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  • Closing, Cancelling, Reopening and Deleting PO Lines

Scope: Description of the process for Closing, Cancelling, Reopening and Deleting of PO Lines (Purchase Order Lines) and PO's (Purchase Orders) 


Closing a PO Line


Required Alma Role: Purchasing Operator

  • Must have POL-owner-specific permissions.

When does closing happen automatically?
  • One-time POLs are closed automatically when fully invoiced and received/activated. See below for instructions for manually closing a One-time POL.

  • Continuous POL's  – after receiving/activation are marked Recurring Renewal. There is no automated closing process. You can manually mark the PO line as Closed if it is fully paid and you are ending the subscription, even if the last issue has not yet been received.

Which POLs can be closed?

The following types of PO lines can be closed:

  • One-time PO lines with status Waiting for Invoice (with at least one received or activated resource). These are usually automatically paid, set to Fully Invoiced, and/or closed by the workflow. It is not possible to close a one-time PO line with status Sent, but it is possible to cancel it if the item won't be received and no invoice is expected (see instructions and warning below regarding cancellations).

  • Continuous PO lines with status Recurring Renewal or Waiting for Manual Renewal (when a serial subscription must be stopped, for example).

How to manually close a POL

In the Purchase Order lines list display, click Close in the row action list icon and click Confirm in the confirmation dialog box


In the Purchase Order Line Details screen, while in edit mode, click the Close button and click Confirm in the confirmation dialog box.

(info) To close a one-time PO line with some received and some unreceived items:

  1. Edit the order to remove the unreceived items and change the number of items in the PO line
  2. Re-receive the received items on the main Receive New Material screen  

Notes on manually closed POLs

  • Encumbrances are released.
  • Closed PO Lines have the status of Closed
  • Closed PO Lines can be reopened (see below for instructions)
  • Inventory is not deleted. For PO lines associated with electronic resources, a task is added to the electronic activation task list with the following note: "The order for this resource was closed. Please check whether deactivation is required."
  • Continuous PO Lines: It is possible to close a continuous PO line with unreceived items, without removing them.
  • Notes and Attachments: Notes and attachments can be added to a PO line even when it is closed.

Cancelling a PO Line


Required Role: Purchasing Operator Extended

  • Must have POL-owner specific permissions

Important information about canceling PO Lines

Cancelling a PO is Powerful

Best Practice: If items and holdings exist that you want to save, Close the POL instead.

  • Please use this command with extreme caution.

  • Cancelling a PO line that is the only POL in a PO (i.e. all of our migrated orders and orders generated via the Order now command) will automatically delete the PO line's inventory (both the holdings record and the item(s)) unless the inventory has already been received or activated.

  • If a POL has a holdings record but no item(s) attached, cancelling a POL will delete the POL's holdings record. There is no warning message about this. Restoring deleted inventory is restricted to only a handful of staff. Please consult Restoring Deleted Records for more information.

Note: The October 2018 release introduced the ability to choose how to handle bibs without items when cancelling a POL.

Current Harvard policy is to delete bibliographic records with no active holdings/items.

More details on PO Line cancellation – when can it be done, and what effects will it have?

PO Line Status 

Any active PO line can be cancelled, except for those "under evaluation", "waiting for invoice", or "in review" and assigned to someone else.

• If the status of the POL line is "waiting for invoice" you will only have the option to Close the order, it can no longer be cancelled.

• If the POL is "In Review" and currently assigned to someone other than you, someone with the "Purchasing Manager" role will need to release the assignment before it can be cancelled.

  To release the assignment, the Purchasing Manager should:

      1. Call up the POL via search, click Go to task list and then from the action ellipsis button menu select Release Assignment
      2. The POL will now be under the "unassigned" tab of the Review list, and the cancel option will appear in the ellipsis button menu.


    • If the POL to be cancelled is the only POL in a PO, Alma deletes the PO line’s inventory. Restoring deleted inventory is restricted to only a handful of staff. Please consult Restoring Deleted Records for more information.

    • If the inventory has been received or activated, there will be a message stating so and asking the operator whether they want to continue. Continuing will result in received or activated inventory to be deleted.

    • If the inventory cannot be deleted, a confirmation message will appear, indicating that if the PO line is canceled, the link between the PO line and its inventory will be lost.


    • Cancelling a PO Line releases the encumbrance 


    • If the PO line has an e-tas(any task associated with an electronic order) associated with it, the e-task is deleted.  

How to cancel a PO Line:

  1. Use the search type Order Lines to find the POL

  2. To cancel the order, select Cancel from the row action item list;

  3. Enter the cancellation reason, either Library cancelled or Vendor cancelled;

  4. Choose how to handle a childless bib: Do nothingDelete bibliographic records, or Suppress bibliographic recordsCurrent Harvard policy is to delete bibliographic records with no active holdings/items.

  5. Add a cancellation note as needed. The cancellation note will not be included in the email sent to the vendor, but will appear in the Notes tab of the POL. 

  6. Make sure to check the box next to Send Cancellation to Vendor if the order used a method that sent an email order to the vendor.
    1. If the order is still In Review, it is not necessary to select Send cancellation to vendor (since no order was sent). A cancellation instruction is sent to the vendor only if the order was previously sent to the vendor.   
    2. The cancellation is sent by email unless the vendor is configured for EDI cancellations, in which case cancellation is sent using EDI. 
    3. If sent by email, the preferred address defined for the vendor is used.  

  7. Click Confirm

  8. If the inventory cannot be deleted, a confirmation message indicates that if the PO line is canceled, the link between the PO line and its inventory will be lost.

  9. Finally, a message will come up listing the POL line and title and saying the status has been updated to Cancelled.

After a PO Line is cancelled

If there are no other PO lines on the PO:

    • Once the PO line is cancelled the PO is automatically cancelled as well, and the status is updated.
    • The inventory (holding and item) for the order line will also be automatically deleted, unless the inventory has already been received or activated. 

If there were multiple PO lines on the PO: 

    • Only that particluar PO Line will be cancelled and the PO will remain as sent.
    • If you go to the PO and look at the PO line list the cancelled line will still be there but it will be marked as Cancelled.
    • In this situation, when creating an invoice for the PO with cancelled order lines, it is not recommended that you create the invoice using the PO to fill out the information. If you do so, it will still add in the cancelled PO Line as an invoice line and you cannot actually delete it (unless you have the permissions of Invoice Operator Extended role). You will need to edit the line item and delete the fund and the price, so it will just show up as $0.00 on the invoice. 

Reopening a Closed or Cancelled PO Line

(info) Reopening a closed or cancelled order will push the POL into Review, where it can be further edited.

To reopen a PO Line

  1. Search for the PO line

  2. From the results list, click Reopen in the row action item list 

  3. A dialog box will state that the PO Line will be set to In Review, are you sure you want to perform this action? Click Confirm.

  4. A message will appear at the top of the screen listing the PO Line number and title saying the status is updated to In Review

  5. The PO Line should be listed on the screen below the message. 

  6. Select Go to Task List next to the PO Line.

  7. From the Purchase order lines in review screen, click Edit next to the PO Line

  8. Edit the order information if needed
    1. If you do not want to place another order with the vendor and simply want to push the POL into the next workflow process (status = Sent), change the Acquisition method in the POL to one that does NOT generate an order (such as Purchase – Without letter) and choose Order now in the next step.

  9. You now have two choices:
    1. Choose Save to push the POL back into review
    2. Choose either Order now or Save and Continue to send the order to the vendor

(info) For those trained on running jobs/batch processes, the Update PO Lines job can be run to reopen large numbers of orders.

Deleting a PO Line (POL)

Required Role: Purchasing Operator Extended

  • Must have POL-owner specific permissions
Important considerations
  • Once a PO line is deleted, it cannot be retrieved or reopened. If there is a chance you will want to view or reuse a PO line, consider canceling or closing it.

  • Deleting a main PO line also deletes inventory resources (i.e. items and holdings) associated with the PO line; deleting an additional PO line does not delete the inventory. Restoring deleted inventory is restricted to only a handful of staff. Please consult Restoring Deleted Records for more information.

  • If you need to delete a POL but want to maintain the inventory, remove the associated POL from the holding first before deleting the POL. Please consult Adding and Removing PO Line Links to Items and Holdings for more information.

The Delete option is available for PO lines with these statuses:

  • In Review
  • Packaging (Automatic or Manual)
  • Deferred, Canceled, or Closed

A PO line cannot be deleted if:

  • It is linked to an invoice line.
  • It is attached to a PO and has been sent to a vendor (if the PO has not been sent, the PO line can be removed from the PO and then deleted).
  • It is the only POL in a PO, and one of the PO line resources was received or activated (even if the PO line is in review)

(warning) Bibliographic records

  • Deleting a PO line does not suppress or delete the bibliographic record.
  • If you delete a PO Line and there are no other orders or holdings, you should also go to the Metadata Editor and suppress or delete the record, as appropriate.

How to delete a POL:

  1. Find the POL record and choose Edit from the row action item list;

  2. On the purchase order line details screen, choose Delete from the options at the top of the screen just under the search bar;

  3. A warning message will come up saying you are about to delete the POL line and asking if you want to continue; select Confirm;

  4. You will see a deletion confirmation message listing the POL number and title. The POL line will not show up if you search for it and it won't show up in the list of orders for the title. There will be no inventory (holding and item) once the order is deleted. Restoring deleted inventory is restricted to only a handful of staff. Please consult Restoring Deleted Records for more information.

Deleting a PO

Required Role:  Purchasing Operator Extended or Purchasing Manager

  • Must have POL-owner specific permissions

(info) Notes:

  • A PO can be deleted as long as it does not contain PO lines that are received, activated, or linked to an invoice.
  • When a PO is deleted, all of its associated PO lines are also deleted

How to delete a PO

  1. Go to Acquisitions >> Purchase Order >> Delete PO and select a PO from the quick pick list
  2. Click Delete PO and then Confirm in the confirmation dialog box to delete the PO
  3. A confirmation message appears on the Delete PO page, indicating the status of the PO
  4. Click Go to Monitor Jobs to view the progress of the delete request (PO deletions are run as Alma jobs)

You can also delete POs when reviewing (Packaging PO Lines into a PO) or approving (Approving and Sending POs) them.