Entering Purchase Order totals gives you two ways to track these costs:
- You can have a record in Chronicle that the purchase orders for materials or subcontracting services was created, approved, and paid. See Purchase Order Manager.
- These amounts are usually entered near the beginning of a job so Chronicle also uses these amounts for projecting job costs for materials and subcontracors. See Job Costing.
Adding a New Purchase Order Amount
With the appropriate job selected, double click to open the job file. Go to the PO tab. Enter such information as:
- PO Date: Enter the date when you need the materials. If you are ordering subcontracting service, you might enter either the start or completion date here, using the Optional Comments entry following to provide more detail.
- Amount: Set the amount of the purchase order to match what is on the document created in the accounting software.
- Vendor/Sub (company or person): Choose whether the vendor/sub you are ordering the materials or service from is an organization or person in Chronicle. Usually you will choose Organization.
- Department: Select the department the PO is to be used for.
- Notes: You must add a note with any additional information employees may need.
- Approved: Can only see if purchase order settings allow. Check Approved if this PO is already approved; otherwise leave it unchecked. You can approve it later.
When done, click 'Save PO'.
Changing a Purchase Order Amount
- With the appropriate job selected, double click to open the job file. Go to the PO tab.
- Chronicle shows a list of purchase orders; double click the one that you want to look at or change.
- As needed, add or change information on the purchase order detail screen.
- When done, click 'Save PO' at the bottom of the screen.
No Direct Link to the Job's Budget
Purchase orders created in Chronicle are NOT linked to the job's budget for a few reasons. First, the budget is activity-based and Chronicle has no way of knowing which activities different purchase orders correspond to. Secondly, Chronicle's budget is based on percentages of the activity cost, so the budget needs more information than is provided with the purchase order, and the purchase order may or may not reflect all of the costs associated with the job, Finally, the costs on the budget are not based on what is ordered, but on the actual payments entered through your accounting software. If the amounts on your purchase orders correspond to amounts you want reflected on the job's budget, you must simply keep the purchase order handy and enter the corresponding amounts in the right places when you set the budget up.
QuickBooks vs. Chronicle Purchase Orders
Larger businesses with good business practices keep operations and accounting completely separate. Since purchase orders are part of the operations process, in the typical larger business, purchase orders would be created in the operations software, that is, in Chronicle using a document template; the people creating purchase orders would never use QuickBooks, and what gets done in the accounting software would be completely separate from what is done in the operations system.
However, businesses with only a few employees sometimes have people who oversee operations for certain departments who also use the accounting system. Businesses like this may prefer to use the purchase orders in QuickBooks instead of the purchase orders in Chronicle. The purchase orders in QuickBooks are admittedly easier to set up. They also let you specify default amounts for some or all items. For example, if a particular type of roofing shingle costs $27.00/square, QuickBooks lets you set that item up with the default price, so when you add that item to the purchase order, the price is automatically filled in. Chronicle currently has no corresponding capability; you must enter the price each time you enter the item. (For items where the price changes from week to week, you'd have to do this anyway.)
Furthermore, creating the purchase orders in QuickBooks, lets you associate the P.O. detail with the bill; if the PO is set up correctly, the expenses for the items are automatically associated with the right departments and activities (assuming you're set up for departmental and activity based job-costing).
These benefits may make creating purchase orders in QuickBooks a better option for some smaller businesses. However, you need to be aware that this approach does blur the separation between operations and accounting, and, at least for larger businesses, this isn't good business practice.
If you create the P.O. in QuickBooks and want a copy associated with the job in Chronicle, you can print the PO in QuickBooks and then scan the document into Chronicle, or you can print the document to a .pdf file and then attach the .pdf file to the job as a document.
You can not only save the purchase order document to the job file but you can also record the amount of the purchase order and whether it is approved or not so that operations can look up the purchase order from the job file in Chronicle.
Viewing the Actual Purchase Order
If you want to save a copy of the actual purchase order, save the document to the job file. You can save it as a PDF or scan it in as a jpg. Then to view it:
- At the top of the screen, click the People or Jobs tab.
- If the job you need isn't shown in the list, use one of the options on the left to view the appropriate list of jobs. For example, click All Jobs By, to list all active jobs.
- Click the job to select it.
- Either click Go in the ribbon, highlight Documents, the select the PO you wish to view from the documents list and click open to view. Or open the job file and to to the documents tab.