Guide for Preparing a Purchase Order For Medical Assistants

Purchase order forms are available from office supply companies or can be ordered from a printer and
customized to the needs of the ambulatory care setting.
    · Purchase order number. A preprinted number that is used on invoices and statements from the supplier and on the check used to pay the invoice. It is also important for tracking the status of the order.    
    · Bill to address. Generally used when items are to be shipped to an address different from the address where the supplier will send the bill for goods or services.    
    · Ship to address. When items are to be sent by supplier; this must always be completed.    
    · Vendor information. Name and address of supplier where purchase order is to be sent.    
    · Req. By. States which individual or department has requested the item(s).    
    · Buyer. States the individual in the office who is authorized to issue a purchase order.    
    · Terms. Agreement between buyer and seller as to when payment is due.    
    · QTY. Quantity of item being ordered (number of units).    
    · Item. Vendor's catalogue part or item number.    
    · Units. How the item is soldindividually (ea.), by the box, case, or dozen. Many suppliers will not split units (i.e., sell less than a full case).    
    · Description. Brief description of item (helps as a cross-check for vendor in the event that an item number is entered incorrectly).    
    · Unit Price. How much one unit (ea., box, case, dozen) costs.    
    · Total. Cost of one unit multiplied by the number of units being ordered.    
    · Subtotal. Sum of the "Total" column.    
    · Tax. Sales tax required by the state.    
    · Freight. How much the customer must pay to have the order delivered (not always applicable).    
    · Bal. Due. The sum of the subtotal, tax, and freight chargesthis is how much the office will be billed.    

Verifying Goods Received    

Proper purchasing procedure does not stop with the completion and mailing of the purchase order. When goods are received, it is necessary to verify that the correct items and quantities were shipped by the vendor. As each item is unpacked, the item number and quantity received are checked against the office copy of the purchase order. If any discrepancies are noted between what has been received and what was ordered, they should be indicated on the office copy of the purchase order and the vendor should be contacted immediately and arrangements made to ship any missing items or provide return procedures for any incorrect or overshipped items.    
Preparing the Invoice for Payment    
When an invoice is received from the vendor (it may be included in the shipment or mailed later), it is necessary to confirm that charges are correct for the items ordered and the shipment received.     The invoice should be compared to the original purchase order to verify quantities, unit prices, and other charges. If there are discrepancies, contact the vendor's accounts receivable department to have the errors corrected before you send payment. Once the invoice and purchase order are reconciled, the purchase order number is noted on the invoice (if not already printed there by the vendor) and the invoice is marked as "OK to pay." The invoice is then forwarded to the accounts payable department in the office for payment.