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Disadvantages of Using an Invoice and Purchase Order

In the financial world, there are a lot of documents used. Each file type has a particular purpose. An invoice and purchase order are two very essential documents. In addition, there are several benefits to using these financial tools. Nonetheless, there are some disadvantages to using these files. Before discussing these documents, you will learn what a purchase order and invoice are.

Purchase Order

The purchase order is a document a buyer sends to a buyer when they want to purchase an item or service. It usually contains details about an item, cost, type, and quality. Once a purchase order is accepted by a supplier, the document becomes legal.


Unlike a purchase order, an invoice is given by a seller to a customer. It stipulates details about a transaction that may be initiated by purchase order. For this document to be valid, it must contain a date and the following information.

  • Information about a buyer and seller
  • Information about items or services

Disadvantages of an Invoice and Purchase Order

There are a handful of disadvantages associated with each document. Below are some demerits of using an invoice.

  • Although an invoice can encourage a buyer to pay their debt, it can sometimes encourage them to relax. A seller may issue another reminder to the buyer to ensure payment. As such, invoices issued immediately after a sale may not work as intended.
  • An invoice can serve as a point of contention. In some cases, the parties involved can dispute the information on the document, especially if work hours are captured on it. Hence, an invoice is not the best document to present the cost of labor in hours.
  • A poorly-developed invoicing system can make the purchase process challenging. There is a high chance of customer churning if the buyer receives a badly written invoice.
  • If a business uses paper invoicing, a lot of money will be spent on printing supplies. In addition, as the number of orders increases, the ability to organize documents becomes difficult. A seller may lose track of payments from buyers if they have a poor invoicing system.

Below are some of the disadvantages of a purchase order.

  • A purchase order that is created with an error can lead to a loss of money for the buyer. Therefore, any item shipped must be returned to the seller. As such, all the costs associated with the return will be shouldered by the buyer. A buyer will have to receive a service or item they do not intend to get.
  • A purchase order may increase the amount of paperwork needed. The process can be a problem for small purchases. Hence, a buyer may waste time and money developing a purchase order for a small purchase.
  • A purchase order can make the buying long and tedious. In times of an emergency purchase, needing to make a purchase order can become a bottleneck. As a result, many businesses may exclude the use of purchase orders in such some cases.

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