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Purchase Orders in Xero

Great to be able to tick off our most requested feature on Community and move a step closer to completing the remaining core accounting functions. Next stop is quotes and we’re making good progress on better inventory control – but today we finally deliver Purchase Orders. Yay!!!

With Purchase Orders you can:

  • Create fully customisable purchase order documents
  • Email these documents to your suppliers
  • Easily generate bills by copying existing purchase orders
  • Copy purchase orders to new purchase orders and even to new sales invoices for on-charging
  • Follow an approval workflow in the same way you do for invoicing
  • Manage and search your purchase orders from their own dashboard

Of course, a (moving) picture is worth a thousand words so we’ve created a video that shows you everything in action.

This was a big release for us as we took the time to clean up a few big things under the hood. We’ve also put a lot of effort into a new touch friendly interface which will be rolled out across Xero in future releases.

Any other surprises in this release?

Yes! We’ve released a brand new GST return for NZ users with an improved workflow, performance and a new user interface. You may have caught our blog post about the changes and here’s a quick video overview.

You’ll also notice the GST reports have a new look and feel. We’re in the process of completely rewriting all reports in Xero with an improved engine and more options – great to have the first of these new reports completed. Look out for more over the next few releases.

There are a few other smaller updates – check out our release notes for more details.

What’s next?

The most likely enhancement to Purchase Orders will be to allow you to select a delivery address from one of your contact’s addresses – we’re hoping to get this out before Xmas, so keep an eye out on the blog.

Please let us know what you think in the comments below.

 

 

Read more about Business, Purchase Order

 

150 comments

James
11 November 2013 #

Just gave it a spin. Awesome as expected. Thank You!

Mike
11 November 2013 #

Fanatastic – all my clients have been asking ‘when, when, when …’ at last it’s here and works a treat.

Tony
11 November 2013 #

It’s been quite a wait for this … 3+ years with the development team.
It will be interesting to see how PO changes when goods are rec’d and when the invoice arrives.
There needs to be a link, or button, on the dashboard.
The supplier email address needs to ‘auto-populate’ into the email address field when POs are emailed.
No doubt there’ll be other suggestions as we see if the PO system flows or stumbles.
Fingers crossed.

Mike
11 November 2013 #

Looks fantastic. Just asking if you could attach a file . ( Drawing) as i need to send to my supplier a drawing of the glass . Holes and cutout position etc Maybe from the send function before sending to the supplier.

Andrew Tokeley
11 November 2013 #

@Mike – we’ll certainly be allowing you to attach a file to purchase orders (in the same way you can for other documents). Attached files aren’t currently sent with Xero emails but makes sense and is something we’re considering.

Jane
11 November 2013 #

Wonderful news. I’ve been using WFM – is there a way to copy over everything so I can stop using it now?

Andrew Tokeley
11 November 2013 #

@Jane – not at the moment, I’m afraid. We’ll be assessing demand for an import function and the API team could come to the rescue with support there – again this will depend on demand.

Michelle
11 November 2013 #

Would love to have stock on hand figures – can buy it in and sell it out in Xero but not see what’s left!!! Can’t be that hard to do surely?

Also the ability to set levels of report viewing – don’t want staff to see management level reports but they do need to see sales reports (eg. income by contact) to do their job.

Gayle Buchanan
11 November 2013 #

Thanks Tokes, partial receipts in PO’s and house keeping great! if WFM integration done would be fabulous but understand 2 decimal places to 4 may be a big ask.
Awesome work team, roll on quotes please

Andrew Tokeley
11 November 2013 #

@Michelle – we’ll be tackling this as part of providing more inventory functionality (next year). We have more work to do to properly track balances, make adjustments, treat goods received as assets, COGS and do all the other accounting magic required. Right now, the best you can do is use the simple inventory reports to see what you’ve bought (approved bills) and sold (approved sales invoices) in a period.

More control over access to reports is somethings that’s on our list but has to wait until we’ve completed the work we’re undertaking on our new reporting framework (of which the GST report is the first to see the light).

Terry McDonnell
11 November 2013 #

Talking of nice things to have, is Xero ever going to allow us to switch off daily Forex revaluation of receivables? We export 70% of turnover and generally have six months to a year of forward cover, so the daily revaluation of receiveables creates unnecessary financial entries/information in our ledger.

Jeri Murphy
11 November 2013 #

My big WOW was multiple delivery addresses and adding a one-off address (I recorded and blogged about my reaction whilst reviewing for a bit of fun :P). Haven’t had time to look into the templates. Notice there are no new reports – but happy that can see everything we need in the Purchases screen. VERY excited for inventory now. Great work Xero – yet again.

David Bowles
11 November 2013 #

AWESOME – this now ticks an important box

Chris
11 November 2013 #

Wow finally, and looks like a decent implementation too. One feature I would like to see – it would be nice if there was a “Copy from Purchase Order” option when creating a bill. Our accounts entry person will be in “Bills” entering all the bills and it would be handy if she could copy a PO from here rather than having to go back out to the PO area and copy a PO.

Chris
11 November 2013 #

Another nice feature (well, really it’s a necessary feature for a good PO system) would be to remove the billed lines from a PO. For example if we issue a PO to a supplier and they only deliver and bill half the order (with the rest on back-order, say) we will transfer the delivered/billed items to a bill. These items should be marked as billed on the purchase order with just the remaining items unbilled.

Mukesh Bajaj
11 November 2013 #

Awesome feature..you are the best Xero! My clients will be very happy to leave other PO programs & start Xero PO feature from today! Thanks once again.

Andrew Tokeley
11 November 2013 #

@Terry – not something we’re planning to do at this stage. The only work around possible would be to manually set the rate (in currency settings) for each day you are running currency sensitive reports – painful I know, unfortunately there’s no easy way around this.

Dawn
11 November 2013 #

Thanks for the purchasing update, we’re thrilled about it. Inventory though… wow. When that is released we’ll probably declare that to be ‘Xero Day’ as an annual company holiday. :)!

Quick question: Will items with purchase orders affect the inventory items summary report? Just to confirm, at what stage does Xero consider the items as ‘purchased’ for that report? We would request the option to add a column for items on order to that report.

Thanks again for the updates.

Daniel
11 November 2013 #

Great to see innovations and improvements – Very happy with Xero. Now if only WorkflowMax could catch up?

Iain
11 November 2013 #

the GST module did not need to change it was perfect already, I check the gst weekly, to see how much money I need to pay the ird so I don’t get a shock. is it possible to get the figure on the dashboard, as the new report takes a lot longer to run the report.

Andrew Tokeley
11 November 2013 #

@Dawn – “Xero Day”, nice! The inventory items summary report still draws its numbers from approved invoices, items in purchase orders are not included. When we get to this report as part of refreshing all Xero reports (ongoing piece of work) we’ll look at adding this column. Agree, would be nice.

Chris
11 November 2013 #

How does the new PO functionality work with User Roles? The User Roles screen could do with an update to clarify this – can Invoice Only users access purchase orders? Thanks.

Darren
11 November 2013 #

We want our employees to have the ability to generate purchase orders without acess to all the other financial info in Xero. Can we restrict our employees acess to purchase orders only?

Chris
11 November 2013 #

Disregard my post above – I created a test user to check this – Invoice Only can have the option of applying to Purchases or Sales or both.

Gayle Buchanan
11 November 2013 #

Video inside accounting software … NICE!

Alison Eades
11 November 2013 #

Yay THANK YOU !!!! Now we can dispense with the purchase order book!!! Am so happy :-)

Anton Gerner
11 November 2013 #

Absolute #megawin!!!!

But what about quotes?

Owen
11 November 2013 #

We’ve been looking forward to this feature for ages!

I like the idea of being able to get a bill and forward it to a client as an invoice. Are we able to put in a nominated margin or mark up we would like to have on these sorts of bills?

Kristen
11 November 2013 #

Hi,

Thanks for this feature. I’ve just tried it out and I have 3 suggestions to enhance it.

1: When entering the item description and purchase price, it would be good to have the option of a markup percentage rather than having to enter a sales price. (Eg. purchase price/mark up/sell price)

2. Xero assumes delivery will be to me. I can see how to change/add an alternate address but it would be better to have the option of delivering to any of my clients who are already contacts in Xero. A drop down menu or smart menu that predicts the name based on my typing would be great.

3. When emailing the purchase order it would be good to be able to attach files to that email. Eg. I’m a print broker so when I send a purchase order to a printer I need to attach the artwork to print at the same time.

Thanks. Loving Xero. Great open streams of communication too.

Andrew Tokeley
11 November 2013 #

@Chris, @Darren – Chris beat me to it, purchase orders follow the same access rules as bills with the invoice only roles. You can’t allow access to only purchase orders though (they are tied to the hip with bills).

Andrew Tokeley
11 November 2013 #

@owen – not at the moment but a good idea! You can though, edit the sales invoice after you’ve copied it – this won’t affect the originating purchase order.

Ben Duflou
11 November 2013 #

Great improvements!
hanging out for customisable reporting packs Tokes? Was expecting in this release?
Ta Ben

Eion Robb
11 November 2013 #

What kind of timeframes are there for adding purchase orders POST/GET to the Xero API?

Mike
11 November 2013 #

GREAT! keep up the great work. It takes skill to make a clean simple interface so kudos folks. Looking forward to the next release!

M
11 November 2013 #

What about managing inventory? Stock counts etc.

Jev Bjorsell
11 November 2013 #

Looks very nice! Some questions;

1: Can we attach files to the PO, so when we send the PO via email, the attachment will also send to the supplier? (Useful for design files, quotations, datasheets)
2: Will there me login access for vendors, so they can log in and see a list of PO history and Bill history related to that vendor?
3: Do POs also suffer from the two decimal place limitation on Unitprice?

Andrew Tokeley
11 November 2013 #

@Kristen – thanks for the feedback.

1. Noted – will look at this as part of extending inventory next year
2. Coming soon!
3. Agree it makes sense. Attaching files to POs will probably come first (like we did last month for other types of transactions) and including these on emails is something we’re considering but no timeframe yet.

Lisa Dickson
11 November 2013 #

Brilliant thanks. 11pm on a Sunday evening and I’m already getting emails from clients asking for help to get Purchase Order’s and the appropriate change in policies in tomorrow!!

Quinten
11 November 2013 #

Awesome feature. I can’t wait to see a similar solution being rolled out for quotations. Fingers crossed.

Andrew Tokeley
11 November 2013 #

@Ben – not sure who you’ve been talking to! But we’re working hard to get something out in time for NZ EOFY – a LOT of work to do but we’re doing all we can to get the new and improved report packs to you as soon as possible.

@Eion – official response from API team, “…depends on demand”, so suggest you make your voice heard over on http://xero.uservoice.com/forums/5528-xero-api/suggestions/4327134-enable-the-upcoming-purchase-order-module-to-link-

@M – coming next year

@Jev

1. not yet, see comment to Kristen above
2. No
3. Yes

Andrew Tokeley
11 November 2013 #

@Lisa – close the laptop, turn off the phone, and get some sleep ;-)

Rochelle
11 November 2013 #

Can a user that has purchases only security see payroll invoices? Not sure I want my staff to see these, but I don’t want to have to created everyones POs.

Wayne Brightman
11 November 2013 #

Excellent work Xero now i can be truly mobile

matthew
11 November 2013 #

Would like to have the option of not showing the GST amount. This needs to be an option in the template of the invoice/PO, whereby we can switch off this row. For those of that export/buy 100% internationally, this row becomes a bit meaningless and only adds to confusion.

Now you need to get your a into g and deliver Quotes. Hopefully that’s not going to take 3 years too!

Wish we could attach an image here too, so that we can show you exactly what we mean.

matthew
11 November 2013 #

Also, require the option to be able to tell the supplier how to charge, such as charge creditcard x or similar

Jason
11 November 2013 #

Overall good effort. Good to see a couple of key items discussed in forums included.

However, I agree with other users, and it was one of the things mentioned many times in the forums.

There needs to be better segregation of user roles. Talk to your team in Workflow Max, where they have numerous accesses and for each user you TICK what they can have.

As of now, we cannot use PO as it stands in Xero. We will have to continue using another system.

Staff should be allowed to enter POs, however they should not be allowed full access to bills. Fundamentally this is due to payroll placing bills in to be paid – something I have never come across before and something no staff member should have access to. There is also also other sensitive data in bills – director management fees, tax, etc, etc.

Carl
11 November 2013 #

Nice work, looking forward to the quotes and inventory improvements.

Craig
11 November 2013 #

Thanks Andrew. Much appreciated.

Jason
11 November 2013 #

Also if I may add – can you please implement for PO the ability to export to Word.

The reason is there are times when doing manufacturing the terms and conditions change for individual suppliers/vendors/factories. Preparing PO in Xero/WFM and then exporting to word enables the T&C to be edited easily without having to fix several documents and combine in PDF.

kevplummer
11 November 2013 #

what is the timeline on adding PO to your API?

Robbie
11 November 2013 #

Awesome – Just the push i needed to make the move over to the Xero platform!

Bernice
11 November 2013 #

Now all we urgently need is some sort of Inventory Control so we can see when stock is getting low and add Stock when it comes in and then Xero will be all we need for our business – please do this really soon :)

Bonnie
11 November 2013 #

When processing a PO Xero does not seem to accept the date being typed in? eg 11-11-13 or 11-11-2013. It only accepts selecting the date from the drop down box? Otherwise it is a great feature!

Andrew Tokeley
11 November 2013 #

@Rochelle – essentially orders are as visible as bills are now. And for Xero’s Payroll in AU (where I think you’re from) we generate aggregated bills for each pay run (this will change to be more tightly integrated over time). These bills will be visible to anyone with access to the purchases dashboard unless they have the invoice draft-only role, in which case they only see their own bills/invoices.

@Matthew – you can control the way POs are printed in a couple of ways. You have the most control if you use a DOCX template for your purchase orders – you can choose which columns to show, add custom messaging, branding… lots of options. You could also create a new standard invoice theme, use it for POs only, and uncheck the “Show Tax column” option.

On your second point – again, you could add this to the DOCX template if the method of payment was common across suppliers (or create multiple templates for different supplier groups).

Phil
11 November 2013 #

Anyone else get the issue where the approve or save button grays out when pushed but screen doesnt progress? A page refresh loses all entries and nothing is actually saved. Also go back to purchases screen and not their. Same for save as draft and Save. ?

Andrew Tokeley
11 November 2013 #

@Phil – that doesn’t sound right. If it really did hang – rather than simply taking a bit longer than expected – then let support@xero.com know. We’ll look into it.

Fabio
11 November 2013 #

Hi Team.

Thanks for this release.

I was wondering, do you have plans to release something similar for invoices? I mean like a “quote” or something?

Draft invoices are not good enough to control sales orders. In addition, It would be nice to be able to send quotes out of Xero.

Chris
11 November 2013 #

Will purchase order be made accessible through the app?

Andrew Tokeley
11 November 2013 #

@Bonnie – that’s no good. Seems to work if you use a slash, i.e. 11/11/2013 or 11/11. Will log this to get fixed.

Andrew Tokeley
11 November 2013 #

@Fabio – yes, wanted to get POs out the door first, as there was no work-around for creating/sending them. Quotes is next up though – can’t give a date but early next year hopefully.

Benjamin fowler
11 November 2013 #

Amazing work. You understand business needs and streamline everything so elegantly. Well done. You make accounting enjoyable.

Belinda
11 November 2013 #

Looking forward to the future upgrades on this

Andrew Tokeley
11 November 2013 #

@Jason – fair points, it won’t work for everyone. We’ll take this on board when planning future enhancements.

Wayne
11 November 2013 #

Hi guys, purchase order system is great, there seems to be an issue when your putting in the product code, its very slow to search?

Also something else I’ve noticed which is a pain, only having the option of 1 email address per contact, this doesn’t work, you need to have 2 or 3 options, or an option to put a different email address in for each thing you do, as in

1 email address for invoices
1 email address for accounts
1 email address for purchases

for each contact

Currently most people will have the contact email set to the suppliers account email so you can email statements and remittances etc, but if the contact has a different email address for sending purchase order you have to do it manually.

Multiple emails for contacts that show up as a drop down list when doing a purchase or sending an invoice etc

Andrew Tokeley
11 November 2013 #

@Jason – regarding exporting POs to Word in order to add specific terms, this is not something we’re planning. However, you could make use of the delivery instructions field to include this additional information. On DOCX templates you can position this text anywhere on the purchase order. Or maybe, create multiple DOCX templates, each containing different terms. Then select the appropriate on when raising the PO.

Andrew Tokeley
11 November 2013 #

@kevplummer – official response from API team, “…depends on demand”, so suggest you make your voice heard over on http://xero.uservoice.com/forums/5528-xero-api/suggestions/4327134-enable-the-upcoming-purchase-order-module-to-link-

matthew
11 November 2013 #

Andrew, that is exactly what I did –

“You could also create a new standard invoice theme, use it for POs only, and uncheck the “Show Tax column” option.”

But, it shows the GST amount on the bottom of the PO, even though it is zero.

matthew
11 November 2013 #

Re exporting the PO to Word –

If you’re able to mail merge the PO to PDF, why can’t it go to Word as well?

Any database system I have used creates both the Word and PDF form once mail merged. This should be extremely easy to implement.

Tracy
11 November 2013 #

WOO HOOO thanks xero team!

Anne
11 November 2013 #

I am having the same problem as Phil with the approve button fading out.

Simon
11 November 2013 #

HELP!!!!!!!!

Since this latest update, when clicking on the Employee section, nothing is displayed.. please help

Andrew Tokeley
11 November 2013 #

@Michael – yeah, that’s right, you can hide the column but we always show a subtotal for tax. Looks like the only option is to use DOCX then – you can even get fancy and put a conditional block around the tax subtotals to hide only if zero (if you need help on this, contact support@xero.com and mention that I said it should be possible!)

While, you’re right, creating a DOCX output wouldn’t be technically hard, it’s not the direction we want to take Xero. In fact, we’d love to not even have to rely on PDFs some day – everything online, accessible everywhere, on the web!

Andrew Tokeley
11 November 2013 #

@Simon – suggest you contact support@xero.com, sounds odd.

@Anne – thanks for the heads up. We’ll look into it.

Nigel
11 November 2013 #

The first half of this year felt like slow progress in Xero-land, but so much has gone in to the product in the last few months, Good work!

Am I the only one who finds the iPad/touch screen layouts ugly and less usable than their predecessors when using a mouse or trackpad? Is it not possible to distinguish the device and use an appropriate style sheet or design? Just a thought…

Nick
11 November 2013 #

I don’t have the option to select Yes/No to ‘Include late Claims’ in the GST report as shown in the video. Where is this??

Joel Leonard
11 November 2013 #

Great new features. We currently use WFM as well as Xero as we are a project oriented organisation. Will the WFM / Xero interface be changed so that purchase orders, rather than bills, will be exported to Xero?

Also, has Xero missed a key financial control in terms separating goods receipt from accounts payable. It appears as if the Xero workflow is predicated upon receiving the invoice at the time the goods are received, and that the invoice is correct. Other organisations I have worked for separate the goods receipt from accounts payable, and the bills are only paid if the invoice matches what has been received.

Phil
11 November 2013 #

On the API front, after dealing with other “API-first” companies the “subject to demand” approach is disappointing to hear. You should eat your own dog food – anything in your application should be driven by API calls so that they can easily be exposed to external applications.

A comprehensive API is king these days, and SaaS vendors will live or die by the quality of – and their commitment to – their API.

Andrew Tokeley
11 November 2013 #

@Wayne – looking into some performance things at the moment.

Regarding multiple emails – we have a partial solution to this coming up soon. You’ll be able to store multiple email addresses against a contact and elect which should appear in the recipient line of any emails (however, won’t be able to select which emails).

@Nick – sorry, for not making this clearer, this is only available after saving the first new GST return. Mark Blundell has left a comment on how to deal with this here – http://blog.xero.com/2013/09/updated-gst-return-for-new-zealand/#comment-53667

SEMRA
11 November 2013 #

Hi, I’m excited to try this out and I need to send one to a customer asap but I don’t have an option to make the purchase orders? Why isn’t it coming up? Is anyone else having this problem??

Thanks

Andrew Tokeley
11 November 2013 #

@Joel – nothing definite yet on how the integration between WFM and Xero will evolve around purchase orders.

Yes, you’re right, we have intentionally kept things simple in this release. How goods are received into Xero is something we are going to be exploring further with our work we’ll be doing to extend inventory. We may take the opportunity to provide more granularity around user roles then. Thanks for the feedback.

@SEMRA – What? Missing out on all the fun. That’s no good and I’m not sure how that’s even possible! You should contact support@xero.com.

@Phil – certainly agree that building a quality API is critical in this game. However, for better or worse, the main application builds our internal APIs first and the external API leverages this to form a more consumable and targeted public interface. Interesting topic.

Simon
11 November 2013 #

Your GST release is ‘orrible. It’s confusing as heck…..it’s re-done all my returns for the past year – but only them. So the new ‘final’ tab only has part of the past year – not a complete record in one place, which was such a good thing. And trying to get them out of ‘draft’ and hundreds of days overdue has been a nightmare – they’re now duplicated in the ‘published’ folder. Not to mention the re-work on reviewing returns that had been finalised.
Not a good look, Xero.

JJ
11 November 2013 #

Transaction lists – (e.g. of multiple pages) would it be possible to have the Page1, Pg2,Start, End etc option at the top of the page and not just the bottom of page please? Working off laptop which does not display full page and its takes a while for each page to download…

Dave Shorten
11 November 2013 #

PO’s thats great, really need the quotes element and as mentioned a stock control ability. This will really release us to get on with our job and nit have to double entry everything into a stock spreadsheet.

margaret carey
11 November 2013 #

PO functionality looks great but it would be good to get a warning or similar when entering a supplier bill that there are outstanding POs for that supplier to prevent inadvertent duplication

Rhys
11 November 2013 #

Will a Back Order report be integrated into this new feature in the near future? We need a quick and easy way to define fully filled orders versus partial filled orders.

Liza Claassen
11 November 2013 #

Hi,
This is really awesome, and I would love to try it, the problem I have is the user access levels. I would love to be able to give access to some employees in the company in order for them to use a few functions, my problem is that I have to get them access to everything and they can see bank accounts etc which I dont want them to.

Alex
11 November 2013 #

At last! Although of course the first question that any company who has stock is going to ask is “when will we be able to a view and manage stock levels in Xero”. The existing add-ons are expensive and cumbersome – far better to have this included within Xero.

Chris Dixon
11 November 2013 #

All good in terms of solving some key client requirements, but there needs to be a PO report (or an amended Supplier Invoice report with appropriate filters).

Bea
11 November 2013 #

very happy to see that this has been released. Not tried it yet but agree with Chris Dixon if a PO report has not been provided also think Margret Carey’s idea good. Also – will it feed into cash-flow forecasting?

John Milton
12 November 2013 #

POs look great BUT there is unfortunately no way we can use this without User Roles allowing us to separate access for creating POs, authorising POs, creating Bills.

We use an external PO system : all our staff can create POs, managers approve, but I only want the accounts team dealing with bills.

We have 20 organisations in Xero and were really looking forward to this feature and hoping that it would allow us to bring the external system into Xero (which we love).

Without the User Role controls though the system can only be used to record POs, but not manage them :-(

Michael
12 November 2013 #

Great start, thank you. I’m looking forward to being able to select the address more easily – I deal with 20,000 customers, so I want to be able to search for the address in a variety of sensible ways.

Our usual process flow is to get an order from a customer BEFORE placing the order with the supplier (for goods that we on-sell). So we’d ideally like to load a quote up into our system, which we then turn into a firm order, and then generate a PO to the supplier. Is this possible today? if not… when would you anticipate that being possible – will it happen in your pre-Christmas release?

Roni Lennon
12 November 2013 #

I’m afraid without Supplier Part Codes, Xero Purchase Orders are useless.

“Thingies” is not quite specific enough for a supplier. Until part codes are in place, people who buy and sell products will not be able to use Purchase Orders on Xero.

Alix
12 November 2013 #

A chorus from heaven accompanied the opening of this email – hooray! And it works so well – thank you Xero!
Tokes, when is this going to be functional on the Xero App?

Anja Jones
12 November 2013 #

Fantastic news – all looks great :)

Will it be possible to bulk import purchase orders, the same way it’s possible to import bulk draft bills? Many thanks!

Giuseppe
12 November 2013 #

tried today to input the first PO and it looks easy and clear.
Only problem is that shipping address does not link with customers addresses in Xero

Chris Dixon
12 November 2013 #

Another BIG nitpick is that having created the Bill you have no data connection between it and the PO. The PO number doesn’t come across to the Bill, so you have to enter it manually again (most users I would guess are happy with 1 PO = 1 invoice, and if not the join needs to be at invoice line level). Yes you can drill down from each Bill, one at a time, but fundamentally you are unable to have a high level view across your orders and see what status they are at, right from draft order to paid invoice. Or from your invoices back to orders. So while it works fine as a means of issuing POs to suppliers its far from being an order management system and it isn’t going to be as useful as I had hoped.

Andrew Martin
12 November 2013 #

Great to see this very important feature now included.

Well done and keep it up.

Sandra Hunter
12 November 2013 #

Just looking at the new GST for NZ. In the initial set up (that you do once) there isn’t the option for the current period for “odd month” GST filers. EG, next period due is 1st Nov to 31 Dec 2013. Is this just an oversight?

Andrew Tokeley
12 November 2013 #

@Margaret – nice idea about warning when creating a bill that there are un-billed POs. Will put on the team’s backlog

@Rhys – the idea is that you can set the status of a PO to (fully) “Billed” and this moves it to the Billed tab on the dashboard. Will look at doing more reports around this in the future.

@Chris – noted, will be looking at reporting later. Also, fair points about the linking between bills and POs – we’ve kept things pretty loosely coupled at the moment with a simple reference in the history area to toggle between the documents. Not using the number of the PO in this link was to avoid confusion since it’s possible to change the PO number after creating a bill (albeit uncommon). Will look into this in future releases.

@Bea – no immediate plans to provide more cash-flow forecasting functionality within Xero, although once the API catches up that’s entirely possible for our add-on partners.

@Anja – yes, a bulk import option is on the cards. No ETA yet though.

Andrew Tokeley
12 November 2013 #

@Alix – I think you mean “Xero API”. If so, they are monitoring demand on http://xero.uservoice.com/forums/5528-xero-api/suggestions/4327134-enable-the-upcoming-purchase-order-module-to-link-

Andrew Tokeley
12 November 2013 #

@Gluseppe – good news. Selecting a customer’s address is coming soon.

Andrew Tokeley
12 November 2013 #

@Roni – yes, at the moment the only way to record the suppliers inventory code would be in the description field. Not ideal, I know, and is something we’ll include as part of the work we’re doing for inventory.

@Michael – at the moment we only support copying from a PO to a bill/PO/invoice however this will be extended to allow you to copy between other documents. For example, as you suggested, between a Quote (or sales invoice) to a PO. Afraid, this won’t be pre-Xmas.

@Liza, @John – regarding user roles. Thanks for the feedback and we understand the problem. At the moment the only approach is to give your staff limited access to POs via either the “Invoice only – Purchases” or “Invoice only – Draft”, but understand this may not work in all cases.

Roni Lennon
12 November 2013 #

Andrew,

I understand that there must be another field in the Inventory to allow for Suppliers Part Code, but surely this should have been done before release.

We are now creating Purchase Orders in Xero and duplicating them in Sage so that our suppliers have a document they can work from.

Janet
12 November 2013 #

Hi Xero, we thought the purchase order new thingy was going to be great, but us being a school, when we order goods, we dont know the price. And your new purchase order wont work unless we put in a price, so bit disappointed in our case, Cheers Janet

Barbara
12 November 2013 #

Awesome to see this feature and I have yet to try it but have a question.
I don’t see any queries re possible returns of purchases. In the past on other programmes, I have used the PO system and entered a negative quantity on the PO when returning goods. This then gives a record to ensure a credit note can be tracked as having been received or not. This also helps to keep an accurate stock level if this is being kept in the programme. Would this negative quantity work in this way in Xero?

Ann
12 November 2013 #

Any chance that you could include a b.c.c. option wherever you are able to email a purchase order or invoice, statement etc – reason: it would then automatically be recorded in the associated Zoho file (I’m sure this applies to other CRM’s).

Darren
12 November 2013 #

So excited to see this Purchase Order feature! But it’s not working… Comes up with an error message.

howard
12 November 2013 #

I’ve tried a couple of these but, unless I’m missing something (probably am) we can’t use this: 1. when we print/email the purchase order to a supplier, there is no product code listed: 2. if we have an order for a client with with items from multiple suppliers there doesn’t seen to be a way to merge multiple POs for multiple suppliers into one invoice for the client, it appears that you need to have one client invoice per individual purchase order. Is this correct or are there ways around that?

Tom
12 November 2013 #

Good to have, but putting running balances on ledger reports, and removing unnecessary formatting from Excel exports would have been better.

Mark Griffiths
13 November 2013 #

Just want to make sure I understand this correctly. If we don’t receive all items on the PO and as such don’t tick it as being fully completed, we will still see all lines items on the PO even thou they have been previously invoiced. So we will need to have some sort of work around that keeps track of partially filled POs. Or am I missing something.

From other posts this looks like something that might be fixed when receipting is introduced?

Martin Blunt
13 November 2013 #

Can you make it so that we can tailor the file name of the draft invoices to ‘Estimate XXXX.pdf’ as that would save us lots of annoying file name changing as we use drafts as our invoice system. Thanks

Sean
13 November 2013 #

Hi, thanks for the new PO feature. I’m currently using it and its working well. I just have one little problem. I need my PO’s to show the item (product code). They show the description but not the item (product code). I need them to show both. Can you let me know what I need to do to sort this out? Apart from that, i’m finding this extremely useful. Are you looking at adding Sales orders to the system sometime soon?

Phil
13 November 2013 #

@Andrew Tokeley and the rest :)
Just a little feedback from my earlier post regarding the freezing and grey buttons when trying to complete a P/O. I ended up escalating this problem to support – they have been great and worked it out. For anyone else who has the issue here is their response.

“We have discovered that this is an issue with the length of the contact name.

Contact names with 36 characters or more are causing the POs to freeze when saving.

Our Product Team is working to have this fixed soon. In the meantime, it will be necessary to shorten your contact name, and then rename it after the fix.”

Keep up the good work. Look forward the all the new features being suggested here.

Jeff
13 November 2013 #

While this is all fine and good, there is a major problem with the purchase order feature. From the video I don’t see any ability to assign the purchase order to a specific client and/or project or job number. I’m quite surprised that this functionality wasn’t about when developing the PO feature.

John
13 November 2013 #

Can you raise purchase orders on Xero touch? More importantly can managers approve from Xero touch?

Also I don’t appear to be able to use this feature on Android.

Andrew Tokeley
13 November 2013 #

@Barbara – currently the quantities you enter on POs will not affect stock levels. We will address receipting and returning goods as part of extending inventory functionality.

@Ann – adding a BCC option is not something we’ve had a lot of demand for, but I’ll record the request and it will get considered for future work.

@Darren – we have had reports about POs struggling if you have a really large number of inventory items (over 5000 say), we have a partial fix for this that should be out soon – would contact support@xero.com if you haven’t to track progress.

@(those that have experience screen freeze on saving POs) – a small number of customers have been affected by a couple of edge-case bugs around this. We will fix these in the next day or so. Sorry for the inconvenience.

@howard

1. yes, this is a limitation at the moment. Will be added next year with inventory work, so the only option now is to add this code to the inventory item’s description.

2. if you have multiple POs, across different suppliers, then from the PO dashboard you can select them both and copy them to a single sales invoice. The contents of the POs will be merged. Is this what you’re looking for?

Andrew Tokeley
13 November 2013 #

@Mark – you’re description is spot on. We may address this with the work on inventory.

@Martin – this will cease to be a problem when we deliver proper quote functionality so would rather not touch this now.

@Sean – yep, see my comment above to Howard (1)

@Phil – thanks for the feedback. Should be fixed soon.

@Jeff – you’re right, at the moment you can’t associate a PO with a contact unless you use the reference field to store a client name. You can then search for this from the PO dashboard. Regarding job costing, Xero doesn’t really do this anywhere unless you are using tracking for this. However, even though you can assign tracking to lines of a purchase we haven’t got any reports that expose this yet.

@John – POs haven’t reached mobile (iPhone or Android) yet, I’m afraid.

Andrew Tokeley
13 November 2013 #

@Janet – the only workaround I can think of is to supply only a description and leave all the other fields blank. You may also want to create a special DOCX template to get things looking right in the PDF.

Glennise Head
13 November 2013 #

HI – Great work

How can we get Sales Orders to then turn into Delivery Notes, (with out any dollar value printed out) then turning into the Invoice.

We have currently set up Sales Order under Drafts, (to see forward sales) but when delivering items across a 3 month period from original order, have to delete the dollar value to create another Theme (Delivery This is painful, as we then have to reenter the value for the final invoice to be created

Hope you can understand and help.

Jeff
13 November 2013 #

@ Xero’s Andrew … What amazes me is:

1.) you have accounting software platforms like QuickBooks, Peachtree, MYOB among others that have for a long time included all the basics why haven’t you used these platforms as reference, as in reverse engineering.

2.) Job costing is part of most business profitability reporting and accounting principle yet you don’t include job/project numbering nor the ability to assign a PO line item to a specific job or project.

What were you thinking?

Quite frankly, I can’t entertain using your software as a replacement to QuickBooks without having these basic elements.

Mike
15 November 2013 #

I’d have to agree with Jeff regarding job costing functionality. Coming from MYOB to XERO I certainly miss this aspect. My business in manufacturing demands the ability to connect purchases to specific projects. Love the interface and the simplicity of reconciling etc but now i have more work to do with spreadsheets to maintain some basic job costing.

Andrew Tokeley
15 November 2013 #

@Glennise – if you’re using DOCX for your templates you could hide the dollar amounts in the template you use for delivery notes, right? As long as the sales invoice is in draft you can toggle between branding themes depending on what you’re sending/printing. Would this work, or have I misunderstood?

Jono
15 November 2013 #

Are we able to do PO’s in different currencies? Is this a feature that will be added?

We order stuff for over seas a bit..

Andrew Tokeley
15 November 2013 #

@Jono – yes, you can select a currency when entering a PO, just like you can do for invoicing.

Nicole
15 November 2013 #

I have seen the comments above re User Access to Purchases, including Purchase Orders, and your reply, BUT would it be possible and likely that you could provide access purely to Purchase Orders? We too would like to give employees access to the Purchase Order function, without them having access to Purchases as a whole.

Still feeling the Xero love though :)

Andrew Tokeley
15 November 2013 #

@Nicole – thanks for the feedback, certainly something we’ll be taking on board. Afraid I can’t be more definitive about when it will get addressed.

Ian McInnes
16 November 2013 #

Thanks – purchase orders are a great addition to Xero and the update is already saving us time. +1 for the delivery address update – this was the only minor annoyance that I noticed.

Nathan
17 November 2013 #

I agree with @Jeff about the Job Costing/Reporting functionality. Is there a timeline for when this might be put in place. It doesn’t seem like it needs much, tracking codes get us half way there. We just need the ability to set opening and closing dates on a project. The ability to archive job codes, some more detailed reports, and the ability to force project assignment at an invoice/PO transaction level. IT’d be great if you could throw us project oriented people a bone.

Ross
17 November 2013 #

Are we allowed to reblog posts from blog.xero.com if we want to share them with our own readers?

Richard Wood
17 November 2013 #

@Ross no problem, with acknowledgement of course and link back to the original. Send me an email at press@xero.com if any questions. Always good to add your own value as well, for example by starting with a bit of your own commentary with the blog post or just the part you want to highlight pasted in below it.

Katrina
19 November 2013 #

Hi Guys, great progress. However our company is more interested in Sale Orders and even more importantly automatic shipping/freight label printing. At this stage, being new to Xero I am yet to find an appropriate method to simplify this process.

Sylvie Eymin
19 November 2013 #

I find good hat we get this possibility now in Xero. Purchase orders then turn them in an invoice, How fine it is. Th course was also good.

Joanne Bourke
20 November 2013 #

Can’t seem to access the webinar??

Andrew Tokeley
20 November 2013 #

@Joanne – what webinar are you trying to access? We haven’t run any PO specific ones, only some “What’s New in Xero?” ones which covered all the main changes in this release. These have now finished. Can you give me more info on what you’re looking for?

Jason
21 November 2013 #

@Andrew. Export to doc. WFM does. Adapt theirs. Suggestion not workable. I would literally have to edit .docx every time BEFORE, upload, then create. Manufacturing. Different terms for different suppliers, particularly offshore. Not that hard to add the export to word function if your WFM does.

Also, it is you guys who are limiting things for no reason that makes sense to many people. If WFM and every other accounting system has check boxes for access to various functions, surely you can.

THE OWNERS OR MANAGEMENT OF OUR COMPANIES SHOULD BE DECIDING who can access what parts – not being forced from Xero. It’s frustrating.

Agree also with every single person about job tracking. System integration between WFM and Xero is not good enough for this.

Xero is used for accounting and P&L, etc. WFM is used for project management. Our team uses WFM for projects, myself (owner), finance staff and accountants use Xero.

It’s like you guys just don’t listen or understand workflow of a business, and just do whatever you want for your own business.

Think outside the box and be the software you claim to be. Listen to what the users are asking for. It is obvious your system is not just being used by bookkeepers and accountants. Make it business friendly for the people that actually spend the money or your product.

Roni Lennon
21 November 2013 #

Jason, Hallelujah to that.

It would appear that the people who have designed this have no knowledge of purchasing items from suppliers.

How can you purchase anything without a Supplier’s Product Code?

It is truly unbelievable.

Jane Evans
28 November 2013 #

Thanks for making new improvements all the time. Love the new purchase orders. :)

Matthew Minshull
10 December 2013 #

Hi Andrew,

Thanks for the first update to Purchase Orders – Search Contacts for a Delivery Address. This works exactly as I had hoped! :)

However, having now used Purchase Orders for a while, I can see there is a long way to go before this feature is… well… ‘Beautiful’. Indeed, I received two calls from my main supplier last week querying my new Purchase Order format and they advised that ‘they shouldn’t really accept this’.

I will try to list my suggestions in order of importance to ensure that Purchase Orders are fit for purpose:

ASAP option for Delivery Date.
In most cases, goods are required ASAP and without knowing the product lead-time, this is what we used to enter on our Purchase Orders. Leaving this blank results in queries from the supplier!

Invoice To address.
Our invoicing address is different to our trading address which shows top right of all documents. Sending Purchase Orders pertaining to come from the Invoicing address (i.e. editing the address top right) is not an option – nor is learning all about custom docx! The Invoice To address should also include an e-mail address.

Multiple ‘Attention:’ fields.
Thanks also for the multiple e-mail address option, which allows us to select between, say, a supplier’s Accounts e-mail address for Remittance Advices and their Sales Office e-mail address for Purchase Orders – as Wayne illustrates above http://blog.xero.com/2013/11/purchase-orders/#comment-53662. However, this does not change the ‘Attention:’ field on the PO nor resulting PDF! So, I guess we need multiple Attention fields and the ability to set defaults for Purchase Orders, Remittance Advices, Bills, etc.

Copy to Invoice pricing.
When the Copy to Invoice option is selected, the pricing defaults to zero!? I would propose carrying over the unit (list) price from the Purchase Order, but changing the discount level to that set in Contacts. This would make the Copy to Invoice feature so much more powerful!

Navigation.
As mentioned a couple of times above, there really should be a quicker route to Purchase Orders. Accounts > Purchases > [scroll down] is becoming tedious. In addition, as Bills are now spawned from Purchase Orders, is it not logical that POs should actually be more prominent than Bills? Indeed, this would remind users to follow this route. I keep forgetting and creating new Bills from scratch!

Display Discount.
We would like to display list price, discount and net price on all Purchase Orders, but like most businesses, hide discount on invoices. We have had to create yet another ‘Branding’ theme for invoices and have to remember to select this theme whenever we raise a PO. Again, if I hear another word about custom docx themes, I think I will lose my mind.

Copy to Bill pricing.
When the Copy to Bill option is selected, the Bill confusingly populates with the list price, but shows no discount column. OK, the net price charged is shown in the right-hand column, but this gets complicated when the quantity is different to 1 off or where the supplier has charged a different amount to that on the PO. I would suggest showing only net prices for Bills.

Carry Over PO Number to Bill.
When recording a Bill, we always include our PO number next to the supplier’s invoice number all within the Reference field. It would be useful to carry over this PO number when selecting the Copy to Bill option. In addition, as you have suggested, linking back & forth between Bill and PO would also be beneficial.

Multiple Bills per PO.
If items are billed separately (because an order has been part-shipped), then this can easily be reflected when carrying out the Copy to Bill operation. However, on subsequent Copy to Bill operations, these items remain. It would be great if only the unbilled items were copied to the draft Bill, with the added benefit of avoiding duplication.

Customer Account Code.
Our supplier has advised that it would be useful to display our Account Code/Number on our Purchase Orders. Obviously, this would need to be stored under Supplier Contacts.

Rename Instructions to Notes.
Renaming the Instructions field (specifically Delivery Instructions on the PDF) to Notes or Comments would broaden its use; e.g. payment terms, special build requests or any other communication to the Sales Office rather than to the courier.

T&Cs.
We would like the ability to automatically attach our standard Purchasing Terms & Conditions and ideally send within one combined PDF.

Approve & send Option.
We would like an ‘Approve & send’ (Approve & e-mail) option à la ‘Approve & print’ in Invoices. This could also be added to Bills and Invoices.

Subtotal position bug.
On longer Purchase Orders; e.g. 5 line items of 4 lines each, the subtotal lines at the bottom of the Purchase Order overwrite the 5th line item on the order.

Like I said, great work so far and hopefully you see this as constructive feedback.

Stuart Guy
11 December 2013 #

Thanks Matthew

Excellent post, this problem is a difficult one for us to work around at the moment. Has anyone come up with a good temporary fix for now until Xero get a solution??

Multiple Bills per PO.
If items are billed separately (because an order has been part-shipped), then this can easily be reflected when carrying out the Copy to Bill operation. However, on subsequent Copy to Bill operations, these items remain. It would be great if only the unbilled items were copied to the draft Bill, with the added benefit of avoiding duplication.

Many Thanks

Stuart Guy

Steven
28 December 2013 #

Great to see purchase orders up and running, however, it would be great to be able to import SCV files from Buildsoft estimating package so that I can create purchase orders for building materials

Andrew Tokeley
8 January 2014 #

@Matthew – thanks for taking the time to provide feedback and apologies for taking so long to reply. Blame Santa.

A number of your ideas are already on our backlog, can’t commit to when they’ll happen but we agree they’d be good additions.

A couple of your points are worth commenting on though;

Navigation
Main issue with moving POs above Bills would be for the (majority) of our users that don’t require POs – they would then have to do the scrolling then.

Copy to Invoice pricing
The way it should work is that if the item being copied is an inventory item then the sales price (stored against the inventory item) will be copied across. If the item is not an inventory item then the value will be copied across $ for $. If this isn’t working for you then please contact support@xero.com.

Since we don’t know the contact at the time of copying we can’t apply a default sales discount (admittedly we could ask for a contact you before copying). In fact, even after you select a contact on the invoice we don’t automatically update existing discounts on individual invoice lines. There is a “feature” whereby if you tab across the discount fields on each line the default contact discount will be filled in.

Multiple Bills per PO
You’re right – no real workaround for this. Before copying the PO you can see in the History and Notes section whether it’s been copied to another Bill(s) and work out what’s left. We’re also going to allow you to attach Files to POs (in next release) so you could attach something with this information too. Neither are ideal, I know, we’ll look into this at some point too.

Subtotal position bug
Odd, will look into it although I can’t reproduce. It’s likely to be some weird PDF rendering issue where simply adding an additional line somewhere might fix it. Perhaps contact support@xero.com to see if they can work out what’s going on.

I’m grouping the comments that use the DOCX acronym here so you can stop reading if it hurts too much! I know it can be a pain to work with (and making changes to the default templates does require MS Office) but gives you a lot of flexibility.

ASAP option for Delivery Date
Good idea, it’s on our list – at the moment the only option (brace yourself) is to use DOCX. You should be able to use our default PO DOCX and modify the Delivery Date to output “ASAP” if it’s blank.

Invoice To address
Yes, you’re right, the land of DOCX is the solution to this!

Display Discount
Again, solved within a single DOCX theme where you have separate templates for POs and invoices. Even if you hate DOCX you can simply use our default templates and remove the discount column on the invoice one. At least it means you don’t have to remember to change invoice branding each time.

Rename Instructions to Notes
One word. DOCX.

Thanks again for the feedback.

Andrew Tokeley
8 January 2014 #

@Steven – while we probably won’t support a proprietary CSV import, we do want to include our own CSV import, like we do for invoices. You might then be able to do some Excel magic to convert Buildsoft files to our format. No timeframe on this at this stage.

sharad bhoyar
16 January 2014 #

how to extract purchase order using api previewer ?

Andrew Tokeley
16 January 2014 #

@sharad – the API doesn’t currently support Purchase Orders. It’s certainly being considered and will depend somewhat on demand, so make sure you make your voice heard on, http://xero.uservoice.com/forums/5528-xero-api/suggestions/4327134-enable-the-upcoming-purchase-order-module-to-link-

Stephan
16 January 2014 #

Good day, when using the purchase order functionality and doing a bank reconciliation the Purchase orders are not available when trying to match the payment to the PO. What status must they be in (have tried changing them to billed).

Thank you

Yvonne Gibbs
18 February 2014 #

I’ve just started our business on Xero and in the process of transitioning across our data from 1 Jul through to 31 Dec 13. I am happy with most of the functionality so far, except for purchase orders.
This functionality is not fully integrated with “Bills”, aka purchases/accounts payable and does not allow you to monitor unfulfilled amounts.
The developers of this piece of work have assumed that there is a one-to-one relationship between PO’s and bills. They have overlooked that many businesses use PO’s as an internal control function and to mange their budgets.
For example you may have a budget against a supplier for $44K comprising of a few line items that matches your budget and a contract to supply for that amount. In our case, this supplier will invoice over a period of time with a number of invoices, not all at once.
There is no easy way to ensure at any given point in time (notes at the bottom of the page is useless), what the balance remaining on the PO, and therefore the contract, is. Unless you are diligent, it would be very easy to overspend on the PO.
I would like to see more work done in this area.

Andrew Tokeley
18 February 2014 #

@Stephen – rather than recording the payments against a purchase order you do so against the bill(s) you generate from it.

@Yvonne – fair comments. We’ve kept things pretty simple In this release – aiming for those who simply need to raise a PO to buy stuff or need only a basic workflow. Agree it’s not going to be enough for all and we’ll track demand for taking it further.

Purchase Order System
7 April 2014 #

Good way to start cloud based PO system. Great Xero!! Will this PO allows to Send quotations to multiple suppliers at the same time ???

Julie
21 May 2014 #

Is there a way to have the your customer account number with your supplier coming through on the purchase order? We currently keep the number in the bank reference, but I can’t even work out a merge code for that.

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