Published 5 Sep 2023
What is a Purchase Order Template?
A purchase order template is a document that businesses, procurement managers, and essentially other buyers use when initiating a purchase from a third party. It thoroughly describes the specifications of the products and clearly indicates the conditions and terms of the order. It also serves as a contractual agreement between buyers and sellers, and helps ensure that a clear understanding is reached between the two parties.
In this article
- Purchase Order Template vs Order Form
- Why Do You Need It?
- What to Include
- Sample Purchase Order Template Report
- How to Create a Purchase Order Template using SafetyCulture
- Purchase Order Templates
Purchase Order Template vs Order Form
A purchase order template can be considered as a type of order form. It is specifically created when a business is in the process of procuring a set of items, while an order form is very general and can be used in a variety of other ways such as construction material orders or repair/maintenance orders in facilities.
Another distinctive difference between the two is that purchase order templates are usually created by the buyer and sent to the seller for approval, while order forms are initially filled out by the seller and then by the buyer only according to the information already specified in the document.
Why Do You Need It?
A purchase order template is a widely-used business document that eases the monitoring of transactions in various industries, especially when purchasing large numbers of items. It helps set the expectations between buyers and sellers, and assists in managing the whole procurement process. Although this can vary depending on the purpose of the project or the company, there are a few other reasons why it’s important to consistently integrate the use of a purchase order template into your business strategies:
- Streamlines process – The use of purchase order template promotes efficiency in the procurement process. During this early stage of the process, buyers and sellers can already catch any mismatch or discrepancy, and address them before pushing through with the next part. It also helps prevent procurement delays and ensures that everything is going smoothly according to the plan.
- Protects buyers and sellers – One of the main purposes of utilizing purchase order templates is that they protect both the buyer and seller from any misdeeds from the other party. Once the seller approves the purchase order, it becomes a legally binding document that covers both parties and helps ensure that they will adhere to the terms and conditions declared to fulfill the set agreement.
- Allows for proper documentation – It is important to have a record of every transaction that a business has, especially if it’s with an external party. Purchase order templates can be used as accurate and detailed documentation of procurement transactions.
What to Include
The elements of a purchase order template can vary depending on the specifications of the business and can be modified according to the needs of the particular project. Below are items that are generally included in a basic purchase order:
- Company logo
- Point of contact
- Purchase order number
- Order information/item description
- Shipping address
- Shipping method and terms
- Shipping date
- Billing address
- Order date
Sample Purchase Order Template Report
How to Create a Purchase Order Template using SafetyCulture
Creating a purchase order template in every transaction can be very time-consuming and prone to mistakes. Using paper-based recordkeeping can also eventually pose challenges that can otherwise easily be avoided. SafetyCulture is a powerful digital auditing tool that businesses and buyers can use when initiating a purchase. Make a purchase order by using one of our existing purchase order templates, or create and customize your own, and then follow the steps below:
- Header – Specify your company’s information such as company name, logo, address, and other key details.
- Seller information – Include the vendor’s information in this part and indicate the seller’s company name, contact information, and other important details.
- Shipping details – Provide the shipping specifications of the recipient such as address, shipping method, and other additional information.
- Order details – Indicate a detailed description of the purchase order. Buyers should specify the expected quality of the item, the quantity, and even the unit price so that sellers would be able to confirm if they can fulfill the request.
- Summary – State the accounting details such as subtotal, applicable discounts, tax rates, and expected total cost of the purchase order. This is also the part where you can include any extra information that you want to note.
Once done with the steps above, you can now send the purchase order to the intended recipient. With SafetyCulture’s free plan, you can export the form to Word, Excel, or PDF, and send the document to the seller via email.
If you want sellers to directly review the document, you can do so with SafetyCulture’s premium plan. With this plan, you can modify the template’s access levels accordingly and allow people outside your organization to access the same file, directly edit them, and add any notes they may have. More on this feature here.
SafetyCulture also offers the following advantages:
- stores your data safely with cloud-based recordkeeping that gives you access to your documents anytime, anywhere
- enables you to add corresponding media/images to your purchase order document so that sellers can have a concrete and visible basis of the products you want
- streamlines your internal and external purchasing process by simplifying access capabilities
- monitors and tracks each part of your procurement process with features such as inspection, analytics, and many more
- integrates with your team’s other tools seamlessly
Purchase Order Templates
This template is best used when buyers have a general set of cleaning and hygiene products they need. Use this template in SafetyCulture and do the following:
- Choose among the items of consumables and materials listed
- Indicate the number of each item via a drop down menu
- Add a special request using the space provided
Roofing contractors and other buyers can use this template to place purchase orders for roofing works and materials. Use this template in SafetyCulture and do the following:
- Review the specifications prior to issuing the purchase order to the roofing contractor
- Allow the roofing contractor to directly respond using the template and raise any design issues
- Sign the document and complete the purchase order