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Function documentationPurchase Order – Single-Screen Transaction (ME21N, ME22N, and ME23N)  Locate the document in its SAP Library structure


The design of the purchase order focuses on the needs of the user and supports the user when processing purchase orders.


Fast Change

The fast change function enables you to change data such as the plant and storage location in several items simultaneously.

To do so, you must:

      Select items

You can use the fast change function either for several selected items or for all items.

      Select data

If you wish to change the plant, for example, you can select the Plant column before choosing This graphic is explained in the accompanying text for Fast Change.

If you choose This graphic is explained in the accompanying text (Fast Change) without selecting a column first, an additional box appears, in which you can choose the fields you want to change from a list of all changeable fields.

This makes sense, for example, if you wish to change the Delivery Completed indicator in the detail data of purchase orders.


You usually order for your Atlanta plant. For this reason, you have specified in your Personal Settings that this plant is the default value in purchase order items.

While processing a purchase order, you notice that certain office supplies have to be ordered not for your Atlanta plant, but for your plant in Chicago.

Select the relevant items and the Plant column and choose This graphic is explained in the accompanying text under the item overview.

Print Preview Direct from the Purchase Order

You can display the print preview directly from the purchase order that you are currently processing. This also applies to documents that have not yet been released. To do so, choose This graphic is explained in the accompanying text Print Preview.

Please note the following restrictions:

      You can use the print preview for new printouts of purchase orders and for the media print and fax only.

      Since subcontracting components and conditions are not determined until the document is saved, they cannot be displayed in the print preview.



For documents that are not yet released, the system generates a message, but this cannot be displayed.

For messages that cannot be displayed, the Blocked indicator is set in the Additional Details for the message.

Hold Incomplete Purchase Orders

You can use the Hold function to store incorrect or incomplete purchase orders in the SAP System. If, for example, you provisionally enter an order you receive by phone shortly before going home in the evening, by using the Hold function, you can retrieve this purchase order from the document overview the next day, check the data (which you probably entered in a hurry), correct or complete it where necessary, and save the document. Purchase orders that have been put on hold in this way are not transmitted. They are MRP-relevant, however.

In contrast to purchase orders that have been saved in the normal way, the following functions are not possible for purchase orders that have been put on hold:

      Message output


      Posting of a goods receipt

      Posting of an invoice


Once a purchase order has been saved, it cannot be processed with the Hold function later.

When running your own analyses, you must take care that purchase orders that have been put on hold are included in your report where appropriate.

You cannot put service items on hold.


Display Purchase Order Release Strategy

If a purchase order is subject to a release (approval) strategy, you can display this strategy in the purchase order header data.

There you see the following:

      Release options

(Which release point can or must still effect release.)

Here you see which release codes have already effected release and which ones can do so next.

      Possible combinations for final release

(Which participants can effect release and which combinations are possible to secure final release.)

Here you see which release codes must approve the purchase order for the latter to achieve final release.

The purchase order has been finally (completely) released if no further release options are displayed and the release indicator shows the status Released.

Account Assignment

You can specify single or multiple account assignments for requisition or purchase order items.

Choose either This graphic is explained in the accompanying text to switch from the multiple account assignment screen to the single account assignment screen, or This graphic is explained in the accompanying text to switch to the multiple account assignment screen.

In the case of multiple account assignment, you can choose distribution by quantity or distribution on a percentage basis.

Copy account assignment items

If you have chosen multiple account assignment, you can copy account assignment data into other requisition or purchase order items.


You order 10 swivel chairs and 10 desks, of which you wish to assign 5 to cost center 1000 and the other 5 to cost center 2000 in each case.

You enter two account assignment items for the swivel chairs. Select both account assignment items and choose This graphic is explained in the accompanying text to copy them.

If you then wish to enter the account assignment for the desks, choose This graphic is explained in the accompanying text to insert the copied account assignment items. You then have the choice of inserting the account assignment item just once or several times.

Create assets

When you enter the account assignment, you can create an asset for each account assignment item directly from within the purchase order. To do so, select the relevant account assignment lines on the Account Assignment tab page and choose This graphic is explained in the accompanying text Create Assets.

If you do not select any account assignment lines, assets will be created for all account assignment lines to which no asset has yet been assigned.

If you are using Funds Management (FI-FM), the fields Commitment Item, Funds Center, and Fund are also displayed on the Account assignment tab page in the case of purchase order items without account assignment.

No account assignment in the case of items without invoice receipt
In the purchase order, you need not enter any account assignment data if you do not expect either a valuated goods receipt or a vendor invoice for a certain purchase order item.

Use an account assignment category of your own (for example, a copy of account assignment category U), for which you have chosen the consumption posting U (unknown) in Customizing for Purchasing under Account Assignment Maintain Account Assignment Categories. Furthermore, the Goods Receipt and GR Non-Valuated indicators must be selected.

Create Batches

You can create a batch for materials that are subject to a batch management requirement directly, from within the purchase order. To do so, on the Material Data tab page of the item detail, choose This graphic is explained in the accompanying text Create Batch.

Display Configuration of a Material

You can use configurable materials and display their characteristic values. To do so, choose This graphic is explained in the accompanying text Configuration on the Material Data tab page of the item details.

Display Vendor’s Home Page

You can access the vendor’s home page from within the purchase order if you have maintained the Internet address in the vendor master record. Choose the This graphic is explained in the accompanying text Display Home Page button on the Address tab page.

Update Info Record

You can use the InfoUpdate indicator for updating the info record to determine whether or not an info record is updated or newly created.

If the indicator is selected, the following cases are possible:

      If just one info record exists (with or without a plant), the record is updated.

      If no info record exists and "Plant condition requirement" has been specified in Customizing, an info record with a plant is created. Otherwise an info record without a plant is created.

      If two info records exist, one record with a plant and one without a plant, the info record with the plant is updated.

Display Archived Purchase Orders

If you select a purchase order that has been archived when using a purchase order transaction, the archived purchase order is read from the archive and displayed. A system message draws your attention to the fact that the purchase order in question is an archived purchase order. The document can only be displayed, not changed.

In addition to the archived purchase order itself, you can also view the purchase order history and the associated documents.

You cannot display addresses, confirmations, services, or limits in archived purchase orders.


In order for the system to be able to find the documents in the archive, one of the following must exist for the archived purchase orders: 1) an archive index, or 2) an information structure in the archive information system for the archiving object MM_EKKO.

See also:

Creating, Changing, and Displaying a Purchase Order.


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