What is a Purchase Order Book?

Daphne Mallory

A purchase order book contains purchase order forms that enable small business owners, employers of corporate departments, and others to purchase goods from suppliers and vendors. Each form has preprinted columns with titles and spaces to fill in specific information that directs the recipient of the forms on how to fulfill the order. These books are often handy for record keeping and for tax filing purposes as well, because some purchases can qualify as business deductions and help to reduce the overall tax liability of the company or business. Use of a purchase order book often helps to keep copies of all purchases in one place, but it also saves time in obtaining individual forms when the company needs to order merchandise.

A purchase order book contains purchase order forms, which are for record keeping and tax filing purposes.
A purchase order book contains purchase order forms, which are for record keeping and tax filing purposes.

The heading of a purchase order form will often have the name, logo, address, and telephone number of the company that is ordering the goods. Next to that information is often a column that states “Ship To” or something similar, so that the vendor knows where to ship goods. Underneath it is a space to enter the name, address, and telephone number of the vendor that will fulfill the order. Included in the heading of the form is often a purchase order number that the purchasing departments use to track purchases and to compare them with invoices. There is usually a statement included with the purchase order number that directs the vendor to include that number on invoices.

Many businesses use purchase order numbers to keep track of their own purchases.
Many businesses use purchase order numbers to keep track of their own purchases.

The body of the purchase order form in a purchase order book varies, but there are basic columns that are often included. To begin with, the vendor needs to know the quantity ordered for each item. That column is often followed by a column for the description of the item or inventory number. A column for the unit price is included for the cost of each item. Finally, there’s often a column for the vendor to list the total price of each item, based on the number of quantities ordered.

The footer of the purchase order forms found in a purchase order book often includes special instructions to the vendor. For example, it may state that the vendor is to notify the purchase department immediately if he is unable to fulfill the purchase order. The method of shipment may be listed in the special instructions, as well as instructions for inspections and returns. The footer may also include a request for the number of invoices to be sent by the vendor.

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