requisitions and approval

Shameless Plug: Email Approvals

Need another reason to upgrade your free Purchase Order Software to the paid/commercial version of SpendMap?

With the new Email Approval feature, you can approve and reject Requisitions right from the body of the email notification that you receive from SpendMap, without even having to log in to the system.

And even better, the emails are mobile responsive, so you can approve Requisitions on your smartphone or tablet, even if you’re not connected to the Internet.  Could we make that morning subway ride any more productive?

Check out the news announcement or click the screenshot below…

Approve requisitions via email.

Click to see more…

No web-based Shopping Cart in your Free Purchase Order Software

We’ve had a few questions about the new video that we posted, showing how easy it is to enter Requisitions in the e-Series Thin Web Client.

As a web-based component, the e-Series is only available in our paid version.  Sorry folks, our YouTube channel is for both our free and paying customers. However, you can still use (pretty darn easy) Item Requisitions in the free Windows/desktop version…it just uses a slightly different format/UI.

For more details about the various types of Requisitions in the free version of SpendMap, check out this section of the Online Help…
– Requisitions and Approvals > Types of Requisitions and Workflow

Easy Requisition Software System

How to add a Page Break in your free Purchase Order Software

Sometimes you may need to force a “page break” while entering a PO or other document in the free version of SpendMap.

For example, some people like to add instructions for the supplier or other special notes/comments on a separate page.  Or maybe you want a separate page for each Ship-To location, with a separate list of items for each destination..

To force a page break while entering a new Purchase Order, Requisition or RFQ, use the [Page Break] button at the bottom of the PO, Requisition or RFQ Work Area Summary Screen…

Purchase Order with Page Break

TIP: If you ever need to move line items from one page of the document to another, please note that the [Copy/Cut] button at the bottom of the Line Item Summary Screen works across pages.  That is, you can Cut one or more line items from one page and then Add or Insert them on a different page (or even a different PO).

New Tutorial: Simple Requisition-to-PO Processing

We added a new feature in the 2014 Release to convert approved Purchase Requisitions into Purchase Orders, as soon as the last approval occurs, so you no longer have to run the Build PO Utility as a separate step.

We had a few requests for this feature from smaller companies that don’t have Purchasing Departments or dedicated Buyers (i.e. the Requisitioners are responsible for placing the orders once their Requisitions are approved).

The Tutorial also reviews a few other related features that are popular with smaller companies (and larger companies that have “end-user Purchasing”), so we rolled it all into this video, which we’re calling “Simple Requisition-to-PO Processing”.

Click the image below to watch the tutorial on YouTube, and don’t forget to visit our Channel to see 20 other video tutorials that will help you get started with the most popular features in your free Purchase Order system…

Tutorial: Simple Requisition-to-PO Processing

Free Purchase Order Software – new stuff coming soon!

New Version of SpendMapWe’re starting to roll out the 2014 release of SpendMap (v12.6), which includes more than 30 new features and capabilities.

We even added some new stuff just for the Free-Procurement Community, such as the ability to build Purchase Orders from approved Purchase Requisitions immediately as the last Approver completes their review (i.e. you no longer have to run the Build PO Utility as a separate step).  This will be more convenient for smaller companies that don’t have dedicated Buyers/Purchasing Managers who review orders before they go out the door.

Anyway, this is just a pre-announcement that more good stuff is coming your way.  We’re working on the updated installation package for new systems now, and then we’ll put together a v11.9 to v12.6 update for existing users, likely in the next couple/few weeks.

How rejected requisitions affect budgets in your free Purchase Order Software

David works at a government agency in Texas and was wondering why rejected requisitions still show as commitments to the cost center’s budget.

Based on the settings in the Requisitions and Approvals Module, rejected requisitions will stay in the budget temporarily because often the Requisitioner will modify and re-process the requisition (e.g. try again with a different item or otherwise clean up whatever the Approver didn’t like).  So SpendMap will keep the budget “reserved”, to avoid that part of the budget being picked up by someone else, and therefore reduce the chance that the original Requisitioner will be “out of budget” when they try again.

But if they don’t want to try again, they can either 1) delete/cancel the requisition, or 2) there is a setting to “auto-delete” rejected requisitions after a certain number of days, which will eliminate that additional step, or if the user just forgets to cancel the Requisition.  You can find that “auto-delete” setting in here…
– REQUISITIONS AND APPROVAL > Setup system > Miscellaneous settings

Reminder:  Users will see rejected requisitions the next time they go into their Requisition Work Area.  If you would like to be a bit more proactive, just enable this e-mail notification…

Rejected requisition email notification

Expense Reimbursement Requests in your Free PO System

We’ve had a few requests from the Free-Procurement community for the ability to enter a “Request for Reimbursement” in SpendMap.  This has already been added to the system and is coming in the 2014 release of SpendMap.

Also known as “expense management” and “expense reports”, this includes the ability for staff to request reimbursement for something that they purchased and paid for personally, instead of creating a Requisition or Purchase Order in the procurement system.

expense reimbursementsWhat role do expense reimbursements play in your Purchasing process?

Some would argue that it should be avoided and that expense reimbursement is not ideal from a Spend Management perspective, since the approval process comes after the purchase transaction (in a perfect world, all spending would be approved before the products or services are ordered).  But in some cases it’s just not practical to create a Purchase Order for everything that you buy.  Common examples include things like travel expenses, meals and entertainment, and so on.

In any event, while we always advocate for pre-purchase spend control whenever possible, we understand that expense reimbursements play an important role in some Purchasing environments, and we have already added Expense Reimbursement functionality to SpendMap, allowing users to submit expense reimbursement requests, which can be routed for online approval based on user-definable business rules, just like Purchase Requisitions.  Once approved, SpendMap will send a “check request” to your Accounting System to process payment to the employee, update the status of the cost center’s budgets, and so on, all without the hassle, errors and delays that are inherent with paper-based expense reports.

These new features will be available in the 2014 release of the Free Version of SpendMap.

On a separate but related note, don’t forget that SpendMap also supports Non-PO Invoice approval, for things like rent and utilities, where it’s also not practical to create Purchase Orders in advance, but approval of a supplier’s invoice is still required.  For details, check out this section of the Online Help…
– Invoice Approval > Types of Invoices and Workflow

Bob split and he has my Purchase Order

Have you ever encountered a situation where a Purchase Order or other transaction that you need is in someone else’s Work Area but that person is not available?

There are a few options in SpendMap for dealing with priority transactions when other users are either temporarily unavailable or have left your company without first delegating their work to others.

SpendMap includes a series of “Work Areas” that contain pending documents/transactions that you are working on (i.e. your work in progress). For example, your PO Work Area is where you can work on unprocessed Purchase Orders.

If you ever need to get a document/transaction out of another user’s Work Area, you can use the related “Transfer” utility to move the document from one user to another.  For example, to move a PO from one user’s Work Area to another, use this menu option…
> PURCHASING > Purchase Orders > Transfer POs to another user’s work area

Transfer PO to another user
Again, that is just one example.  Most documents/transactions include a Transfer utility, such as Requisitions, RFQs, Invoices, etc., which you’ll find right next to the menu to access the actual Work Area.

TIP: It’s fairly common for a System Administrator to remove the Transfer Utility when setting up some users’ profiles, so if you don’t see the menu option, ask your System Admin to adjust your User Definable Menus.

If someone leaves your company permanently without completing or delegating their work in SpendMap, you can either transfer the transactions in each Work Area individually, or you can just go ahead and delete the user’s account, in which case you’ll be notified that the user has pending transactions in their Work Areas, and you’ll be given the option to transfer all documents in all Work Areas in one shot.

If you have lots of users and aren’t quite sure where a document/transaction is (i.e. whose Work Area it’s in), try the Document Finder, which will search the entire system for the Purchase Order or other document number.  From any modules, select…
> Help > Document finder

Finally, if a requisition approver is out of the office (the most common reason why a document/transaction might get tied up), use the Proxy approver feature rather than a Transfer utility…
> REQUISITIONS AND APPROVAL > Approval > Enable proxy approver

…or you can upgrade to the web-based version of SpendMap, so that you can approve requisitions using your smartphone or tablet while on the road.

Hope that helps.

Requisitions vs. Purchase Orders

Week #2.

We’ve had a few questions about how to route Purchase Orders for approval.  In SpendMap, you don’t route POs for approval, you route Requisitions for approval.

But requisitions can then be converted into Purchase Orders automatically once they’re approved, so for all intents and purposes it’s the same thing. We just use the term “Requisition” to refer to the internal transaction that’s circulated for approval, while “Purchase Order” refers to the official order that goes to the supplier.

Many of you are coming from manual, paper-based environments, so you might be using the same piece if paper for both the internal approval process as well as placing the order with the supplier.  (more…)