Purchase Order Template

Purchase Orders are a great way to control costs and improve invoice processing in your organisation. Your vendors may require a Purchase Order from you. You will need to send them a clear concise official document that states your order requirements.

The key elements of a Purchase Order are:

  • Order Date
  • Specific unique number - The PO Number
  • The buyers contact details
  • Delivery address
  • Specify the vendors name & address
  • State the goods or service you wish to purchase at the price you want
  • Tell the vendor where to send their invoice
  • State your required payment terms
  • Specify the currency

The purchase order template opposite is available to download for FREE. It has tables that can be edited but is a well laid out template. Zahara's own purchase order software, available for as little as $69 per month produces Purchase Order that look like this (although there is a choice of library to choose from). Feel free to take a Trial using the link above.

Is Word the best format to work with for a Purchase Order Template?

Word will produce a nice looking document to send to your vendor but it’s the best format if you will be sending regular purchase orders. A spreadsheet will give you the benefit of calculating the columns and totals so will be an improvement but isn't the best looking document to send and your vendor may find it a difficult document to work with.

Do I need to save my purchase orders?

Yes absolutely you do. You should lock the document down into a PDF format as soon as it's sent and save it into an archive folder. And remember. You need to make sure your purchase order numbers are sequential.

How is software generating the Purchase Order better?

Our own software will make it easier and faster to raise the purchase order. You will have a record of each purchase order not only in a useful list but saved against the vendor record as well. Best of all you will have an audit trail of who created the Purchase Order and if it was sent to the vendor. Another nice feature of our software is the ability to compose your PO and then send it for approval before it gets sent to the vendor. But we would say that, wouldn't we!

Are these templates free?

Yes absolutely. Our gift to you as experts in the field. And note, no annoying ads on the page either!

What’s the best format for sending the Purchase Order to a vendor

PDF is the safest way to send a purchase order to a supplier. Both these templates open in Word or Excel and Microsoft allows you to Send as a PDF, using File > Share > Send as PDF. Its best to speak to the individual vendor and ask them what format they prefer. Although PDF is widely accepted, it still requires someone to key in the data or expensive software can be used to read the PDF. Better still send them the data as well. In our own software, Zahara, we allow the PDF to be sent in a JSON or CSV format which makes it effortless for the vendor to simply consume the data.

What is a Purchase Requisition?

A purchase requisition or PR is the step before the Purchase Order. Its the request to buy something. Usually the Purchase Requisition will follow and approval workflow where someone inside the organisation wants to buy something but. wants approval from management to spend money. The PR is created and reviewed. Once the PR is approved, the purchase order can be created and this is sent to the vendor

Are purchase orders legally binding?

When you send a purchase order to the vendor you are offering a contract for them to supply goods and services at a price you state. If they accept the order, you have entered into a contract and you should consider yourself legally obligated to now purchase from this vendor. This is why i's good to have an approval process and a full audit trail behind every purchase you make and why Purchase Orders should only be issued by staff and colleagues who are authorised to make the commitments to spend money.

Is it easier to process a purchase invoice if there is a Purchase Order?

If the vendor issues an invoice which matches your purchase order template then it's highly likely the invoice will be faster to process. If the vendors invoice bears no relation to your Purchase Order then it's going to be more difficult or slower to process the invoice as you will need to cross reference whats been ordered with whats been supplied.

Below are two Purchase Order Templates you can use for free. One is in Word format and the other is in Excel format.
Word version
free purchase order template Word
Excel Version
free purchase order template Excel

3 Way Matching Explained

If you are about to create a Purchase Order using one of our templates, please feel free to use our purchase order template- you are welcome. The vendor will soon deliver the goods or services you ordered. You can match the order and the invoice as we describe earlier. However you may receive a delivery note or GRN - Goods received note. This should arrive into your business before the invoice. The people receipting the delivery may mark off the order into your finance system. It could be you are checking in stock. The finance team may now work with three sets of data. The order and what you wanted. The delivery and what you received and the invoice which shows what you have been billed for. This is 3 way matching.