Companies will often implement a number of different processes to help control different aspects of their business operations. The purchasing department is one of these functions. Many organisations use the purchasing function to control the money spent on various goods or services.
A purchasing department usually operates outside of a company's traditional accounting or finance departments. Individuals in this department are responsible for managing purchase orders or other requests to acquire goods and services needed by their company.
Purchasing managers often negotiate contracts, costs, delivery methods or other issues relating to the acquisition process. This allows companies to have an intermediary working on their side to add economic value to the company.
Companies may decide to shift the focus of their purchasing department to processors rather than active workers in the purchasing process. For example, companies may require employees to fill out a purchase order with information and submit to the purchasing department. Under this system, the employee does the negotiation prior to turning in the purchase order.