Get in touch

Find out more about how ONSO can help your business - we’d love to hear from you!

6 Station View
Hazel Grove
+44 0844 549 9888


A purchase order (PO) is a commercial document issued by a buyer to a seller, indicating the types, quantities, and agreed-upon prices for products or services that the buyer wishes to purchase. It serves as a formal request or offer to buy goods or services from the seller.A typical purchase order contains essential information such as:

1. Buyer and seller details: It includes the names, addresses, and contact information of both the buyer and seller.

2. Purchase order number: A unique identifier assigned to each purchase order for tracking and reference purposes.

3. Date and delivery information: The date the purchase order is issued and the requested delivery date or any specific instructions regarding shipment or delivery.

4. Item details: A description of the products or services being ordered, including item codes, quantities, unit prices, and any applicable discounts.

5. Payment terms: The agreed-upon payment terms, such as the payment method, due date, and any applicable discounts or penalties for late payment.

6. Shipping and billing addresses: The addresses to which the goods should be shipped and where the invoice should be sent.

7. Terms and conditions: Any additional terms and conditions agreed upon by the buyer and seller, such as warranties, returns, or specific contractual obligations.

Once the seller receives the purchase order, they can review the details and accept it by fulfilling the order or negotiate any discrepancies or changes if necessary. The purchase order acts as a legally binding contract between the buyer and seller, outlining the agreed-upon terms of the transaction and providing a record for both parties.
Companies use purchase orders for several reasons:

1. Formality and clarity: Purchase orders provide a formal and structured way for a buyer to communicate their specific requirements to a seller. By clearly outlining the details of the purchase, including the items, quantities, prices, and terms, a purchase order helps eliminate any potential misunderstandings or discrepancies.

2. Control and authorisation: Purchase orders help establish a control mechanism within an organization. They ensure that purchases are authorised by the appropriate personnel and are aligned with the company's budget and procurement policies. By requiring a purchase order, companies can prevent unauthorised purchases and maintain better control over their spending.

3. Documentation and record-keeping: Purchase orders serve as important documentation for both the buyer and the seller. They create a record of the transaction, including the agreed-upon terms and conditions, which can be used for future reference, auditing, or dispute resolution. Purchase orders also help in tracking and reconciling invoices and payments.

4. Supplier management and relationship: Purchase orders facilitate better supplier management. By clearly specifying the requirements, companies can ensure that their suppliers deliver the correct products or services as agreed. Purchase orders also provide a reference for tracking deliveries, managing inventory, and evaluating supplier performance.

5. Financial planning and budgeting: Purchase orders play a role in financial planning and budgeting processes. They help companies track their committed expenses and forecast future spending. Purchase orders provide a basis for comparing actual costs against the budgeted amounts and enable better financial control and analysis.

6. Legal protection: Purchase orders can offer legal protection to both the buyer and seller. They establish a contractual agreement between the parties and provide a framework for resolving any disputes that may arise. Purchase orders can help clarify responsibilities, warranties, and terms of payment, protecting both parties' interests.

Overall, the use of purchase orders brings structure, transparency, and accountability to the procurement process, helping companies manage their purchasing activities effectively while maintaining control and ensuring compliance with their policies and procedures.
Invoice matching is a process in which a buyer compares and verifies the details of an invoice received from a seller against the corresponding purchase order and receiving documents. The purpose of invoice matching is to ensure that the invoice accurately reflects the goods or services received, quantities, prices, and other relevant details as agreed upon in the purchase order.

There are generally three types of matching involved in the process:

1. Three-Way Match: This is the most common form of matching and involves comparing the invoice against three documents:
    • Purchase order: The quantities, prices, and descriptions on the invoice are compared to the corresponding information on the purchase order.
    • Goods receipt/Receiving report: The invoice is checked against the receiving documents to verify that the goods or services have been received as stated on the invoice.
    • Supplier invoice: The supplier's invoice is compared to the other documents to ensure accuracy and consistency.

In a three-way match, all three documents must align for the invoice to be considered valid and ready for payment.

2. Two-Way Match: In some cases, a two-way match is used, which involves comparing the invoice against just two documents:
    • Purchase order: The invoice is compared to the purchase order to ensure the quantities, prices, and descriptions match.
    • Supplier invoice: The supplier's invoice is compared to the purchase order to verify accuracy.

A two-way match is typically used when there is no receiving process involved, such as for services or non-inventory items.

3. Four-Way Match: In certain industries or situations, a four-way match may be required. This involves an additional comparison to a contract or agreement between the buyer and seller. The invoice is matched against:
    • Purchase order: The invoice is compared to the purchase order for quantity, price, and description.
    • Goods receipt/Receiving report: The invoice is compared to the receiving documents to verify the receipt of goods or services.
    • Supplier invoice: The supplier's invoice is compared to the other documents for accuracy.
    • Contract or agreement: The invoice is checked against the terms of the contract or agreement to ensure compliance.

The purpose of invoice matching is to identify any discrepancies, such as incorrect quantities, pricing errors, or missing goods or services. It helps prevent overpayment, underpayment, or payment for goods or services that were not received. By verifying and reconciling the invoice against the purchase order and receiving documents, companies can ensure accurate and timely payment to their suppliers while maintaining control over their expenses.
Job costing is a cost accounting method used by companies to track and allocate costs to specific projects or jobs. It is particularly useful in industries where customized products or services are provided, and each job or project has unique characteristics and costs.

In job costing, costs are assigned to specific jobs or projects based on the resources consumed and the activities performed. The key steps involved in job costing include:

1. Cost Estimation: Before starting a job, an estimate of the costs involved is prepared. This estimate includes direct costs (such as materials, labour, and equipment directly related to the job) and indirect costs (such as overhead expenses indirectly allocated to the job).

2. Job Identification: Each job or project is assigned a unique identifier or job number to differentiate it from other jobs. This helps in tracking and allocating costs accurately.

3. Cost Accumulation: As the job progresses, costs are accumulated and recorded for the various resources utilised. This includes direct material costs, direct labour costs, and any other direct expenses specifically incurred for the job. Indirect costs are also allocated to the job based on predetermined allocation methods, such as overhead rates.

4. Time Tracking: For labour costs, employees working on the job typically record their time spent on specific tasks or activities. This information is used to determine the labour cost associated with the job.

5. Overhead Allocation: Indirect costs or overhead expenses, such as rent, utilities, supervision, or administrative costs, need to be allocated to the job. This is often done based on a predetermined overhead rate or using allocation methods like labour hours, machine hours, or square footage.

6. Job Cost Calculation: Once all the direct and indirect costs are accumulated, the total cost of the job is calculated by summing up these costs. This provides an accurate picture of the costs incurred for the specific job.

7. Job Profitability Analysis: By comparing the total cost of the job with the revenue generated from that job, companies can analyse the profitability of each job. This information helps in making informed decisions about pricing, resource allocation, and identifying areas for cost control or improvement.

Job costing allows companies to track costs on a granular level, enabling better control and analysis of project profitability. It helps in determining accurate product or service costs, making competitive pricing decisions, evaluating project performance, and providing insights for future cost estimation and resource allocation.
Analytics play a crucial role in improving business performance by providing valuable insights and data-driven decision-making. Here are some ways analytics can help enhance business performance:

1. Data-driven decision-making: Analytics allows businesses to leverage vast amounts of data to make informed decisions. By analysing historical and real-time data, businesses can identify patterns, trends, and correlations, enabling them to make data-driven decisions rather than relying on intuition or guesswork.

2. Performance tracking and monitoring: Analytics enables businesses to monitor and track key performance indicators (KPIs) across various areas of the organisation. By setting measurable goals and using analytics to track progress, businesses can identify areas of improvement, address issues, and make necessary adjustments to achieve better results.

3. Customer insights and segmentation: Analytics helps businesses gain a deeper understanding of their customers. By analysing customer data, businesses can identify customer preferences, behaviours, and needs. This information allows them to segment their customer base, personalise marketing strategies, optimize customer experiences, and drive customer satisfaction and loyalty.

4. Operational efficiency and optimisation: Analytics can help identify inefficiencies and bottlenecks in business processes. By analysing operational data, businesses can uncover areas for improvement, streamline workflows, optimizs resource allocation, and reduce costs. This leads to improved operational efficiency and productivity.

5. Risk assessment and mitigation: Analytics can aid in identifying and assessing risks to the business. By analysing historical data, businesses can identify risk patterns and indicators, enabling them to implement risk mitigation strategies. Analytics can also be used for predictive modelling and scenario analysis to anticipate and proactively address potential risks.

6. Forecasting and planning: Analytics enables businesses to forecast future trends and outcomes based on historical and current data. By leveraging predictive analytics techniques, businesses can make more accurate demand forecasts, inventory planning, sales projections, and financial planning. This helps in strategic decision-making and resource allocation.

7. Competitive advantage and innovation: Analytics can provide businesses with a competitive edge by uncovering insights and opportunities that others may overlook. By analysing market data, consumer trends, and competitor performance, businesses can identify gaps, emerging trends, and areas for innovation. Analytics helps businesses stay ahead of the competition and adapt to changing market dynamics.

Overall, analytics empowers businesses to make better decisions, optimize processes, enhance customer experiences, manage risks effectively, and gain a competitive advantage. By leveraging data and insights, businesses can drive performance improvements, achieve growth, and maximise their overall success.
Agreed rates with suppliers are important to businesses for several reasons:

1. Cost control and predictability: Agreed rates provide businesses with a clear understanding of the pricing structure and ensure cost predictability. By negotiating and establishing rates with suppliers, businesses can plan their budget more accurately and avoid unexpected cost fluctuations. Agreed rates help businesses maintain cost control and avoid potential price increases or sudden changes in pricing.

2. Supplier relationship management: Establishing agreed rates with suppliers helps foster a strong and mutually beneficial relationship. By negotiating rates, businesses and suppliers can align their expectations, build trust, and establish a foundation for long-term collaboration. Agreed rates can lead to improved communication, responsiveness, and cooperation between the parties.

3. Budgeting and financial planning: Agreed rates allow businesses to plan and allocate their financial resources effectively. By knowing the rates in advance, businesses can estimate and budget for the costs associated with the goods or services provided by the suppliers. This helps in financial planning, forecasting, and setting realistic financial goals.

4. Competitive advantage: Agreed rates with suppliers can provide a competitive advantage to businesses. By negotiating favourable rates, businesses can lower their costs and improve their pricing competitiveness in the market. This allows them to offer more competitive prices to their customers, attract more business, and potentially gain market share.

5. Risk management: Agreed rates help mitigate the risk of price volatility. In industries where prices for raw materials or services are subject to market fluctuations, having agreed rates can protect businesses from sudden price increases. It provides stability and reduces the exposure to market risks, enabling businesses to manage their supply chain and operations more effectively.

6. Streamlined procurement process: Agreed rates simplify the procurement process for businesses. Once rates are agreed upon, it eliminates the need for repetitive negotiations and accelerates the purchasing process. Businesses can place orders quickly, saving time and effort in each transaction.

7. Contractual clarity and legal protection: Agreed rates are typically documented in contracts or purchase agreements. This provides a legal framework and clarity for both parties involved. Agreed rates ensure that the terms and conditions are clearly defined, reducing the risk of misunderstandings or disputes in the future. In case of any discrepancies, the agreed rates serve as a reference point for resolution.

Overall, agreed rates with suppliers offer businesses financial stability, cost control, competitive advantage, risk management, and improved supplier relationships. It provides a foundation for effective procurement practices, budgeting, and long-term strategic planning.
Project management software can offer several benefits to businesses in managing and executing their projects effectively. Here are some ways project management software can help:

1. Planning and scheduling: Project management software provides tools for creating project plans, defining tasks, and establishing timelines. It enables businesses to break down complex projects into smaller tasks, assign responsibilities, and set dependencies. This helps in creating realistic project schedules and facilitates better project planning.

2. Collaboration and communication: Project management software offers features for collaboration and communication among team members. It provides a centralized platform where team members can share project-related documents, updates, and discussions. This improves communication, ensures everyone is on the same page, and facilitates real-time collaboration, even for distributed teams.

3. Task management and tracking: Project management software helps businesses track and manage project tasks efficiently. It allows the creation of task lists, assignment of tasks to team members, setting priorities, and tracking progress. This enables better task management, identifies bottlenecks, and ensures timely completion of project milestones.

4. Resource allocation and management: Project management software helps in allocating resources effectively. It provides visibility into resource availability and allows businesses to assign resources based on their skills, availability, and workload. This ensures optimal utilization of resources and avoids overbooking or underutilization.

5. Document and file management: Project management software often includes features for document and file management. It provides a central repository where project-related documents, files, and information can be stored, organized, and accessed by the team members. This ensures easy access to project documentation, version control, and reduces the risk of information silos or loss.

6. Reporting and analytics: Project management software generates reports and provides analytics on project progress, resource utilization, and other key metrics. It offers visual representations of data, such as charts and graphs, allowing businesses to analyse project performance, identify trends, and make data-driven decisions. This enhances project oversight and enables proactive management.

7. Risk management: Project management software often includes features for risk management. It allows businesses to identify and assess project risks, assign risk owners, and implement mitigation strategies. It facilitates the tracking and monitoring of risks throughout the project lifecycle, helping businesses minimize the impact of potential risks on project outcomes.

8. Integration and scalability: Project management software can integrate with other tools and systems used within the organization, such as document management systems, time tracking software, or communication tools. This enables seamless data exchange and enhances efficiency. Additionally, project management software can scale with the growing needs of the business, accommodating larger projects and expanding teams.

By utilizing project management software, businesses can streamline project execution, improve collaboration and communication, enhance resource management, mitigate risks, and achieve better project outcomes. It enables businesses to optimize their project management practices, increase productivity, and deliver projects within scope, schedule, and budget.

"ONSO has transformed my business"

It has been a busy year for us, so having ONSO has helped to minimise human error and ensured that projects can run smoothly. I would recommend it to businesses like ours that want to keep on top of their orders and ensure their systems are robust.

Timothy Dawson, Technical Solutions Director at DASA Ltd

window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'UA-189321650-1');