Purchasing Request — The Ultimate Guide of 2022

Purchasing requests are needed to inform the organization of the needs of a specific department. However, it is not surprising that some people who are new in the field of procurement do not know how to make a purchase request. 

In this article, we will discuss what a purchasing request is. We will also explore the process of purchasing requests to help those who have just begun their journey in procurement. Additionally, we will check how it compares to a purchasing order. 

Once you finish this article, you will have an in-depth knowledge of a purchasing request. The knowledge you will learn from this article will allow you to easily follow the process of purchasing requests. In addition, you will know the importance of a purchasing request in procurement. 

What is a Purchase Request?

In every organization, we know that many departments need materials from time to time to do their responsibilities. The materials include basic office suppliers, equipment, raw materials, and services. This is where the purchase request comes to mind. 

A purchase request is a document that an employee or department creates to request the purchases of goods or services. 

When you are filling up the purchase request form, you are not purchasing anything yet. Rather, you are merely at the beginning of the process of purchasing by asking internal permission. 

Usually, purchase requests are used when an employee makes an order request if the needs arise for certain goods or services. 

Typically, the managers are notified that an employee in their department has made an order request. This allows them to monitor and control the risk of unnecessary expenses. 

A purchase request outlines the following details required before purchasing when it is approved:

  • Product description and its quantity
  • Name of the vendor/supplier
  • Price
  • Name and department of the purchaser
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How Does a Purchasing Request Work? 

A purchase request is first filled out by employees who see the need for a product or service in their department. 

The employee fills out the details that include the price, suggested supplier, and the specifics of the goods or services. 

However, it is not surprising that some people who are new in the field of procurement do not know how to make a purchase request.. It can be approved or denied based on the assessment of the head of purchases together with the financial department. 

Why Do Organizations Need Purchasing Orders?

1. Helps establish a clear procurement process

The organization can streamline its pipeline by redirecting permission to purchase to a common manager. 

The process is easier to manage when there are clear rules for who can purchase what and when. 

2. Assists in detecting and preventing fraud in the organization

An organization that has a lot of steps involved in its procurement process can easily check if there is fraud. The additional steps can filter or check if there is any discrepancy with all the documents being processed. 

3. Gives finance more direct control over purchasing

When someone outside your department needs to purchase something, they will need to fill out the purchase request. 

After filling it up, they must submit it to the head of purchases. In this way, the same department can see every purchase the organization makes. 

Difference Between a Purchasing Request and a Purchasing Order

Many people who newly encounter these two are confused about their differences. The main difference between a purchasing request and a purchasing order is how it is used.

A purchasing request, when approved, becomes a purchasing order. The table below shows more of their differences between each other:

Purchasing Request
A purchasing request is a request for purchase.
This can be created by any employee of an organization.
A purchasing request is sent whenever an employee sees demand for goods or services.
This is typically received by the purchasing department or the head of a department for approval.
Purchasing Order
A purchasing order is a confirmation of an order.
The purchase order is assigned to the purchasing department or head of a department.
A purchasing order is sent when the order needs to be placed for the materials or services.
This is received by the selected supplier or vendor of the organization.

Steps Involved in the Purchase Request Process

1. Submission of purchase request

When employees spot the needs of their department, they can request the items or services by creating a purchase request. They need to fill out the purchase request before submitting it.

The employee who requested holds the responsibility that all the information in the purchasing request is accurate. After filling it up, the employee must now submit the request for verification. 

2. Screening of the request

Once a purchasing request is created and submitted, the purchasing officer will receive an alert to verify the information. 

The purchasing officer can either fill up the incomplete PR with the missing information or return it to the requester. 

If everything seems complete, then the purchasing agent or officer can forward it to the manager for further approval. 

3. Review of the request

In some organizations, the purchase request is forwarded to the department manager of the requester. This is to ensure that the value of the purchase does not exceed the department’s spending limit. 

If approved, the department manager will forward it to the finance team for purchase order generation. If it is rejected, the manager will send it back to the requester with comments on why it is rejected.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a purchasing request?

A purchasing request is a document that details the required items that are needed by a specific department. This is done to sustain the daily operation of each department of an organization. 

2. What are the common details in a purchasing request?

The common detail in a purchasing request is the description of the product or service that is being requested. In addition, it also includes the quantity of the product, preferred vendor, price, and name of the requester. 

3. What is the difference between the purchasing request and purchasing order? 

A purchasing request is a request for the purchase of the needed goods or services of a specific department. Purchasing order, on the other hand, is the confirmation of the order.

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