Working with Purchases

Note: The video tutorial is being updated for the latest version of Briefcase. See documentation below.


Lets take a look at how Purchases work in Briefcase.

A Purchase can be used either as a Request For Quote or as a Purchase Order. When sending a Request For Quote the Purchase status shows as Pending, because it has yet to be formally ordered from a supplier.

Some Purchases will not be approved,  In these cases you can change the status of Purchase to Cancelled.

There are two ways to create a Purchase.

You can navigate to the Purchases list, and click New. From the dialog select or search for the relevant Job.

Alternatively you can start from the Job record, click the Purchase tab then click New Purchase. This is the recommended way to create an Purchase and is generally quicker.

Purchases are identified by a unique number, this number forms the Purchase Order number when a purchase is approved.

The Status options for Purchases are as follows.

  • Pending, this is the status for a Purchase that is not ready to be sent to a supplier.
  • On Request, is used for Purchases that have been submitted to a supplier for quoting.
  • Quoted, indicates the supplier has provided costs.
  • On Order, this status indicates; all or part of the Purchase has been approved.
  • Received, is the status for Orders that have been delivered.
  • Invoice Entered, used to indicate the suppliers invoice has been entered in to your accounting system.
  • Exported, the Status for Purchases exported in to an accounting system.
  • Cancelled, when an Purchase has been withdrawn.

Towards the middle of the window the Job details associated with the Purchase are shown, making it easy to see which Job the Purchase belongs to. These fields can be used to search for a Purchase in Find Mode. The Job Number label is also a quick way to get back to the Job record.

To move a Purchase from one Job to another, click the Job number input and change the selection from the Job select dialog.

Define a Supplier before sending a Quote Request or Purchase Order. Click the Supplier input and select a Supplier from the Company select dialog. You can send the request to multiple suppliers by Cloning the Purchase and defining another supplier. This allows you to track individual supplier requests and compare costs when submitted.

You can title the Purchase in the Scope tab; by default the Purchase will inherit the Job Title, but you can edit so that it is more relevant to the content of the Purchase. You can use the title to identify multiple Purchases within a Job, for example, a Stationery reprint may include separate Purchase for business cards and letterheads.

The Request Body of the Purchase is populated with default content from the Settings area in Briefcase. You can edit this text as required.

Use the specifications table on the right to tabulate specifications. You can edit the options listed here and also set defaults in the Settings area.

After entering the details of request you can send a Quote Request to a supplier, and there are two ways you can do this. You can click the Send via Email button to send a plain text email via your desktop mail client using a standard template defined in Settings.

Alternatively you can send a more formal request by using the Quote Request template; click Print and select the template from the menu.

When the Quote Request is sent you will see a prompt to change the Status to On Request. Apply this change to help you keep track of your Purchases.

After costs have been submitted back, you should enter a Quote Reference from your supplier for tracking purposes.

The Line Items tab is used to record the suppliers costs.

Use the appropriate Category and Rate record the cost.

Enter a description. The description can be brief, but if you intend to include the line item in an Estimate you should include enough detail so that your client knows what the cost is for.

Lets do a quick run through of the remaining columns.

  • Options are used to record a Suppliers optional costs such as Quantity breaks.
  • Quantity is typically the number of units.
  • Use Unit Cost when items have a cost per unit, this is multiplied by the Quantity to calculate the overall Cost.
  • The overall Cost of the Line Item.
  • The M.U percentage is the Mark-Up, it is applied to the overall Cost to calculate the Sale amount which will later be used in your Estimate.
  • Use Unit Sell when items have a sale price per unit, this is multiplied by the Quantity to calculate the overall Sale.
  • The overall Sale amount of the Line Item including Mark-Up where applicable which will later be used in your Estimate.
  • The Gross Profit is the Sale amount minus the Cost.
  • Tax, is by default the Suppliers setting for Tax as defined in the Company record.

Finally, use the Line number column to order and reorder Line Items.

Using the delivery tab you can coordinate complex distribution schedules by adding multiple delivery locations with quantities and dates.

After recording the supplier costs you can add them to Estimates. See the guide for Working with Estimates.

Assuming the costs are approved in the Estimate by your client, you will need to generate a Purchase Order, do this by changing the Status to On Order.

Clicking Print and preview the Purchase Order layout.

In the preview click Email PDF. This will activate your default mail client and attach the PDF ready for sending.

When you close the Purchase Order preview you will be prompted to change the Status to On Order. Apply this change to help you keep track of your Purchases.

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