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Difference between purchase order and sales order

THE' purchase order a written commercial document issued by the buyer to the seller, including types of content, prices, quantity, quality and terms of the goods to be delivered. On the other hand, the sales order a confirmation document prepared by the seller and sent to customers before delivery of the specified goods, to the customer.

Both the purchase order and the sales order become binding, when the party to whom it was issued accepts it. While the purchase order authorizes the sale of products, the sales order confirms the sale of goods. In practice, the two documents are widely used by manufacturers, wholesalers, suppliers and retailers worldwide. Take a look at this article, it shows you all the important differences between the purchase order and the sales order.

Comparative graph

Basis for comparisonPurchase order Sales order
Sense The purchase order is a document used to order goods. The sales order is a document used to confirm the sale.
Details Prepared by the buyer and sent to the supplier. Issued by the supplier to his buyer before delivery.
Acceptance effect Create a contract between the buyer and the supplier. Approves the sale.

Definition of the purchase order

The purchase order can be understood as a written request, made to a particular supplier, to provide quality goods, quantity, price, terms and conditions specified so agreed. a commercial document, which obliges the buyer to take delivery of the goods contained in the document, if the terms mentioned are met.

It contains details such as order number, date, supplier name and address, material code, description of the material, quantity of material, price, place of delivery, terms of payment, etc.

Definition of the sales order

The sales order can be described as a written commercial document, which confirms the sale of certain goods. prepared by the seller and sent to customers, contains the details of the particular type of goods, quantity, quality, price, agreed terms and consents. When the customer accepts the document, the seller is obliged to deliver the aforementioned items, on the date and at the established price.

The details can be related to the order number, delivery date, name and address of the customer, material code, description of the material, price, taxes, place of delivery, payment terms and so on.

Key differences between purchase order and sales order

The points indicated below are substantial as regards the difference between the purchase order and the sales order:

  1. When the purchase order is accepted, it becomes a binding contract between a buyer and a seller. On the other hand, when the sales order is accepted, it approves the sale.
  2. With the help of PO, the buyer can place an order for goods and services while with the help of the sales order; the buyer can know the date, time and method of delivery of goods and services.
  3. The purchase order is prepared by the buyer and sent to the supplier of goods and services, while the supplier sends the sales order to the buyer.


  • Contains details for goods and services.
  • Written commercial document


Purchase order and sales order are closely interconnected because when the buyer sends the purchase order to his supplier, he accepts the proposal after accepting the terms and conditions and then sends SO to the buyer to confirm the sale. Once the sale has been approved, the goods and services are finally delivered to the buyer.