Purchase Order Format in Excel, Word, and PDF

Getting the right purchase order format for manufacturing business operations is crucial. A purchase order is a document generated by the buyer and sent to the seller as a way of acknowledging and confirming the intention to buy. There are many purchase order formats available to business owners to choose from.

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Free Purchase Order Format in Excel, Word, and PDF

The purpose of a purchase order is to make the entire transaction between a buyer and a seller hassle-free. A purchase order is a document that establishes the intent to purchase something from the buyer to the seller.


A PO or purchase order document enables a buyer to communicate to the seller the specific details of the intended purchase. Using the various purchase order formats available, a buyer will create a standard PO and share it with the seller.

The seller will be able to review the purchase order and accept it or ask for any revisions that might be needed. Once accepted by the seller and confirmed with the buyer, the purchase order becomes legally binding. It is an essential document that makes the entire process much easier and more transparent for both parties.

Important Elements in Purchase Order Format

A business owner may choose any purchase order format from the available options to create a simple PO. To fully understand what is a purchase order, you need to be aware of the certain set of elements that are crucial to be included, regardless of the purchase order format.

  • Purchase Order Number

    Every purchase has a unique set of items within it and needs to be individually identifiable and accessible. This is where a unique purchase order number comes in handy and is necessary across purchase order formats.

  • Branding of the buyer

    Each purchase order format also needs to include the visual brand identity of the buyer. This is usually done in the form of their name and corporate logo and can typically be found at the top of a purchase order, usually on the left-hand side of the document.

  • Buyer Contact Details

    Regardless of the purchase order format being used, the primary contact details such as the complete address and business phone number are also essential elements of a PO format.

  • Seller's Contact Details

    The contact details of the seller are also included in the purchase order. This typically includes the seller`s company name, the complete company address, and any other relevant contact details.

  • Important Dates

    Once the details of the buyer and seller are in place, the other crucial piece of information is the date on which the purchase order has been issued. This is important as it establishes the point in time that the transaction was acknowledged by the buyer and sent to the seller. Aside from the issuance date, the PO should also include the timeline for when the buyer expects the delivery from the seller.

  • Order Details

    No matter what purchase order format is chosen by the buyer, each PO will need to contain the specific details of the particular order. This usually includes elements such as the item name, the description of the item, the number of units, the price per unit, and the total price the buyer is willing to pay.

  • Location for Final Delivery

    After all the above elements are included in the purchase order, the final piece of the puzzle is the intended location for the delivery. This is usually mentioned by the buyer in the purchase order format they use, to communicate to the seller where the final delivery is to happen. The seller can review the information and see if any further intervention is required, or if the delivery location works fine.

Why Is Purchase Order Important?

When a buyer needs to purchase something, they will typically reach out to multiple sellers to try and get the best deal. Keeping a track of all this activity manually can be highly counterproductive. A purchase order allows a buyer to formally establish an intent to purchase and by using the purchase order, the buyer can keep a track of every relevant effort. The PO also contains all the necessary information about the intended purchase, thereby allowing the seller's team to review and accept the terms, or ask for any corrections required. This process ensures the transaction goes smoothly for both parties.

Purchase Order Format in Excel

An extremely popular and commonly used tool in the business environment is Microsoft Excel. This tool is used by professionals to create documents of all kinds and a purchase order format in excel is also easily available to create and use. You need to open up a new Excel document and search for the correct purchase order template. There will be various templates available and depending on the type of business you operate, you can select the appropriate purchase order format in Excel and download it. If the template is not exactly what you need, you may have to amend the PO format in Excel. However, maintaining several hundreds of POs in Excel can be challenging.

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Purchase Order Format in Word

The Microsoft Office suite also offers another option for you to create a purchase order and that is by using the Microsoft Word software. The process to make a purchase order format in Word starts by you opening up a new document in Word and choosing a template from the existing library. There are many templates available and you can select one that seems to be the closest to what you're looking for. Once you have made your choice, simply open up the document and make any edits you need to. If you're looking to create a table for the item details, you can simply insert a table from the 'insert' tab in the top menu. Select the number of rows and columns, make any other informational changes needed and you're all set with your PO format in word.

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Purchase Order Format in PDF

A popular choice amongst business owners and working professionals is to make a PO template using the PDF format. This is usually done since PDFs are easy to share and also can be secured further if needed by password-protecting them. Any purchase order you have made using Excel or Word can be easily converted into a PDF format by following a few simple steps. Once you have decided on the purchase order format you would like to use, start by downloading the document in your chosen format.

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Sample Purchase Order Format

A sample purchase order format will typically contain all the essential information that an acceptable purchase order would require. This would include all the previously mentioned elements such as the buyer and seller`s contact information and company details, the items in question that need to be purchased, the expected timelines and dates of delivery along with the location.
A purchase order sample helps you to determine if it suits all your business needs. Your purchase order must look professional.

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What are the Benefits of Purchase Order?

A business owner may choose any purchase order format from the available options to create a simple PO. To fully understand what is a purchase order, you need to be aware of the certain set of elements that are crucial to be included, regardless of the purchase order format.

Saves a lot of time

When you are operating at a certain scale, you are working in a dynamic environment. This means there are a lot of moving pieces and keeping track of everything can get difficult. A proper purchase order system will make it easy for you to access your past purchases or expected future ones, with ease.

Eliminates errors

A PO document will ensure that all the relevant information regarding a purchase is documented and communicated to both parties. Once this has been shared by the buyer and accepted by the seller, the terms of the agreement are clear to everyone and there can be no scope for mistakes in delivery.

Enables data-driven decision-making

When you have been using a robust purchase order system and are meticulous about it, you will build up a lot of data regarding your purchases. Analyzing this data can empower you to recognize trends and take advantage of purchasing patterns and opportunities.

Effective planning and budgeting

Purchase orders will ensure you always track all your spending and intended purchases. Once you use purchase orders for your transactions, you will have a complete understanding of what you are buying or selling, for how much, and the frequency of these purchases. This will help ensure your spending never exceeds your budget.


FAQs on Purchase Order Format

  • What is a standard PO?

    A standard PO is a purchase order that includes all the basic and necessary information, and elements that need to be present. Once the buyer and seller have agreed upon the details of a particular purchase, the standard PO is issued by the buyer to the seller containing all the agreed-upon information, terms, and conditions.

  • How to make a purchase order?

    You can use a variety of methods to create purchase orders such as Microsoft Word or Excel, or better, automated software. An automated software like TranZact, for purchase orders, comes with professional templates to suit your specific business.

  • Purchase order vs invoice: What is the difference?

    There is a crucial difference between purchase orders and invoices. A purchase order is created by a buyer and sent to a seller as a way to acknowledge and formalize an intended purchase. An invoice on the other hand is a document created by the seller and sent to the buyer after a particular purchase has been made, to request payment.

  • What is the difference between a sales order and a purchase order?

    There is a fundamental difference between a sales order vs a purchase order. A purchase order is sent by the buyer to the seller to communicate the intention of making a purchase. A sales order is generated by the seller once they receive the purchase order and is a way for the seller to confirm the purchase at their end.

  • Is a purchase order a contract?

    A purchase order in its standard form is not a contract until it is accepted by the seller formally. Once it is accepted, it becomes a contract and can be legally binding.

  • What is the difference between a purchase requisition and a purchase order?

    A purchase requisition is an internal document that is created and circulated within the buyer`s organization. The purpose of the purchase requisition is to get the required approvals for the intended purchase while a purchase order comes into effect once this approval has been granted.

  • What are the types of purchase orders?

    There are four types of purchase orders, as per below:


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