At some point or another, an organization needs to purchase products, services, or other items for their business. Some of these are recurring purchases like stationary or cleaning supplies, but what about other necessary purchases that are less frequent? Successful organizations need to manage these purchases in a way that ensures funds are being responsibly spent and are being tracked. The most common and effective way to do this is through purchase requisitions. We’ll cover what a purchase requisition is, how they work, and how Mosaic can help your organization automate this process to be even more effective for your organization’s needs.
What is a Purchase Requisition?
Purchase requisitions are a key document in the accounting process for many organizations. Unlike a purchase order, which is the document used to acquire goods or services, a purchase requisition is a document that employees utilize to request the purchase of goods or services, essentially it’s the step required before the purchase order.
How do purchase requisitions work?
Traditionally, a purchase requisition starts with an employee wanting to purchase something, whether it’s a physical item, digital software, training, or a service, in most organizations, employees need to get internal approval from their manager, department head, leadership, or accounting. Some organizations require a purchase requisition for every form, others have a set dollar threshold, and others only require it for specific departments.
For some organizations, this may be a physical form that employees need to fill out and drop off to those who need to approve it, for others, there may be no real process beyond employees emailing their request, which makes it impossible to track and difficult to approve.
Typically the information needed to complete this request includes, Product description and quantity, name of vendor, price, name and department of purchaser, and other company or department specific information.
Purchase requisitions are important to plan for future spending, avoid mistakes or unpaid invoices, and can simplify the procurement process.
To better understand the importance of this process, consider this:
An employee in one department at an organization realizes that they are running low on a specific item that they use daily, so they simply go ahead and purchase it using their company credit card. A few days later, before the shipment has arrived, an employee in a different department realizes the same item is running low, so they do the same thing and purchase the item, in the same quantity, to be used for the same purpose. Without either of them realizing it, that item has been double purchased and now the company is paying double what they should have. Now in this scenario it’s not the end of the world, but if this scenario happens frequently, it leads to overspending and a surplus of items.
How the Purchase Requisitions process can be automated
To avoid the situation described above, it’s important to establish a clear and easy-to-use process for employees to utilize for future purchases. Just using a standard form isn’t enough to create an efficient and effective process, but with web forms and document management, you can easily create an automated process that works for your organization’s needs.
By building your purchase requisition form as a web form, employees can access it from anywhere at any time. You can create the fields to match the requirements, and can even include fields such as department, e-signatures, and others that pertain to your existing accounting process.
It’s important to utilize a holistic approach with purchase requisitions in this process rather than simply using a form and completing the rest of the tasks manually. If a form gets sent via email to a manager who needs to approve it, they may not see it, or may not properly notify the employee of the approval.
AP specialist then needs to manually enter it into their ERP system, which is prone to mistakes from misreading the form, accidentally clicking the wrong keys, or other human error. Once the information is gathered from the form, where does it go? Does it get printed and filed away? Does it go into a shared folder that isn’t searchable or secure? While creating a web form solves one problem, it leaves others unanswered, but automation can change all that.
With a complete automation suite, things can be streamlined even further. Once a web form is created and is completed by an employee, it can get automatically sent to their manager, who can quickly approve it and notify the employee of the approval. That form can then get automatically pushed to your ERP, where your accounting department can then properly plan for the costs, and also get filed into your document management system, which will establish a record of spending history with that employee.
This process is simple and secure, and can save your employees time, money, and resources.
Mosaic has experience in creating custom automation solutions for purchase requisitions for organizations of all sizes and across industries. Give us a call at 1-800-387-7859 to discuss your options.