Processing purchases is the main purpose of the purchase module in DEAR. Through the purchase module, you can create purchase orders (POs) and link supplier invoices and stock received to the relevant purchase order.
This article covers ordering, processing invoices and receiving stock. It also discusses the other tabs available under the purchase module and the various actions that can be performed on POs.
NOTE: All purchases created via the Purchases module, accessible from Purchase → Search → Purchases, will be simple purchases unless the Default Load Advanced Purchase Order setting in Settings → General Settings is enabled. See General Settings for more information.
Refunds and discounts applied after an invoice has been authorised are processed by using credit notes (negative invoices). That functionality is covered in Purchase Credit Notes and Refunds.
For orders without stock items (i.e. orders of only services), see Service Purchases.
For purchase orders that will be received/invoiced as multiple partial orders, see Advanced Purchases.
Landed cost expenses can be distributed to the products on a purchases order. See Landed Costs Expense Distribution for more information.
NOTE: DEAR does not currently support checking/enforcing uniqueness of product SKUs or serial numbers, and it is possible to enter duplicate serial numbers into the system. Be aware of this when carrying out purchase operations.
- Set up Accounts (required)
- Set up Tax Rules (required)
- Set up Suppliers (recommended)
- Set up Locations (recommended)
- Set up Products (recommended)
Table of Contents
- Purchase order permissions
- Creating a purchase order
- Filling in the document header
- Adding items to a purchase order
- Verifying an order
- Managing additional costs
- Checking/editing PO line details
- Saving a PO as draft
- Authorising a PO
- Managing deposits/prepayments
- Approving or rejecting a PO
- Saving and printing a PO
- Emailing a PO
- Processing a supplier Invoice
- Inputting received stock
- Adding landed costs to a purchase
- Attachments, activity logs, and attributes
- Managing purchase order actions
Purchase order permissions
DEAR offers fine-grained control over user permissions. Grant users full or read-only permission to the different features of the purchases module, and create roles with pre-defined permissions to assign to users.
DEAR allows you to set the following permissions for the purchase module (Settings → Users and Roles):
- Purchases List & Tasks: (Read-only) View the list of purchases and purchase status. View purchase tasks assigned to you. View order lines and document header. View manual journals, attachments and logs & Attributes tabs of purchases. (Full Access) Create and save new orders, cannot add items. Make changes to document header. Clone existing orders. Add attachments to orders. Mark purchase order as received.
- Purchase Task – Order view: Purchases List & Tasks permission is required. (Read-only) View the Order tab. (Full Access) Add and edit purchase order lines of non-authorised orders. Print and email order documents (Purchase Order, Purchase Order Matrix).
- Purchase Task – Order authorisation: Authorise purchase orders.
- Purchase Task – Stock Received view: Purchases List & Tasks permission is required. (Read-only) View the Stock Received tab. (Full Access) Add and edit stock received lines if not yet authorised. Print and email stock documents (Receiving Note, Product Label).
- Purchase Task – Stock Received authorisation: Authorise stock received actions.
- Purchase Task – Invoice & Credit Note view: Purchases List & Tasks permission is required. (Read-only) View the Invoice tab and Credit Note tab. (Full Access) Add and edit invoice/credit note lines. Create credit note purchases. Print and email invoice/credit note documents (Purchase Invoice, Purchase Return). Add payments/refunds to authorised invoices/credit notes.
- Purchase Task – Invoice & Credit Note authorisation: Authorise invoices and credit notes.
- Purchase Task – Price and total info: View price, order line and total information on purchase tasks and purchase documents.
- Purchase Task – Undo: Undo purchase orders.
- Purchase Task – Void: Void purchase orders.
- Purchase Task – Order Approve/Reject/Review: Approve or reject POs.
Edit Authorised Documents
Allows editing of authorised documents. To use this permission, the user will need the purchase task view permission of the document they want to edit (order, stock received, invoice, credit note).
See Managing Users and Roles and User permissions explained.
Creating a Purchase Order
You can create a new purchase by navigating to Purchase → New → Purchase or Purchase → Purchases and then clicking +.
The Purchase Screen is made up of two parts. At the top is the document header, which contains supplier information and order functions (Undo, Void, Print, and so on). Below is the purchase order screen, which has tabs for each stage of the purchase process (Order, Invoice, Stock Received, and so on).
Filling in the document header
The first step in creating a new purchase order is to fill in the document header, which contains the supplier and shipping details.
NOTE: It is recommended to set up suppliers before creating purchase orders. For more information, see Suppliers.
Fill in the document header:
- Select a supplier from the list or by typing the supplier's name on the box.
NOTE: You can also create a new supplier from the purchase screen. Click + on the Supplier field to be prompted for supplier details.
- Check and edit the details. Many fields in the document header will be auto-filled from your supplier information but can be manually overridden.
- Check that the supplier details are correct before proceeding.
NOTE: To view the supplier record from the document header, hover your mouse over the Supplier field, then click the supplier name. See the screenshot below for reference.
- Select the Stock First or Invoice First input method. This will change the order of the Invoice and Stock Received tabs on the purchase screen. The default option for this setting can be changed in Settings → General Settings → Purchase process customisation.
- Add an optional note. This field is searchable and can be used to include reference codes (such as related purchase order/sale order numbers) for quick retrieval when searching purchase orders.
- Check the Blind Receipt box if you wish to process a purchase without a purchase order. This will remove the Order tab where items are added to the order; your workflow will then start with Stock Received or Invoice, depending on the chosen input method in Step 3.
NOTE: If your organisation needs to track costs for Goods Received, Not Invoiced and Goods Invoiced, Not Received, see this article about Enabling Inventory Accrual settings.
Adding Items to a Purchase Order
Once the document header has been correctly filled in, you can add items to your purchase order. If you selected the Blind Receipt option, you need to add items to either your stock received or invoice tab first.
There are two fields where items can be added. In the upper field, you can add stock or non-inventory items to the order. The lower field is for additional costs – any service items (e.g. shipping and handling) that need to be added to the order.
NOTE: It is recommended to set up products before creating purchase orders. For more information, see Product and Service Management.
There are four (4) options available for adding items to a PO:
- Adding individual items
- Adding a product family
- Importing a CSV file containing purchase order details
- Scanning product barcodes
All the above options are unavailable if Blind Receipt is selected when filling in the document header. Instead, you will be asked to enter Invoice or Stock Received details first, depending on your chosen input method in Filling in the document header.
NOTE: To view more detailed information about products you add to the PO, including available inventory, hover your cursor over the product, then click the product name. The popup window also displays a summary of the product info and available stock. See the screenshot below for reference.
Add Individual Items
You can add items to a PO one at a time.
- Click Add more items.
- Select products from the list or type their name.
NOTE: You can also create a new product from the Purchase Order screen. Click + on the screen to be prompted for product details.
- Enter any other needed information on the product row.
- To add more items, repeat the procedure. Save by pressing the tick icon.
Add a Product Family and its Variants
Use this option to quickly add a product family and its variants to your purchase order. Learn more information about product families.
- Select +Family.
- Select Product Family from the dropdown list or type to search.
- Select Matrix or List view to input quantities per variant.
- Click Add Products. Each variation in the product family will be included as its own order line in the sale order. The price and quantity of each product variant line can be edited individually.
Import Item Details via CSV
Purchase order lines can also be uploaded from a CSV file.
- Select Import.
- Follow the instructions on the Upload Purchase Order window.
- Upload the CSV file. Once uploaded, order lines can be edited on the purchase screen if necessary.
The format of the CSV file used in exporting/importing POs is given in the table below.
|SKU||SKU of the product|
|Name||Name of the product|
|Quantity||Quantity to be ordered|
|Price||Price of the product|
|SupplierSKU||SKU of the supplier|
Scan Item Barcodes
If you have attached a compatible USB scanner to the computer used for processing POs, you can add products to a PO by clicking Scan and scanning product barcodes.
There are three (3) scanning options:
- Automatic allows scanning a product's barcode, SKU or batch/serial number. DEAR automatically adds the item to the PO once found.
- Inventory allows dumping of barcodes from scanner memory using the scanner's Inventory mode (most scanners have this capability).
- Manual allows scanning a product's barcode, SKU, or batch/serial number, with DEAR retrieving the name of the product and telling you if the barcode is defined within the system. You can then provide the quantity you want to order. For example, if you have three (3) boxes, you can scan a single box and then specify the quantity as 3.
Verifying an Order
You can compare the ordered item quantities with your inventory stock levels using the Verify Order function. Based on this comparison, you can then decide whether to keep an item in your PO or not.
- Click Verify Order. Wait until DEAR finishes comparing the quantities in your PO with your inventory stock levels. Depending on the number of items in the PO, this process may take a while so be patient.
- Review the items found in your inventory. Note the items that you may want to delete or change the quantities of.
- Click Back to Order to go back to the PO screen. You can then change the quantities of items or remove items from your PO. Alternatively, click Authorise to authorise the purchase order and continue.
Verifying an order will also show how many cartons are required for the quantity of the item, which is useful for importers who require full container shipments. You will need to fill in the import dimensions of the product for this information to be calculated accurately. This information is for review purposes only.
- Inner/Outer Carton Quantity is a read-only field and shows the pack sizes. In this example, there are 4 units in the inner carton, and 8 inner cartons in the outer carton.
- Number of Outer Cartons is a read-only field which displays how many outer cartons are required for the order quantity. It will be rounded up to the nearest whole number.
- Line volumeis a read-only field which displays the volume (in cubic metres or cubic feet depending on the unit of measure selected on the product screen) of the total number of outer cartons.
- If the units of measurement for line volume are not the same across all order lines, then the base measure will be taken first from the Settings → General Settings → Products and measurement settings - Dimension units, or if this is blank, the product of the first order line.
Managing Additional Costs
Additional costs can include any non-stock item or service, such as training, shipping, insurance, etc. Add them by clicking + or Add more items in the lower section of the purchase screen order tab.
Checking/Editing Purchase Order Line Details
Once added, all purchase order lines can be manually edited. Check that these fields are correct before proceeding.
- Price. Price fields are pre-filled with the last supplier price used, or a fixed supplier price for a product can be set through Inventory → [selected product] → Suppliers tab.
- Supplier SKU. Enter a supplier SKU for reference purposes if applicable (optional).
- Discount. Indicate if a discount has been added to the purchase order line (optional).
- Tax Rule. This field will be pre-filled by the tax status indicated in the document header or if applicable, the tax rule set at the product level. It can be manually overridden. See Tax Rules for more information.
- Purchase order memo. This will be shown to the supplier on the purchase order (optional).
Saving a PO as Draft
To save a PO as a draft, click the tick icon at the bottom of the screen to save. This will save the purchase order for later authorisation without it having to be picked up by your accounting reports.
Authorising a PO
Once all the order lines have been added to the purchase order, click Authorise to process the purchase order and include it in your accounting reports.
NOTE: If you have enabled Order Approval, you will have the option to Approve or Reject an authorised purchase order to show supplier approval/rejection. See Approving or Rejecting a PO.
Once a purchase order has been authorised, you can optionally add a supplier deposit to use against the invoice. See Supplier Deposits for more information. This field is NOT for regular payments – regular payments are added when processing a supplier invoice.
NOTE: If using Xero as your accounting system, ensure Xero payment settings are set to Synced both ways or Pushed to Xero. QuickBooks Online payments are set by default to sync both ways. Some users prefer to entirely manage their payments through their accounting system. If this is the case, you can leave this section blank, and the prepayment details will be imported from your accounting system and applied to the order once a prepayment is made.
To add a supplier deposit:
- At the bottom of an authorised purchase order, click +Supplier Deposit.
- On the Supplier Deposit window, the deposit account field is pre-filled with the dedicated supplier deposits/prepayments account. Select a bank account to make the payment from, enter the deposit amount, then click Create.
- Back on the Purchase page, the supplier deposit is shown in the deposits section, ready to be used against the invoice total. To add more supplier deposits, repeat Steps 1-2.
Approving or rejecting a PO
Once a PO has been authorised, if you have enabled Order Approval under General Settings → Purchase process customisation, you have the option to Approve or Reject the authorised PO.
To approve an authorised PO, click the Approve button on the top right of the purchase order screen.
To reject an authorised PO, click the Reject button.
Saving and printing a PO
After the purchase order is authorised, you can save it as a PDF file to your computer for printing.
To save and print a purchase order, click Print → Purchase Order and print and/or save the PO as a PDF.
Emailing a PO
You can also send the PO to the supplier as an email attachment. You can do this directly from within DEAR Inventory.
- Click Email → Purchase Order.
- On the Send the email' page, the purchase order is automatically attached as a PDF file. Fill in the remaining fields.
- Click Send.
NOTE: You may wish to attach additional product or supplier information to a purchase order before setting. Go to Settings → General Settings → Purchase process customisation and enable the Additional email attachments setting to add existing attachments for products and suppliers to purchase emails.
Processing a supplier invoice
After a PO is authorised, you can start processing either stock received or the supplier invoice, depending on the chosen input method in Filling in the document header. For purchases without a PO, checking Blind Receipt in the document header skips the create PO stage, allowing an invoice to be processed or stock to be received straight away.
To process a supplier invoice:
- Select the Invoice tab of the purchase order. If you have chosen Stock First as your input method in Filling in the document header, you must input received stock before processing the supplier invoice (see Inputting Stock Received for more info).
- Enter an invoice number and invoice date. The due date field is calculated by applying the payment terms date in the document header to the invoice date.
- Add the invoice lines. If you have completed a purchase order, you can copy lines from the purchase order by clicking +Copy. Alternatively, you can add items manually by clicking + or Add more items, import invoice lines from a CSV file or scan item barcodes.
- Enter additional costs. These can be copied from the purchase order by clicking +Copy from order or manually entered.
- Check the total and enter it into the validation field at the top right of the screen.
- Authorise the invoice to continue. If you have an unused supplier deposit associated with this purchase, you will be asked if you want to allocate it to the invoice.
Once the invoice is authorised, the Stock tab becomes available (if your input method is Invoice First). The invoice will be synced the next time you sync to your accounting software.
Verify an invoice
Verifying an invoice allows importers to check the freight cost and see an estimate of freight cost per order line before authorising the invoice. Click Verify an Invoice to open the verify screen.
This verification is for informational purposes early and does not make any changes to accounting transactions or create manual journals for the purchase order. It can be used to verify inner carton quantities, outer carton quantities, line volume, line freight, and unit freight costs. This information can then be used when inputting landed costs.
Currency exchange rates are calculated automatically but can be overridden manually.
Using a supplier deposit as payment
Once an invoice is authorised, you can apply payments to the invoice. Some users may prefer to handle their payments entirely through QuickBooks Online or Xero.
NOTE: If using Xero as your accounting system, ensure Xero payment settings are set to Synced both ways or Pushed to Xero. QuickBooks Online payments are set by default to sync both ways. Some users prefer to entirely manage their payments through their accounting system. If this is the case, you can leave this section blank. The payment details will be imported from your accounting system and applied to the order once payment is made.
To use a supplier deposit as payment:
- If you have an unused supplier deposit associated with this purchase, you will be asked if you want to allocate it to the invoice upon authorisation. If you choose No, you can still use the supplier deposit by following the next steps.
- Click +Use Supplier Deposit. All supplier deposits for this supplier will be listed. Select the deposit or deposits you wish to use to show the new total.
- Click Add & Save to allocate the selected supplier deposit to the invoice. Continue to apply the payment to the invoice if there is still an outstanding balance.
Applying a payment to an Invoice
To apply a payment to an invoice:
- Use +Payment to enter payment details until the invoice is fully paid.
- Save and continue.
Inputting received stock
Stock received is checked against the purchase order and then added to your stock levels. After a PO is authorised, you can start processing either stock received or the supplier invoice, depending on the chosen input method in Filling in the document header.
For purchases without a PO, checking Blind Receipt in the document header skips the create PO stage, allowing an invoice to be processed or stock to be received straight away.
NOTE: DEAR has an optional Put Away feature which splits the stock receiving process into Stock Received and Put Away. This feature is only available for use with Advanced Purchases. See Put Away for more information.
Receive a full delivery
Input stock received:
- Navigate to Purchase → Purchases.
- Select the purchase order related to the delivery.
- Select the Stock Received tab of the purchase order. If you have chosen Invoice First as your input method in Filling in the document header, you must complete the Invoice tab first before inputting stock received (see Processing a Supplier Invoice for more info).
- Enter the stock lines. If you have completed a purchase order/invoice, you can copy the lines from the purchase order/invoice by clicking +Copy. Alternatively, you can add items manually by clicking + or Add more items, import invoice lines from a CSV file or scan item barcodes.
- Stock can be received in two locations if required. To do this:
- Click + or Add new items to add a new line and type to search the item name.
- Choose the stock location.
- Manually change the stock quantities for each line.
- Check the Received box for all lines.
- Click Authorise for the stock levels to be updated.
- Click Mark as Received to confirm no further stock will be received, close the order and remove the order from the pending orders list. This action is only available after stock received has been authorised.
If your input method is stock first, authorising stock received will make the invoice tab available.
Receive a partial delivery
Sometimes a purchase order is made and sent to a supplier, however the supplier cannot fulfil the entire order at once. In this case, the supplier will make multiple deliveries to fulfil a single purchase order. To receive a shipment with multiple deliveries, convert the purchase order to an Advanced Purchase. Follow the link for more information.
Close out a purchase order that will not be fully received
The only way to remove the item from a purchase order (e.g. if the supplier cannot supply the item) is to undo the PO and delete the product line or change quantity; in case only part of the ordered quantity will not be supplied after the amendment, you can proceed to re-authorise the PO. However, if there are transactions like sales, adjustments, transfers, etc., where stocks are issued, you need to undo those prior to undoing the PO.
However, it is still possible to close out a purchase order which will not be fully received without changing the order quantity.
- Remove the items that will not be delivered on the Stock Received tab.
- Go to the Invoice tab and ensure that the invoiced quantities match the stock received quantities.
- You will now be able to Authorise the Stock Received tab.
- Once stock receipt has been authorised, the Mark as Received action will be visible at the top of the screen. Click Mark as Received to indicate that no further receipts of goods are expected and the remaining on order quantity will be removed from the On-order and reports.
Adding landed costs to a purchase order
A landed cost is the total price of a product once it has arrived at the buyer's door.
The landed cost includes:
- the original price of the product
- all transportation fees
- currency conversion
- payment fees and any other costs outside our direct inventory purchase cost.
These costs are typically applied by handling or fulfilment services under their own invoice, which then needs to be allocated to the correct purchase invoices. Landed costs can also be allocated via the Additional Costs section of a purchase order or using a manual journal. Landed costs can be allocated to purchase orders according to item cost, quantity, weight, volume, or manually.
See Landed Costs Expense Distribution for more information.
Attachments, activity logs, and attributes
Documents can be attached to the purchase order in the Attachments tab, and any documents printed (purchase order, purchase invoice, etc.) or emails sent will be saved here automatically.
The final tab is Logs & Attributes, consisting of three sections.
Section 1 covers additional attributes. Using additional attributes, you can add up to 10 custom fields to the purchase. If you have no additional attributes applied to a supplier, this section will not be visible. If a document has been emailed to the supplier, the box marked Processed will be checked, if the document has only been printed but not emailed, the box will not be checked.
Section 2 covers activity logs. All user activities from the creation of the new purchase order onwards are logged in the Activity Log, while the Workflow Activity Log displays automated actions performed by task workflows.
Section 3 covers transactions generated from the purchase process.
Managing purchase order actions
At the top of the document header, you can see the purchase order actions.
Makes a copy of the current purchase order. You can choose for the new purchase order to keep the same order number or assign a new order number.
NOTE: Users with Xero integration can keep the order # as purchase orders are not synced from DEAR to Xero. For QBO, duplicate purchase order # is not allowed – a new order must be assigned.
Returns the purchase order to draft status. Order lines, invoice lines, payment information etc. will remain in the document if it has been previously entered and authorised.
Drops all current changes and deletes the inventory, invoice and payment records. The order status is changed to Voided, and the order can no longer be edited.
Converts a simple purchase to an advanced purchase, allowing multiple shipments and invoices (partial deliveries) to be generated for the same purchase order.
Mark as Received
Confirms no further stock will be received, closes the order and removes the order from the pending orders list. This purchase action will only be available after the stock received tab has been authorised.
Allows printing the chosen document for all selected purchases. The document is generated in PDF format for printing or saving to your device.
Allows e-mailing the chosen document to suppliers for all selected purchases. Documents are attached to the email as PDFs. You will be prompted to enter a subject line. You may wish to set Email templates to use for the email body.
These actions can be performed for multiple purchase orders at once via Purchase Bulk Actions.