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Correcting Phantom Orders

Sometimes you may come across an item shown as “on order” when there is no open purchase order for it. When a purchase order is posted, several files are updated with information from that purchase order. One of those files is the Open PO file. This file shows the residual quantity of items that have been placed on order. When received, the quantity is reduced by the quantity received until the residual quantity is zero. The purchase order item is then removed from the Open Orders file. When a purchase order is posted, the items are added to the Open PO file. If later the PO is removed without being received, the items in the Open Orders file become phantom, meaning that they do not have a matching un-received purchase order. This tech note will lead you through the process of eliminating the Phantom Orders.

  • Identify the phantom orders – The easiest way to identify phantom orders is to create a report in Define A Report that shows all items in the Open Orders file that do not have matching purchase orders. To do this:
    • Open Define A Report
    • Click on File and select Open PO Items.
    • Select the Order ID, Item ID, and quantity fields by highlighting these fields in the left box. Click the >>Copy>> button to copy each to the right box.
    • Use Select If to limit the display to only those items without a Processed Purchase Order ID. You can use the “Select If” feature in Define A Report and select only those Open PO Items that have a blank Processed Purchase Order ID. To do this:
      • Click the Select If button. A new screen will appear.
      • Select the Order ID field for the formula.
      • Then type =’’ (equal sign, two single quotes). This will select only the IDs that are blank.(Remember phantom items do not have a Processed PO to match. Therefore, the IDs will be blank.)
      • Click OK.
      • On the Define a Report Screen click Reports and then Send to Preview/Print. Then click OK to send the report to the screen. (Review the line in the report to be sure they are all phantom orders (they DO NOT have a Processed PO ID).
  • Delete the phantom orders from the Open PO file – Once you know which items to remove from the file, you can then delete them by using the delete command in Define A Report. This Function CANNOT be undone. Please be sure the report shows only Open PO Items that have a blank Processed PO ID. Print the report and verify that you wish to remove all the items on the report from the Open PO File. NOTE: Make a Backup of your database before deleting information.
    • On the Define A Report screen type “Delete” in the box next to Title.
    • Click on Report and select send to Preview/Print.
    • You will then be asked if you wish to Delete these items. If that is what you want to do, click Yes.
    • The items will be deleted when the report is complete. The phantom items are now gone.