PO numbers

Purchase Order Numbers in your Free PO Software

We’ve had a few questions about the exclamation marks (!) that show next to the PO number on Purchase Order forms in the Free Version of SpendMap…

The exclamation marks will only show when you “preview” the PO in your Purchase Order Work Area but will not show when you actually process the order and print an official copy or e-mail it to your supplier.

Some form layouts also include something like “Draft copy – do not process” somewhere on the form.

You can process your new Purchase Orders using this menu option…
Purchase Orders > Process New POs > Process my POs

…or you can select the “process now” prompt when leaving your PO Work Area.

Hope that helps 🙂

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.

Draft Purchase Orders in your Free PO Software

If you’re just getting started with the Free Version of SpendMap, you can enter new Purchase Orders in your PO Work Area…

PO Work Area

Your PO Work Area Contains your “Draft” Purchase Orders

Draft POs in your PO Work Area won’t affect the rest of the system until you process them. For example, they won’t show on reports and you can’t receive against them.

When your new POs are processed and sent to your suppliers, they’ll come out of your PO Work Area and then the “live” orders will be visible throughout the system.  You can process your new POs using the [Process POs] Toolbar button or you can just select the following prompt when you exit your PO Work Area…


What’s with the Exclamation Marks?

If you preview a draft PO in your PO Work Area, the PO form will have a few visual reminders that it’s not an official copy yet, such as exclamation marks (!) before and after the PO number.  Most forms also show a message or watermark like “Draft Copy – Do No Process” or similar.  Again, this won’t show when the order is actually processed.



Unique PO Numbers in your Free Purchase Order Software

Linda works at an Accounting firm in Winnipeg, MB, Canada, and wanted to make sure that the free version of SpendMap will never assign the same PO number to two different Purchase Orders…

“If two people or more are using the software and both attempt to create a Purchase Order at exactly the same time, how does the system number the POs?
It is vital that we never have use the same number (twice)”

Unique PO numbers

Great question, Linda.

No, SpendMap will never assign the same PO number to different orders.  If you only set up one PO Number Set (i.e. only one sequence of PO numbers for everyone to share), each person will get the next sequential PO number for each new order. For example, PO 1000, 1001, 1002, etc.

TIP: You may want to prohibit manual modification of the auto-assigned PO numbers, by UNchecking the option for “Allow user to modify number”, in here…
– PURCHASING > Setup system > Incrementing document number sets > POs

Advanced Option

A more advanced option would be to set up a separate sequence of PO numbers for each user.  While using a separate PO Number Set for each user is not a prerequisite to unique PO numbers, per above, there are some additional benefits to this approach, especially when it comes to reporting.

For example, you might add a unique prefix to the auto-assigned PO numbers to represent the user who created the order, for example, PO number J-1000 for John’s orders, M-1234 for Mary’s orders, and so on.  That way, you’ll know whose order it is just by looking at the number, and you can sort and filter reports by the PO number prefix.

TIP: You can lock/restrict each user so that they can only use one of the PO number Sets, using the “Force” checkbox, just to the right of the Number Set Field, in the [Settings] Folder of the User Master File.


PO numbers by Ship-To location in your Free Purchase Order Software

Jody is using the free version of SpendMap to manage spending for a chain of bar/restaurants, and was wondering if there is a way to set up a separate sequence of PO numbers for each Ship-To location.

While there is no “direct” link between Ship-To locations and PO Number Sets, you can set up an indirect relationship by way of the user accounts.  That is, in the User Master File, you can 1) set up a default Ship-To for each user, and separately 2) assign each user a default PO Number Set.

If you do both those things for all users at a location, and assuming they don’t change the defaults when entering POs (and/or if you lock out those fields so that they cannot change from the defaults), then all POs for each Ship-To will also be for that PO Number Set…


Again, this is not a “hard relationship” (i.e. rule) in the software per se, it is simply one way to configure it.  That said, it seems to work well for most people who ask about this.

You can set up your Ship-To locations in here…
– PURCHASING > Master Files > Cost Centers > Add/Modify/Delete

You can set up your PO Number Sets in here…
– PURCHASING > Setup system > Incrementing document number sets > POs

You can specify the default Ship-To and PO Number Set for each user in the [Settings] Folder of the User Master File, in here…
– PURCHASING > User setup > Add/modify/delete users

And, if you want to, you can lock/restrict access to the PO Number Set field and/or the Ship-To field in the PO Work Area (so that users can’t change from their defaults), using this…
– PURCHASING > User setup > Field restrictions by user access level > Set field restrictions

Multiple PO number sequences in your free Purchase Order Software

Lisa works in the construction industry in South Africa and was asking about setting up different sequences of PO numbers for each of her projects…

“We work on a lot of different sites and we need different sequences of (Purchase Order) numbers for each project/job – how do I configure the different sequences?”

Sure thing Lisa, you can set up a different “PO Number Set” for each Project/Job, each with its own incrementing PO number.  Then you can select that Number Set when creating orders for that project.  Here’s the menu option…
– PURCHASING > Setup system > Incrementing document number sets > POs

If you like, you can also assign a default PO Number Set to each user (e.g. if a user works on specific Project), so that it defaults to their PO Number Set automatically for each new order.  You can optionally do that using the field called “PO/Req/RFQ number set”, in the [SETTINGS] Folder of the User Master File.

If you don’t specify a default for a user (e.g. if they work on multiple projects/jobs), they can just select a PO Number Set when creating each new Purchase Order in their PO work Area.

Finally, if you want a user to have access to ONLY one Number Set and no others, you can use the “Force?” check-box, just to the right of the “PO/Req/RFQ number set” field…

PO Number Settings for User

Entering PO numbers manually in your free Purchase Order Software

Marsha works at a shipyard in Newfoundland, Canada, and was asking if she can enter her PO numbers manually, instead of SpendMap assigning the next Purchase Order number automatically for each new order.

Sure thing Marsha, you can enter your PO numbers manually on each new PO if you prefer.

The Setup Wizard, which runs automatically when you first run the Live Copy of SpendMap, will set up an “auto incrementing” sequence of PO numbers, since most people want that, but you can either;

  1. replace that auto-incrementing number with the option of manually entering your PO numbers, or
  2. you can set up multiple “PO Number Sets”, and one of the Number Sets can give you the next sequential number for each new PO, and you can use a separate PO Number Set that allows you to enter the PO numbers manually for certain orders when you need to.

You can change the settings in here…
– PURCHASING > Setup system > Incrementing document number sets > POs

If you want to enter your PO number manually, just enter “.” (a period, without the quotes) in the Next Number field, then select the check-box to “Allow user to modify number”.

PO number settings

When a PO is just a PO

We still see it from time to time; the 13-digit PO number.  You know, first you take an incrementing PO number, then you jam the date at the front, stick on the cost center or job number, and maybe sprinkle in the Buyer’s initials for good measure.

If you’re coming from a manual, paper-based process to manage your Purchase Orders, you wouldn’t be the only one to use your PO numbers for purposes other than identifying the order.  After all, when all you have to rely on to track your spending history is a filing cabinet, what other alternatives are there?