Let’s talk purchase orders (PO). They’re a fundamental part of the finance function, detailing everything from delivery dates, to quantities and prices. These important documents need to be accurate and easy to navigate for both company and client.  So what do you do when your PO’s aren’t performing?

There are so many complex details that often get overlooked resulting in errors and miscommunication, but with a little attention to detail and implementing best practice, your PO worries can easily be avoided.

So what are the signs?

Sign 1 – Paper, paper everywhere

Did you know 66% of invoices are still paper based? (IOFM, 2015) We’re now living in a digital age and it’s never been easier to send forms across to clients with the click of a button. Papers can easily get misplaced or damaged, not to mention the time needed to manage that ever-growing pile on your desk.  When you need to quickly refer to a PO, can you find it quickly?

Not only do digital forms save you time, but businesses that switch from paper to electronic save around £4.13 per invoice. (www.credittoday.net)

Sign 2 – Error! Error!

Have the agreed details been transferred correctly? How many errors are flagged each time you have a new order? PO’s are legally binding documents, so that extra ‘0’ or an incorrect delivery date not only looks unprofessional but causes internal issues when key specifics haven’t been outlined correctly.

Your clients deserve accuracy and you should expect nothing less.

Sign 3 – Client frustration

If these errors become a regular occurrence, clients naturally become frustrated. Maybe they’ve received one less of something, or perhaps the order has gone to the billing address, not the delivery address causing them to wait.

This kind of service results in lost customer loyalty – you’ve worked hard to secure business, keep it that way.


Sign 4 – Missed leads

Are you keeping on top of the data from your purchase orders? Analysing the numbers can highlight opportunities for additional sales but if your data isn’t well-organised and instantly accessible, you’ll end up missing leads for new business allowing competitors to jump in.


Sign 5 – Stressed colleagues

When your PO’s are creating unnecessary issues left, right and centre, this puts added pressure and stress on colleagues to rectify the matter quickly and efficiently. This is especially true for small enterprises where account processing is often worked on by just one member of the team.

Whilst PO’s have to be done, they don’t need to be painful. Outsourcing can cut out the stress of laborious finance tasks, making your day-to-day that little bit easier.


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