Purchase orders are a great way to order the items you need, when you need them and be able to track those orders. Purchase orders in ESC can be generated from multiple areas of the software, including the Dispatch and Quote screens. But for now, let's look at how to create a purchase order from scratch in ESC.
Purchase Orders in ESC do not affect costs or inventory quantities in any way. They are simply a way to track parts that are on order or need to be ordered. A purchase order can be turned into a Vendor Bill in your accounting system or sent to the Receive Items screen when the order arrives in your office.
Creating the Purchase Order
- Purchase Orders are created by clicking on the PO List button on the icon toolbar.
- Click the Add button on the PO List toolbar and select Purchase Order.
- Select the Vendor you will be ordering your items from.
- If this vendor has more than one location to order from, select the appropriate site in the Location field. You'll see the correct Address filled in just below the Location field.
- Your company name and address should appear in the Ship To field automatically. However, if you wish for this order to be delivered to a customer's location, you may select the name and location of that customer by clicking the drop-down arrow in the Ship To field.
- You'll notice that the Purchase Order Number field and the Entry Date field are immediately filled in for you. The Date Requested field will also be set to the current date, but you can change this to the date you want the items to be delivered, if you have one.
- In the Buyer field, select your name or the name of the person that will be placing the order.
- If the Terms field was filled in on the vendor's profile, their Terms will appear in the Terms field of the Purchase Order screen and on the Receive Items screen. Otherwise, you may either select the proper Terms for payment in the Terms field or leave it blank. The Terms field is used to determine the due date of any A/P bills that are generated from this order.
- Next, select the shipping method you want your vendor to use in the Ship Via field. Additional shipping methods can be entered by going to Vendors → Enter Shipping Methods.
- If an order needs to be verbally authorized, enter your contact's name in the Confirm To field so that the vendor knows who to reach out to for questions and authorization.
Adding Items to a Purchase Order
Once the purchase order itself has been created, you'll want to add the items to be ordered. You may save the purchase order at any time and return to it periodically as more items are needed. Once the purchase order has been emailed or printed, the Order Placed box will be checked so that you know not to add further items to this particular order. The Billed check box will be automatically checked if this Purchase Order is sent to your accounting system as a bill.
- The first thing you'll notice about the line items of a purchase order is that the Type field can be set to Item or Account. Select Item to be able to add Parts and Billing codes to an order. Select Account if you want to charge an item directly to an account in your general ledger and not record it as an item. This is commonly used for Freight or Tax or other non-item expenses.
- Under the Item column, you'll select the item to be added to the order. If the Type is set to Item, then clicking the drop-down arrow will produce the Inventory Search screen to help you find the item you need. If the Type is set to Account, clicking the drop-down arrow produces your Chart of Accounts so you can select the affected account.
- The Description field will automatically be filled in for you, but can be edited to add or change the information on the item.
- In the Quantity field, enter how many of this particular item you are requesting.
- If you are ordering an inventory item, the Last Purchase Price will be used in the Price field. Otherwise, the Price field will show a zero. If you know the current price the vendor is charging, this can be edited. The total Amount for the item will be shown just to the right.
- If the item is being ordered for a specific Dispatch or Job (or both), be sure to enter the Dispatch/Job next to the item. This facilitates importing items to an invoice later or transferring them directly to a Job.
The Purchase Order can be saved at any time and returned to for later additions or editing. The Total of the order will show at the bottom of the screen, next to the Memo/RMA field, which can be used for notes on the order or an RMA number if one is issued.
Barcodes - By clicking the Barcodes button on the toolbar, you'll have the option of printing a barcode label for every item on the order or using a barcode scanner to scan items onto the order. This can make ordering and shelving your items much faster than doing it by hand.
History - The History button on the toolbar can be used to show when certain items were received from this purchase order. This is especially helpful if the order was large and not all of the items were received at the same time.
Save and Receive - If the purchase order open on the screen is ready to be received into stock, you'll want to click the Save and Receive button on the toolbar to immediately move the order into the Receive Items screen.
Save and Bill - When ESC is connected with an accounting system, it is possible to turn purchase orders into bills.
Compare - The Compare button next to each line item can be used to see which vendors that item has been purchased from in the past, when it was purchased and how much was paid.
Department - The Department field is only for accounting purposes, but allows you to see what Departments you're spending the most on.