QB Issue Resolution:

payment can not be applied to the PO, but you can make a payment and in QB it will show as a vendor credit, then when your order arrives you use enter bills, and then in pay bills apply the credit (pre-payment you made) and pay any balance still owed if any

to do that

use the payment, CC or check, and on the expense tab select accounts payable, on that same line to the far right under name select the vendor name – that sets the vendor credit (is says customer name I think but the vendor name will be there)

do not enter a bill or item receipt if the items are not onhand, entering either one of those stocks what you are buying

Resolution for Issue 'Paying a purchase order before receiving inventory' available: Yes (Solved).
Source: Intuit Community forum.

Paying a purchase order before receiving inventory: this issue or error code is a known issue in Quickbooks Online (QBO) and/or Quickbooks. Support for this issue is available either by self-service or paid support options. Experts are available to resolve your Quickbooks issue to ensure minimal downtime and continue running your business. First try to resolve the issue yourself by looking for a resolution described below. If it is a complex issue or you are unable to solve the issue, you may contact us by clicking here or by using other support options.

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