Function #25: Automatically generate purchase orders from a sales order

Function #25: Automatically generate purchase orders from a sales order

We kicked off the "Function Fridays" series with the goal of helping you automate your everyday accounting tasks. As we delve into today's post, I'm delighted to announce that we're here to present the 25th custom function in this series. While it is a small milestone, we are committed to continuing this series to provide more functions that can save you time and significantly enhance the efficiency of your business operations. You can find a complete list of all the functions we've shared to date by visiting this link. 

Coming to today's function, you're likely familiar with the feature in Zoho Books that allows you to raise multiple purchase orders from a sales order when item quantities are running low or depleted. If your sales order has several low-stock items that must be procured from different vendors, manually creating separate purchase orders for each vendor can become quite a time-consuming task. To streamline and simplify this process, you can set up a workflow rule that will trigger the automatic creation of purchase orders.

Here's how it works: Let's take the example of John, a retail business owner who has received an order. While he's in the process of creating the sales order, he notices 2 items whose stock levels need to be replenished to fulfill future orders. During the sales order creation in Zoho Books, John can simply use a checkbox-type custom field (specifically created for this purpose) to mark the items that need to be ordered. From that point, Zoho Books takes over.

The custom function is executed to generate purchase orders for all the marked items. The choice of vendor in the purchase orders is based on the preferred vendor assigned to each item. If there are multiple items in the sales order with the same preferred vendor, the system will consolidate these items and add them to a single purchase order.


1. Create a check box-type custom field for the items by the name "Generate PO" to be displayed in the item table of sales orders. When creating a sales order, it's necessary to tick this checkbox to initiate the creation of a purchase order for the item.

2. It's important to fill in the "Preferred vendor" field in the item details screen so that the purchase orders are raised for the corresponding vendor. Do note that the "Preferred vendor" field will be displayed only when the Purchase information of the item is enabled.

3. Create a Connection named "zbooks" to successfully execute the function. You can watch the GIF attached below to know how to create the connection.

Custom Function:

Navigate to Settings -> Automation -> Workflow Actions -> Custom Functions -> +New Custom Function > Add the function code from this GitHub link.
Workflow Rule: 
Go to Settings -> Automation -> Workflow Rules -> +New Workflow Rule and set up the workflow rule as shown below:-

In the final step of this workflow rule, associate the custom function you created and then hit Save.

This function will not just be a time-saver but also help you maintain optimum inventory levels required to fulfill customer orders. Should you need any help in configuring this function, remember, that we're just an email away. Feel free to drop your queries to support[at]zohobooks[dot]com. We're always available to provide the assistance you need! 

Shireen Farhana S
Zoho Books

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