In almost all businesses, departments need materials from time to time – from basic office supplies to raw materials, equipment, and services. To avoid fraud, usually, department managers are not allowed to place orders with suppliers directly. This is the reason why companies have streamlined their purchasing process with well-defined approval workflows. Whenever supplies are running low, department managers hand purchasing managers a purchase requisition to inform them about the materials that are needed.
Once the purchasing department received a purchase requisition, they fill in purchase orders to place the other with suppliers. This process starts with a document called a purchase requisition form.
What is a purchase requisition form?
A purchase requisition form is an internal document used by employees to inform department managers about the necessary supplies required. This document is then used by the department managers to notify the purchasing department for approval. Once the purchase requisition is approved by the relevant department, a purchase order is issued to the vendor of the requested goods or services.
Purchase requisition forms generally require the following information:
- Name and department of the requestor
- Date of request
- Products or services requested
- Item description, quantity, and price
- Reason for purchase
- The legal name of the supplier
Purchase requisition workflow
Neither purchase requisition workflows nor the purchase requisition form fields are the same for the organization of all sizes. They tend to differ from organization to organization and the organization structure.
However, there are a few components that are common across all organizations:
- Requirement for goods or services
- Submission of the purchase requisition form
- Approval from department manager
- Screen by purchasing department
- Approval from the finance department
- Generation of purchase order
- Receipt of goods or services
- Invoice payment
Submission of the purchase requisition form
An employee of the organization fills the requirement in the purchase requisition form item by item with supporting documents on the requirement. Which on submission, is sent to the department manager for approval.
Approval from department manager
After a request is raised by the employee, the department manager is required to validate the necessity of the requirements raised by the department member. The department manager must also review the department’s spending limit before approving the request.
Based on the organization’s policies in this stage a custom rule can be set to forward the purchase requisition form to the chief financial officer’s (CFO) approval.
Screening by the purchasing department
The purchase request is sent to the purchasing department either in a pool system or an individual responsible for processing purchase requests. The purchasing department looks for businesses either in their list of already registered vendors or new vendors who can fulfil the requirement. The purchasing department is also responsible for collecting the quotation from the vendors and all the information required to fulfil the requirements.
Approval from the finance department
The finance department processes the request by verifying & comparing the vendor quotes, wherever require work on negotiation. In this process, the finance department can choose to either require clarification from the department manager or escalate the request to the CFO based on an organization’s policy.
Generating a purchase order
Once the purchase requisition form received all the previous approvals, a purchase order is generated and sent to the vendor. Once it is accepted, by the vendor the purchase becomes a legally binding contract.
The challenges of paper-based workflows
Purchase requisition workflows can be more complex as the organization grows and have multiple internal teams and departments. The margin of error is high as the purchase requisition passes through several reviews before it’s approved and transformed into a purchase order.
It also becomes impossible to keep track of all information like clarifications, rejections, resubmissions, and escalations without missing anything.
The most important challenge is the lack of clarity and transparency as to the progress of the purchase requisition.
The benefits of using a purchase requisition system
Transparent procurement process
The purchase requisition workflow adds a level of hierarchical approval and makes sure that the purchase requisition form is checked for accuracy and legitimacy. This workflow produces evidence that a form was issued and submitted by a department.
Purchase requisition centralizes the procurement process
Purchase departments and purchase requisition workflows centralize all business spending. This offers central control over all business pending and makes it easy to manage what goes out, when, by who, and to whom.
A centralized purchasing system also speeds up the procurement process. This means that there are minimal departmental delays, something that greatly affects a business organization’s efficiency levels.
Increases accountability and business security
A purchase requisition form is proof that certain materials were required by a department and that the department ordered the same. There’s a document trail of the complete process till the delivery of the product. This record can be used as backup evidence in case of any later issues regarding the items ordered or the negotiated price.
They are useful for financial audits
Some financial audits require evidence that managers approved the company’s purchasing decisions. Purchase requisitions can be used as proof for these audits.
Purchase requisitions clearly communicated the details of a purchase, and also record any supporting documents. By having every aspect documented, an organization can avoid potential conflict or confusion in the future.
Protect the organization from fraud
With purchase requisition in place, the risk of fraud is greatly reduced. In short, purchase requisitions make it hard for team members to purchase goods and services for personal use using organizational capital.
With an audit trail in place, there is greater protection over organization assets. A requisition order is proof that something was ordered. It can be followed up on and actioned upon. It also becomes easy to trace assets in case there are any issues regarding organization assets.
A purchase requisition system is critical for successful, transparent spending management. A purchase requisition is just a document, but, this document plays an important role in an organization’s procurement process. It is a control tool, a fraud stopper, and a vital component in authorizing purchases on behalf of an organization.