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Understanding Intake-to-Procure Processes and Solutions

Is your business ready to take its procurement to the next level? Consider an intake to procure automation solution for your business.

Automated intake to procure software makes it easy for employees to submit a purchase requisition for procurement that goes through proper channels with unified system access to create and approve a purchase order and onboard and validate a new supplier. An intake to procure system speeds up approvals, provides visibility for spend management, and helps you achieve business efficiency goals. 

This article defines intake to procure and describes the procurement intake process, its benefits for each functional department in your business, and an intake-to-procure automation solution for procurement management

What is Intake to Procure?

Intake-to-Procure is the business procurement process that includes identifying needs for goods or services, creating, approving, and managing purchase requests, and issuing a purchase order. 

What is Intake to Pay?

The Intake-to-Pay process is the sequence of activities from the initial request or identification of a need within an organization to the final payment for the goods or services procured. This process integrates the initial intake phase, which captures and assesses requirements, with the subsequent steps of purchase request generation, approval, receipt, and supplier payment. 

Intake to Procure in an Evolving Procurement Landscape

In an advancing procurement landscape, digital transformation and radical disruption through automation software incorporating artificial intelligence/machine learning and robotic process automation (RPA) technology enhance the procurement intake process and make it much more efficient.  

Intake to procure is an essential part of the procurement process. Intake to procure automation software should be considered in your company’s procurement strategy because it can significantly cut costs, save time, and increase spend visibility. 

Intake to procure focuses on sourcing products from optimal suppliers that are chosen and monitored for best quality and value. Intake to procure is also issuing and approving documents to make a purchase, as part of the purchasing process. An RFP (request for proposal) may be part of the procurement process. If you’re curious, read about the differences between procurement vs. purchasing and sourcing vs procurement.

Procurement intake requests, document creation and centralization, collaboration, stakeholder communication, status notifications, and guided approvals are streamlined for efficiency in a unified system. Intake to procure includes purchase order issuance and PO management. It may include contract lifecycle management (CLM), including contract renewal management. 

An intake-to-procure platform is used instead of several siloed software systems from different software providers. A real-time intake-to-procure solution adds visibility to the processes and improves process control, business intelligence, and spend management.

The Benefits of Intake to Procure and Intake to Pay

The intake-to-procure process provides benefits for employees initiating spending with a purchase request and collaborative cross-functional business teams with access to the same information presented in the automated and unified software platform. Although there are overall team benefits, those benefits that intake-to-procure and intake-to-pay offer the CEO and each participating department are presented below. 


Benefits of intake-to-procure in the procurement department are:

  • Self-service supplier onboarding of new vendors reduces workflow and makes it easy to find existing vendors vs. new vendors requiring approval
  • Supplier communication within the intake-to-procure platform
  • Reduced time to approve new vendors and purchases
  • Digitization means paper documents don’t get lost in the company
  • Contracts are visible to all stakeholders through a document repository
  • Guided approvals with automated communications and electronic document routing
  • Use of controlled employee-issued virtual cards for maverick spend improves spend management and reduces the procurement team’s workload

An automated software system providing collaborative intake to procure workflow can significantly reduce the time required to approve new vendors and purchases. The procurement department doesn’t have to chase down approvals without the help of an automated system. 

Guided self-service supplier onboarding occurs through an online Supplier Hub. Using this supplier portal, vendors and independent contractors provide their contact information needed by procurement to keep the master vendor file updated and accurate, without duplicate entries. Self-service supplier produces vendor information that’s more accurate than information submitted through manual data entry by the procurement department. 

Some procurement workflows can be redirected to employee-issued virtual spending cards (P-cards) for corporate purchasing that can accomplish maverick/tail spend management. These corporate/employee spend cards aren’t as costly because they don’t require purchase order (PO) issuance by the procurement department for small and routine expenditures. 


Finance uses intake-to-procure, with resulting purchase orders and contracts, as a starting point for its procure-to-pay and spend management focus. Part of the accounts payable focus in invoice processing is matching supplier invoices with purchase orders (created in the intake-to-procure process) and receiving data for purchased items. 

Intake-to-procure is processed with Procurement software and corporate purchasing cards issued to employees for non-PO purchases. Intake-to-pay is handled by Procurement, AP automation, exp software, and spending card payments. 

Benefits of intake-to-procure and intake-to-pay in the finance department are:

  • Collecting electronic W-9 or W-8 series IRS forms early for 1099 tax compliance through self-service onboarding for account payables
  • Availability of digital purchase order data for invoice matching
  • Better overall visibility for spend management control, budgeting, and cash flow planning
  • Vendor fraud risk reduction and 66% payment error reduction
  • Automated global regulatory compliance relating to making payments 
  • Efficiency through streamlined workflows and system automation
  • Stronger financial controls/internal controls

Benefits that finance can provide payees like suppliers and independent contractors include a choice of payment methods and currencies, with payments to hundreds of countries. 

Finance is part of the General & Administrative (G&A) department that also benefits from using an intake-to-procurement system for monitoring its own spend requests and POs for approved department purchases. 

Accounts payable team members will benefit from the intake-to-pay system through its workflow streamlines, better visibility, and increased efficiency. Tax compliance for suppliers is easier through the automation of processes and tax preparation reports.


Benefits of intake-to-procure in the legal department are:

  • The legal department gets involved in contract negotiation and company policy compliance for purchases early in the process
  • Contract audits and completion can be monitored with easily accessed contracts
  • Global regulatory compliance can be assured


Benefits of intake-to-procure in the R&D/engineering department are:

  • Access to an accurate vendor master list
  • Easy to prepare purchase requisitions with status and purchase cost visibility 
  • Rapid vendor approval
  • Fast purchase order approvals

In manufacturing companies, the Research & Development (R&D)/Engineering department determines some recommended suppliers and parts required for purchasing to design and manufacture new products. When these parts are ordered from the supply chain, the likelihood of using new vendors with specialty parts increases.

Engineering needs to stop wasting time determining if a vendor already exists in the company’s system, being established through prior orders. If it’s a new vendor, engineering needs to get the vendor and POs approved rapidly to stay within its product development schedule. 

Sales & Marketing

Benefits of intake-to-procure in the sales & marketing department(s) are:

  • Visibility of department purchases from purchase requisition to approvals and purchase order 
  • Visibility of purchases required to fulfill a customer order on time

Data Security and IT

Benefits of intake-to-procure in the corporate security/IT department are:

  • The intake-to-procure system includes enterprise-grade data security for data files
  • Paper documents are replaced by electronic documents safeguarded in a document repository with strong passwords
  • Cloud-based intake-to-procure software is automatically updated to the newest version, resulting in fewer cybersecurity vulnerabilities

Ready to learn more about an intake-to-procure solution?

Tipalti automated software products can handle your company’s intake-to-procure and procure-to-pay needs.

How to Optimize Procurement Processes with Intake to Procure

Automated intake to procure software replaces paper documents and manual data entry processes with digitized documents, efficient workflows, and status. AI-enhanced Intake-to-procure makes tasks for employees and approvers, like submitting and approving purchase requisitions and following their approval status, easy. 

Routing purchase requisitions and purchase orders for approval significantly accelerates the company approval process. This enables employees to make needed purchases quicker while providing visibility to stakeholders for spend management. 

The intake-to-procure platform indicates suppliers that are already approved vendors in the system. Issuance or denial of purchase requests submitted with a procurement intake form and procurement status is automatically communicated to all system users (including purchase requesters, procurement, finance, legal, R&D/engineering, sales & marketing, security/IT, and suppliers). Status notification reduces frustration and the amount of follow-up time required. 

Approval of new vendors is an additional step in the procurement process that intake to procure systems may include. 

What to Look for in an Intake to Procure Solution

An intake-to-procure solution provides procurement workflow automation with team collaboration, status, and spend visibility. Employees submit purchase requests with an easy-to-use interface. Instead of using siloed systems for each type of spending, employees can perform all of their spend-related tasks, including submitting expense reports for reimbursement and using their corporate spending card, from the same centralized menu for making purchase requests. 

The best intake-to-procure solutions should include parallel approval processes for purchase requisitions to save time when completing the approval process. Integration with multiple ticketing systems like Asana andJira, and contract lifecycle management (CLM) tools like DocuSign and IronClad makes the intake-to-procure process more readily accessible. 

The company onboards approved suppliers through a Supplier Hub portal, provides a contract/document repository, and approves and issues purchase orders (POs) to buy goods or services for which suppliers will issue invoices.

Besides the unified software platform, an intake-to-procure solution may include employee-issued spending cards known as Pcards. These virtual payment credit cards control tail spend and reduce the procurement department’s workload when purchase orders aren’t required for lower-cost routine purchases.   

Today’s Intake to Procure Solution

Tipalti provides an intake-to-procure solution as a unified financial automation and Tipalti Card platform. In the AI-powered, new intake solution, Tipalti lets employees use the Tipalti Home tab to easily perform all of their spending-related tasks from one convenient, centralized menu location instead of going to different modules within Tipalti. 

The new consolidated intake experience provides an easy-to-use consumer-grade UX for employees making or approving purchase requests, approving accounts payable invoices, submitting or approving employee expenses for reimbursement, and using the Tipalti Card, all from one place. 

Your employees will appreciate an automated no-code procurement platform that works to make their time more valuable and increases visibility, spend control, and efficiency for all stakeholders. 

Intake-to-procure is a unified system with ERP integration, starting with the purchase request, through the PO, to procurement completion. Besides Procurement for intake-to-procure, Tipalti also offers (accounting software or) ERP-integrated AP automation, Expenses, and Mass Payments software, allowing your business to automate its global procure-to-pay (P2P)/intake-to-pay process. 

Tipalti intake-to-procure automation software is a Zip alternative that provides many robust features for impressive functionality, user experience, vendor onboarding, and risk management. Compare Tipalti vs. Zip intake-to-procure in your software evaluation process.  

Tipalti AP automation software, for use in the end-to-end intake-to-pay cycle, about corporate spend and payables. Learn More about automated intake-to-procure solutions in our webinar, “Best Practices for a Tech-Empowered Procurement Process.

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