The 5 Features to Look for in a Purchase-Order-Software

purchase order software

Last modified on April 4th, 2024

The global purchase order software market is expected to reach a value of $4.34 billion by 2026. With growth driven by an increasing demand for automation, it’s clear that businesses are turning towards this software to help make their purchase order process more efficient. But automation isn’t the only aspect to consider. In this piece, you’ll learn about the five most important features to look for in a purchase order software.

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Purchase order software: what is it and why is it useful?

Purchase order software enables global enterprise companies to effectively and efficiently manage their purchase order process. It’s a type of online program that enables organizations to:

  • Generate purchase order forms
  • Gain approval from the right party
  • Track inventory and automate orders
  • Set rules around spending and budget control (preventing maverick spend)
  • Store and access redundant documents securely
  • Request, create or send invoices
  • Apply three-way matching for accounting procedures
    And more!

The software, which can vary in function, pricing, and capability, is best for larger companies as procurement teams here are most stretched. They have to look after and stay in touch with thousands of suppliers every single month. But with purchase order software, businesses can streamline their workflow, prioritize the most important tasks within a system, and automate much of the traditionally manual work.

 

How to choose the right purchase-order-software

Purchase-order software is not one size fits all. Instead, companies should take their time to consider the exact features of each software, and determine which would be the best fit for them.

For example, a business with over 50 people in the procurement department would likely need a lot more functionality around setting rules and responsibilities based on seniority. This, compared to a procurement team of 4, who might instead want to focus on a software with the most automation capabilities available.

So, the five key features to consider include:

  1. Customization
  2. Security
  3. Usability
  4. Integrations and catalog support
  5. Automation

1. Customization

In the context of purchasing, customization refers to the ability to design the PO platform based on your specific needs.

For example, Procurify is a purchase order service that enables its patrons to track budgets in real-time, as each purchase order eats into the budget. Team members can request an automated notification when they reach 50% or 75% of the allocated funds.

Moreover, Procurify allows its clients to customize their feedback loops for supplier management. Their automatic supplier scorecard lets customers know which of their third parties are meeting KPIs, and which might be falling behind. This tracking can be a useful tool in generating stronger relationships with merchants and could be all-important in scaling the business.

One advisory note around customization: it requires the user to be confident and familiar with the solution at hand, and know what they want from purchase order software.

Without such knowledge, many fall into the trap of choice paralysis. This means that instead of maximizing returns from the software, users are overwhelmed by generating too many vanity functions, and can’t be productive.

2. Security

Security is a huge necessity for any software platform partnering with large-scale global enterprises. After all, it’s these companies that are often targeted by fraudsters and malicious attacks. However, one often overlooked risk of the procure-to-pay process is the security of third parties on purchase order platforms.

This exact scenario happened to Government Agencies in 2020, when their shared supplier, SolarWinds, became compromised. The company was hacked by cyber fraudsters, breaching the confidentiality and management of government-owned data.

Therefore, checking which measures are employed to keep your data safe is imperative when deciding between purchase order software.

One of the best platforms that prioritizes security is Kissflow. Its ‘security hub’ lays out a robust set of controls designed to keep the platform safe and secure, including:

  • Physical security at their data center: including video surveillance and intrusion detection systems
  • DDoS protection: to prevent complex cyberattacks and ‘hacking’
  • Committing to 99% uptime: meaning you can access, move, or delete your data at almost any time, while suspicious users are blocked
  • Network segmentation: isolating portions of the data to ensure it can’t be accessed even in the case of a breach

3. Usability

Usability refers to the ability to properly navigate the purchase order software. When new users attempt to get on board a complex system, they often face a steep learning curve. This can completely overwhelm the user by neglecting the software. And where team members do push through, poor usability can mean that they fail to get the most out of the software.

One purchase order software that’s mastered usability is Precoro. They won the “Front Runner 2024” award for usability in their industry this year. This success can largely be attributed to Precoro’s modular product, making it easy for users to build up to their full functionality. Moreover, strong navigation makes it simple for purchase order managers to find what they need, quickly.

4. Integrations and catalog support

The requirement for strong integration management is necessary across all third-party platforms since it can make or break the efficiency of operations. Integrations can include the likes of accounting management software, where direct data transfer is required to input sales orders, leading to the automatic calculation of revenues and profits.

However, strong catalog support is a very specific feature of purchase order software. This refers to the defined guide of products and services (like an inventory) that are available to purchase from approved vendors. Building this into the purchase order software makes things much easier for procurement teams, as they won’t have to flick back and forth between tabs, or worse, paper files, for approval.

A top choice for both integrations and catalog support is Procuredesk. This platform works with over 100 vendors to create automatic catalogs and can integrate with accounting software like:

  • Quickbooks
  • Xero
  • Sage Intacct
  • Microsoft Dynamics
  • And more

5. Automation

Finally, finance automation capabilities are an important feature to compare when deciding on the right purchase order software. As previously mentioned, automation is particularly important for large and global teams, as it takes the heavy lifting out of the daily procurement operations.

A purchase order software company that can meet vast automation demands is CoreIntegrator. This business foregoes the industry standard optical character recognition (OCR) technology in favor of its own AI-powered Intelligent Data Capture (IDC) technology.

It means that the program learns from its own mistakes when reading documents like purchase orders and vendor invoices for three-way matching, requiring minimal human input and absolutely zero manual data entry.

 

Making your choice on purchase order software
There are plenty of PO software options out there, so we hope that this article has helped you consider which features are most important. While Trustpair isn’t a purchase order software, we can help secure the entire procure-to-pay process thanks to automated account validation and integration with your procurement portal. Safeguard your p2p cycle against fraud with Trustpair.

FAQ

PO software, also known as purchase order software is a digital platform aimed to make the purchasing cycle more efficient. But it’s not just the automatic generation of purchase orders. PO software can also help teams set and track budgets, maintain vendor relationships, and keep their payment process secure.

Standard purchase orders are the most common. Then, there are planned purchase orders (sometimes swapped out for purchase requisition forms) and blanket purchase orders, which are also known as standing orders. Finally, contract purchase orders exist for repeated orders of a certain budget.

Manage the risks related to corporate treasury.

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