Author: free-procurement

Totally FREE software that automates Purchase Orders and a whole lot more.

“Waiting to Start Report” message in your Free Purchase Order Software

We’ve had a few support requests from people who are seeing a message like “Waiting to start report” when printing Purchase Orders or other reports to a PDF file in the free version of SpendMap, or when emailing POs in PDF format.

We think the problem may be a result of a big update to Windows 10 that Microsoft pushed out recently.

Either way, if you ever have trouble creating PDF files in your free SpendMap system, please try removing and then reinstalling SpendMap’s PDF printer driver (you will need Administrator access/rights on PC to do this)…

  1. Exit SpendMap.
  2. In the Windows Control Panel, navigate to “Devices and printers”, and remove the “Palmas PDF printer” by RIGHT-mouse-clicking on the icon and selecting “Remove device”.
  3. To reinstall the PDF printer driver, just RIGHT-mouse-click on the shortcut/icon that you use to run SpendMap and select “Run As Administrator”.  As you log into SpendMap, you will see additional prompts to install the printer driver.

If you are still not able to view or email POs or other reports in PDF format, please let us know on our Support Ticket System.

Thanks, and sorry for any inconvenience.

-FP

When to Use a Change Order in your Free Purchase Order Software

When you need to modify a Purchase Order after it has already been sent to your supplier, you would typically process a Change Order in SpendMap.

In order to communicate to the supplier that this is a modification to an existing order rather than a brand new order, SpendMap will print “Change Order” rather than “Purchase Order” at the top of the form.  You will also see a “revision number” that will increment each time the order is changed (e.g. PO #1000-1, 1000-2, etc.).

What about changes that don’t impact the supplier?

While it’s common to use a Change Order when making changes that will affect your supplier, such as a quantity or price change, there are times when you may not want to bother informing your supplier that an order changed.  For example, it might not make sense to notify your supplier in this way if you just need to change the account coding or other “internal” fields that are of no concern to your supplier.

So, if you’d like to modify a PO without processing a Change Order, without incrementing the PO revision number, etc., just answer [No] to the following prompt, which you will see when you click the [OK] button on the PO Header Screen to save your changes…

To learn more about what happens when you make changes to Purchase Orders that have already been processed, check out the following section of the Online Help in SpendMap…
– Purchasing (Main Module) > Purchase Orders > Modify a processed (About Change Orders)

Multiple Currencies in your Free Purchase Order Software

We’ve had a few requests for a blog post that explains how Currency Conversion (multiple currencies) works in the Free Version of SpendMap, that is, what happens in SpendMap when you place Purchase Orders in currencies other than your own (landed) currency.

In a nutshell, when you set up a new supplier, you can tell SpendMap the currency to use (i.e. the currency the supplier’s Purchase Orders and invoices will be in), and then SpendMap will convert those orders to your local/landed currency for internal reporting purposes.

Here’s how it works…

Step 1 – Your Default/Local/Landed Currency

First things first, you need to set up your local/landed currency.  That’s the currency SpendMap will use for internal reporting.  We’ll use United States Dollars (USD) for this example.

Step 2 – Your Supplier’s Currency

Next, tell SpendMap which currency to use for each supplier.  Let’s say that a Buyer in the USA is ordering something from a supplier in Canada to make the most of the strong US dollar…

Step 3 – Purchase Orders in Your Supplier’s Currency

Now, when you process Purchase Orders for that supplier, the orders will be in the supplier’s currency (Canadian dollars in this example)…

Step 4 – Currency Conversion (Reporting in Landed Currency)

In most cases, orders that are placed in your Supplier’s currency will be converted to your local/landed currency for reporting purposes, so that you can “compare apples to apples”.  For example, your budget reporting, inventory valuation, spend by supplier, and similar reports that might include purchases in many different currencies, will be converted to your local/landed currency for easy comparison.

For example, here’s the Spend by Supplier Report, showing that we just spent US $730.20 (not $1,000) with our friendly Canadian supplier…

I say “in most cases” because there are a few exceptions where you still might want to see your supplier’s currency, in which case SpendMap will ask you whether you want to use your supplier’s currencies or your landed currency.  The PO Listing Report is a good example.

Step 5 – Update Exchange Rates

Since exchange rates between currencies fluctuate all the time, you should update the Rate Field (the exchange rate) for each currency code in SpendMap from time to time.  You can do this manually in the Tax and Exchange Rate Master File, or check out this blog post to learn how to automatically update the exchange rates from Yahoo! Finance.

Codes or Descriptions in your Free Purchase Order Software?

Throughout SpendMap, when creating Purchase Orders and working in other areas of the system, you will select master file “codes”, such as GL account codes, item codes (part numbers), supplier codes, etc.

For example, your GL account code for “office supplies” might be “0-663-1”, or something like that, which might not be very meaningful to your SpendMap users.

If you use meaningful codes that make sense to your users, don’t bother reading the rest of this post and just get back to saving your company money or whatever you were doing.

But if your master file codes don’t have meaning to your users, here are some tips to make SpendMap more intuitive for them…

Display Description Instead of Code

Did you know that you can set up SpendMap to display the description rather than the code on screens throughout the system?  Here where you can do that…
– PURCHASING > Setup system > Master file settings > Master file code/description display options

Alternate Between Code and Description

Regardless of whether or not you’re displaying the code or description per above, you can alternate between the code and description at any time using the <F2> key on your keyboard, or you can hover your mouse over a field, like this…

Sorting Look-Up Lists

Drop-down lists can also be sorted either by code or description, using…
– PURCHASING > Setup system > Master file settings > Additional sort options for master file lookups

How to over-receive a PO in your Free Purchase Order Software

To receive more than the quantity ordered, go to the Receiving Screen and double-click on the line item or use the button [Receive line in details mode] to get to the Receiving “Details” Screen.  Enter the quantity, then check the box immediately to the right called “Override PO quantity and close“.

NOTE: In order to over-receive Purchase Orders, the setting “Allow users to over receive Purchase Orders?” must be enabled for the user in the [Permissions] folder of the User Master File.

TIP: Another alternative would be to do a Change Order, that is, you could also modify the quantity of the PO before receiving.  You can learn more in the following section of the Online Help in SpendMap…
– Purchasing (Main Module) > Purchase Orders > Modify a processed PO (About Change Orders)

How to Personalize the Email Messages in your Free Purchase Order Software

Peter from the United Kingdom reached out to us on Facebook to ask if he could personalize the emails that SpendMap creates when sending Purchase Orders to his suppliers…

“Is there a way to create a template email?  Also is there a way that the (PDF file name) can be defined, either to match the PO or have a prefix?”

Yes, there are settings in SpendMap to personalize the email messages, including;

  1. Adding your company name to the “From” field of the email messages,
  2. Adding any text that you want to the body of the email itself, and
  3. You can customize the filename of the PDF document (i.e. the PO itself) to show your company name (or any other prefix), as well as including the PO number in the filename.

All these options are available in the middle of the Email Settings screen, which you can find here…
– PURCHASING > Setup system > e-mail settings


The Online Help for that screen has all the details about how to use those settings, but here’s what your emails might look like, based on the settings used above…

Email Purchase Order

 

Life Hack: Save time by adding items to a processed PO without doing a Change Order

As you may know, you can use the Advanced Purchase Order Modification Utility to reload an already processed Purchase Order back into your PO Work Area, where you can modify the order in any way (i.e. add new items to the PO, delete items, or modify/edit existing items).  This is the most common way, but not the only way, to process Change Orders in SpendMap.

But did you know that there is a faster way to add items to your processed Purchase Order?  Just enter a new PO directly into your PO Work Area, as you would any other new PO, and use the same supplier and PO number as the original PO that you want to add to.

When you process the new PO, SpendMap will add a page to the existing (already processed) PO with the new items, and it will increment the PO Revision Number (e.g. PO#1000 will become PO #1000-1 or 1000-A, depending on your settings).

That said, there are additional features and options in the Advanced Purchase Order Modification Utility, so please try both methods to see which one works best for you.

You can learn all about Change Orders, in this section of SpendMap’s Online Help…
– Purchasing (Main Module) > Purchase Orders > Modify a Processed PO (About Change Orders)

change-order-spendmap

Archiving Old Purchase Orders for a Cleaner View

Archive Closed Purchase OrdersPeter works in a state agency in Louisiana and was asking about removing old Purchase Orders from his Open PO list…

“Once a PO is received and closed it should come off the list.”

You can remove received/closed POs from the Open PO list by moving them to the Closed PO Archive, using…
– PURCHASING > Utility > Purge and Archive History > Archived Purchase Orders > Archive closed POs

…or you can use the applicable setting in the [Permissions] folder of the User Master File, to be prompted from time-to-time to archive your close POs when logging into SpendMap.

This will reduce the number of POs that you see in the Look-up List in View PO Status, when printing PO-related reports, etc., making it easier to focus your attention on the remaining (still open) orders.

Please note, however, that running this utility may leave some closed Purchase Orders behind (ie. they will remain in the Open PO list), per the setting “Number of days before closed POs are moved to the Closed PO Archive“, which you can find at the bottom of the screen in here…
– PURCHASING > Setup system> Purchase order settings > PO processing settings

That is, this setting will keep received/closed POs in the Open PO area for the number of days that you specify, as you may have need to access recently closed orders.  Most SpendMap customers set this to between 30 and 90 days.  Peter – set yours to zero (0).

While you can always access your old/closed Purchase Orders even after they have been archived, and while you can even unarchive/restore a PO back into the Open PO area, it may be more convenient for you to just keep, say, a month or two worth of old POs front-and-center, again, if you need to refer to recently closed POs as a regular course of business.

New Tutorial: Prepayment Invoices (e.g. deposits)

If you’re using SpendMap’s Invoice Approval Module to simplify the approval of your suppliers’ invoices, things are going to get even easier with the upcoming 2017 release of SpendMap.  Stay tuned for more information and official release dates.

SpendMap now supports Prepayments, such as deposits and progress payments, to authorize payment to a supplier before the products or services have been delivered.

SpendMap will keep track of the outstanding prepayments when processing subsequent invoices for the Purchase Order, to make sure that you pay the correct amount in the end.

Check out our new video tutorial on Prepayment Invoices and don’t forget to follow this blog (see right sidebar) to be notified when the new release is ready.