A guide to purchase requisition software for accountants


Without a structured approach, the procurement process for a company with more than 100 employees can feel like juggling a dozen plates in the air. Purchase requisition software streamlines approvals in the purchase requisition process before you place an order.

It also stores all the details on past purchases and frequently used vendors, helping your procurement team improve efficiency and save time.

What is purchase requisition software?

Having a digital solution to track purchases streamlines the way employees request the equipment or supplies needed to do their jobs properly. First, it ensures each request meets your internal requirements and is actually approved before it moves to the purchasing department or procurement team. It also creates a structured purchasing process that ensures those teams have all the information they need to convert a purchase request into a purchase order that is sent to a vendor for fulfillment.

The software funnels the right information to the right personnel and stores that data electronically in a centralized location. This helps your team:

  • Determine whether multiple purchase requests from different departments could be consolidated into a single purchase order to save on shipping or obtain a bulk discount
  • Easily refer back to previous records the next time a similar purchase needs to be made, ensuring quality and uniformity of supplies and creating opportunities to build relationships with vendors.
  • Ensure departments and the company as a whole stay on-budget
  • Easily advance the workflow from purchase requisition to purchase order once approved by the appropriate leadership

Ideally, purchase requisition software should integrate with purchase order management software and be part of your overall accounting system for a more streamlined process.

Learn more about the difference between purchase requisitions and purchase orders.

Who uses purchase requisition software?

The purchasing process often starts with one or more individual employees. Maybe it’s a doctor who wants the hospital to acquire a cryotherapy chamber after researching its potential to treat chronic pain. Maybe a group of hotel maids want larger carts so they can clean more rooms before needing to stop and replenish their supplies.

Some businesses may allow employees to access the company's purchase requisition software themselves, submitting a request to their department head for approval before it moves to other stakeholders. Others might have department heads fill out and submit purchase requests on their employees’ behalf. Either way, individual employees and department heads are generally the first two stops on the purchase requisition train.

Where a purchase requisition heads next also depends on individual company policy. It's likely a request must be approved by a member of the company management team, but some companies also involve their accounting department directly in the approval process. After all, who better to know whether a purchase is within budget than the department in charge of budgeting? Even if they're not directly involved in the approval process, accounting departments can use the software after the fact to access records of purchases made. They can use these records to reconcile expenses or when creating budgets.

How can it improve business operations?

In addition to eliminating paper-based processes, a solution for managing purchase requests has several benefits for users as well as a company at large. Here are just a few of them.

Enhanced efficiency and streamlined communication

Purchase requisition software creates a structured workflow and a uniform data set for each proposed purchase, along with a centralized place to store and access that information. When using purchase requisition software, there's no chance of accidentally setting a paper purchase request on the wrong desk. There's no blizzard of emails back and forth when, for example, the graphics department head asks for an item like printer paper but fails to clarify whether they want letter size or legal, glossy or regular, white or color, and so on. Purchase requisition software builds clarity right into the process.

Cost control and data-driven insights

Purchase requisition software not only cuts down on the staff time and paperwork needed to complete a purchase, but it also shines a light on a company’s spending habits, encouraging stakeholders to take a critical look at their proposed purchases. Is the requested item or service truly necessary? Does the company already have supplies available that can fulfill the need at hand? Are certain items coming up repeatedly in requisitions, possibly indicating quality issues?

In addition to allowing procurement teams to consolidate purchase requests for money-saving purposes, the software stores data in a centralized location so procurement departments can refer back to previous purchase requisitions when evaluating new requests. Imagine, for example, that your company's sales department is asking for tablets. The purchase request suggests a particular brand, but upon poring over past requisitions from other departments, the procurement department realizes the suggested brand of tablet cost the company thousands when the last batch malfunctioned as soon as the warranty period ended. Not only is the company rescued from making the same costly mistake twice, but the sales department gets even higher-quality tablets than they expected.

Tracking purchase requisitions

Employees don't typically have a way to track purchase requests to see whether they've been approved and converted to purchase orders on their way to being delivered. Purchase requisition management software gives employees and their managers full visibility into the the process so they know when they can expect to receive an item or whether they'll need a contingency plan.

Software solution considerations

To help all stakeholders are able to reap the benefits, there are a few qualities to consider when choosing a purchase request solution.

Integration capabilities

While there are plenty of high-quality purchase requisition applications on the market today, not all of them may integrate with your purchase order software or accounting solution. This translates to decreased efficiency and an increased potential for errors that come with copying data from your purchase requisition software into your accounting software. On the other hand, when the two integrate, you create a seamless workflow from purchase requisition to purchase order to accounting software, where the expenditure can be recorded and the invoice paid.

Personalization and scalability

Look for software that allows you to create different types of approval workflows to accommodate your company's unique way of doing things. Scalability is also important so you can add more users or more functionality as your company grows.

User-friendly interface

A user-friendly interface is the ideal for any business software, especially one that's used by a diverse set of employees with varying degrees of technological acumen. It should be just as easy for an employee in the maintenance department to access the solution as it is for your IT director. Software with role-based user access is not only beneficial for security reasons, but it ensures every employee’s user interface is no more complex than it needs to be.

Security and compliance

According to Statista, there were 3,205 data breaches in 2023, affecting more than 353 million individuals. It would be reckless to assume it couldn't happen to your company. One precaution you can take against cyber attack is to know whom you’re inviting into your space, so to speak. Thoroughly vet your software vendor – and any other vendor you do business with – because it doesn't matter how careful you are with your company's security if you're opening your systems to vendors who aren't.

Vendor reputation and support

No matter how easy it is to use the solution, it's almost inevitable that you'll need support at some point. Vetting your vendor's reputation is one way to discern whether they'll be there for you when the time comes. Is the vendor known for providing expert, timely customer support, or are they notorious for their lack of responsiveness? ser reviews on a site like G2 or Software Connect can help you learn more about a vendor's reputation for developing quality products and standing behind them.

Manage all your purchase requisitions and purchase orders in Gravity

As companies grow, they often reach a point where managing purchase order requests becomes too cumbersome for one person or even one team. Gravity's purchase requisition system helps automate the approval process for purchase requests and customize your company's purchasing process. It also integrates seamlessly with purchase order management software, accounts payable and all your financial data, eliminating duplicate data entry while improving visibility across the organization.

Role-based user access boosts security and allows for a more intuitive experience for all users. You can set up workflows for a single approver, sequential approvers or parallel approvers so the purchasing process runs smoothly and efficiently while meeting your company's internal standards. And when you do require customer support, our dedicated team is there for you.

Gravity Software

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