Purchase requisition forms: how to use in your procurement workflow

SaaS Buying

Here’s everything you need to know about what a purchase requisition form is and how it works as part of the procurement process.

Vendr | Elevate procurement
Written by
Vendr Team
Published on
September 16, 2022
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In a previous post, we walked through the ins and outs of a purchase order. In this guide, we talk all things purchase requisition forms. What they are, what they contain, and the steps involved in the purchase requisition workflow. 

What is a purchase requisition?

A purchase requisition is an internal document created by employees to request the purchase of goods and services for a business. Purchase requisition forms are created for all kinds of purchasing needs like manufacturing goods, hardware, inventory, or any other good or service the business needs to run. 

Once a purchasing department receives a requisition form, they go through an approval process, from which they can then create a purchase order that’s sent to the appropriate vendor. Once the order has been agreed on and fulfilled, the vendor sends back an invoice. 

This whole purchasing process—from purchase requisition creation to approvals and drafting purchase orders for vendors—is established to ensure accurate business expense record keeping. It’s also a way to uphold transparency amongst employees in each department throughout the procurement lifecycle

What is a purchase requisition form?

A purchase requisition form is used by an employee, sometimes called the requestor, to describe the need for a specific good or service. It also describes exactly what is needed. 

If you work in the HR department and you run out of printer paper, you fill out a purchase requisition form. Submitting this to your procurement team prompts them to approve the purchase and create a purchase order. From there, the approved order is sent to the office supply vendor, who accepts and fulfills the order. The vendor then invoices the business for the reams of printer paper requested. 

Purchase requisition form vs. purchase order form

It’s important to distinguish between a purchase requisition form and a purchase order form. They’re often confused for each other and incorrectly assumed to be the same thing.

A purchase requisition form is an internal document drafted for internal approval of company purchases. A purchase order form is created once the purchase order requisition is internally approved.

Unlike a purchase requisition form, a purchase order form is a document—these days often a digital document—that’s created to be sent externally to vendors. In other words, a purchase requisition form comes first, and the purchase order form comes second. 

Benefits of purchase requisition forms

A first glance, creating a purchase requisition form may seem like just another step in a process. Still, this step offers benefits to businesses, including—

  • Enforcing transparency across departments
  • Keeping a historical track record of expenses for reference
  • Enabling the procurement team to build better vendor relationships
  • Cost savings
  • Better spend management
  • Improved inventory management
  • Being prepared for financial audits
  • Ensuring accurate tracking of accounts payable records

Contents of a purchase requisition form

Though requisition forms aren’t exactly alike across every business, they do tend to contain the same general information.

  • Date of purchase request
  • Requisition number
  • Name of employee filling out the purchase requisition
  • The department the purchase is for
  • A description of the goods or services requested
  • Size, quantity, price, and other relevant request metrics
  • The reason for the expense
Download this template to outline your company's software purchasing process and empower stakeholders to efficiently identify needs, evaluate options, and request SaaS solutions.

Steps involved in the purchase requisition workflow

Here’s a general step-by-step overview of the purchase requisition workflow. 

[1] Purchase request creation and submission to department manager

Let’s say you work at a honey manufacturing plant and you ran out of mason jar lids to properly package your goods. As an employee in the packaging department, you notice you need more lids and decide to fill out a purchase requisition form. You include—

  • The date of the requisition request
  • Your name
  • Requisition number
  • The name of your department
  • A description of the lids you need
  • Lid size, quantity, price, and any other relevant lid metrics
  • The reason you need more lids (in this case, production)

[2] Department manager screens and approves request

Once you’ve completed the PR form, you hand it to your manager so he can approve it and submit it to the finance department or procurement team. 

[3] Procurement team receives the purchase request

Once the procurement team receives the PR request for more mason jar lids, they go through an approval process. Once the requisition form is approved, the procurement team creates an official purchase order. Much like PR forms, PO forms contain a few key fields. 

  • PO date
  • Purchase order number
  • Company address and contact information
  • Billing and shipping information
  • Purchase order terms
  • Delivery date
  • Items with their description, quantity, and unit cost
  • Total cost for that purchase order
  • Any taxes
  • Special notes or instructions

[4] Purchase order creation and submission to vendor

At this point, your requisition request form has done its job. It’s a paper trail of goods requested that a procurement department can track. It ensured PO accuracy and streamlined the communication of internal needs from one department to another. 

Now, it’s up to the procurement team to create a PO and send it to the appropriate seller. Once the seller agrees to fulfill the purchase order according to the terms and delivery dates outlined, it moves into fulfillment. 

[5] Delivery of items 

The purchase requisition form has led to its intended outcome. The end goal is fulfilled successfully with the delivery of the requested goods or service. The cycle starts once again any time there’s a new request. 

Digital requisition forms

With technology at the forefront of a fast-paced business environment, most businesses use digital requisition forms to fulfill their order requests.

Sure, you can use paper requisition forms. But why lean on manual processes when digitizing the whole process is much faster, leaner, more automated, and increasingly centralized? 

These days, maintaining an audit trail of every internal requisition request is streamlined by digital automation. Procure-to-pay (P2P) systems accelerate the end-to-end process. 

Tools like Vendr make the processes like buying software a breeze by eliminating the need to deal with loads of paperwork. As a SaaS buying platform that optimizes for cost savings, it’s built to ensure you score the best software deals according to vendor data. It facilitates effective vendor relationships, which are critical to keeping purchasing prices low, deliveries on schedule, and operational efficiency optimal. 

Do more with Vendr

The purchase requisition process plays a vital role in the overall purchasing system that is the procurement process.

Thankfully, software automates much of this process. With one accessible platform, departments can cross-reference requests for accuracy and all key documents within a centralized procurement system.

When buying software for your business, check out Vendr. Use our free savings analysis to see how much you could save on software purchases. 
Vendr Team
Vendr's team of SaaS and negotiation experts provide their curated insights into the latest trends in software, tool capabilities, and modern procurement strategies.

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