PO Numbers

mrb82 Registered Posts: 147 ? ? ?

I have a couple of debtors who I am chasing payment for invoices from (relating to hire vehicle provided to their employee following accidents). We generally are not regular suppliers so do not have accounts set up with them as we provide one-off supplies.

The debtor did not provide us with PO numbers, yet they insist on these to be able to accept the invoice. I can not retrospectively get a PO number as the supply had ended at least a month prior to invoicing.

Does anyone else in industry come across this? Is there a way to combat the stalemate?



  • johnnyboy987
    johnnyboy987 Registered Posts: 36 ? ? ?

    My company have a similar policy to Purchase Orders although we are a lot more flexible than your debtor sounds!

    What I would suggest is go back to square one and request a PO number for the hire. There's no reason why a PO cannot be generated retrospectively. The system we operate is PO driven and we cannot enter an invoice with a PO being raised but we raise PO's after the fact for certain things (utilities being a prime example). Once you have the PO, I would re-issue the invoice with the PO quoted, bold, highlighted, underlined etc etc... Then they can't argue?

    Hope that helps!

  • blobbyh
    blobbyh Registered Posts: 2,415
    We have a constant problem with P/O numbers and debtors hiding behind this an excuse not to make payment. As a recruitment agency, the simple fact that one of our candidates has joined the client's payroll is proof of request and provision regardless of any P/O system in place.

    Ultimately, if a supply was requested, provided and 'consumed' by the client then a contract has been formed and a liability arisen. The P/O process is purely an internal issue within the clients organisation and the debt is still legally enforceable. You could point this out to them if all else has failed and that you will be taking legal advice and possible action to recover the monies. This may of course end the trading relationship but there's no such thing as a good client who doesn't pay you.

    In your case, first of all I'd ask the person you're dealing with to give you the name of their FD or MD as you wish to escalate the problem and this may 'frighten' them into assisting you. If they don't give you their names, simply go through their switchboard and ask to speak to them directly.
  • *Jo
    *Jo Registered Posts: 509
    I agree with the above, issuing of P/O numbers after the supply is a common occurence and if you are struggling to get the purchase order numbers communication with the FD or MD should do the trick.
    If a phone call doesnt succeed in you speaking with either of them try emailing or putting an official letter in writing marked as "private and confidentual - for addressee only".
    As blobby said P/O's are an internal process and not a legal way of non payment. You have provided a service which has been requested and now needs payment. How were the hires requested? If by email try putting the persons name signing the email as the P/O and send a copy of the invoice with the email attached. That sometimes can work as it proves someone in the organisation did in fact order the service/goods.

    Good Luck

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