Purchase Order Controls in Dynamics GP vs. Dynamics 365 for Operations

There are some key differences to be aware of in the Purchase Order statuses and controls between Dynamics GP and Dynamics 365 for Operations.

PO Statuses

PO Statuses in Dynamics GP:

Dynamics GP has one status for POs (there are 2 if Workflows are enabled, but this topic will not be discussed in this blog).

PO Statuses:

  • New – A PO in New status indicates that the Purchase Order has not yet been sent to the Vendor.  A new PO can be changed without affecting the status. Inventory is not decremented and no GL accounts are affected.
  • Released – A PO in Released states indicates that the PO has been sent to the Vendor.  A PO moves to released status when a New or Change Order PO has been printed. If at least 1 line is in Released status, the entire PO will show as Released.
  • Change Order – A PO in Change Order status indicates that a formal change in the PO has been communicated to the Vendor.  A PO in Change Order status has been edited in a way that affects the vendor after it has been printed (Released). If the PO is printed again, it reverts to Released status again.  Every time the PO changes to Change Order status, the Revision number increments by 1. If a PO is received or received/invoiced against, it will stay in Change Order status if it has not been printed or if one of the lines has not been Received.
  • Received – A PO Received status indicates that the items have been received into inventory.  A PO will change to Received status once all lines are in Received, Closed, or Canceled status, and at least one of those lines is in Received status.
  • Closed – A PO in Closed status indicates that the Vendor invoice has been entered in the system.  A Closed status indicates that at least one line has been Closed and the other lines have either been Closed or Canceled.
  • Canceled - A Canceled status indicates that all lines on the PO have been Canceled and no lines have been Received against. A line with a Canceled status can be changed to New or Change Order status only (depending on the status it was in when originally cancelled).

A PO in Received, Canceled, or Closed status can no longer be opened, since it can no longer be edited. They can only be found in Inquiry windows.

PO Statuses in Dynamics 365 for Operations

In Dynamics 365 for Operations there are 2 separate statuses for POs (workflow statuses are included in Approval status, but are not available if workflows are not enabled).

PO Statuses:

  • Open order – A PO is in this status when an order has been created, but not fully received or canceled.
  • Received – A PO is in this status when items have been fully received, or partially cancelled with no quantities remaining to receive.
  • Invoiced – A PO is in this status when all items have been fully invoiced, or partially cancelled with no quantities remaining to invoice.
  • Canceled – A PO is in this status has had all items canceled.

Approval Statuses:

  • Draft (this status is only active when Workflows have been enabled)
  • In review (this status is only active when Workflows have been enabled)
  • Approved – This status is assigned when a PO has been approved through a Workflow process. If Workflows are not enabled, a newly created PO will receive this status immediately.
  • Rejected (this status is only active when Workflows have been enabled)
  • In external review – This status indicates that a PO is subject to confirmation by an external vendor.
  • Confirmed – This status indicates that the PO has been confirmed by an authorized user. A PO cannot be received or invoiced until it has been confirmed. If changes are made, the PO will no longer be in Confirmed status, and will need to be reconfirmed before it can have any more receipts or invoices issued against it.

Audits and Controls


Security controls between Dynamics GP and Dynamics 365 for Operations are very similar. If a user has the appropriate security rights they can make changes to the PO. Likewise, users with appropriate security rights can receive and/or invoice the POs.

Note that security configuration, however, is different between the two systems. Dynamics GP takes an “add-on” approach: security starts with no permissions and you choose the tasks and roles to add. Dynamics 365 for Operations, on the other hand, allows you to also designate which tasks are not permitted to a role. When roles overlap, any restrictions inherited from one of the roles will apply and will not be overridden by any roles that grant that same task.

Workflow Controls

If workflows are enabled, POs cannot be received or invoiced, or changes cannot be saved, unless the appropriate users authorize the changes. Workflows will be covered more in-depth in a future blog.

Audit Trails and Tracking

Dynamics GP

In Dynamics GP you can easily view the number of times a PO has been changed and printed by referring to the version number, but you don’t have the ability to view the previous versions.

You can create a SmartList that shows the user who created a document, but this field isn’t available for all transaction types. Sometimes you can only see the last user to edit a document. Unfortunately, these lists aren’t pre-built.

If you are looking for more detailed audit trails, they are available, but limited and difficult to obtain. There is an audit report that will show which users edited documents and when the edits were made. However, the list will generate all changes made in GP for a designated period of time. This makes it quite difficult to locate the desired information, and even in companies with a smaller transaction volumes you will more than likely need to search through copious amounts of data to find the record you are looking for. The report also does not provide the document number but displays the record number, which is only found in the tables. Because of this, you will need to cross-reference these numbers to identify the document.

Dynamics 365 for Operations

Audit trails in Dynamics 365 for Operations are much more user-friendly and obtainable. There are two different ways to inquire on transaction changes: viewing the transaction versions, or running audit trail reports.

You can view transaction versions for confirmation journals, receipt cancellations, receipt corrections, pro-forma invoices, etc. The list will show all versions and you can click on the version number to view the full document. There is also a feature that lets you compare the differences between the versions.

The audit reports are easily accessible, as they can be found in Inquiries and Reports, or oftentimes in the action pane of the transaction. The report displays the type of transaction, a description, who created the transaction, and when it was created. You can also click into any of these to drill down and view the transactions.


Overall, the same functionality is available in Dynamics GP and Dynamics 365 for Operations to allow companies to restrict and monitor their purchasing processes. Dynamics 365 for Operations is more user-friendly and provides more detail in the out-of-box version.