Approval workflow validation


Is there an easy way to validate that a request for approval submitted via a form is not approved by the person who created the request?

My sheet contains a Contact List column from which approvers are selected. I have tried to validate this entry against the 'Created By' column but this does not match as the contact list entry only matches the name and not the email address. Created By = 'Andy Harris', Approver = ''.

I want my workflow to be able to reject approval requests that have been submitted by the same person as the selected approver.

Many thanks,



  • Andy H
    Andy H ✭✭✭

    I have created a workaround for the above using a second sheet containing a list of approver names and email addresses. I've added a column to my main sheet that uses VLOOKUP to populate the approver's email address from the second sheet, I then validate this email address against the Created By field.

    Suggestions for a more efficient solution would be welcomed.



  • Genevieve P.
    Genevieve P. Employee Admin

    Hi Andy,

    Your solution above sounds like a good way to do this, and it would have been my suggestion. I prefer INDEX(MATCH to VLOOKUP but they have the same output so that's fine!

    If you're still wanting other possible ways of achieving your goal, it would be helpful to see a screen capture of the sheet (but block out any emails or sensitive data). It would also be useful to know how the approver is being selected in this process & what your workflow is like.



  • Andy H
    Andy H ✭✭✭

    Hi Genevieve,

    Thanks for the feedback, I'm guessing that the INDEX(MATCH function might be a bit more efficient, I may well swap to this as an option.

    Unfortunately the sheet contains a large number of columns and the majority of the data is sensitive so a screen-shot won't show very much.

    The approver is selected as part of the request submission via a form, the field is Contact List format, restricted to list values.

    The workflows is as follows:

    • Triggered based on the department entered in the form,
    • Checks that the person who submitted the form is not the same person selected to approve it (this uses a field in the sheet that now compares the 'Created by' email address to the 'Approvers' email address; results either PASS or FAIL),
    • If above test passed, an approval request is sent to the selected approver, if it fails the requestor is notified
    • If the request is approved, a further check is performed to see whether the request value requires 2nd level approval, if no, the requestor is sent a notification that their request has been approved. If yes an approval request is sent to a pre-determined 2nd-level approver for the relevant department.
    • If either 1st or 2nd level requests are declined a notification is sent to the requestor.

    Hopefully this makes sense.