configuration

Budget Setup in your Free Purchase Order Software

This post reviews how to set up the budget tracking feature in your Live Copy of SpendMap.

If you’d like to see the budget tracking feature in action before you get started, it’s already set up in your Evaluation Copy of SpendMap (the copy with the sample data), and there’s a Walkthrough Tutorial called “Budget Tracking” that you can try, using the drop-list at the top-right of the Main Menu in SpendMap…

OK, here’s what you do to set it up in your Live Copy…

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Codes or Descriptions in your Free Purchase Order Software?

Did you know that you can display master file descriptions rather than codes on screens throughout SpendMap?

For example, if GL Account “0-663-1” isn’t meaningful for your users, you can display “Office Supplies” instead.  This applies to all of the main Master Files, including all account code fields, item/part numbers, supplier codes, and so on…

Display Description Instead of Code

If you would like SpendMap to display descriptions rather than the codes for one or more Master Files, here is where you can set that up…
– PURCHASING > Setup system > Master file settings > Master file code/description display options

Alternating Between Codes and Descriptions On-The-Fly

Regardless of whether you’re displaying codes or descriptions per above, you can alternate between the two at any time by pressing the <F2> key on your keyboard

Alternatively, you can hover your mouse over fields, 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

Decimal places in your Free Purchase Order Software

By default, the Price and Quantity fields are set to two (2) decimal places in the Free Version of SpendMap (e.g. $123.12).

But if you purchase items with a very low unit price, you may need to increase the number of decimal places for prices, which you can do in here…
– PURCHASING > Setup system > User defined terminology and settings > User defined field settings

Decimal-places-PO-software

You might also want to consider the unit of measure that you’re using.  For example, if you purchase by the hundred (C), you’d need fewer decimal places (e.g. $123.45/C vs. $1.2345/EACH).  You can set up your units of measure in here…
– PURCHASING > Master Files > Units of measure > Add/modify/delete

 

Manual PO Numbers in your Free Purchase Order Software

By default, the Free Version of SpendMap will automatically assign incrementing PO numbers to each new Purchase Order that you enter in the system.  You can set up your “Next PO number” during the Setup Wizard that runs automatically when you log into your Live System for the first time.

But if you prefer to enter your PO numbers manually for each new order, just select the following menu in SpendMap…
– PURCHASING > Setup system > Incrementing document number sets > POs

Then modify PO Number Set A as follows.  From that point on, whenever you enter a new PO in your PO Work Area, the PO Number will be blank and you can enter it manually for each order.

Time-Based and Overall Budgets in your Free Purchase Order Software

Hanna is the Purchasing Manager at a construction company in California and asked about setting up budgets for her departments and jobs…

“When a department buys something, like a computer or office supplies for example, it goes against their monthly budget but when we buy something for one of our jobs, the budget can span several months in some cases.”

No problem Hanna, you can track both “time-based” and “overall” budgets in SpendMap.

For your time-based budgets, you would typically allocate funds by month, quarter or year but when you allocate an overall budget to a project or a job, that budget will be available for the life of the project, regardless of how long that takes.

Theoretically an individual Cost Center (department, project, job, etc.) could have both time-based budgets and an overall budgets but that’s pretty unusual.  Typically it’s one or the other.

You can enter both time-based and overall budgets in the Cost Center Master File…

Budgets in Purchase Order Software

Enter vs. Tab Key in your Free Purchase Order Software

Did you know that you can customize how the <Enter> key works in the Free Version of SpendMap?

By default, both the <Enter> and <Tab> keys work the same way in SpendMap; they move you to the next data entry field, or save the screen if you’re on the last data entry field.

Using <Enter> to move through fields seems to be the preference for many users who do a fair bit of data entry.  Maybe this comes from using Excel, where <Enter> moves you down one cell in a spreadsheet.

But if you prefer, you can change the setting at the bottom of the [Settings] Folder in the User Master File, so that <Enter> always saves the screen, leaving only <Tab> to move between fields.

Open Order Warning in your Free Purchase Order Software

Nadine runs a property management company in New York and wants to know if she has any open orders for an item before placing a subsequent order for more of the same…

“Were trying to get organized (using SpendMap) but sometimes the left hand doesn’t know what he right hand is doing.  How does a Buyer know if someone else already ordered something?”

Sure Nadine, now that all your Buyers are using SpendMap, it’s easy for them to check on each other’s work and eliminate duplicate orders.  Here are a few options to consider…

  1. Check before you start:  You can always use View PO Status or View Item History to see the orders that are out there, before going into your PO Work Area to create a new order…
    – PURCHASING > Status & Inquiries > PO Status > Current POs
    – PURCHASING > Status & Inquiries > Item History
  2. Check while you’re at it:  Better yet, while adding new items to Purchase Orders in your PO Work Area, you can also use the [History] button at the bottom of the PO Line Item Details screen, to see the complete purchase history of the item.  If you click to see the [Details] of a recent purchase, you will see both the original order quantity, as well as the quantity on-order.
  3. Let SpendMap check for you:  Even better yet, to make sure that your Buyers are aware of any open orders, without them having to proactively look for that information, you can use the Open Order Warning feature in SpendMap, to actively warn them if they attempt to create a duplicate order…

Open Order Warning

If you like the sound of #3 above, you can enable the feature by selecting an option for “Open Order Warning Option”, in here…
– PURCHASING > Setup system> Purchase Order settings > PO entry settings

Then, if Buyers try to create a new Purchase Order for an item that is already on an open (unreceived) order, they will get a warning message like this…

Open Order Warning in Free Purchase Order Software

 

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