Within Procurify, there is both an internal Purchase Order (PO) number, as well as an external PO number. Understanding how these numbers work is your first step towards creating your unique PO labeling system. First, let's break down the differences between the two.
Internal PO Number
An internal PO number exists for every Purchase Order within Procurify. The internal PO number will always be represented with "PF" preceding the number, starting at "PF1", and will increase incrementally with each new Purchase Order created: PF1, PF2, PF3... The internal number will always be assigned to Purchase Orders, regardless of whether you choose to use a different external PO number.
External PO Number
The external PO number is a unique, customizable numbering format that your organization can assign to POs. Creating an external PO numbering format requires a one-time setup, or you can assign a customizable external PO number every time you create a PO. If you do not use the external number field, the external number will default to the internal PO number. Warning! It is only possible to set up the external numbering format once, so ensure you know what format you wish to use before using the Use Next External PO feature. The only time this rule does not apply is when the External PO number contains alphanumeric characters consisting of both letters and numbers.
Things to Know Before You Get Started
It is possible to have a specific set of letters consistently appear within your external PO numbers. It is best to decide the structure before you create your first PO with an external number. After creating the first external number, the following Purchase Orders will include an external number with that same structure.
There are some ways around this, but this would require you to enter your Purchase Order number each time manually. For more info on this, see below Choosing your PO Number During Purchase Order Creation.
When setting up your External PO formatting for the first time, it's important to keep in mind that:
- The External PO Number can be set up as a combination of letters and numbers.
- Example: Dash101
- Numbers can appear before letters/words, but the format must end with a number.
- Example: 2Dash101
- Only the number after the last letter increases incrementally, and the other numbers prior to the last letter will not increase.
- Example sequence: 2Dash101, 2Dash102, 2Dash103 etc.
- If there is no number after the last letter, 0 will be set as the last number and will increase sequentially.
- Example sequence: 2Dash, 2Dash1, 2Dash2 etc.
- The next external PO number is always increasing incrementally, and if a new greater number interrupts the sequence, the number sequence could be permanently increased by the most recent change.
- Example: My sequence was PO-100, PO-101, ... If a Purchaser manually types in PO-1000 into the "Custom" external PO number field, the next time someone chooses to auto-generate the next number in the sequence, the system will generate PO-1001.
Choosing your PO Number During Purchase Order Creation
When selecting a Purchase Order number, you are given three options. Read below to get more information on which option will work best for you.
The option to select None, for no external PO number, means that the PO will be labeled and tracked using the internal number instead(Example: PF34).
Selecting Use Next will set the PO number as the next external number in the sequence. If this is your first time choosing this option, and you have not yet determined what your formatting for your external PO numbers should be, first review the Things to Know Before You Get Started section above.
The Custom option will allow you to create a unique PO number that does not follow the same formatting of the internal or external numbers. As long as the format of the entire label does not match the structure of the external PO number, the number that you use will not alter the sequence of the next external PO number. Based on the image above, we can see that the last used PO number was "30180519". If I create a new PO with the number "Brayson-30180520", the next external PO number within the sequence will still be "30180520" the next time "Use Next" is selected.
Duplicate PO Numbers
It is possible to create duplicate PO numbers. In an instance where the PO number matches another Purchase Order number already within the system, a pop-up window will alert you before you finalize and create the Purchase Order. At this time, you have the option to proceed or to cancel and make changes to the PO number before finalizing it.