All about Purchase Order Approvals

Purchase Order Approvals and Authorisation Limits control how some Purchase order can be used. Primarily, they are concerned with allowing who can work on a Purchase order and in what circumstance. Depending on settings that are configured system-wide or for each individual, the behaviour may change.

The concept of approving Purchase orders allows the business manager to have complete control over purchases. While Purchase orders can be created by users, the approval of them is determined by user limits, non-admin limits and system preferences.

Why limit self-approval?

The purpose of setting up Purchase order approvals is to limit simple mistakes becoming a big problem. Having a second pair of eyes to check for any mistakes before ordering a quantity of 1000 items, instead of only 100, can make a big difference.

Settings

There are a number of settings that can be configured for Purchase orders, but there are six that will directly affect Purchase order approvals.

Go to System > Preferences > Accounts Payable:

Go to System > Users > Users:

Go to Accounts Payable > Purchase order > Options tab:

Other settings that can be configured for other Purchase orders can be found in the System preferences: Preferences and Purchase order topics.

Purchase order approvals

When Editing or Adding a Purchase order

When a user is attempting to Add or Edit a Purchase order, there are determining factors that may limit what is possible for them to do.

  • If a user cannot self-approve, when they attempt to "update" the record, they will be unable to approve the Purchase order
  • If the User account has a P/O auth. limit set:
    • It will override the Purchase order limit for non admin users, however;
      • If the Purchase order value is above the User limit, they can update the record, but a warning will be displayed. It will indicate that the Purchase order will be set to "unapproved" status
      • If the Purchase order is below the User limit, they can approve and update the record
  • If the System has been configured with a Purchase order limit for non admin users, then
    • If the user is an administrator, they can approve and update the record, or
    • If the user is not an administrator, they can update the record, but a warning will be displayed. It will indicate that the Purchase order will be set to "unapproved" status
  • If at any time the Purchase order needs to be set back to an unapproved state when updating, and the Purchase order currently has RECEIVES against it, an authorisation override box will appear and authorisation must be granted by another user. If it cannot be, the update cannot proceed.
When using the Action: Approve

When a user attempts to Approve a Purchase order, it will only be possible based on the rules in the above rules.

When attempting to Edit an Approved Purchase order
  • If the current user is an administrator, they can edit an Approved Purchase order, subject to the rules above.
  • If the user is not an administrator, then the Edit button is not available if the Purchase order value is above an set "non-admin" Purchase order limits. This remains consistent with functionality before the introduction of a per-user limit.