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Create purchase orders in QuickBooks Desktop

Learn how to enter a purchase order in QuickBooks Desktop.

Use purchase orders to tell vendors what you want to order. Track the items you order and receive to know what expenses are coming up.

Create a purchase order in QuickBooks Desktop for Windows

  1. If you haven't already, turn on purchase orders:
    1. Go to Edit and select Preferences.
    2. Select Items & Inventory, then the Company Preferences tab.
    3. Check the Inventory and purchase orders are active checkbox and select OK.
  2. Go to Vendors and select Create Purchase Orders.
  3. In the Vendor dropdown, select the vendor you'd like to create a purchase order for. You can also select Add New to add a new vendor.
  4. Fill out the rest of the fields, and add the items you'd like to order.
  5. Select Save & Close.

Tip: Purchase orders are a part of the Accounts Payable (A/P) workflow. Learn more about the A/P workflow in QuickBooks Desktop.

Create a purchase order in QuickBooks Desktop for Mac

If you haven't already, go to the QuickBooks menu and select Preferences, then select Inventory to turn on inventory and purchase orders.

Step 1: Create a purchase order

  1. Go to Vendors, then select Create Purchase Orders.
  2. Select Create Purchase Order....
  3. Fill out the fields, then select Save.

Create a purchase order from an estimate

If you already have an estimate, you can use it to create a purchase order.

  1. From the estimates window, select Create Purchase Order.
  2. Select For all allowed items on the estimate if the items are from one vendor. Select For selected items... if there are items from multiple vendors, then select the items you want on your purchase order.
  3. Select OK.
  4. Fill out the fields, then select Save.

Step 2: Track your open purchase orders

There are several ways to view your purchase orders:

View all open purchase orders

To view all open purchase orders, go to the Lists menu and select Customer & Vendor Profiles, then Purchase Orders. Then, change the View: filter from All Purchase Orders to Open Purchase Orders.

To see the history of the orders, select the History icon on the Purchase Orders window.

List the open purchase orders where a specific item appears

  1. Go to Lists, then select Items.
  2. Select the item, then select QuickReport from the ⚙▼ dropdown menu.
  3. Double-click a purchase order to view.

Create a report of your open purchase orders

To create a report of your open purchase orders, go to Reports and select Purchases. Then select Open Purchase Orders. To print the report, select the Print icon.

Edit a PO

To edit a purchase order:

  1. Go to Vendors, then select Purchase Order List.
  2. Double-click the vendor with the purchase order you want to edit. The purchase orders window appears.
  3. Select the purchase order you want to edit. If you don't see the purchase order list, select the Left View icon.

Step 3: Record the items you received

When you receive goods you ordered with the purchase order, you also record that in QuickBooks. The transaction you use depends on when you pay for the items.

    • Create an item receipt if you’ll get the bill at a later date.
    • Create a bill if you received a bill when you received the items.
    • Create a check or credit card charge if you paid the items as soon as you received them.

For inventory items, here’s how to record the items you received.

When you receive all the items on the purchase order, QuickBooks marks the purchase order as Received in Full. If you don’t expect to receive all the items you ordered, you can close it manually.

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