Help Categories

Second Ref Counter


Normally a user of Zahara has the purchase order number generated as soon as the order is raised. An order is raised and sent for approval and the supplier can then receive a purchase order PDF with this number on it. The number is instantly visible to the originator, as soon as the request is submitted. For the vast majority of our users, this is perfectly adequate and presents very few issues.

Some have stated though that it would be better if the number – the order number – that is sent to the supplier,  isn’t known to the originator until the order is approved. This prevents the originator from circumventing the approval process and phoning the order number through to the supplier. We have listened to this feedback and provided a solution in the second ref counter.

A new, separate sequential number range can now be generated and populated into the second ref field and provided to the supplier on the purchase order PDF. This means the originator will never know the actual purchase order number until its generated and issued.

How it works

Enable the second ref field in Business Settings  > Purchase Orders:

Switch this On.
Now switch on the counter and set a start number. In the above screen, 9000 will be our starting sequential number.

Next, decide when you want the number to be generated. The choice is “On Approval” or “On sent to supplier”

On Approval
The purchase will need to go into an approval process for this to work. Make sure you have your workflows and default workflow set correctly and that the buyers cannot override this.

On sent to Supplier
For this to work you would ideally have a “send to supplier” workflow step or an approval process that sends an email to the originator telling them to send off the order. If the originator is sending the order manually, from within the order, they will need to click the send icon – the number will only be generated as part of this step or the workflow step.

Editing Your PO Template

Once set up, you will need to adjust your purchase order template to use the second ref field. Head to Business Settings > HTML Templates and find the Document  Template. Replace the placeholder {purchase_order_number} below as shown:


Invoice Processing

When recording invoices, the order number fields will now be shown as the two numbers together ie 1099 | 9001

In this example 1099 is the order number (the original number) and 9001 is the second ref number. You can add the second ref field into your invoice lists and purchase lists so you can clearly see both sets of numbers.

Still can't find an answer?