An automated purchasing control system which can be customized for a corporate customer. The system receives an authorization request over the phone lines from a remote point-of-sale terminal and processes the request using unique software. The software has a database customized to a corporate user to establish that company hierarchial structure. Elements of the hierarchial structure are independently reconfigurable, so that a company can specify different hierarchial relationships in the software for authorization, billing and reporting purposes. Different authorization tests can be established for each position in a hierarchy, with a particular position being required to pass not only its own test, but the test of elements higher in the hierarchial tree.