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NetSuite

With an integrated system that includes ERP, financials, commerce, inventory management, HR, PSA, supply chain management, CRM and more – NetSuite enables fast-growing businesses across all industries to work more effectively by a...Read more about NetSuite

4.1 (1449 reviews)

5 recommendations

Procurify

Procurify’s easy-to-use Intelligent Spend Management platform provides hundreds of organizations worldwide with real-time visibility and control over all business spend. By bringing more spend under management, our customers captu...Read more about Procurify

4.5 (145 reviews)

5 recommendations

Da Vinci Supply Chain Business Suite

Da Vinci is a cloud-based supply chain management (SCM) solution designed specifically for 3PLs, internet retailers and wholesale businesses with demanding warehouse, fulfillment and transportation needs. In addition to a WMS an...Read more about Da Vinci Supply Chain Business Suite

No reviews yet

5 recommendations

Precoro

FrontRunners 2024

Precoro is a cloud-based purchasing software that streamlines procurement processes for SMBs and Enterprises. Key features include purchase order creation and delivery, blanket PO, visual analytics on spends by departments, billin...Read more about Precoro

4.8 (209 reviews)

3 recommendations

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Coupa

FrontRunners 2024

Point solutions are pointless: spend smarter with the leading spend management platform built for companies like you. The Coupa platform allows you to take control of your spend and position your business for resilience and growth...Read more about Coupa

4.1 (88 reviews)

3 recommendations

Pipefy

FrontRunners 2024

Pipefy is the low-code process automation platform that increases team productivity, centralizes data, and optimizes processes for teams in Procurement, Finance, HR, IT, and more. Pipefy is designed to make security, integration...Read more about Pipefy

4.6 (305 reviews)

2 recommendations

Team Procure

Team Procure is a cloud-based procurement platform that streamlines the management of all your purchasing processes and inventory through a unified application. We cater to both SMB and Enterprise customers across a broad spectrum...Read more about Team Procure

4.7 (3 reviews)

2 recommendations

Spendwise

FrontRunners 2024

Spendwise is a cloud-based system that helps businesses and other organizations track, manage and control spending. Users can create purchase orders, submit them for approval, approve or reject them, and email them directly to ven...Read more about Spendwise

4.5 (229 reviews)

1 recommendations

Order.co

FrontRunners 2024

Order.co is the first and only Spend Efficiency Platform that helps businesses save time, save money, and gain clarity into their spend. Order.co eliminates manual purchasing and payment tasks and gives your team one place to purc...Read more about Order.co

4.3 (102 reviews)

1 recommendations

Tradogram

FrontRunners 2024

Tradogram is a cloud-based procurement management solution. Users can choose from a list of integrated modules such as supplier management, purchase-to-pay, contract management, strategic sourcing and order management. Team manag...Read more about Tradogram

4.5 (64 reviews)

1 recommendations

Fraxion

Fraxion provides complete spend management solutions for purchase requisition-to-PO, expense and approval management, AP workflow management and spend analysis. The solution enables mobile purchase requisition-to-purchase order f...Read more about Fraxion

4.4 (59 reviews)

1 recommendations

Dynamics 365

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a cloud-based CRM ecosystem for small, medium and enterprise organizations, with a focus on Sales, Field Service, Customer Service complete with strong integrations with Microsoft’s other Office 365 offer...Read more about Dynamics 365

Xero

Xero is a global small business platform with 3.95 million subscribers which includes core accounting, payroll, workforce management, expenses and projects. Xero also has an extensive ecosystem of connected apps and connections to...Read more about Xero

ShippingEasy

ShippingEasy is a cloud-based shipping and inventory management solution suitable for small to midsize e-commerce businesses. Key features include order management, label customization, integration with multiple seller channels, r...Read more about ShippingEasy

Odoo

FrontRunners 2024

Odoo is the #1 open-source integrated business apps suite. Main apps include Website Builder, eCommerce, CRM, Accounting, Project Management, Warehouse Management, Manufacturing, Human Resources, and Marketing. There is an app for...Read more about Odoo

Zoho Books

Zoho Books comes with automatic bank feeds, collaborative client portal, accounting and taxing, online payments, invoice templates and analytical reports. The system allows users to manage multiple time sheets of different project...Read more about Zoho Books

QuickBooks eCommerce

QuickBooks Commerce is a powerful cloud-based inventory and order management software for modern online businesses. Seamless integration across all major e-commerce platforms ensures that product listings, orders, and data stay up...Read more about QuickBooks eCommerce

Deltek Vision

Deltek Vision is a cloud-based project-based solution for professional services firms that is available for cloud or on-premise deployment. It combines project accounting, resource management, project management, time/expense mana...Read more about Deltek Vision

inFlow Inventory

Looking for an inventory and order management system for your small or medium-sized business? inFlow is used in over 90 countries around the world for manufacturing, wholesale, distribution, ecommerce, and more. It's also simple t...Read more about inFlow Inventory

Sage Intacct

FrontRunners 2024

Sage Intacct is a provider of cloud-based financial management and accounting software. Sage Intacct's software solution is suitable for small to midsize accounting firms and can provide financial reporting and operational insight...Read more about Sage Intacct

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: March 16, 2023

What is purchase order software?

Purchase order software is a software tool that manages essential procurement processes. It creates and manages purchase orders (POs), can transmit POs to suppliers, and reconciles supplier invoices to POs, contracts, and more.

Purchase order software can be offered as a standalone software program or as an application within a supply chain management system or enterprise resource planning (ERP) software (more on this below).

In this buyers guide, we’ll examine the various types of PO software, the standard features, and the types of buyers in this space.

Here's what we'll cover:

What are the major types of purchase order software?

POs are the beginning of both direct and indirect procurement processes. Direct procurement refers to the purchasing of goods and services used in an organization's products, whereas indirect procurement refers to the purchasing of goods and services used to support an organization's processes.

As such, there are various types of software that deal with purchase orders:

Types of Purchasing Software

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Procure-to-pay (P2P) suites are essentially all-purpose tools for managing all of an organization's procurement activities. Typically, P2P systems wade into related areas such as contract management, inventory management, supplier management, and strategic sourcing. They're the focus of this buyers guide.

Most P2P solutions are cloud-based.

ERP suites typically feature procurement modules, but primarily work in conjunction with other modules in the system—e.g., production planning. Moreover, these modules tend to lack the niche features as well as the user-friendly interfaces that encourage adoption throughout an organization.

Work-stream tools are stand-alone applications for managing highly specific procurement processes (telecommunications spend, temporary workforce spend, travel spend etc.). These tools offer dedicated interfaces and approvals workflows to streamline a single, highly important procurement process.

While these solutions are niche, they can offer major benefits when it comes to managing tricky forms of spending. Gartner notes in "Procurement Leaders Need to Deploy Work-Stream-Specific P2P Solutions to Maximize ROI" that “work-stream-specific P2P solutions deliver dramatic out-of-the-box improvements over basic tools in the granularity and degree of control over spending. They achieve this through improved compliance to contract, spend category, and/or project specific workflows and order process audit trail documentation.” (This content is available to Gartner clients.)

Typically, if you're looking for a work-stream tool, you're looking to control spending in a specific area, and you'll look to the niche vendors that specialize in this area. Hence our focus here will be on multipurpose procure-to-pay (P2P) suites.

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Notifications on expense report in Coupa Cloud Spend Management

What are the features of purchasing software?

P2P suites offer a range of modules with diverse functions. The below table homes in on some of the most important:

Rules engine for PO to invoice reconciliation (accounts payable automation)

One of the core features of any procurement solution. Automates the tedious process of reconciling POs to invoices by matching them via rules engines.

PO to contract reconciliation

Automatically match POs to contracts.

E-invoicing

Transmit and store invoices in an electronic format such as electronic data interchange (EDI).

E-catalogs

Can be customized and managed to show, for example, prices based on contracts.

Integrated spend analysis and reporting

Procurement managers can analyze spend using native reporting tools or export prepared and aggregated data for further analysis. Advanced solutions sport built-in data warehousing functionality.

Expense reporting and management

Enables a rules-based approach to ensure compliance with organizational policies.

Strategic sourcing

Some of the more robust P2P suites have built-in modules for strategic sourcing via reverse auctions and other mechanisms.

ERP integrations

Since P2P solutions are sold as suites in their own right rather than components of ERP systems, they typically offer integrations with leading ERP systems.

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Procurement e-catalog in GEP

Benefits and potential issues

P2P solutions offer the following key benefits:

  • Automation of accounts payable (AP) processes: Procurement software eliminates the necessity for manual matching with rules engines, improving efficiency, accuracy, and cost-effectiveness.

  • Better control over expenditures: Features such as e-catalogs through which employees can make purchases, supplier information databases, and rules for creating POs and reporting expenses ensure that employees' purchasing habits comply with organizational policies to reduce spending.

  • Paperless processing: By eliminating the use of paper in crucial areas, these solutions can offer dramatic savings.

  • Integrated reporting and spend visibility: P2P solutions offer dashboards as well as ad hoc reporting interfaces to ensure better visibility into expenditures throughout the organization.

  • Improved purchasing workflows: User-friendly interfaces with built-in approvals workflows, as well as remote and mobile access to the system, simplify complex purchasing processes.

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Exceptions to AP process report in Basware

Potential issues include:

  • Local e-invoicing regulations: While e-invoicing doesn't pose particular regulatory challenges in the US, it remains difficult and/or impossible in some areas of the world. Gartner offers specific guidance in the report E-Invoicing Gains Traction Worldwide.

  • Employee adoption: Lack of support for some complex purchasing workflows (e.g. travel purchases) may lead to poor adoption of the system. In some cases, the purchase of an additional work-stream-specific tool may be necessary to supplement the functionality of the P2P suite and encourage engagement.

What type of buyer are you?

We've seen that there are many software options out there for managing POs. Let's take a look at which kinds of buyers should examine particular solutions.

Buyers primarily involved in direct procurement should explore procurement modules in ERP suites, which offer integrated features in other modules for making the most of data generated by direct procurement (e.g., production planning). Additionally, ERP systems offer strong functionality in areas such as vendor-managed inventory/automated replenishment, which are key to streamlining direct procurement processes.

Buyers dealing with both indirect and direct procurement should explore P2P suites, as these suites are robust and rangy enough to handle various types of purchasing.

Departmental buyers should explore work-stream specific tools that don't require the whole organization to move onto a new procurement platform.

Buyers seeking to control spend in a single key area should evaluate work-stream specific tools.

Buyers with advanced needs such as job costing and quoting need to evaluate niche solutions that can track POs against jobs and that can convert quotes to invoices. Such features are lacking in many all-purpose P2P suites.