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Accounting Best Practices, Fifth Edition by Steven M. Bragg Englewood, Colorado

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3–47. Create On-Line Purchasing Catalog

The typical purchasing process involves the creation of a purchase requisition by whomever needs to buy something; this is used by the purchasing staff to search for the lowest price offered by a supplier, at which point a purchase order is issued to the appropriate supplier. The accounting department then has to match the receiving documentation to the purchase order and supplier invoice before generating a payment. This cumbersome process is being dismantled in many instances through the use of an on-line purchasing catalog.

When a user buys through an on-line catalog, he or she scrolls through a list of standard products that have been compiled by the purchasing staff, and selects the appropriate item. This automatically places an order on an electronic purchase order, on which is noted the number of the blanket purchase order that has already been negotiated with the supplier from which the item is being bought. The computer system then sends either an electronic or paper-based order to the supplier, which fills the order. Upon receipt, the receiving department checks off the item in the on-line system, which flags the accounting system to make a payment to the supplier.

This on-line catalog approach has the exceptional benefit of significantly reducing the workload of the purchasing and accounting staffs, to the point where they are simply monitoring the flow of transactions, rather than directly creating them. It also channels the flow ...

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