How To Create a Purchase Order Template in Microsoft Excel

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published July 27, 2022

Purchase orders are business documents stating an intention to purchase a specified number of products, goods or services. Using templates can help you write these documents quickly and effectively. If you're responsible for creating purchase orders for a company, knowing how to make them using common software can also help you complete your duties successfully. In this article, we explain what a purchase order is, review the types you can make, describe how to create a purchase order template in Excel and list tips for using them efficiently.

Related: 25 Best Excel Tips To Optimize Your Use

What is a purchase order?

A purchase order (PO) is a document that a company sends to another business that's providing it with services, programs or goods. A PO acts as a confirmation that the other business plans to make a purchase. This document becomes legally binding once the seller accepts the PO, meaning the buyer promises to purchase the goods and the seller promises to fulfill the order. There are several different types of POs that a company can create, including standard purchase orders (POs), planned purchase orders (PPOs), contract purchase orders (CPOs) and blanket purchase orders (BPOs).

POs allow companies to record a variety of business agreements and transactions. Typically, a PO includes in-depth information about the order so that the transaction is as clearly detailed as possible. To do this, purchase orders typically include the following components and information:

  • Date of the purchase

  • Product name

  • Quantities of each product or product needed

  • Product SKU code

  • Product model numbers

  • Terms of payment for a product the seller or buyer has proposed

  • Billing address for the company purchasing the product

  • Shipping address for the company purchasing the product

  • Billing address for the seller

  • Shipping address for the seller

  • Purchase order number for the seller's records

Read more: What Is a Purchase Order? (And How It Works)

What types of purchase order templates can you make in Excel?

You can make a variety of purchase order templates to best suit the needs of the company for which you work, including the following:

Standard purchase order templates

A standard purchase order is a common, general PO that you can create a template for using Excel. When there are many set, rigid requirements involved in the transaction, a company typically uses a standard purchase order to record it. This type of purchase order often includes extensive details about one-time purchases. A company may also use it in situations where there's a lot of data involved in the transaction. This type of PO includes all components, such as the date of the purchase and product name.

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Planned purchase order templates

You can create a planned purchase order template when there isn't a set date a buyer can expect to receive purchased goods or services from a seller. This type of PO includes all the components of a standard purchase order except for the delivery information, such as the shipping address and the date the buyer can expect to receive the goods or services.

A company may use this type of PO when it's unsure about when or where it requires a product or service but knows the purchase is necessary for future use. Once the company confirms the delivery information, it can create a document called a release, which includes necessary delivery details.

Related: Invoice vs. Purchase Order: What Are the Differences?

Blanket purchase order templates

A blanket purchase order template is a type of PO template a company can use when it has standing orders. Similar to a PPO, a BPO includes all typical PO information except for the delivery details. A BPO also excludes any information regarding the exact number of goods, services or products the company intends to order. In some cases, the company also omits the item prices from the purchase order, though it may include the names of the types of items it plans to purchase.

Once the company determines the number of goods, services or products it requires, it creates a second document called a blanket release that details the delivery locations, times, qualities and items.

Related: A Guide to Purchase Orders (With FAQs)

Contract purchase order templates

A contract purchase order template is a simple reference for legally binding terms for some purchases of goods, products or services. Like a BPO, a CPO excludes delivery details and the number of goods or services the buyer is purchasing. It also omits a list of the names of the goods, services or products that the company intends to purchase.

The only confirmed piece of information that a CPO includes is the set of conditions, requirements and terms surrounding future POs that the company plans to make. Typically, a company uses this type of PO template when it expects long-term purchasing agreements to arise.

Related: Guide to Procurement: What It Is, How It Works and Steps To Take

How to create a purchase order template in Excel

Here's a step-by-step guide to how to create a purchase order template in Excel:

  1. Navigate to the Excel application on your computer or use the online version.

  2. Open a blank Excel spreadsheet.

  3. Click on the "New" tab in the top left corner of the software.

  4. Select the "Purchase orders" option from the list that appears.

  5. Click on the template that matches the type of PO you plan to create.

If you'd like to create a new template, you can also select the "Blank template" option and add in details that align with the type of PO you're writing. You can use this method to make a template for a PO, CPO, BPO or PPO.

Related: Basic Excel Formulas and How To Use Them

Tips for using Excel purchase order templates

Consider these helpful tips when using Excel purchase order templates:

  • Use basic design elements: To ensure that you clearly represent all purchase order information, it's important to keep your template's design as basic as possible by using one font and one color, such as black.

  • Aim to reuse templates: Being able to reuse your PO templates by making them as general as possible can help you save time and effort in the future when it's necessary to fill out new POs.

  • Keep it simple: Keeping your purchase order templates as simple as possible can help you ensure that they're easy to fill out and read.

Please note that none of the organizations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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