What is a purchase order?
Purchase orders play a pivotal role in most businesses. To purchase materials, stock or services from suppliers and vendors businesses will usually need to raise a purchase order (PO). They provide a clear and concise summary of what is being purchased, the quantity required and the price agreed between the two parties.
As well as providing a written agreement for buying a product or service from a supplier, POs also provide the purchasing organisation with a record of what has been purchased, which is extremely important for the accounting department, helps the organisation keep track of inventory and helps improve forecasting and reporting.
Automating approval authorisations
Whenever someone in an organisation wants to purchase something it usually has to go through an approval process. This is to make sure that the product or service is necessary, there is no fraudulent activity and that there are enough funds available to actually make the purchase.
In smaller organisations, this could simply be one person, such as the owner/managing director. However, in larger organisations, the process could involve multiple people, such as a department head and managing director, and then multiple people in the finance department.
Many purchases can require multiple levels of authorisations unique to business rules and departmental structures – especially if the value exceeds a designated amount. For example, an organisation may determine that orders under £1,000 need authorisation by one person, whereas orders over £1,000 need authorisation by two or more people.
Let’s face it. An approval process flow can be time-consuming, difficult to manage and, basically, a headache. This is especially true if the entire process is manual, which can lead to longer purchasing cycles; ultimately becoming a hindrance to company productivity and performance.
Purchase order software
In order to improve the purchase order process, it is worth investing in a dedicated solution that can not only manage the approval process but also automate many of the manual functions, helping to significantly improve productivity, remove administration and enforce company procedures.
ApproverPro is extremely easy to set up and can be easily integrated with any application or business system (accounting, CRM, ERP, warehouse management) in which purchase orders are created. The app can handle single level or multi-level PO authorisation workflows, follow data validation rules (e.g. Incomplete purchase order if no vendor exists or missing pricing) as well as provide an audit trail of all purchase orders approved or declined.
Automating the purchase order process enables companies to easily and quickly establish more streamlined workflow processes, whilst removing a lot of manual tasks and decision making. As a result, this speeds up authorisation response times and will help improve the efficiency of the entire purchasing cycle.