How will Purchase Orders help my business?
You can use EZOfficeInventory to create and keep track of Purchase Orders, helping you easily define the types, quantities, and agreed prices for items you need. The Procurement Module ensures that orders are processed quickly by creating linkages between items and vendors. You can now have greater control over your dealings with suppliers, print invoices to send on to vendors or keep for yourself, and watch items be updated as soon as they’re read as received on the system, without the need for any action on your side!
- Getting Started with Purchase Orders
- Creating a Purchase Order
- Receiving Items Against a Purchase Order
- Purchase Orders and Stock Quantities
- Purchase Order States
- Communicating with Vendors
- Documentation and Reports
Getting Started with Purchase Orders
If you’re on the advanced features plan or above, you can enable this module by going to Settings > Add Ons > Purchase Orders > Enable. Once this is done, you’ll be able to find the Purchase Orders page under More > Purchase Orders:
Please note that Staff Users can access Purchase Orders from the Notification bell > Purchase Orders.
Creating a Purchase Order
To add a new PO, click on the ‘Add Purchase Order’ button on the right of the page. This opens up an overlay prompting you to choose a vendor to create a Purchase Order against. Once this is done, you’ll be taken to the Purchase Order page where you can fill in all details such as Payment and Shipment Terms (for added details for your vendor), the Delivery Location (referring to the location the received items will be added to), and Description (which will appear on the PO invoice). See the image below.
You can also add custom fields for PO from More -> Custom Fields.
You can then add items to your PO, adjusting the quantity and price based on your agreement with your vendor.
Admins and staff users can add new items to a PO that do not exist in your product catalog by clicking the ‘+Add Items not in product catalog’ link below the ‘Add Items’ field (see image above). New items from within the PO Details page can be added when a PO is in a drafted or pending state.
Stock Requests by Staff Users: For Staff Users to access the PO module, enable the option to ‘Allow staff users to create purchase order requests for Administrators to review and replenish stock’ in Settings -> Add Ons -> Purchase Orders. You can learn more about how Staff Users can make Stock Requests by reading this accompanying blog.
Admins can also add multiple items to a Purchase Order using the mass action button on the Items page, speeding up processing times. They can add these to an existing drafted PO, or create a new one right there.
This will update to show the total cost for the line items added, and will also account for any custom entries you might have made (shown below as ‘pre-payment’):
As with all listing pages in EZOfficeInventory, the three vertical dots at the top right can be clicked to customize columns for this page.
Multiple custom tax rates can be applied by default to every purchase order. Go to Settings → Company Settings → Tax Details for Purchase Orders → Edit/Create New Tax → Click ‘Apply to every Purchase Order by default’.
You can also change a PO tax rate from the Order Line Items section. See image below:
Customizability is so important to us! This is why you can include custom entries in tax calculations from within the PO details page. You can select it under the Tax details in Company Settings.
Hit ‘Confirm Order’ button from the right once you are done with adding items. No more items can be added to this PO now. You can now receive items against this PO. You can also add items that don’t already exist in the product catalog directly from this page, which will automatically create a new item when the order is received.
Approver and Approved By
EZOfficeInventory enables its users with enhanced requisition submission and response by adding flexibility around who makes requests and who approves them. This plays out well when you want to hold your employees accountable for their actions and keep track of inventory control.
An admin and staff user can set ‘Approver’ to a Purchase Order (drafted or pending) by clicking the edit icon against the ‘Approver’ field in the PO details page. See image below:
Once a PO has been confirmed or approved by an admin, you can no longer edit this field.
The field for ‘Approved By’ has 2 different scenarios mentioned below:
- Scenario One: If a PO has an Approver set, but it is approved by a different admin, then ‘Approved by’ field below the ‘Approver’ field will show the name of the admin who approved the PO request. Hover on the name against the ‘Approved By’ field and it will show you the selected Approver’s name. See the image below.
- Scenario Two: If a PO has no approver set, then an admin approving the request is automatically set as the Approver in the PO details page.
For the above to work out, a user who created the PO has to click the ‘Make Request’ button. Based on the above scenarios, an admin approving the PO must click the ‘Approve Request’ button to finalize the PO approval. Once done, the ‘Approved By’ field shows up in the PO details page in place of ‘Approver’ field (see image above).
Request Approved Alert: An email alert is generated and sent to the Approver when a PO is confirmed or approved with the condition that ‘Request Approved’ alert is enabled in the PO Requester and Approver accounts. Otherwise, the approver and the admin who has approved the PO, will both receive this email separately. In other cases, if no approver is set, all the admins will receive the ‘Request Approved’ alert.
Request and Approval Activity Log and History: A step-by-step activity log is recorded of a Purchase Order including actions taken on it including who created it, approved it, denied it, etc. You can see the activities at the bottom of the PO details page, under the ‘History’ tab.
Similarly, you can also keep track of all actions taken on a PO from the History button > Click ‘Purchase Order History’.
Please note that Staff Users can access Purchase Orders from the Notification bell > Purchase Orders.
Receiving Items Against a Purchase Order
Any time an item is received against a Purchase Order, the system will automatically update the product catalog as well as any details like cost price, location, etc. For this to work out, hit ‘Receive Items’ button from the right on the Purchase Order page.
For example, if you made a purchase order for 10x Chairs, 1x Camera, and 1x Laptop and received a part of the order, say you haven’t received 5 chairs out of 10 chairs. See image below:
Uncheck ‘Update product catalog with items received’ if you do not want the system to be updated automatically. The image below shows how the pricing table will be shown after you receive the items.
Purchase Orders and Stock Quantities
The system not only updates the list of assets received against a Purchase Order, but also helps you manage asset stock and inventory quantities. On a stock item’s detail page, you’ll find a section entitled ‘Stock Orders’:
When an order of 10 chairs is received, for example, the ‘Stock Orders’ section will update to reflect the quantity ordered. If 5 of these items are received against the PO, the ‘Quantity by Location’ section will show 5 additional chairs, and the ‘Pending Stock’ will show 5 remaining stock. However, the ‘Quantity Ordered’ will remain 10 until the entire order has been received.
Purchase Order States
A purchase order can move through many states depending on whether an order has been confirmed, payments made, and the items that have been received against it. You can view all purchase orders, their approval pending and denied updates from More > Purchase Orders or Notifications bell > Purchase Orders.
Below, you’ll find a list of all possible states a Purchase Order can pass through.
To clarify, here’s what the different PO states mean:
- Drafted: The PO has been drafted. You can clone, delete and void the PO at this stage, as well as add items or edit any details you’d like.
- Confirmed Items Pending: This means that the PO is confirmed, but the items ordered are yet to be received. You will not be able to add items to it or edit the price of items, but you can still update delivery dates and custom fields. Note that if both the payment and items are pending in an order, the system will only reflect the ‘Confirmed Items Pending’ status.
- Confirmed Payment Pending: The items ordered through the PO have been received, but the payment has not been made yet. This could mean that either a partial payment is pending or the entire sum.
- Completed: All activities relating the PO have been successfully concluded, with the items received and the payment made in full.
- Void: Although a PO can be cloned at any stage, it can only be voided when it is in the Drafted or Completed state. This will remove all references to the PO from the system, including reports. Please note that if items were created through a PO, they must be first deleted or retired before the PO can be made void.
Communicating with Vendors
You can send emails to vendors at any stage of a Purchase Order. This can include all relevant correspondence such as quotations or pricing negotiations. Clicking ‘Send Email’ will open an email textbox pre-populated with the vendor’s email address. You can also add admins to the correspondence in the top section, as well as CC any other individuals you’d like to send the email to:
You can add a PDF link to the Purchase Order directly from this overlay (as shown above).
You must be an Administrator to experience full access to the PO module. While staff users can request inventory stock via purchase orders. Of course, an admin can always edit the Purchase Order to account for whoever requested a certain order:
Admins not only can just edit or approve/deny but also send PO requests for approvals from other admins. In other situations, an admin can approve a PO request made by him/her as well.
Documentation and Reports
Clicking on ‘Print Invoice’ will download a PDF of the Purchase Order documentation that you can then send on to vendors or to people from the accounting department. For more information, you can click on the ‘History’ button on the right for a history trail of actions and information relating to the Purchase Order:
Under Reports > Purchase Order Line Items report, you can get a summary of PO actions, which can be filtered according to your preferences:
These reports can also be exported as either a PDF or CSV.
Alerts help you stay on top of your purchase orders and get notified of actions performed on POs. Enable PO alerts from Alerts under ‘Purchase Orders’.
You can also stay on top of all your purchase orders from Notification Bell -> Purchase Orders.
You can use different email addresses for sending out alerts on Purchase Orders using SPF Settings. These email addresses can be applied to both the ‘From’ and ‘Reply To’ addresses. Go to Settings → Add Ons → System Generated Emails → Click the Edit action. Here, you can define whether you want to use an admin email address, a custom email address, or the email address of a prompter (the user who triggered an action on a purchase order). See image below:
Share your queries
Sign up today for a free 15-day trial or request a demo. For more assistance, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also share your ideas on our Community Forum or visit our blog for detailed support posts.
Updated: This post was updated on April 24, 2018, to reflect changes in adding tax rates for purchase orders, giving staff users the ability to request inventory stock via POs, and sending out PO alerts using different email addresses configured in SPF settings.