Procurement Documents 101

The two most basic entities involved in the procurement process is a buyer, the procurement department of a business and a seller, or a vendor. Throughout the procurement process, a lot of communication happens between these two parties all the way from source to pay, as well as internal parties namely users and approvers.

To formalise the activities involved, documents are utilised. Such procurement documents are important references that facilitate with audit trails.

With a myriad of activities taking place in the entire source to pay process, getting confused on the documents involved is completely normal. We’ve listed the key procurement documents involved at each stage of the procurement process.

Request for Quotation (RFQ)

The RFQ document comes in the early sourcing stage of the procurement process when you’ve identified a vendor that carries the goods or services you are seeking.

The main goal of RFQ is to obtain pricing and other requirements pertaining to the desired products and services such as the item’s specifications and delivery information.

Depending on a company’s policy, up to three or more quotations are typically required from different vendors. Through the eRFQ feature on ADAM, you can easily benchmark prices of different suppliers that carry the products and services you are looking for and instantly generate quotations based on your supplier comparison.

Purchase Requisition (PR)

The purpose of the PR document is to get approval for a purchase. Most purchase requisition cases revolve around purchase amounts above a certain threshold. For example, a purchase above $ 500 would require a PR. This, of course, varies from business to business.

The document is sent by the requestor and a relevant approver will either approve or reject the request.

Formalising requests through a PR gives the requestor and approver a reference document or evidence that a request has been made. But the main purpose of a PR spans more than just documentation. The bigger purpose of a PR to act as monitoring and screening measures for purchases made.

Purchase Order (PO)

Upon the approval of a PR, a PO will be issued. The main purpose of a PO is for a buyer to request an order from the vendor. It’s usually an official confirmation of an order.

The details highlighted in PO mostly pertain to the description of item or service, its quantity, agreed-upon price, billing and shipping address and expected delivery date.

Not all businesses have PO policies in place and may perceive the implementation as an unnecessary step and overlook its importance.

POs are a great tool to improve budgeting, compliance and monitoring of expenses. With the capability to create, track and manage your purchase orders, you can easily achieve your company’s internal PO compliance through ADAM.

Delivery Note (DN)

A DN is a document that accompanies the shipment of goods. The DN is essentially a document of proof between the vendor who is delivering the product or service and the user who is accepting them.

It’s crucial for the receiving user to be wary of the DN in the event there are discrepancies in the delivered items. Any discrepancies such as a missing item should be highlighted in the DN itself.

Ensuring the items received match the order is important in avoiding any potential disputes that may incur additional costs.

Invoice

An invoice is an official request for payment initiated by the vendor to prompt payment.

Most users would perceive invoices as a document that mostly benefits vendors since they’re the ones receiving money, but invoices are of value to businesses who are paying the vendors.

Invoices provide visibility into your company’s spend. By having a document that keeps a record of transactions, it gives the finance department, management and other relevant stakeholders transparency into what is being purchased and at what price.

You can now gain improved visibility on your company’s spend and consumption through downloadable reports with ADAM’s analytics feature.

Through ADAM, your invoices are all consolidated on one centralised platform so you won’t lose track of your records. Along with downloadable reports and analytics, you can easily gain insights and improved visibility on your company’s spend and consumption.


Procurement documents are more than just pieces of paper for customary purposes. They play key roles in keeping records that can provide useful information for tracking and audit trails.

A lot of businesses have made the decision to digitize documents for environmental purposes but the digitalization of procurement documents has benefits that aren’t limited to doing a favour to mother nature.

Besides the ease of access for reference, eliminating physical paperwork eliminates the risk of misplacing them.

The digitalization of procurement paperwork is just a small portion of how procurement is evolving. With the automation of the procure-to-pay process, digital transformation has brought positive results in terms of improving efficiency and reducing cost.

Ready to digitally transform your company’s procurement? You can do so through ADAM, the only platform you need for all your procurement needs, all the way from source to pay.

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