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Dummy’s Guide to Documents

At Zahara we want to help our customers as much as possible. so we have created this handy guide to different document types. It will cover Purchase Orders, Invoices, Purchase Requisition, etc. This is a definitive list of what these terms mean.


Purchase Order

A buyer-generated document that authorises a purchase transaction. When accepted by the seller, it becomes a contract binding on both parties. A purchase order sets forth the descriptions, quantities, prices, discounts, payment terms, date of performance or shipment, other associated terms and conditions, and identifies a specific seller.


A nonnegotiable commercial instrument issued by a seller to a buyer. It identifies both the trading parties and lists, describes, and quantifies the items sold,the date of shipment and mode of transport. Prices and discounts if applicable and delivery and payment terms.  

Purchase Requisition

Document generated by a user department or storeroom personnel. In order to notify the purchasing department of items, it needs to order, their quantity, and the timeframe. It may also contain the authorization to proceed with the purchase. Also called purchase request or requisition.  

Credit Note

A form or letter sent by a seller to a buyer, stating that a certain amount has been credited to the buyer's account.  

Letter of Credit

A letter of credit guarantees payment of a specified sum in a specified currency. Provided that the seller meets precisely-defined conditions and submits the prescribed documents within a fixed timeframe. These documents almost always include a clean bill of lading or air waybill, commercial invoice, and certificate of origin. To establish a letter of credit in favour of the seller or exporter (called the beneficiary) the buyer (called the applicant or account party) either pays the specified sum (plus service charges) up front to the issuing bank or negotiates credit.  

Delivery Note or Goods Received Note

A document accompanying a shipment of goods that lists the description, and quantity of the goods delivered. A copy of the delivery note, is signed by the buyer or consignee & is returned to the seller or consignor as a proof of delivery.

Sales Order

A seller-generated document that authorises the sale of the specified item(s), issued after receipt of a customer's purchase order. A sales order usually implies that there will be no additional labour or material cost incurred for the sale, except where it is used to initiate a production process.


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