You may already have a purchase order system in place within Buildertrend. If you have general items on your estimate that need to be added to already existing POs, you have the ability to quickly add the general item information to an existing PO.

This is very powerful, especially if you are using PO templates and importing them into jobs.

You have the ability to add general items from your estimate to an existing Purchase Order. Within this article, we'll discuss the permissions and best practices.

Permissions & Status

First you should understand the required permissions that allow for yourself or other internal users to add items to an existing Purchase Order:

  • At minimum, the user must be able to view the general items on the estimate

  • At minimum, the user must have View and Edit PO permission to be able to see & add to existing option.

  • Please note that these are the minimum permissions required to complete this action and in most cases users who perform this action would benefit from a more holistic permission set. If you'd like recommendations on permissions for your users, please contact your dedicated account manager.

Next, we'll review how the status of an existing Purchase Order can dictate your usage of this tool:

  • You can NOT add to an existing PO if it has been already approved by a SUB.

  • You can NOT add to an existing PO if it has been paid in FULL.

  • You can NOT add to an existing Bill.

You can add line items to existing Purchase Orders if they are approved by an internal user unless they have already been paid in full.

Procedural Steps

You have two methods for adding items to existing POs:

1. Checked Actions

To use checked actions, simply check the individual lines you want to apply to a PO. Then click the Checked Actions button and choose "Add to Existing POs"

2. Add individual line items

If you simply want to add just one line item to an existing PO, locate the PO column and click on the green plus sign:

Once you've selected one or multiple items to add to an existing PO, you'll now see the PO wizard screen.

Within this screen, you'll be able to select which pre-existing PO you'd like to apply the selected line items to. You also have the option to include the line item descriptions by checking the box for each PO:

As a best practice, you should try to title your POs in a way that helps you locate them quickly and easily if you plan to use this workflow regularly.

Within the dropdown, you should note that it will NOT allow you to add line items to:

  • Bills

  • POs approved by a sub

  • POs that we fully paid

  • POs assigned internally or internally approved will allow unless fully paid

If you scroll down within the list, you'll see a differentiation between POs that are already assigned to subs and those that are not to help you know the assignment status of your POs.

Once you've picked the POs you want these line item costs applied to, click FINISH.


You'll now see a confirmation page with links back to the PO or a return to estimate option.

Variance PO Workflow

On some projects, unexpected costs will occur and builders need to add these costs to existing Purchase Orders but mark them as unplanned variances. When this happens, you can either add the variance cost to an existing PO that is not marked as a variance or you can add these unexpected costs to a PO that is already partially marked as a variance or fully marked as a variance.

If you're adding cost to a full or partial existing Variance PO, you'll want to understand the logic behind this action.

  • When you add line/s to an existing variance PO where the entire VPO cost is marked as a variance, the lines that you add are now all variance items.

  • When you add to an existing variance PO where only a portion of the existing PO is marked as a variance, we add the lines in without assigning a variance code to them.

For comprehensive online learning, please visit the Buildertrend Learning Academy.

If you have any questions or require additional support, feel free to chat with us, send an email: support@buildertrend.com, or give us a call at 1-888-415-7149. We’re always happy to help.

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