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Understand the stages of a purchase order

Learn about the different stages of a purchase order in QuickBooks Commerce.

A purchase order (PO) may affect your inventory, depending on what stage it’s in. This is why it’s important to know the differences between the stages and what actions you can take.

The life cycle of a purchase order

When you create a purchase order, it starts in draft status, then switches to active status after you finalize it and are ready to receive the items. When you receive all items from the purchase order, it turns to received status. Here’s a detailed description of each status.


Purchase orders in draft status do not affect your incoming stock. This is useful when you want to create a PO in advance, but you’re not yet certain of the exact item and number to purchase. You can edit every field in the PO when it’s in draft status, which makes it easier to make any changes before you approve the quote.

Note: After you finalize the PO and are ready to receive the goods, select Approve Quote. This changes the status from Draft to Active.


Purchase orders in active status appear as Incoming in the stock report. It starts to affect your inventory when you choose to either receive the goods partially or in full. You can only make changes to the PO up to this stage, so make sure to finalize everything before you receive all the goods. 

Note: If your QuickBooks Commerce account is integrated with accounting software (such as QuickBooks or Xero), your data is automatically synced with it during the active stage.


After you receive all the goods, your stock level increases. The status of the PO also changes from Active to Received. You can no longer make changes to the PO at this stage.

Now that you know what each PO stage is about, you can start to create purchase orders.

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