Should we create retrospective purchase orders?
You are using Zahara to raise your orders and an invoice comes into the business and doesn't relate to an order. What should you do?
A lot of our customers automatically assume that they need to create a corresponding purchase. I would suggest you think about that. The end point of a purchase is to send out a purchase order right? Well, it looks like you've already got the goods or service so that's like shutting the barn door after the horse has bolted! A purchase order is a document you send the supplier, formerly requesting they supply goods or services at a price you state. So, as I say, it's a bit late in the day if you already have the invoice.
So how should you handle it and how can you handle it in Zahara?
First, let's educate your buyers and tell them everything they buy needs approval first and they need to use Zahara for that approval.
Secondly, contact all your regular suppliers and tell them that you now use Zahara and every invoice they send you should quote your order number and you may not accept invoices that haven't been formerly requested by way of a purchase order.
But there will still be times when an invoice comes into the business and definitely won't have a PO. Your annual office insurance, or your electricity bill or server hosting. In this circumstance, we urge you not to be bureaucratic and raise a corresponding purchase order. There will be bills, you will need to pay them so let's focus on the business of approving that invoice for payment.
In Zahara, you can create two types of invoice approval. You can create an "Order Exists" approval and a "Order Doesn't Exist" approval. You can then trigger the approval on the first type if the Order / Invoice difference breaches your agreed threshold say 5% or £25.00. You decide. There is a video in the knowledge base explaining all of this.
If an order doesn't exist, then you can create an approval for that Division in exactly the same way as you would an Order approval - you can even copy an order approval - but the outcome is to export the invoice or to send an email to the finance team. It is not to send a PO to the supplier!
The only time you may need to create a corresponding order is if you are running budgets in Zahara with zero tolerance. Currently, invoices aren't applied to Divisional or Project budgets, you would need to create a corresponding purchase. In this circumstance, perhaps the invoice approval process would email someone in the Division telling them to create a purchase. You could even use a custom field of purchase type and have a value of "retrospective".
In summary, every supplier invoice coming into the business is evaluated and processed into one question "Should we pay this". If an order exists, you can answer that question automatically using logic with a binary outcome of yes or no. You can get very close to hands-free processing.
If an order does not exist then the invoice has to be routed around the business to get the confirmation you need in finance. That is what Zahara is designed to do. It reduces the time required to make that decision so you can pay genuine invoices faster and detect fraudulent or incorrect invoices more easily.