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November 2017

Purchase order features

9 Main Purchase Order Features You Need to Consider

By | Purchase Order Plus | No Comments

Selecting a purchase order software for your company is an important decision and one that should not be taken lightly. There are so many PO softwares out there and each of them offers their own purchase order features. Individually, they all have their own advantages and disadvantages, some are better for small business, some for large ones, but in the end, it all boils down to what your business needs.

So, before you make the decision, be sure that what you are going to select has at least the majority of these 9 main purchase order features.

1. Vendor Database

Without a vendor database, it will be much harder for you to track different informations about the vendor. Most importantly, a vendor or supplier database will allow you to track vendor order histories and payment and service terms. Selecting the best vendor out of many is something you need to carefully consider and this will help you a lot in that decision.

2. Automated Purchase Orders

Automation is a purchase order feature that your employees will especially be happy about. Instead of creating every purchase order from scratch, this will allow them to automatically create purchase orders when certain conditions are met.

Automated or recurring purchase orders can lift a big burden from your team, which will no longer have to authorize every single PO.

3. Purchase Order Document Creation

This is probably the most important characteristic a PO software should have. Purchase order software should be able to create documentation that will enable seamless communication with your vendors and track procurements inside your company (who ordered, who approved and so on).

4. Purchase Order Status Tracking

Speaking of tracking, another important PO feature you need to consider is status tracking. This will help a number of your teams, including production, service and job teams, to better plan their activities for the future in preparation for the next purchase order. In addition, your sales team will also be able to better communicate with your customers about when they can expect to fulfill their orders.

5. Blanket Purchase Orders

Let’s say you need to make ongoing and repeated purchase orders. How would you do that? One of the purchase order features you need to keep in mind is blanket purchase orders. This is basically a document that authorizes repeated purchases until specific conditions have been met. For instance, a blanket PO can run until a certain dollar amount has been reached.

6. Matching Purchase Orders with Invoices

Whereas purchase orders are created by the buyer and delivered to the seller (vendor or supplier), invoices are in turn created by the seller and delivered to the buyer (you). One tells the vendor what goods, in what quantity and for what price (among other things) are expected to be delivered and by what date, while the other is more or less a reminder by the seller to the buyer to pay for the goods he has delivered.

As you can see, one can’t work without the other (although they are different, as you can read here: Purchase Order and Invoice: What Makes These Documents DIfferent?).

However, they need to match. Therefore, a purchase order software you are using should have a tool that allows this.

7. Supplier Lead Time Management

A good way to select the best supplier is to see what their lead time is. By capturing start times for POs (when they were initiated) and when the order was received, you can discover that vendor’s average lead times. This is an important decision as a vendor with a low average lead time will probably not be able to meet many of your demands and can often only slow you down.

8. Managing Approvals and Requisitions

It is vital to control your costs when it comes to purchase orders. However, this is often easier said than done, especially if the purchase order requisition and approval process is not clear in your company and all over the place. A good PO software will have a more refined and formalized purchase order approval, requisition and review process that will help you control your costs.

9. Receiving Management

Have the goods you’ve ordered been properly delivered, in quantity and quality you asked for? What if they have not been? What if your goods are late, in poor condition or not there at all? This is where you will be thankful if your PO software has a receiving management functionality. This will allow you to put workflows in place and resolve these issues.

Conclusion

No business decision is simple and the same goes for what PO software to use. Hopefully know that you know what 9 purchase order features to keep an eye on, this decision will be at least a bit easier.

Are there any more purchase order features that you think we should include? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to take our survey. Finally, if you haven’t already, sign up for early access for Purchase Order Plus to be the first to get updates about our software.

Why Your Business Needs to Switch to Cloud Purchase Orders?

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Cloud technology has become a go-ro way for many companies, both big and small, to grow their business. The cloud offers so many benefits, not only when it comes to storage and backup, but in other, more industry-specific ones. As a result, many businesses are turning to using cloud purchase orders and here are the biggest advantages they are seeing from this decision.

1. Cloud Purchase Orders Improve Accuracy

Old-school, paper-based purchase orders are susceptible to mistakes. Specifically, an employee in charge of handling them could make an error or two. However, with cloud-based purchase order software, this is no longer the case as that way, orders you can automatically create orders. This eliminates the chance of entering the wrong data, inventory records or supplier details.

2. Cloud-Based Purchase Orders are Faster

Another reason to switch to cloud purchase orders is that this way is a lot faster. The speed of creating, approving and sending purchase orders will increase dramatically for your company if you start using cloud software to do it. In particular, this is thanks to the fact that all processes will be working together to make purchase ordering faster. Everything can now be done with just one or two clicks and the purchase order can be on its way to the vendor, thus eliminating the need for many in-between steps. The purchase order can simply be sent via email.

3. Better Cash Flow Tracking

Cloud purchase orders also improve cash flow tracking. Manual cash flow tracking is a good way to mess something up. Suppliers don’t get paid on time, get overpaid or underpaid. Payments are also made irregularly. The result of all of this is that your company might actually lose money on procurement.

However, implementing a cloud-based purchase order will deal with this and help you track your cash flow much better.

4. Improves Your Reputation with Vendors

Improving your business’ cash flow tracking leads to another benefit of using cloud purchase orders and that is a better reputation with suppliers. Since payment to suppliers is now going without any hiccups, your company reputation with them will improve substantially. This will further lead to a better position at a negotiating table for your business the next time you meet with your supplier.

5. Better Organization

Finally, cloud purchase orders also improve the overall organization of the entire ordering process. Rather than going through tons of paperwork to find the order you need and spend who knows how much time on this, you can find everything easily on the cloud. This not only improves speed and accuracy of your purchase orders, but also allows your company to pay for the purchase orders faster, as this will also improve your billing process.

Conclusion

As you can see, cloud purchase orders bring with themselves a number of benefits. From better accuracy to improving the speed of creating and sending them to suppliers, the cloud can help your company organize purchase orders a lot better.

In addition, switching to cloud-based purchase order software also benefits your suppliers. They now know that you will pay them on time as the software helps your business track cash flow a lot better.

In other words, whether your business is small or big, there is a lot you can get by using cloud purchase orders.

Looking to better manage your purchase orders on mobile? Be sure to sign up for Purchase Order Plus early access. POP is an add-on for Xero and it allows you to assign access to employees without giving them a Xero login, generate reports, control cashflow and more. Purchase Order Plus is available on both Android and iOS devices.

enterprise resource planning meeting

What is Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Why do You Need it?

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Running a business includes a number of critical processes, including purchase order management, inventory management, human resources (HR) accounting, customer relationship management (CRM) and more. For many organizations, these processes are decentralized and all over the place, with each having its own database, independent of others. This is where enterprise resource planning comes in.

Enterprise resource planning or ERP for short, acts as a central repository for all of these business processes, bringing them together and making sure they perform much better in unison than they ever could separately.

At the most basic level, ERP software creates one system, which brings together all of the different business units. The result of this union is a more streamlined process and better flow of data and information across different departments in the organization.

What is the Importance of Enterprise Resource Planning for a Business?

When we talk about the importance or value of enterprise resource planning for a business, the benefits are many and varied. Perhaps the biggest is that, thanks to a common user experience across different business processes, ERP helps improve the organization’s efficiency.

Additionally, with centralization, comes an improvement in the company’s data integrity and financial control and with that, reduced risk for the business that uses ERP.

ERP also serves to lower management and operational costs through unified systems, but also better defined and more streamlined business processes.

Finally, businesses adopting ERP can also see higher user-adoption rates thanks to a universal user experience (UX) and design.

What do You Need to Keep in Mind When Comparing ERP Software?

Every organization is different, with different business processes and, of course, different needs for enterprise resource planning. Historically, ERP was something that was only available to large, global enterprises. The costs were just too high for smaller companies.

However, with the introduction of cloud-based ERP and su subscription-based pricing, things changed. ERP is now something everyone from large conglomerates to SMBs and startups are moving towards.

So, whether you’re a small company and want to bring your purchase order, accounting and inventory management teams together, or a large enterprise present in several countries across the world, but with an outdated ERP system that you want to change, here are a few things that you need to consider when choosing an ERP system.

  1. Functionality

What exactly can the ERP system do? Like we already said, every organization has its own needs. What works for one company, may not work for the other.

Defining what features and functions you need from the ERP is crucial.

  1. Cost

When considering the cost of an ERP system, don’t just stop with what it costs now. Think also what it will cost in the future. In other words, yes, you should check if your budget can cover it.  But also keep in mind data migration, licensing, consulting and system maintenance that will come as a part of it.

  1. Vendor

Adopting an ERP system is a big deal. A good one can take your business to the next level, a bad one can run it into the ground. This is why it’s vital to predict if the vendor will be able to deliver as promised.

Before selecting an ERP vendor, be sure to do research on them. Consult online ratings and reviews and see what its other clients have to say.

Conclusion

ERP is no longer reserved for large enterprises and smaller companies can benefit from it as well. There is no more excuse not having it.

Do you have an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software in your organization? Which one are you using and how has it worked for you so far? Let us know in the comments below.

Also, if you are tired of not being able to send purchase orders on mobile devices and of a slow approval process, sign up for early access to Purchase Order Plus and easily integrate it with your Xero. Available on both Android and iOS mobile devices.

best 5 invoicing software for small businesses

Top 5 Invoicing Software for Small Businesses and Startups

By | Purchase Order Plus | No Comments

Running a small business or a startup means you need to make sure your customers and clients pay you on time. This is why having an up-to-date invoicing tool is important to keep your business going. Being able to present a clear and concise invoice that your customers can understand will make you look professional, so here are the best 5 invoicing software for small businesses.

1. Xero

Xero is a cloud-based accounting software for SMBs (small and medium businesses), with headquarters in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom and is used in more than 180 countries around the world. It is based on a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model and sold on subscription. The price varies depending on how much clients you have.

Xero has a whole suite of accounting tools, including invoicing, accounts payable, purchase orders, business and management reporting and credit card account feeds. The price varies from $20 per month for a Starter pack, which includes 5 invoices and quotes, up to $30/mo for Standard and $40/mo for Premium. Xero also offers a 30-day trial for free.

If you’re creating purchase orders, you can also integrate Xero  mobile app with Purchase Order Plus. This add-on allows you to define who can create purchase orders and also who can approve them. Your employees don’t need access to Xero.

2. Zoho

Zoho is not just an invoicing software for small businesses. The platform also allows you to collaborates with your team members, track project time and integrates with payment gateways such as Stripe or PayPal, as well as with Microsoft Office 365. A very nice feature of Zoho Invoice is that it allows you to brand your invoices.

Zoho Invoice is free if you have less than five customers, after which paid plans start at $15/mo.

3. FreshBooks

FreshBooks offers a very user-friendly way to create, manage and send invoices to your customers and is used by more than five million people all over the world. You can also create branded invoices by adding your company logo, send paper copies (if you’re into that), check if the client has viewed or paid your invoice in real time and calculate taxes. You won’t even be limited to one or two currencies (dollar and euro for instance) like with some other invoicing software for small businesses).

For the privilege of using FreshBooks, you’ll need to pay $19.95/mo, but if you’re not sure if this is the right invoicing tool for you, you can always try it for 30 days free of charge.

4. Hiveage

Hiveage is used in 140 countries by 45,000+ companies and with a good reason. This invoicing tool (previously known as CurdBee) offers a wide suite of features, including customized invoices, client reminders, invoice estimates, time tracking, reports, expense tracking and more.

The basic version is free, but for more features, you’ll need to pay $6.95/mo.

5. Invoicera

Whether you’re a freelancer,  startup, small-to-medium business or an enterprise, Invoicera can be a good choice for creating professional-looking invoices. One very useful feature of this invoicing tool is the ability to convert your invoicing templates into PDF files. In addition, Invoicera also creates very detailed reports and can help you plan your revenue.

For fewer than three clients, Invoicera is free and pricing starts from $19,95/mo.

If you need to create, approve and send purchase orders on any device, Purchase Order Plus is a good choice. Be sure to subscribe for the email list for early access for POP.

Do you agree with this post? Are there any invoice software for small businesses that you think deserves a place on our list as well? Perhaps you have one? Let us know in the comments below.