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All customer orders, whether for items or services, are entered as sales orders. The customer's order is the originating document which triggers the creation of the sales order.
Many businesses use sales orders as the first step when selling product(s) to a customer. A sales order is a tentative document, on hold until there is sufficient inventory to fulfill it.
Why should I use sales orders?
Single invoice for multiple orders: Some of your customers may place orders regularly enough that creating an invoice for every order is not practical or desirable. By using sales orders, you can keep track of multiple orders and then combine them onto a single invoice at an appropriate time, such as at the end of each month.
Partial invoicing: When you can only fulfill part of a customer's order, you can create an invoice based on the sales order and select only those items you can fulfill. The sales order keeps track of what has and hasn't been invoiced.
Backorder tracking: If you have some but not the entire quantity of a specific item, you can fulfill and invoice the quantity you do have. Then both the sales order and the invoice will show the quantity fulfilled and the quantity on backorder.
Sales Order Allocation Worksheet: When you have multiple sales orders to fulfill and not enough inventory to fulfill them all, the Sales Order Allocation Worksheet can help you decide which orders to fulfill first based on the criteria that are most important to you at the time.