PO Template Blog

Purchase Order Number Format

PO No. Consistency and Uniqueness

An important aspect of purchase order generation and management is a consistent PO number pattern.

Purchase order numbers are a unique identifier for an individual purchase order form provided to a vendor by the purchasing party. A unique number helps both the buyer and seller track an order through the entire process.

What should a purchase order number look like?

There is not specific format that a PO number must follow.

Many companies will have a simple incremented number system. Starting with at least five digits would be recommended. This number will always be unique to the purchaser.

Another simple option is to solely use or incorporate the date into the PO number, such as 20230626. This is an easy method for manually creating PO numbers, but may not always be unique if more than one purchase order is issued in a single day.

Some companies will include modifiers to help make a PO number more unique and/or associate it with a department or purchaser. This may include separators, such as dashes, and letters and/or numbers. An example may look like: 20230626-ABC

Purchase Order Number Generator

PO Pro has developed a tool to improve and automate this process for our users. Users can define their preferred PO number format under PO No. Settings within the app.

Options include:

  • Auto-generated, incremented number system.

  • Static prefix and/or suffix with optional dash separators.

  • The ability to auto-insert the date into any of the available PO format positions.

PO Pro PO Number Settings