Purchase Audit Procedure & Checklist for Procurement of Goods

Purchase audit process and checkpoints at each stage

In this article, we have discussed what is purchase audit procedures and a checklist at each stage of the purchase process that must be undertaken by the auditor to identify any misstatements in the process. This blog is divided into three major levels that are most prevalent in any manufacturing concern.

Purchase audit checklist

Before commencing any audit of any department first understand the process of the company. How does a company operate? What are the security measures? Who are sanctioning authorities? The more knowledge you possess regarding client business, the easier audit becomes.

Purchase control checklist and Vendor Selection Procedure

Vendor Selection is the most important process in any manufacturing concern. The inputs used by the entity will ultimately produce the output. The quality of output will depend upon the materials used in manufacturing. Companies should always prefer good-quality vendors or suppliers. The below table illustrates the sample purchase process explanation of companies and the checkpoints associated.

StepsInternal ProcessAuditor checkpoints
1The first step in any company is to select the vendor. Most of the manufacturing concerns follow a similar process of selecting a vendor. For this purpose “The supplier Registration Form” is used by the companies.

Check whether the Supplier registration form(SRF) is obtained for all the suppliers.

Examine whether all the details are properly filled.

Verify whether the SRF is approved by the proper authority.


The second step is to visit the supplier and prepare a Visit Report or call it a Supplier Evaluation Form (SEF).

The supplier Evaluation report should evaluate financial performance, technical capability.

Check the availability of the Visit report or SEF with the company.

Ascertain whether the Company has the policy to revisit the vendors in periodic intervals like in 2 years.

Check whether proper documents are obtained by the company to evaluate financial performance for example Balance Sheets, Income tax returns, Stock Statements.

Some companies often use ancillary industries to produce a specific part that is required by them. Verify whether the vendor is capable of producing the part as and when required.

Ascertain whether SEF and SER are properly authorized.

3The third step is the addition of Vendors to the approved vendor’s list.

Auditors can also verify that all the purchases are made through only the approved vendor list.

All the vendors added to the Approved list should not have a connection with the employees of the company.

Other audit checkpoints at the vendor selection process

  •  Auditors should verify the declaration form signed by the departments like HR, Engineering, Stores that the vendor added in the approved vendor list has any previous connection with employees of the company.
  •  Most multinationals are using various indicators like Delivery rating, Quality rating to determine the effectiveness of the vendor. If a company has this policy, Auditors should definitely analyze whether the policy is implemented and actions are taken against the defaulters.
  •  Auditors should check whether any court case or litigation is pending against the supplier.

Read How to conduct Inventory Audit?

Purchase control checklist regarding receipt of material

Auditors should first understand what types of documents are prepared regarding the ordering of materials and receiving materials at the gate.

Documents involved in the process

  • Purchase Order request
  • Communication with respect to Purchase order request
  • Guard register
  • Purchase Challan
  • Material/Goods Receipt Note
  • Store issue slips
  • Vendor Invoice
  • Lorry receipts/E-waybill

The list is not exhaustive. Documents can vary from client to client.

Steps Internal processAuditor Checkpoints
1The first step is to make a Purchase order or requisition and the demand for the ordering of goods should come from the respective department in writing. GST/VAT /PAN number should always be mentioned upon the order.

Auditors should understand the means of communication between the departments. It should always be written.

Check whether the Purchase order was made by the assigned persons and approved by the authorized person.

Check whether all the terms and conditions mentioned on the Purchase order are satisfied by the vendor.

Examine the payment terms mentioned in the purchase order and whether those are fulfilled by the client.

2The communication between the company and vendor should always be through the mail. If there is any change in price, that must be reflected in the purchase order.Auditors should pay specific attention to any change in prices. “Price Sensitivity analysis” can be performed to check whether the same material in the same month was brought at two different prices.
3Receipt of material at the company. Stores personnel will match the quantity mentioned in the order and as per invoice. Also, physical verification will be done at the gate. Guard will enter the details of goods received in the register while Store personnel will generate a challan/another document to get the goods cleared.

Check whether the quantity and price mentioned in order are similar to that of invoice/Challan/Guard register.

Check whether authorized personnel has performed the process of gate clearance.


Goods will be finally transferred to Store and the Material receipt Note will be generated in the ERP software.

Auditors should ascertain the differences between the MRN and other documents.

Check whether goods are located at a proper place and security measures regarding fire, theft have been adopted.

5The last step would involve the transfer of goods from Stores to other respective departments. Proper documents like Issue slip and material requirement notes should be made.

Auditors should understand how the store department is issuing goods to other departments.

Examine all the documents and their appropriateness involved in this process.

Other audit checkpoints at the receipt of material

  • Auditors should ascertain who is going to bear the cost of transportation of goods. Check whether the transportation cost seems normal or abnormal.
  • Auditors should check the date of the Purchase order; it should not be after the delivery date.

Inspection of goods received

  • Gone are the days when goods were accepted by physical verification. When the goods are received in the store department, goods are first transferred to the Quality/Inspection department, where the quality and size of goods are checked.
  • The tolerance limits are set and goods exceeding those tolerance limits are rejected by the quality department.
Auditor’s checkpoint
  • Goods exceeding those specified limits shall never be accepted by the company. Auditors should thoroughly examine the Quality and Inspection reports and pay attention to remarks.

Purchase control checklist regarding accounting

In some ERP software when the material receipt note is created, automatically purchases are recorded and the vendor account is credited. In the cases, where the creation of a material receipt note does not lead to an accounting voucher. A purchase accounting voucher is passed by the accounting personnel.

StepsInternal ProcessAuditors Checkpoints
1After the creation of MRN, an accounting voucher will be created by the accounting personnel in which the respective purchase account will be debited along with tax and vendor account will be credited.

Auditors should verify the accounting head in which entry is getting passed.

Check whether respective VAT/GST accounts have been debited.

Check whether the correct vendor is credited.

Examine whether the entry passed is further checked by the senior accounting personnel.

2The second and last step in the accounting of purchases is the payment to the vendor. Proper checks must be adopted by the company regarding payment to vendors.

Check whether the payment is made within the time limit.

Ascertain the closing balances of vendors and reconcile them.

Examine whether vendor balances are reconciled by the management periodically and external confirmations are obtained.

Ascertain the reasons for the creation of “Debit Notes” and “Credit Notes”.

Payment to vendors should be authorized and in case of disputes or litigations.  The communications should be made to the senior management of the company.

Frequently Asked Questions

The above checklist and procedure is basically for companies engaged in manufacturing. However, a few points can be used by Auditors in other industries also.

The process will never be exactly similar. The documents might have different names. ERP systems might be handling a few processes.

The above article is providing guidance on the broader aspect for knowledge purpose. 

There should always be a client-specific checklist. The above points can be incorporated in them according to the Audit Plan.

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