Summary: Frequently-asked questions
about purchase orders. Purchase Orders are used to track
what you have ordered from vendors. It's an easy way to control
costs in two ways: it prevents a staff member from making
unapproved purchases, and it keeps vendors from overcharging
for their services when their invoice is reconciled against the order.
Q. Do we have to use purchase orders?
No, but it's a good business practice to use them. Unless you issue purchase
orders to vendors as a standard practice, you're leaving the agency vulnerable
to unapproved purchaes, inaccurate deliveries, and overcharges.
Q. Does a purchase order have to have a job
No. POs can be added for non-job purchases, like letterhead and business
cards. In these cases you'd enter "NONE" as the job number.
Q. Can I issue a purchase order to anyone,
or do I have to use a vendor?
Purchase orders can only be added for a vendor. This helps Clients & Profits
keep track of purchases, since purchase orders are integrated with Accounts
Payable, which also require a vendor. If the PO was issued to a non-vendor, you couldn't reconcile
it with the supplier's invoice.
Q. What type of costs are typically added to purchase orders?
are used to order goods and services, such as printing or photography. However, media placements should not be included on purchase orders, rather they should be added to insertion, broadcast, interactive, and outdoor orders under the Media menu.
Q. How do purchase orders affect jobs
and job reports?
Purchase Orders are commitments to a job ticket, not actual costs. They
appear in a separate column on the job summary, and do
not appear with costs (i.e., time, payables, expenses). The Job Commitments Report is printed from Job Tickets > Print Reports > Job Accounting Reports.
On this report, the titles mean the following:
- Net Cost: The net amount that the PO was entered for;
what you should pay the vendor.
- Gross: The gross amount that the PO was entered for;
what you will bill the client.
- Net PO's: The net balance on the PO = PO's net cost
- AP invoices' net amounts.
- Open PO's: The gross balance on the PO = PO's gross
- AP invoices' gross amounts.
A balance on a PO means that the vendor's A/P invoice has
not been received or added into Clients & Profits. In
addition, a balance can mean that an invoice came in for
more or less than the PO amount. A negative balance on a
Purchase Order means that the A/P invoice was for more than
the purchase order.
Q. I haven't received the vendor's A/P
yet, but I need to bill the client now. What can I do?
Since the amount of the commitments you've made is on the job ticket, you
can easily bill the job's purchase order total. The Progress/Final billing
option lets you choose to include commitments on the job's invoice. You
will see the option to "Include unbilled POs/IOs". If you select this
option, any PO for that job with a gross balance will be billed on the
invoice. Another option is to create the Accounts Receivable invoice
directly from the Purchase Order. Find the purchase order, then click the Pre-Bill toolbar button. It then creates an unposted A/R invoice for the
gross amount of the purchase order.
Q. How do I reconcile a purchase order with
the vendor's invoice?
When you add an A/P invoice, the first field is
the purchase order number. The
PO's vendor, amount, job number, and task are copied to the invoice automatically to speed data entry. When
the invoice is posted, its amount will be applied to the purchase order
automatically. If you are entering an A/P invoice that references multiple purchase orders, do not enter an order number in the first field, rather enter the orders in the distribution at the bottom of the window. For step-by-step instructions, see the Adding Job Cost
Invoices section of the online User Guide.
Q. What do I do when a purchase order
has a balance, but we've received all of the vendor's invoices?
Close the purchase order by clicking on the Closed checkbox, which
clears the PO's balance. Any leftover balance is removed from the job
ticket as well.
Q. How can I tell which invoices referenced a particular purchase order?
It's easy. Find the purchase order, then from the view>point drop-down
menu, select View POs Invoices. Or, double click a PO line and note the "Invoiced on" field.
Q. Which reports are commonly used
to track purchase orders?
The Over & Under Orders report shows you all purchase
orders with a balance, which is helpful for tracking down invoices
from vendors that don't match their respective order amounts. The Open Orders list report shows
Purchase Orders that have a positive balance, which means that the vendors
probably haven't sent you the invoices yet. All of these reports can be
printed from the Purchase Order window by clicking on the Print Reports toolbar button.
Q. I want to see a purchase order, but
the menu is grayed out. What's wrong?
If the menu command is disabled, it means you don't have access privileges
to see, add, and print purchase orders. It's a setting in the Users,
Access, & Passwords window. First, you need to have menu level access (ungrays the option) from the Menus tab. Second, the Costs tab has a dollar amount
that limits the amount of a purchase order. Some users may have higher PO limits than others.
Q. When adding a purchase order
I get a budget warning, then can't save the PO. Why?
The budget alert means your purchase order is breaking the job task's
budget. This warning is a user-defined option that can be set up for
individual C&P users. This is located under the Budget Alerts tab in Users, Access & Passwords. It can be set to warn a user when they are within a certain percentage of the task budget when adding the PO or stop the user completely when the PO will put the task over budget. At that point, a manager most likely will have to add the PO, whose budget alert setting most likely only has a warning and doesn't prevent the order from being added.
Q. Can I redesign the printed purchase
No. The format is an industry-standard design. However, there is an option to use the "Simple" or "Detailed" form when printing the order. This setting is availalbe when adding an order, and editing an order after it has been added. The detailed form will include unit quantities and amounts.
Q. How should I number purchase orders?
Clients & Profits automatically numbers purchase orders. The next number is set up in Preferences > Purchase Orders. This number is incremented each time
a new order is saved. Each purchase order number must be unique, so as
you tab past the PO number, Clients & Profits checks it for duplicates. Make sure you number your PO's far enough apart from your Insertion, Broadcast, Interactive, and Outdoor orders, because they all share the same file and numbering system. Set the next number for each type in preferences far enough apart that they don't run into each other. Last, you can set PO's to number when save or number when add. Number when save if you potentially have two people adding PO's at the same time, it will prevent them from merging two PO's with the same number.
Q. Are there any other shortcuts that
save time when adding purchase orders?
Yes. There are two shortcuts: cloning and templates. If you're constantly
adding the same kind of purchase order (for delivery, for example), then
consider "cloning" a purchase order. Cloning makes an exact duplicate of
any purchase order, which you can then freely modify. A cloned PO gets the
next PO number from Preferences.
The PO template is simply a collection of standard, or default,
information for a certain kind of purchase order. When you add a PO, you
can choose a template from the Use Template pop-up menu. Choosing a
template copies its details to the new purchase order, which you can then
change if necessary. Templates are easy to set up and can be changed at any time (see
Setup > Order Templates).
Q. What is the purchase order status?
The status field describes what's happening with the purchase order at any
time. It's user-defined, so it will be empty unless someone edits it. The
status also appears in red (if you have a color printer) on the printed
purchase order, so it's an ideal spot to write in important alerts to the vendor. The status also appears on the PO lookup
list where the lookup list can be sorted by that value. The status has no affect on Accounts Payable, the job ticket, or on
client billings. Editing the PO status is easy: From the Purchase Order
window, click the Description/Status link or the Edit toolbar button, then type in a value in the Status field.