Create and Edit

Read Before You Start

Settings based on your location

In order to create a purchase order, you must be in a location that has purchasing functionality enabled. If you cannot see the purchasing menu, ask your administrator to enable purchasing in your location.

For depots or offices that place purchase orders to multiple locations (for example, a headquarters office that purchases stock for delivery to all it’s subsidiaries), a “central purchasing” setting can be enabled to allow the user to see and create POs destined for multiple locations. The instructions below note how the process is different for central purchasing locations.


In a given location, managers, administrators, and superusers all have the ability to create purchase orders. However, only users with PO approver permission can place or edit purchase orders. If you can’t perform the steps listed below, or you can’t see pricing information in the POs, have your administrator check your permissions.


Create a PO

Go to purchasing > create purchase order

 This will bring you to the PO header page:

Fill out the fields using the below instructions

  1. Order number: leave blank to generate automatically

  2. Description (required): Enter a short description of the order

  3. Origin(required): Select the supplier from the drop down menu. If the vendor is not available, your administrator can add a supplier location using these instructions.

  4. Destination (required): In a regular purchasing location, your destination will be set to the depot you are currently in. If you want to send the goods to another location, go to that depot before creating the PO. In central purchasing locations, you will be able to select any destination that can receive stock.

  5. Purchasing organization (required): This is the office that is issuing the purchase order - the office that will pay the bill. It will be automatically set to the umbrella organization of the location where you create the purchase order.

  6. Ordered by (required): This will autofill to your name. You can update it if needed.

  7. Ordered on (required): This will autofill to the PO creation date. You can update it if needed.

  8. Payment Method: Select a payment method from the dropdown. Your administrator can add new payment methods using these instructions.

  9. Payment terms: Select a payment term from the dropdown. Your administrator can add new payment methods using these instructions.

  10. Currency: The currency will autofill to the default currency set for the system. Select from the dropdown to change to another currency. If the currency you need is not available, your administrator can add it using these instructions

Pressing next will create the purchase order

Add items to a purchase order

The next page allows you to add items and non-item lines to a PO. This section will focus on item lines - skip to the section on order adjustments for non-item lines.

To add an item to a PO, fill out each of the fields on the edit line items tab, and press save to add the item. See below detailed instructions for each field:

  1. Product (required): use the product search to find and select a product to add to the purchase order. You can search by code or name

  2. Source code: Once you have selected a product, you will be able to select a source code. The source code represents a particular combination of supplier code, manufacturer, and manufacturer code. If you have previously ordered this item, or entered quotation information, the source code dropdown will show all previous vendor/manufacturer number combos for this product and location. You can select on of the preexisting sources to autofill the other fields. If you don't select a source code, the supplier code, manufacturer, and manufacturer codes will stay blank. If you want to add a code combination that doesn’t already exist, you can click "create new" in the dropdown and enter the information into the modal. On save, a source will be created and the information you entered will be added to the PO.

  3. Quantity (required): Enter the quantity ordered into this field. Remember this is the quantity per unit of measure, which is the next field. If you put "each" in unit of measure, then it is the number of eaches. If you put "Box/20", it is the number of boxes of 20

  4. Unit of Measure (required): The unit of measure is actually two fields - a package and a number of items per package. For package, you can select from a set list - box, case, bottle, blister, pack - then you put the number of units per pack. For example, for a box of 20, select "Box", and then write 20 in the field to the right. If you select "each" it will autofill 1 as the units per pack.

  5. Cost (required): Enter the cost per unit of measure. For example, if your unit of measure is box of 20, the cost entered should be the cost per box of 20

  6. Total cost: This will auto calculate as quantity * unit cost

  7. Recipient: If there is a particular person or department that will be receiving this item, select their name from the drop down.

  8. Estimated Ready Date: Enter the date that the items are expected to be ready to ship. This can be left blank

  9. Budget code (required if visible): This will only appear if your administrator has enabled budget coding. If it appears, it is required to fill it in, Select the budget code that this line item will be charged to.

For each PO line, press save to add the completed line to the PO. You can then move onto the next line

Add items to a purchase order - via import


Add non-item charges to a purchase order

If you have to add non-item charges to a PO, like shipping, fees, or taxes, click on the second tab, called "order adjustments":

Fill out the fields visible in this tab according to the below instructions, then press save. Please note that there is no import for order adjustments at this time, so any non-item lines will need to be entered one by one.

  1. Type (required): Select the type of order adjustment from the drop down. If you don't see a type that matches your needs, ask your administrator to add it

  2. Order Item: If the adjustment is associated with an order item (lets say a discount on a particular item), you can select the item from the dropdown menu. Leave blank if the charge is not associated with a specific item

  3. Description (required): describe the charge

  4. Percentage/amount (one required): You can either fill out an amount for the charge, or a percentage. If you fill out amount, then that amount will be added to the PO. If you fill out a percentage, OpenBoxes will calculate the amount to add to the order based on the percentage you entered

  5. Comments: enter any additional comments if required

  6. Budget code (required if visible): This will only appear if your administrator has enabled budget coding. If it appears, it is required to fill it in. Select the budget code that this line item will be charged to.

For each order adjustment, press save to add the completed line to the PO.


Edit PO lines before placing an order

If you need to edit an order item or an order adjustment after adding it, you can do so by pressing edit under the actions menu:

This will bring up a modal with all of the information for that PO line.

You can change any information in this modal except the product. If you need to change the product, you can delete the line using the delete button in the drop down menu. You can then add a new line with the correct product.

Place and print the order

Once your PO is ready, press "Place Order" to finalize the purchase. Please note that only users with approver permissions are allowed to submit orders - this prevents users who do not have financial authorization from making orders. Approver permissions can be added or removed by you system administrator

After placing the order, you will be allowed to print the PO. Pressing the print order button will generate a PDF of the order that can be saved and sent to the vendor. POs cannot be printed until after the order is placed to prevent orders being sent without proper approvals.


Edit or Rollback a PO

Special Edit Permissions for POs

If a purchase order has not yet been placed, any person with manager permissions can open and edit the PO. Once the order has been placed, only users with approver permissions are able to make edits. This is designed to prevent users from making changes that they do not have financial authority to make. Users with approver permissions can edit a purchase order directly while in placed status, without rolling it back. In order for a user without approver permission to edit a placed PO, the approver must press the "Rollback" button, which will move the PO back to pending status. It can then be edited by any manager or admin. Once the editing is complete, the approver will have to place the order again.


Similarly, POs can only be deleted if their status is pending. In order to delete a placed PO, the approver must first roll it back to pending. At that point, the delete option will become available.

Edit Header Information

POs can be edited after creation by going to the PO view page and pressing "Edit Order."

If you have permission to edit the PO (see section on edit permissions below), this button will bring you back to the PO add items page, where you can edit any item or adjustment. Pressing the back button will bring you to the header page, where you can edit payment terms and payment method.

Certain header fields cannot be edited if there are lines on the PO. If you need to edit the destination, vendor, or code on the PO, you will have to either delete all lines from the PO before making the change, or delete the PO and create a new one.

Edit items on a purchase order

After you click “edit order” and open the add items page, you can see your edit options for a given line by clicking the actions menu on the far right. If a line is not yet shipped or invoiced (more on that below), you will see three options: Edit, Delete, and Cancel.

If you choose the delete option, you will receive a notification asking if you mean to delete the line. When you press “Yes,” that lines will be removed from the PO forever.

If you want to remove a line from a PO, but you don’t want to erase the data, you can choose the cancel option. Choosing cancel will change the line to red, and will hide all of the associated information, so that this line does not appear on the PO printout or summary, and is not available to ship or invoice. If you want to reverse the cancellation of a line, you can click the “uncancel” button in the actions menu. The line will be restored as it was before.

The third option in the actions menu is the edit button. Clicking on this will bring up a modal with all of the information for that PO line.

In this modal, you can change the product source (including creating an new product source by selecting the “create new” option in the dropdown), the quantity, UOM, unit price, recipient, quoted ship date, or budget code. The total value of the line will be automatically updated if you change the unit cost or quantity. You will notice there is also anew field called “Current Expected Ship Date.” You can use this field to track the difference between a vendor’s quoted delivery dates and any updated shipping information they provide. That way, users can see the most accurate ship date, but the quoted ship date is preserved for use in vendor metrics.

Once you have updated the fields you need to edit, press save. This will update the PO line, and you can either edit another line or exit the PO.

Edit adjustments on a purchase order

To edit an order adjustment, go to the add adjustments tab in the edit line screen. On the far right, you will see an actions menu with the exact same options as the item action menu: delete, edit, and cancel. These actions work the same for order adjustments as for order items. You can change any aspect of the order adjustment by updating the field in the edit modal. On save, your changes will be saved, and you can make additional updates or edit the PO.


What if I don’t see some or all of the options described above???

The edit options available to you will be limited based on where the purchase line is in the shipping and invoicing process. Lines that have no associated shipments or invoices have no restrictions on editing. However, once a line is partially shipped or partially invoiced, some editing options are disabled to prevent you from entering bad data. See below a breakdown of the editable fields for items in each stage of the process:

  • Items or adjustments on a pending PO - all edit options described above available, and editing does not require approver permissions

  • Items or adjustments on a placed PO with no shipments or invoices - all edit options described above are available, but only for users with approver permission

  • Items or adjustments that have been prepaid - all edit options available for approvers, but the PO itself cannot be cancelled or deleted if any lines have been prepaid

  • Items in a shipment - Items with any quantity in a shipment (even if it is still pending) cannot be deleted or cancelled. The unit of measure fields cannot be edited, and the quantity cannot be lowered below the quantity in shipments. For example, if I order 10 basketballs, and 4 basketballs have been shipped, I can increase the quantity of the order to 11, or lower it to 4, but I cannot lower it to 3 because that would mean I ordered fewer balls than I shipped. Users with approver permission can edit all other fields.

  • Items or adjustments in an invoice - Items with any quantity in an invoice (even if it is still pending) cannot be deleted or cancelled. Like shipped items, the unit of measure field cannot be edited, and the quantity cannot be lowered below the quantity in shipments or invoices. The unit price and budget code information also cannot be edited to prevent conflicts with the invoice. Users with approver permission can edit all other fields on the item. Adjustments that have been invoiced cannot be edited in any way.

You can check the status of a PO line in one of two ways:

  1. If the shipment or invoice has been posted, then they quantity will appear as shipped or invoice on the item status tab of the PO view page. In the screenshot below, it shows that these items in this PO have been shipped, but no quantities have yet been received or invoiced. You can see the invoice status of adjustments on the adjustments tab.

  2. If the shipment or invoice is still pending, the quantities in the pending transaction will not show as shipped or invoiced. However, you can see pending shipments in the shipments tab, and pending invoices in the invoices tab. If any of the pending shipments were created in error, you can click through to the shipment to remove items or delete the shipment altogether. Pending invoices can also be modified or deleted, but only by users with invoicing permission.

Edit items on a purchase order - via import

OpenBoxes allows for certain fields on a PO to be edited via import. If you are making mass edits to the source code, recipient, estimated ready date or actual ready date fields, use the method below. All other fields must be edited one by one within the UI.


  1. Go to your PO and click "Edit order"

  2. Once on the item edit page, click "Export Items"

This will download an excel file with all of the information in the PO.

3. Update the fields you want to edit

  • Source code - put in the new code corresponding to the sourcing information you want to add. You do not need to update the supplier code, manufacturer, source name, or manufacturer code. Those will all be pulled from the source code.

  • Recipient - Put the recipient's full name into the cell. It must exactly match the person record in OpenBoxes for the import to work

  • Estimated Ready Date - Overwrite the field with a new date in short date (mm/dd/yyyy) format.

  • Actual Ready Date - Overwrite the field with a new date in short date (mm/dd/yyyy) format.

  • Other fields cannot be edited via import - changing them will result in the import failing

4. Fix data mismatches in template - this import is a new feature and unfortunately there are some formatting issues that you will need to address before the import will work

  • Some of the quantities in the export will be in general format while others will be in number format. You need to reformat the column as general before importing

  • If the source code field is blank for any line, the export will show the word "null” in the source code column. Delete the nulls in this field before importing

5. In OpenBoxes, press "import template,” choose your file, and press open


6. You should get a message that the data has been updated. If you get an error, refer back to the instructions above. You may have forgotten to reformat a particular column.

7. Go to the view page to check your work - you should see the new values on the item details tab