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Create purchase orders with Square for Retail

Who is this article for?
This article is for business owners and their team members with inventory permissions who want to create or generate purchase orders to track vendors and inventory. This is a feature available with Square for Retail Plus. Learn more about Square Staff and custom permissions.

About creating purchase orders

With a Square for Retail Plus subscription, you can create purchase orders (POs) to stock up on products, track vendors, and receive inventory. For more details, refer to the comparison of the Square Point of Sale app with the Retail Free and Plus features.

Before you begin

A maximum of 500 unique items can be added to a single Purchase Order.

Once you’ve created a purchase order for an existing vendor, the item variation will be associated with that vendor and the cost to purchase from that vendor. Items associated with a vendor will be visible under the Vendors tab in the Item Library.

Create purchase orders

Create a new purchase order from your Square Dashboard

  1. Log in to your Square Dashboard and go to Items > Inventory management > Purchase orders.
  2. Click Create.
  3. Enter purchase order details, such as vendor name, delivery location, date expectancy, and item information.
  4. Click Create or Save as Draft.
  5. Add your vendor’s email address and an optional note. To see the purchase order before hitting send, click Preview Email.
  6. If you’d like a copy of the purchase order, select Send me a copy, Save as PDF, or Save as CSV.
  7. Click Send or Done.

Create a new purchase order from the Square Retail POS app

You can create, edit and manage purchase orders with Square Retail POS app on iOS devices and Square Register. To do so:

  1. Tap Inventory from the navigation menu.
  2. Tap Purchase orders > Create purchase order.
  3. Select an existing vendor or tap Create vendor. Tap Continue.
  4. Using the search bar or a compatible barcode scanner, select the items to apply to the purchase order and tap Continue. You can see only items that are associated with the current vendor by switching a toggle during search that says the “Vendor Name only” filter.
  5. Add quantities, a vendor code, and a unit cost. To adjust, tap the relevant field. Tap Continue.
  6. Review purchase order details.
  7. Add an expected date, any relevant taxes, and an optional note.
  8. Tap Create or Save to complete the draft at a later time.

Once the purchase order is created, you have the option to send a copy to yourself or the vendor. You can also add an optional note.

Automatically generate a new purchase order online

Auto POs let you know which of your items could be running low on inventory. At a high level, Square makes decisions based on a few pieces of information:

  • The current inventory amount of an item, both in stock and on order
  • A sales prediction for that item
  • A lead time prediction for that item

Square will suggest reordering an item if, based on those pieces of information, we predict you will sell out before more items will arrive from your vendor.

For example, you have an item “XL Slim Fit Jeans” with a current inventory of 6 in stock, and 6 on order. We predict based on past POs that this item will take 7 days to arrive from your vendor if you order today. We also predict that you will sell 2 per day. This means that in the next 7 days, you will sell 14 units. However, you only have 12 in stock and on order. This means the item will show up on Auto POs.

Enable automatic purchase orders

  1. Log in to your online Square Dashboard and go to Items & orders > Items > Settings > Inventory.

  2. Toggle on Enable auto-generated purchase orders based on your sales and inventory data.

A banner for automatic purchase orders will appear in the purchase orders portion of the Square Dashboard after it is enabled in settings. For items to be considered in Auto POs, they must have a default vendor and sales history. Auto POs are independent of low stock alerts.

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