A purchase order is one of the necessary types of paperwork that many business owners dread. The purchase order process is often long and complex and requires large amounts of back and forth communication. Too often, information gets lost in this type of disorganized communication – and even when it doesn’t get lost, it’s difficult to keep track of everything.
Purchase orders (PO) and purchase requisitions are extremely common documents that practically every business uses. They help businesses control costs, ensure that employees cannot bypass business standards and that the business gets the best possible deal. Problems are easier to track down. If the vendor delivers the wrong items, the signed copy of the purchase order proves what the business actually ordered.
Organizations of every stripe – small businesses, schools & colleges, and even some large companies – continue to email Excel sheets to approve purchase requests and issue a purchase order. While that’s better than paper, Excel still has numerous disadvantages particularly in today’s mobile-centric, data-driven world. You need a fully digital solution.
Purchase requisitions and purchase orders (“POs”) are both key documents in an efficient procurement process for any business. They allow teams to plan purchases adequately, plan budgets, and provide proof of spending in case of financial audits.
People often confuse purchase orders (also known as POs) and invoices or use them interchangeably. In fact, they are two different documents that each serve their own purpose. Both are key elements of the procurement process for any business.
But what’s the difference between the two – and when would you use a PO vs an invoice?