purchase order example

  • By ProcureDesk
  • May 03,2023
  • 10 min read

purchase order example

Purchase orders are documents that ensure your business gets a smooth and efficient process while buying goods or availing services. Aside from that, it also leads to better internal purchasing purchases.

In this resource, let’s dive deeper into how purchase order works, the correct formatting of purchase orders, and their benefits to your company. With this knowledge, we’re confident you’ll be on your way to easily mastering the art of ordering for your business!

What Is The Meaning Of A Purchase Order?

A purchase order refers to an official document your company uses to place orders for goods and services. This document serves as a binding agreement between buyers and sellers, which contains the transaction details that include the price, quantity, payment terms, and other considerations for products or services bought.

Purchase orders are created by the buyer and given to the seller, who is responsible for accepting the order for sale to be valid.

Business owners need to understand a purchase order’s meaning and how it works to ensure efficient purchasing operations between both parties.

Can You Tell Me How Purchase Orders Are Used?

After agreeing to the terms, the seller sends an order acknowledgment. Once the products have been sent, only then a P.O is given.

Depending on the specifics of the transaction, the purchase order process may also involve inventory management and shipping terms methods. By grasping how purchase orders work, business owners can streamline their ordering process, reduce errors, and ensure secure tracking of orders and payments.

Appreciating the significance of a purchase order and understanding its inner workings helps businesses maintain a secure, efficient purchasing process free from mistakes.

What Is The Correct Purchase Order Format?

The format of a purchase order highly depends on the type of product or service being ordered.

There are two main types of purchase order example:

1. Standard purchase orders (POs): This type of PO covers specific items within specific prices

2. Blanket purchase orders (BPOs): This type of PO covers multiple items over a period of time, with varied prices.

In the next section, we’ll dive deep into other purchase orders.

Depending on the type of PO created it may include additional information such as sales tax rate, shipment method, delivery dates, etc.

When creating purchase orders, you must ensure that you have the correct information you need and that all information is up to date to avoid any errors or discrepancies during the transaction.

It is important for purchase orders to be reviewed carefully before anyone from both parties signs off. This ensures that all parties have agreed upon and understood all terms.

What Are The Purchase Order Types?

Generally speaking, there are several purchase order examples with their unique features and benefits:

1. Standard purchase orders: These POs are the most commonly used, providing a detailed description of the goods or services being purchased, the quantity and unit price, payment terms, delivery date, and shipping address.

2. Blanket purchase orders: These POs are less detailed but offer an option for frequently purchased items as they can be reused for multiple transactions.

3. Contract purchase orders: Typically last longer than standard or blanket purchases and include specific requirements agreed upon by both parties.

4. Electronic purchase orders: These types of purchase order are becoming increasingly popular as they allow companies to track inventory quickly, manage payments, and gain access to real-time data. They also leverage online platforms like mobile apps and websites to facilitate transactions between sellers and buyers for any digital purchase.

No matter your company’s purchase order, it’s important to ensure all your purchase order details are correct before signing off. Aside from that, it is critical that all transactions are secure and compliant with applicable laws.

Purchase Order vs. Purchase Requisition

Purchase orders and purchase requisitions are documents used to manage purchases in a business. Although they have similar applications, some key differences must be considered.

A purchase order is a binding contract between a buyer and seller outlining the details of the goods or services being purchased. It includes quantity, unit price, payment terms, and delivery date. It also authorizes payment once all of the conditions have been met.

On the other hand, a purchase requisition is an internal document used by a company’s purchasing department to request authorization for goods or services from an outside vendor. This document does not initiate payment; it simply serves as a request for approval from higher-level management before a purchase order can be issued.

Purchase Order vs. Sales Order

A purchase order is a legally binding agreement between a buyer and seller outlining the details of the goods or services being purchased. It includes quantity, unit price, payment terms, and delivery date. It also authorizes payment once all of the conditions have been met.

On the other hand, a sales order is an internal document used by a company’s sales department to track customer orders and provide customers with detailed information about their products or services. This document does not initiate payment; it only serves as an internal official record-keeping tool for tracking customer orders and providing them with the necessary information for delivery.

Purchase Order vs. Purchase Invoice

A purchase order is a legal document sent out by a buyer to a seller outlining the details of the goods or services being purchased. It contains information such as quantity, unit price, payment terms, and delivery date.

On the other hand, a purchase invoice specifically breaks down the products or services purchased containing the cost.

For business owners, it is essential to understand the differences between these two documents to ensure their purchasing process runs smoothly. Purchase orders should be sent out before making payments to ensure that all conditions are agreed upon before initiating payment. Once those conditions have been met, a purchase invoice should be issued to prove that payment was received for the goods or services purchased. By understanding these distinctions, businesses can ensure their purchases are successful and cost-effective.

What Are The Elements Of A Purchase Order?

Understanding the elements of a purchase order template is important to ensure that the purchasing process runs smoothly.

The purchase order template must contain the following elements:

1. Item description: This element of a purchase order template should provide a detailed description of the purchased goods or services. It should be specific enough to ensure that both the buyer and seller clearly understand what is being ordered.

2. Item Quantity: This element should indicate the number of goods or services purchased.

3. Unit price: This element should specify the price per unit of purchased goods or services.

4. Payment terms: This element should indicate the payment terms that the buyer and seller have agreed upon, such as payment method, payment schedule, and any penalties for late payment.

5. Delivery date: This element should specify the date the goods or services are expected to be delivered.

5. Applicable taxes or discounts: This element should include any applicable taxes or discounts that may apply to the purchase.

Additionally, any applicable taxes or discounts should also be listed in the document. Including these details ensures that both the buyer and seller understand the terms agreed upon before initiating payment.

Depending on the order’s size or complexity, additional optional components can be included in the purchase order template, such as:

1. Shipping method: This element should specify how the goods will be shipped.

2. Shipping address: This element should indicate the address to which the goods should be shipped.

3. Contact information: This element should include the contact information of the buyer and seller in case there are any questions or issues related to the purchase.

For larger orders, adding more detailed line items may be necessary to capture all aspects of the transaction.

What Is The Process Of Issuing A Purchase Order?

Typically speaking, purchase orders are issued by your organization’s business owner or purchasing department.

Here is the process of issuing a purchase order:

1. The process starts with a purchase requisition submitted to the purchasing department for review.
2. Once approved, the purchasing department creates a purchase order request with all necessary details about the desired goods or services.
3. The information is then sent to the vendor for review and acceptance.
4. If the vendor accepts the purchase order, both parties have created a binding contract outlining all transaction aspects.

By following this process, businesses can ensure successful and legally binding purchasing transactions.

In summary, issuing a purchase order involves creating a purchase request with all the necessary details and sending it to the vendor for review and acceptance. A legally binding agreement is established upon acceptance, and a copy of the signed purchase order is issued to both parties.

Who Is Tasked To Approve Purchase Orders?

Approval of purchase orders is a crucial step in the purchasing process, as they must be reviewed and accepted by the appropriate authority before they can be fulfilled. Depending on the organization’s size, this may involve different individuals or departments. In small businesses, the owner or manager is typically responsible for approving purchase orders. At the same time, in larger organizations, a purchasing department may review and approve them before sending them to vendors.

Regardless of who approves the purchase order, it’s important that the individual is familiar with its content and able to consent to its terms. This helps ensure all purchases comply with organizational policies and budgets and protects both parties from potential miscommunication or misunderstandings about the agreed-upon terms.

Once a purchase order is approved, it becomes a legally binding agreement that outlines all aspects of the purchase transaction, including item description, quantity, payment details, and other delivery details. Therefore, buyers and sellers must review each purchase order document carefully before signing off on it to ensure a smooth purchasing process.

What Are The Main Benefits Of Using Purchase Orders?

Using purchase orders is a crucial step to improving your business operations. Let’s dive deeper into the benefits of using purchase orders:

1. Streamlines the purchasing process: Purchase orders provide a formalized purchase order system for tracking orders and payments, which helps businesses monitor their supply chain activities. This ensures company policies purchase all goods and services, thus streamlining the purchasing process.

2. Creates a clear record: Purchase orders are legally binding documents that record the transaction details between a vendor and the purchaser. It provides a layer of protection for buyers by creating a clear record of what was purchased, when, and from whom. This makes it easier to resolve disputes quickly and accurately if one should arise.

3. Helps businesses save money: Using purchase orders can help businesses save money by ensuring they only pay for what they need when needed. It also helps them keep track of spending to stay within budget while still meeting their needs.

Undoubtedly, purchase orders offer several benefits to your company processes!


Purchase orders are an important tool for your business to streamline your purchasing process and ensure smooth transactions. With a formalized system for tracking orders and payments, your business can easily monitor your supply chain activities and stay within your budget while meeting your company’s needs.

Aside from that, it also provides an additional layer of protection just in case any disputes arise.

To learn more about purchase orders and understand how to use a purchase order software for your business, schedule a demo call with our team at ProcureDesk today!