What is a Purchase Order or PO and when to use it ?
A Purchase Order or “PO” is a commercial document issued by a customer or buyer to a vendor or seller for the purchase of goods. Often the vendor would have first issued a “quotation” or “tender” to the customer for the supply of these goods. The customer upon acceptance of the quotation would then issue the purchase order based on this quotation. The purchase order is a legal offer to purchase. When accepted by the vendor, it is binding.
Note that while a document for the purchase of goods is called a Purchase Order, a similar document issued by a customer to a vendor requesting works done is normally called a “Work Order” or “Works Order”.
View Sample Purchase Orders
Click on an image to view sample purchase orders or PO’s :
How To Write a Purchase Order
Your letterhead : Your business name, logo, address, telephone & email and web address if available. In some countries, you must also include your business registration number and tax registration number.
The words “Purchase Order” clearly written towards the top of the page.
A Purchase Order number. This a running serial number that you maintain. Each PO issued should have a unique PO number hence, no two PO’s should have the same number.
A Purchase Order Date : The date when the PO was issued
Vendor Ref# : Vendor Reference which can be a quotation number if this PO was raised in acceptance of the quotation or tender given by a Vendor
Your payment terms or how soon you expect to pay your vendor E.g. “COD”, “Cash”, ”30 days” etc.
Your customer or client name and address.
A description of the goods you are purchasing, quantity, unit of measure, price per unit and total amount for individual items. In the case of “Work Order”, your scope of work and amount for individual items.
Total Amount of all individual items.
If applicable, a tax amount and total after tax.
Delivery Date : Specify the number of days or a due date by when you expect goods to be delivered.
Other comments you may have like delivery instructions etc.
Any other terms and conditions. If unsure, seek professional advise from a solicitor to draft your terms and conditions. You may place this in the footer or the reverse side of the PO.
Tools For Creating A Purchase Order
You can use any word processor or spreadsheet software program to create a Purchase Order. Or you can use a dedicated program like our very own Ezy Invoice. Using a program like Ezy Invoice has many advantages like :
- Quick and easy searching of Purchase Orders through a database rather than opening files one at time from your hard disk.
- Maintain your vendor database for easy filling out of Vendor name and address in your purchase orders.
- Instantly view report or PO listing and PO’s by vendor etc.
The image below is a screen shot of a Purchase Order edited on our software product Ezy Invoice .
See also :