If you run a small or medium-sized business, then you will know, first-hand, just how challenging it can be to achieve balance when it comes to purchasing responsibilities.
By handing too much control to a single person within your organisation – subsequently routing all purchase requisitions through them – you are, in essence, creating an opportunity for a bottleneck.
If you decide to implement a dedicated purchasing department to take the strain, then that will undoubtedly make things easier. However, it will also take a big chunk out of your operating budget.
If you just leave it to your employees to send out Purchase Orders, as and when they see fit, you will soon have a mess on your hands.
So, the question remains: how can your business achieve balance? How can you retain the necessary control over those key purchasing decisions? How can you minimise the cost of time and/or money?
In this post, we will answer these questions and more.
Deferring Responsibility, The Right Way.
For many small and medium-sized businesses, the sheer notion of building a dedicated purchasing department is simply a pipe dream. Instead, the responsibility must be deferred to your employees, allowing them to raise Purchase Orders (PO) themselves.
What this invariably leads to is the following:
Employees requesting access to your accounting platform.
You do not need to tell us; we know your heart just jumped into your throat. This sort of request is both unreasonable and, frankly, not all that secure.
By handing over access to your accounting system, you may be allowing your employees to view sensitive accounting data. This is data that is well above their pay grade.
The need for an effective and accountable approval system.
Any sort of reliance on email chains will soon become messy. Just try to comb through a mountain of email correspondence to find a particular piece of information. This kind of process will not work in the long-term, especially when it comes to internal or external audits.
Meanwhile, the option to approve POs within an accounting system can be effective, but it often does not include the feature of multi-step approval. This only serves to make the delegation of responsibilities all the more difficult.
And we are only scratching the surface of these problems. All of this can, and will, prevent you from implementing a smooth, employee-driven purchasing process.
But do not worry! We have the solution! Read on to find out how all these problems can be solved.
“Get Your Mitts Off My Accounting System!”
When it comes to creating and maintaining a transparent approval process in your organisation, the single and most obvious solution is to keep PO requesters out of your accounting system.
To do this effectively, you will need a platform that allows POs to be created directly within in it, all while effortlessly interfacing with Xero and keeping sensitive accounting information secure.
That platform is ApprovalMax.
And by using it, you can circumvent Xero and provide your employees with the necessary information they require to raise a PO, such as suppliers, tracking categories or inventory items.
You will also be able to set limits on what requesters can order by supplier, inventory, accounts, or tracking codes. All of which equates to even more control over the purchasing process.
How it Works: Purchase Orders in ApprovalMax
Our PO feature is incredibly straightforward, and adds real value to the purchasing process, keeping everything safe, secure, and on track.
Having listened intently to the feedback from both Xero customers and our own users, we believe we have finally transformed employee-driven purchasing into a safe and transparent process. Here is how it works:
Step One: The Purchase Order is created directly within the ApprovalMax platform from a predetermined list of suppliers, inventory items, etc. pulled from Xero.
Step Two: The PO is then approved by the relevant person.
Step Three: Finally, once approved, the PO is sent automatically to both the supplier and Xero.
It could not be easier! And we believe there are a number of key benefits to using this feature. Namely:
The Implementation of a Secure Workflow
Both requesters and approvers of POs do not require access to Xero, keeping all your important accounting data safe and secure from prying eyes.
And because PO creation can be restricted to particular amounts, categories, items etc., means even more control can be applied to the entire purchasing process.
A Better Level of Compliance
By utilising this feature, you will see a better level of compliance come to the fore within your organisation. This is because POs will always be approved by the relevant managers, ensuring adherence to your business’ approval workflow setup.
And thanks to the availability of PDF audit reports, and a full online audit trail for every PO, every single PO-related action will be accounted for.
More Convenience for Approvers
Seamless automation means every PO-related decision is kept front and centre for approvers. Managers will be notified of any new documents that require approval the moment they are sent.
And they can approve them anywhere, anytime, from directly within their email. Or, if they would prefer, they can use our Smartphone app, which is available for both Android and iOS.
More Convenience for Requesters
Requesters too will see the benefit of using this feature. No matter if their PO has been approved or rejected, they will be notified either way. If it has been rejected, they will receive feedback as to why.
Even More Clarity
Finally, the best thing – in our humble opinion – about this new feature is its ability to track both POs and Bills.
This means approvers can check to see if a particular Bill is related to an earlier Purchase Order, therefore ensuring that the amounts and details match prior to approving payment.
Try ApprovalMax Today
This has been, without a doubt, one of the most sought after features for ApprovalMax. We were very proud to be able to launch it at the recent XeroCon San Francisco.