SAP Purchase Order Tutorial

Procurement is a crucial business function. SAP Purchase Order is a very important functionality. Learn associated business processes, T Codes and tables.

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Procurement is a crucial function for any enterprise as it plays a pivotal role in the supply chain management process. Just as companies sell goods and services to their customers, they also rely on procurement to source raw materials, office supplies, and even intangibles from various vendors. The SAP Purchase Order serves as a formal and binding document that signifies the company’s intent to purchase specific goods or services from a selected vendor, ensuring a transparent and structured purchasing process.

In article we will explore the basics of how purchase order document are processed within SAP. We will also touch upon some of the key tables used in this process and the relevant transaction codes.

Creating a Purchase Order in SAP

To create a purchase order in SAP, users can use the transaction code ME21N. This will open up the initial screen for creating a purchase order. Users will need to enter basic information such as the vendor, material, quantity, delivery date

SAP Purchase Order document has the following parts.

  • Document Header – Which denotes the Purchase Order Number, Purchase Order Types, Address, Organization data, Status and Payment processing status.
  • Item Overview – This has items which have been procured under this purchase order along with quantities.
  • Item – This has all the material related information, quantities and weight, delivery schedule, conditions and associated text.

SAP purchase order table

Purchase order details are stored across various transparent tables. Here are the main ones.

  • EKKO – Contains the header information related to Purchase Order. Kindly note that this table contains various purchasing documents and not necessarily purchase order. The main filters you need to apply here is company code, Document Category and Document Type along with Document number.
  • EKPO – This contains the line-item detail of the purchase order. Thus, for same purchase order number this table can have multiple entries.
  • EKPA – This table contains partner information related to purchase order. Usual partner functions associated with Purchase Order can be Vendor (VN), Delivering plant (DP), Forwarding Agent (FA).
  • EKKN – This table contains the account assignment details related to the purchase order.

What is SAP Purchase Order Release Strategy

Procurement process has certain control mechanisms built into the same. For example, a small purchase may not need approval. A mid size purchase may require managerial approval. Larger purchase may require CXO approval.

While purchase order value may be one attribute, there are other factors. For example, procurement of certain hazardous materials may require approval even though purchase order is not of high value.

We will explore how the release strategy can be configured with SAP in a different blog article.

Frequently Asked Questions

These are the frequently asked questions related to purchase order processing within SAP. Hope you will find this useful in your day-to-day work.

The transactions to access purchase order is ME21N (create), ME22N (change) and ME23N (display). You may want to switch on the Document Overview while navigating from one Purchase Document to another.

Kindly note that SAP doesn’t default plant or storage location where you would want to receive the goods. This needs to be entered manually when creating purchase order. If a user works only in a specific plant, this value can be defaulted in the user profile.

Serves as a source of information for purchasing, the purchasing information record (often abbreviated as the “info record”) holds details about a particular material and its supplying vendor. For instance, it includes the vendor’s current pricing information. We will discuss this in details in another article.


SAP Purchase Order is a crucial document in procurement processes. It includes document header, item overview, and item details. Tables like EKKO and EKPO store purchase order information. The release strategy ensures control mechanisms for approvals. We also learnt about transaction codes used to create and change purchase orders in SAP.

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Shailendu started his career as SAP Consultant. He is currently following his entrepreneurial dream. In his company APPSeCONNECT has helped 1,200+ companies seamlessly integrate applications their digital core. He has features on Customer Think, Salesforce Ben, Strategy Driven and other leadership forums. He is an avid Soccer fan and follows the Spanish league (La Liga) and MLS.

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