Purchase Orders are a commercial document used to request a Vendor to supply goods and/or services in return for payment from you. It is a written authorization for a supplier/Vendor to ship products at a specified price.
Purchase Orders can be used to see how many items are on order and the expected arrival time of the shipment. They may also be used to order Non-Inventory items, such as office supplies, furniture, computers, company tools etc.
Purchase Orders are a very important part of a proper and complete accounting system for any company and are to be completed by authorized personnel only. They allow managers to ‘authorize’ purchases. Vendors should be notified that no one may buy from them unless the purchase includes a PO number. When Vendor Bills arrive at your office, the bookkeeping department can see what was ordered and what the buyer had planned to pay for it. In the case of parts, bookkeeping will know to which Customer or Job to attribute the COGS. In the case of supplies, bookkeeping will know to which department to attribute the Expense. This is absolutely necessary for properly departmentalizing financial data.
Please note: Purchase Orders are used for audit security and do not affect any accounts. Your accounts are not affected until a transaction has been posted for the goods on the PO.