What Is a Non-PO Invoice

A non-PO invoice, also known as a non-purchase order invoice, refers to an invoice that is submitted by a vendor or supplier for payment without the presence of a purchase order. In other words, it is an invoice that does not originate from a pre-established purchase agreement between the buyer and the seller. Non-PO invoices are typically used for unplanned or unforeseen expenses that require immediate payment.


In traditional purchase-to-pay processes, purchase orders serve as the foundation for conducting business transactions. When a company intends to purchase goods or services, it usually initiates the process by generating a purchase order that outlines the items, quantities, prices, and terms agreed upon with the supplier. The supplier then uses this purchase order to create an invoice, and once the goods or services are delivered, the invoice is submitted to the buyer for payment.

However, in certain situations, businesses may need to process invoices without a preceding purchase order. This commonly occurs when emergency or ad hoc purchases are necessary, such as when urgent repairs or replacements are required. In such cases, a non-PO invoice becomes the primary means of invoicing for the supplier.


Non-PO invoices offer several advantages to both buyers and suppliers. For buyers, they provide a flexible and convenient way to handle unforeseen expenses. Instead of going through the time-consuming process of creating a purchase order, a non-PO invoice allows them to expedite urgent purchases quickly. This helps to maintain the smooth operation of business activities, ensuring that critical needs are met promptly.

Suppliers also benefit from non-PO invoices as they can submit their invoices promptly without waiting for a purchase order to be generated. This enables them to receive payment faster, improving their cash flow and enhancing their relationship with the buyer.

Furthermore, non-PO invoices are beneficial in situations where the scope of work or requirements may change frequently during a project. Rather than continuously requesting amendments to a purchase order, a non-PO invoice allows suppliers to flexibly invoice for their work based on the evolving project demands.


Non-PO invoices find relevance in various industries and sectors, particularly where unexpected or unplanned expenses arise regularly. Industries such as construction, maintenance and repair, emergency services, and healthcare often rely on non-PO invoices to accommodate unforeseen circumstances.

For example, in the healthcare sector, medical facilities frequently encounter urgent situations where immediate diagnostic tests, medical supplies, or equipment repairs are necessary. In such cases, healthcare providers can quickly process non-PO invoices to ensure the continuity of patient care without the need for lengthy procurement processes.


A non-PO invoice plays a vital role in facilitating efficient and flexible payment processes for unplanned expenses, ensuring that businesses can operate smoothly in dynamic environments. It allows both buyers and suppliers to expedite urgent purchases and receive prompt payment for their goods and services. By understanding the concept and advantages of non-PO invoices, organizations can optimize their procurement processes and maintain agility in responding to unforeseen requirements.

This glossary is made for freelancers and owners of small businesses. If you are looking for exact definitions you can find them in accounting textbooks.

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