Purchase Orders Explained

Purchase Orders Explained


In Zahara you can create Purchases. These are requests to buy things that can then be converted to Purchase Orders and sent off to a supplier. The Purchase order can then have it's delivery receipted - GRN and an invoice recorded against it. Purchases facilitate spend control and provide the finance team with the visibility of all spend where an invoice or created card payment can be expected. 


To raise an order you will need to have done the following: 
  1. Added some suppliers
  2. Added a default tax code - even if it's Zero 
  3. Added some GL Codes 
Ideally you should have created a purchases workflow as well. This master article explains how to do that. Once you have the above items set you should be able to very easily create purchase. 

Securing the purchase 

If a purchase is created, and sent into a workflow, the purchase is locked until the purchase is approved. This means that the buyer cannot email the purchase order to the supplier or download a copy of the Purchase Order PDF until it is approved. The buyer can edit the order at any time, but you can choose what criteria would force it to go back out for approval. As an example, the buyer edits the price - this would ordinarily send it back out for approval. You can set this criteria in Business > Settings > Workflow. 

If you have concerns that your users are likely to call a PO Number through to the supplier, ahead of approval, you can generate a second sequential number that is only generated on approval or on sending the PO to the supplier. This way the buyer will never know it. Read this article to understand the functionality available. In most circumstances, the buyers can be trained to wait for approval and the suppliers can be told to only ship on receipt of an actual purchase order. 

Adding a Quote 

Under Business > Settings > Validations you can force a quote to be uploaded if the purchase is over a set price. 

Automate Sending the PO to the Supplier

The supplier can receive a copy of the PO as part of a workflow. You can add the step "send PO to supplier" at the end of your workflow. Read the help article on approvals to understand how to achieve this. 

Sending a Document to The Supplier with the PO 
You can upload a document when creating a purchase order and tick the box to have the supplier receive a copy. The supplier will then receive a copy of this document when the PO is sent.

Make the supplier sign a schedule of works 

In the above screen shot, if the tick box Require Acceptance is ticked, the supplier will need to digitally sign a schedule of works or terms and conditions before receiving the purchase order. Watch the video below to see how this works. 

Allow the supplier to accept or reject the purchase order 

You can easily allow the supplier to accept or reject the purchase order without them having to login. All you need to do is edit the email template in Business > Settings > Templates to make sure the {vendor_acceptance} placeholder is in place as shown below: 

This will then provide them with Accept and Reject buttons in the email. Clicking either will turn your email icon green or red from grey. 

Viewing a Purchase Order

To view a purchase order - or the detail behind it - click the number as shown in the list view above. This will take you into the details of the purchase so you can see the history and the line items. 

Adding Notes & Documents 

You can easily add notes and documents to a purchase and treat your purchase like case management. The history section is at the bottom of the screen and assuming you have relevant permissions you can add notes as you require. 

Document Actions Menu 

The document actions menu allows you to perform functions on your Purchase. These include: 
  1. Publish Draft - Convert a draft Purchase into a live Purchase
  2. Create Invoice - record an invoice against this Purchase 
  3. GRN - receipt a delivery against this Purchase 
  4. View document in FileDirector - if you have enabled document links for FileDirector, the document path will be sent to open the document 
  5. Send to supplier - assuming approved or not in a workflow, the purchase order can be created and emailed to the supplier
  6. Download - Download / view a PDF of the purchase order 
  7. Re-Process - this is used to recycle a workflow - perhaps the PO has been edited or you want the workflow to restart. 
  8. Reset Matching - if an invoice has been recorded against the PO, and you want to start over, you can clear it using this option
  9. Edit - assuming you have permissions - edit the Purchase
  10. Clone - very useful if you order the same thing regularly - clone the order to originate a new one - but the same
  11. Close an order - closing an order will take the order off the lists - read the article on closing orders 

Draft Purchases

When creating a purchase, you can save it in a Draft mode. This means it's not submitted for approval and its locked for you. You can then come back to it and edit it and then release it as a normal purchase. Just click the 'Save As Draft' button at any time when raising an order. Draft orders are displayed in the list view but with a special icon. You can release a Draft purchase by using the Document Actions menu above and choosing the 'Publish Draft' Option. 

Receipting a Delivery  - GRN 

Receipting is purely optional but does give finance a view of whats been delivered so is highly recommended. You can decide who and how you will do your GRN's but it's very fast and easy. You can find an order and then tick it and select GRN as shown. 

You can then complete the GRN easily by populating the quantities received on each line. You can also record negative amounts if you make a mistake. As part of the GRN you can also upload a copy of your delivery note. There is also a setting to "Accept & Adjust" orders on short deliveries - this is relevant for things like fresh produce. You can enable this setting in Business > Settings > Validations

    • Related Articles

    • Creating a purchase order

      Creating your order  The video below shows you how to create a purchase order.  You can create a purchase order in two ways.  You can either go to Documents > Purchases and click "New Purchase Order" or you can click + > New Purchase Order on the ...
    • Bulk importing of orders

      You can bulk import orders from a CSV file. Go to the Documents > Purchases pages and select import. Now download the CSV template.  The process is very easy, provided you know how to populate the order CSV file. A copy is shown below. Line# Each ...
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      A multi-grouped purchase order has the Division being set at the Line-item level. This means the purchase can be sent into multiple-concurrent approval workflows and be assigned to more than one Division budget. To create a multi-grouped Purchase, ...
    • Editing an order

      Documents > Purchase Orders > PO Number Click the PO number from the list view to go into the Purchase Order. You have a list of 'document actions' in the top right. You can edit an order by selecting the 'Edit' option. If set, any editing of the PO ...