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Written by Marijn Overvest | Reviewed by Sjoerd Goedhart | Fact Checked by Ruud Emonds | Our editorial policy

Purchasing Request — The Ultimate Guide of 2024

Key takeaways

  • A purchase request is a document that an employee or department creates to request the purchase of goods or services. 
  • When authorized, a purchasing request notifies businesses of the needs within their departments and starts the procurement process.
  • The purchase request process entails submitting, screening, reviewing, and creating purchase orders for the necessary materials.

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. 

I have created a free-to-download, editable request for information (RFI) template. It’s a set that includes a PowerPoint file and a Word file. 

You can use and tailor them to your needs when asking for information about the materials you want to buy. I even created a video explaining how to use the templates.

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 supplies, 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 purchase of goods or services. 

When fill out the purchase request form, you have not purchased anything yet. Rather, you are merely at the beginning of the process of purchasing by asking for 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

How Does a Purchasing RequestWork? 

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?

In today’s business environment, the need for efficient procurement processes has become increasingly crucial. One fundamental tool that aids organizations in achieving this efficiency is the implementation of purchasing orders. Here are key reasons why organizations find purchasing orders indispensable:

1. Helps establish a clear procurement process

The group’s 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. 

What is a Purchasing Requisition Form?

A purchasing requisition form is an internal document used by the employees to buy the needed materials or services on behalf of the company. The materials and services acquired may be for business operations, manufacturing inputs, or for inventory. 

Additionally, the purchasing requisition form is submitted to the purchasing department for approval to make an effective way of audit for purchasing. 

Once the purchasing requisition is approved by the purchasing department, the purchase order will be issued to the supplier of the requested materials or services. 

    What are the Contents of the Purchasing Requisition Form?

    A purchasing requisition form is a document used by the employees of the firm to purchase materials or services on behalf of the company. However, you do not just write anything on it. It has specific details that you need to fill such as the following:

    • The requester’s name or department
    • Supplier’s name
    • Date of request
    • Requester’s address or location
    • The purchasing requisition number
    • The reason for the purchase
    • Item description and quantity
    • The delivery date of the items
    • The estimated price of the purchases

    Difference Between 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 vs. Purchasing Order

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

    Steps Involved in the Purchase Request Process

    Efficient procurement processes are crucial for maintaining the smooth operation of any organization. The purchase request process serves as a vital link between identifying the needs of a department and acquiring the necessary items or services.

    Below is some detailed breakdown of the key steps involved in this essential workflow:

    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 out, 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.

    Comparing Proposals

    Comparing proposals allows you to know what proposal is better among the suppliers who submitted their bids. Learning how to compare proposals takes a lot of time and experience. However, learning it will enable you to get the best deal on every negotiation.

    In comparing your proposals, you must come up with your BATNA first. The main point of BATNA is that you have other alternatives when some things do not go as planned. 

    For example, if one supplier has the materials that you need for your company but the prices seem too high, then your BATNA will be another supplier that offers the same materials that you need which cost less.

    Compare proposals template 1

    We, the team of procurement tactics, have created a template that shows how you can compare proposals effectively by using the variables. Check our article here to further discuss the variables that will help you to compare proposals, ensuring you have the best possible outcome for every deal you make.


    When certain purchases of goods and services arise employees need internal permission which is what the Purchase Request is.

    The Purchase Request has to go through a process to ensure that it is reasonable and feasible.

    Every part of a business process is important and that goes for Purchase Requests as well.

    No matter how minuscule it may seem it is important and should be treated with importance since it reflects an organization’s transparency and internal comunication.

    Frequentlyasked questions

    What is a purchasing request?

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

    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.

    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.

    About the author

    My name is Marijn Overvest, I’m the founder of Procurement Tactics. I have a deep passion for procurement, and I’ve upskilled over 200 procurement teams from all over the world. When I’m not working, I love running and cycling.

    Marijn Overvest Procurement Tactics