Procurement vs Purchasing vs Supply Chain Management – business people tend to use these terms interchangeably. While they are related and are all part of a company’s finance or accounting function, there are differences.
Let’s understand each one and the differences between them in more detail.
Procurement is an essential component of any business. In order to operate effectively and produce its own goods and services, every organization must procure various goods and services from third party vendors.
Purchase requisitions and purchase orders – more commonly referred to as POs – are both key documents in an efficient procurement process for any business. They enable teams to plan purchases adequately, plan budgets, and provide proof of spending in case of financial audits.
People often confuse purchase orders (also known as POs) and invoices or use them interchangeably. In fact, they are two different documents that each serve their own purpose. Both are key elements of the procurement process for any business.
But what’s the difference between the two – and when would you use a PO vs an invoice?
A purchase order is one of the necessary types of paperwork that many business owners dread. The purchase order process is often long and complex and requires large amounts of back and forth communication. Too often, information gets lost in this type of unorganized communication – and even when it doesn’t get lost, it’s difficult to keep track of everything in an organized fashion.
A sales order form is an order form that a company creates to list the products and services being ordered by a customer. The customer may provide one or more purchase orders (PO) for that purpose. The sales order is a document that’s created internally by the company so that it may process the order in a controlled manner with the necessary checks, authorizations and signatures in place. The associated purchase orders are often attached to the sales order for convenience.
Purchase Orders (PO) and Purchase Requisitions are extremely common documents used by practically every business. They help business control costs, ensure that business rules are followed and that the business gets the best possible deal. It’s also easier to track down problems e.g. if the wrong items are delivered the signed copy of the purchase order proves what was actually ordered.