  • At this time, folders can’t be selected for sign-off.

  • If this is the first time using the flow, the Sign-off status column will be created.

Step 2

You’ll be prompted to send an approval request. Pick approvers and write a message to be sent with it.

  • If you add more than one approver, any one of them can approve your request. Not all of them must approve.

Step 3

The approver will receive the request via email.

  • You can approve it directly from within Outlook – contact your IT provider if you’re unable to.

  • The approver can also provide some comments along with their decision.

  • A link is included that lets the approver view the document.

Step 4

The sign-off status column is then updated with the decision, and the person who sent the approval request will receive an email with the comments.

The feature is almost here, so watch this space!

This is just another reason why Microsoft’s Office 365 platform was the number 1 choice for HubOne’s enterprise-grade document management solution for Accounting firms of all sizes.

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