Slow order fulfillment can lower the quality of the customer service your company can provide. Lower quality customer service will eventually affect the financial bottom line of your business. Getting approvals for purchase orders processed as quickly and efficiently as possible means your company will have supplies needed to keep things flowing in a timely manner. Using the Microsoft Outlook email client to send out purchase order approval requests can help streamline the process of ordering supplies or wholesale goods while still ensuring that you follow proper purchasing procedures.

Prepare a Purchase Order

Go to the Microsoft Office “Purchase and Sale Order” templates page and choose a template. Be sure that you can open, edit and save the template in a program on your computer. Create templates using Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word or another applicable program.

Select “Open” when you click the “Download” button for your selected template to open the template in the designated program. Customize the template to meet your needs and save it to your computer.

Create and save your own customized template if you do not like any of the templates available at Microsoft. If necessary, you can use the Microsoft templates as a guide.

Create a “New Document” based on your template using the program menu. Using a shortcut will not provide access to templates. Fill out your document and save it to your computer.

Use a financial program to send a purchase order if that is how you create your purchase orders. Some financial programs like QuickBooks have Microsoft Outlook integration so you can send a purchase order for approval directly from the program.

Export purchase orders from financial software without Microsoft Outlook integration using spreadsheet or word format if possible. If this is not possible, print the completed purchase order as a PDF document and save that to your computer.

Send a Purchase Order

Open Microsoft Outlook and click the “New” button in the upper-left corner to open a new message.

Go to the “Insert” tab. Click “Attach File” and navigate to the purchase order to select it. Click the “Insert” button to attach it to the email.

Set the font size to 14 and the font color to black. Type “I have reviewed and approved the attached purchase order:.” Start a new line.

Set the font size to 11 and the font color to gray. Type “Review the attached purchase order and reply to this email. Type below "Y-[Your Name]" to approve the purchase order or "N-[Your Name]" to reject the purchase order. Note: The reply must come from the email account to which it was sent.

Skip four lines and set the font size to 14 and the font color to black. Type “[ ] I am not authorized to approve this purchase order.” Start a new line.

Set the font size to 11 and the font color to gray. Type “Reply to the sender. Place an X in the field above if you are not authorized to approve this purchase order and if you know who is, include the name, for example, [X - Bill Smith].”


Print out a copy of an approved purchase order email and attach it to the invoice for the purchase to document that the purchase was authorized.


Getting a physical signature is more secure than an email approval because someone else can gain access to the person's email account if it is signed in all day.