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Effortlessly Manage Purchase Order Approvals in NetSuite: A Complete Guide

purchase order

In todays fast-paced business environment, it is vital to have procedures in place to maintain productivity and ensure accurate transactions. This is not only true for your order to cash process, but also for your procure to pay processes. You will not have anything to provide to your customers if you cannot procure it in a streamlined way. One particular aspect that can be challenging is the approval process for purchase orders. This is due to the network of individuals involved including those who create purchase orders, supervisors, and approvers. Managing and expediting the approval process becomes harder as the number of purchase orders increases significantly. In this blog post we will explore the complexities of managing volumes of purchase order approvals in NetSuite providing a guide to streamline this critical task. The best part, the workflow that we will be using is native to NetSuite and will not require the user to set it up from the beginning! 

Picture This:

Your organization is experiencing a flow of purchase orders that is overwhelming your team. They are being notified of the purchase orders by each individual employee or supervisor, and now they are burdened with the task of approving each order. The repetitive process of clicking through purchase orders navigating the approval system and doing it all again becomes a significant obstacle. It’s not about wasting time; there’s also the risk of making mistakes. The frustration felt by a team overwhelmed with manual approvals. 

The Solution:

Don’t worry, because we’re about to reveal a solution that turns this task into a smooth and efficient mass approval process in NetSuite. Below we will explore how to automate purchase order approvals in detail. We will look at enabling the crucial features, enabling the native NetSuite Purchase Order Approval workflow, and how to mass approve all pending purchase orders assigned to you. Bid farewell, to the routine of clicking. Welcome a more flexible, automated, and hassle-free approval process.

1. Enable the Approval Routing, Purchase Orders, and SuiteFlow Features.

Navigate to Setup > Company > Enable Features (Employee Tab) and enable the Approval Routing feature under the Time & Expenses section. 


Navigate to Setup > Company > Enable Features (Transactions Tab) and enable the Purchase Order feature under the Basic Features section. 


Navigate to Setup > Company > Enable Features (SuiteFlow Tab) and enable the SuiteFlow feature under the SuiteCloud section. 


2. Enable the Purchase Order Approval Routing Accounting Preference.

Navigate to Setup > Accounting > Accounting Preferences and enable the Purchase Orders preference under the Approval Routing section. 


3. Assign Employee/Supervisor Purchase Order Preferences.

  • Assign the Employee Center role to purchase order creators. 
  • Assign a supervisor or purchase approver to each purchase order creator. 
  • Set the purchase limit for each purchase order creator. 
  • Set the purchase approval limit for each supervisor and purchase approver. 

4. Add Purchase Order Approval Workflow and Release it.

  • Navigate to Customization > Workflow > Workflows > New. 
  • Click From Template 
  • Select Purchase Order Basic Approval 
Customization Overview
New Workflow
Purchase Order Basic Approval copy
  • Edit Workflow
  • Check Execute as Admin 
  • Release Status: Released 
  • Keep Instance and History: Always 
  • Check Enable Logging 
Workflow Purchase Order Basic Approval

5. Add Purchase Requests to Approve Reminder to Dashboard.

You will be able to see in real time the purchase orders that are awaiting approval on your home dashboard, so the hassle of having users notify you each time the input a purchase order is no longer. 

  • Select Personalize on Your Dashboard
  • Select Reminders Portlet
  • Click the 3 dots on the right of the portlet, select Setup
  • Search for and add Purchase Request to Approve, click Save.
set reminders

6. Add Purchase Orders in the System and Approve Purchase Orders.

  • The Reminders will Populate with the Purchase Orders Requiring Approval. Click on the Reminder to Open the Approve Purchase Request Page.
  • Click the Action Dropdown and select the Approve Stage
  • Checkmark all PO’s to approve
  • Click Submit
Reminders setup
Approve Purchase Request
  • You will receive a confirmation of the number of records that were processed to approve. 

7. You can Also Approve PO’s in the Employee Center Role. Follow the steps below.

For added convenience, users can also approve purchase orders within the Employee Center role. Follow the steps below to approve the orders in the employee center role.

  • Log in to the Employee Center.
  • Click Approve Purchase Requests.
  • Select the name of the employee who submitted the request.
  • Check the box next to the purchase request you want to approve.
  • Click Save.

To sum up, the solution to effectively tackle the issue of approving large-scale purchase orders is to make use of the capabilities offered by NetSuite. By utilizing features adjusting preferences and implementing automated workflows your company can turn what used to be a task, into a smooth and effective procedure. Embrace automations potential to boost productivity and ensure accuracy when it comes to approving purchase orders, in NetSuite. 

How TAC Can Help

Empower your NetSuite experience with TAC’s Certified NetSuite Consultants. Our experienced team has successfully guided numerous clients through the complexities of purchase order approvals. Whether you have questions or are ready to schedule a call, we’re here to provide detailed insights and explore the full potential of NetSuite’s functionality tailored to your business. Reach out today to elevate your NetSuite experience and propel your business forward.


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