SALES ORDER: Guide To The Sales Order Process and Tables

Sales Order

If you buy or sell goods, you’ve probably seen a document called a sales order. But have you ever wondered what it is or how it can help your business? What is the distinction between a sales order and the plethora of other documents involved in the purchasing process? We will define a sales order vs invoice entry process and SAP tables, compare it to other sales documents, and uncover its benefits and best practices throughout this article.

What is a Sales Order?

A sales order is a document created by a seller for use in processing a customer order. The document essentially translates the format of the customer’s purchase order into the format used by the seller. The sales order is then used for a variety of purposes, such as credit approval by the credit department, starting a work order for unit construction, and starting a picking operation to take goods from stock.

If a company has an electronic order processing system, sales orders are saved as an electronic document. This makes it easier for anyone in the company with access to the record. Furthermore, if the system is manual, multiple copies must be created and distributed throughout the organization.

The Distinction Between Sales and Purchase Orders

The buyer sends the seller a purchase order that includes the products they intend to buy, the quantity, the price, the PO number, the delivery and payment terms, and the shipping address.

When the seller receives the purchase order, he or she creates a sales order.

The seller can manually enter the data from the purchase or use sales orders automation software to automate it. Also, one-click automation software converts POs to SOs in a single click, reducing costs, time, and error.

Sales Order Tables in Sap

SAP Sales Order table data is stored in a number of SAP Sales and Distribution module tables. A list of SAP Sales Order Tables, including the most important ones for creating and storing sales data, is provided below.

Main SAP Sales Order Tables data

The following is a list of SAP tables that store the main Sales Order table data:

  • VBUK– Sales Doc.: Header Status and Administrative Data
  • VBAK: Sales Orders Document Header
  • VBAP: Item for Sales Orders Data
  • VBPA: SAP Sales Document Partenaires

List of all SAP Sales Order Tables

See related SAP sales order tables, which store all SO data information. In SAP SD (Sales and Distribution), there is only one Sales Order Table, but it may store different aspects of the SO process. View it by clicking here.

Sales Order vs Invoice

After receiving a purchase order and processing a sales order, the vendor will typically send an invoice to the buyer. An invoice specifies the amount of money owed by a buyer to a vendor for the exchange of goods and services specified in the sales and purchase orders. Also, It is common to mix up sales orders and invoices. The vendors generate both and contain information about a specific sale.

The main difference between the two is in the purpose and timing of each document. A sales order confirms a sale. Furthermore, It requests that a vendor begin assembling, packaging, or preparing the goods and services specified in a purchase order.

Invoices come in after this step. Invoices tell buyers how, when, and how much to pay for the goods and services they’ve purchased, based on the details specified in sales orders.

Why Are Invoices Necessary?

Invoices definitively settle deals for vendors and establish official payment timelines. 30 days is a standard timeframe, but it varies from business to business.

Invoices are critical for record-keeping purposes. An invoice is the most tangible proof of a sale that both buyers and sellers have. Keeping track of invoices allows a business to keep track of how much it is spending or earning, which employees are responsible for any sales or purchases, and any outstanding debt the company may have.

Tracking invoices for tax purposes is also a good business practice. The IRS recommends that businesses keep a running record of all business transactions. Also, keeping detailed invoice records can be an important part of that process.

Invoices are also beneficial to businesses from a legal standpoint. They provide proof of how and when a customer purchased goods or services from a vendor. A signed invoice demonstrates that a buyer and a vendor reached an agreement on a specific purchase, lowering the risk of legal action overpricing.

Why Are Sales Orders Necessary?

Sales orders are essential for vendors to keep track of their inventory. They enable you and your company to keep track of what you have in stock, what is on backorder, and what you may need to order from your distributors.

Furthermore, remember that accepting the terms of a purchase order usually makes a transaction legally binding. If you have any concerns about a pending purchase order, seek legal advice before signing. Keeping detailed records of your sales orders will help ensure that you can meet your obligations.

Sales orders are also important in lowering the risk of material misstatement in your company’s financial reporting. A material misstatement is any inaccuracy in a financial statement that has a significant impact on the financial decisions of anyone who relies on the information in that statement. Also, material errors in reporting inventory balances can have serious consequences.

Sales Order Process

The following is a step-by-step explanation of the sales order process:

  • The buyer requests a quote from a vendor.
  • The vendor responds with a quote after receiving the request.
  • The customer accepts the quote and places a purchase order.
  • The vendor receives the purchase order (PO) and creates a sales order based on the PO details.
  • To confirm the terms of the sale, the vendor sends the order to the customer.
  • The vendor assembles and prepares the requested goods and services for delivery.
  • Then, the vendor fulfills the order by delivering the goods or services.
  • The vendor generates an invoice and sends it to the customer based on the details of the order.

The customer pays the invoice amount within the time frame specified.

Automating the Sales Order Process

Sales orders are critical in ensuring that a sale is well-documented, properly conducted, and reflects what both parties expect. When a customer places an order for goods to be supplied, the sales order number is used to record the items, quantities, delivery date, and so on. When the goods are delivered, the sales are tracked for the order details in the delivery challenge or the sales invoice.

Furthermore, Automating the sales order process with accounting software has enabled businesses to track the entire journey from order receipt to order fulfillment.

Since the order details are recorded in the system, as well as insights such as pending orders, due dates, and so on, businesses have been able to better meet the needs and expectations of their customers, resulting in a better customer experience. Not only that, but because the system anticipates inventory outflows based on order details, it aids in inventory management.

Overall, accounting software will provide your company with a centralized system for managing all aspects of your business, removing the stress and inefficiency of manual, time-consuming processes.

Steps in the Sales Order Entry Process

Various departments, from sales and customer support to warehouses and logistics partners, are involved in the entire sales order entry process. Although the exact steps and technologies used in sales and purchase order processing vary, the sales order entry process generally follows certain common steps.

  • Step 1: A product is ordered by a customer. This order can be placed online, over the phone, or in person. The generated document is known as a purchase order.
  • Step 2: The order and customer information are saved in the database. The customer order is then routed to the warehouse, where warehouse managers determine whether the required products are in stock.
  • Step 3: If the stock’s inventory is low or unavailable, an order is placed with the supplier.
  • Step 4: The purchase order is forwarded to the accounts team, which categorizes it as accounts receivable or cash sale. Also, an invoice for sale is generated and sent to the customer based on the quantity of the order.
  • Step 5: A logistics partner will transport the product to the delivery location, and a delivery partner will deliver the product to the customer’s address.

Because successful sales and purchase order processing involve so many moving parts, there is plenty of room for human error, inaccurate invoices, inefficient inventory management, and other issues. The most effective way to improve your sales order entry process is to integrate it into a single dashboard and automate some key steps.

Strategies for Enhancing the Sales Order Process

There are several significant ways to improve the efficiency of your sales order entry process. If you plan to outsource, you can take advantage of companies that specialize in sales order automation. However, if you do it in-house, you should be aware of these strategies.

#1. Make use of an order management system.

An order management system is a unified platform that helps manage inventory, automate the order-to-cash cycle, and improve team communication. Also, the platform automatically stores received orders, monitors inventory levels, and generates the necessary sales orders and invoices of sale.

#2. Make the entire process automated.

A manual process is prone to errors such as incorrectly entered amounts, incorrectly ordered inventory, and delays in raising sales orders and invoices. Furthermore, manual processes can impact delivery times, resulting in a negative customer experience.

#3. Invest in employee training.

An order management system is only useful if your employees agree to use it. Any change to internal processes will necessitate training and familiarization. If your employees are not comfortable with the new software, they may revert to older processes or use it incorrectly. As a result, there may be gaps and delays in the sales order entry process.


Sales orders automation streamlines workflow and reduces processing time, right from the point of sale to verification to inventory management to delivery and long-term customer retention. It also cuts order processing times by half, allowing more orders to be processed in the same amount of time. The right sales orders processing software can propel your company forward.

Sales Order FAQs

How does a sales order work?

A sales order is a document that confirms the terms of a transaction between a buyer and a seller. The seller also creates the order, which is frequently in response to a purchase order. Furthermore, the seller may send this document to the customer or keep it for internal use only. The sales order specifies the quantity, price, delivery date, and other details.

Is a sales order a contract?

Both the buyer and seller are legally bound by the sales order. Also, on each sales order line, the sales order form includes items by part number, SKU, or service description; quantities; prices; and other terms. Furthermore, these terms include the order date, the delivery date, and the customer specifications.

Why do you need sales order?

A sales order contains information about the products and/or services ordered by a specific customer, as well as the price, quantity, and terms and conditions. It is also used by businesses as a confirmation document that is sent to customers prior to the delivery of goods or services.

How do I make a sales order?

  • In the command field, type T-code VA01. OR for Standard order, enter order type.
  • In the quotation tab, enter the quotation number. Click the copy button.
  • Enter the Ship-To-Party, PO number, and PO date. Enter Requisition.
  • The message “Standard Order 2000958 has been saved” appears.
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