An interview question, have a go..

AatAbi Registered Posts: 47 💫 🐯 💫
I had this question on an interview:

"Please explain, the controls you would expect to see in the invoice raising process."

I have the answer for it (from the employer), but I would love to know what you think..
Answer as you receive the question now, don't cheat..


  • Rasa
    Rasa Registered Posts: 22 Dedicated contributor 🌟 🐵 🌟
    I would say there should be off course Invoice Request from the authorised person. Then if it is a recurring invoice - should be a list of all recurring invoices in your accounts program. Maybe there should be a quote or sales proforma, so you can match your invoice with it.

    And what else? Can't think now about anything else...
  • Monsoon
    Monsoon FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,071 🎆 🐘 🎆
    I haven't got a clue!
  • AatAbi
    AatAbi Registered Posts: 47 💫 🐯 💫
    125 visit and only 2 answers.
    Monsoon: I had the same answer.
    Rasa: I know where you come from, but not the answer they looking for, good point with regards to the list but in this case they call it batch.
  • Monsoon
    Monsoon FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,071 🎆 🐘 🎆
    I think we'd need to know more context before answering the question.
    What controls you'd need in place would depend on what the business was and what the invoicing process actually was. Without that, how long is a piece of string?! :D
  • A-Vic
    A-Vic Registered Posts: 6,970
    This is what google came up with
  • A-Vic
    A-Vic Registered Posts: 6,970
    Do i win a prize?
  • anniem
    anniem Registered Posts: 1,326
    I agree with Monsoon.

    It could be anything from an accountant invoicing time cost to client, vet invoicing customer for worming tablets, cash and carry invoicing for goods to trade or a flour manufacturer invoicing to factories/bakeries?

    In which industry would your scenario come from?
    FMAAT - AAT Licensed Member in Practice - Pewsey, Wiltshire
  • Paul C
    Paul C Registered Posts: 193 🎆 🐘 🎆
    This would be my stab in the dark.......

    Depending on the size of the organisation there are several basic controls that could be in place.

    But first its worth defining "controls"?

    2 sorts , one to help prevent internal fraud and the other to make sure its done properly ( i.e. so the income gets collected promptly.

    Customer purchase orders & numbers
    Signed delivery notes
    Invoice requests - signed and in a standard format ( so that all key data is provided)
    Invoice issued should be on a standard company invoice form with a unique invoice number
    Some segregation of duties if staffing levels permit ( person raising the official invoice is not the person making the sale and asking for the invoice to be raised)
  • AatAbi
    AatAbi Registered Posts: 47 💫 🐯 💫
    Dear All,

    the question was as you see it, no more no less, i even asked him to repeat it, my answer was I don't know.
    I emailed asking him to send me the questions and he was nice enough to send me the original interview form with the question, I searched and I suggested this answer:
    (The invoice will need to be raised in a timely manner after the preparation of the purchasing order.
    The purchase order number will need to be quoted on the invoice. 2 copies of the initial invoice will need to be sent to the income department where it will be checked against the purchasing order prior to sending within 3 to 7 days. The invoice will need to be clear and clearly shows the customers name, address and contact number and the purchase order number. The invoice will be checked for errors and unclear information. If any errors found the invoice will need to be sent back to the processing department, if correct then the invoice will be authorized, stamped and sent to the customer. )
    I sent him the answer asking for a feedback, it took him days to come back to me, then he emailed me back saying he is not ignoring me but he is very busy.
    one day after he sent me an answer which was:

    The answer should be along the lines of the following :-
    There should be suitable invoice batch control mechanisms in place to ensure that intended input can be checked to actual input and that batch totals are verified. Furthermore, printed output should be checked to input documents to ensure correct number have been printed and that details match.
    Accounting control would be achieved by way of the double entry in the system i.e debit Debtors Control A/C, credit I & E.

    Personally,not sure how double entry will help discovering an invoice entered twice!! or an invoice credited to the wrong customer!!

    but I did not discuss it with him.

    Thank you all.
  • deanshepherd
    deanshepherd Registered Posts: 1,809
    I'm assuming you didn't get the job?!
  • blobbyh
    blobbyh Registered Posts: 2,415
    Sounds to me like the guy interviewing you was reading an answer pre-written for him by a systems or software manager rather than an accountant. Was the guy an accountant himself or just an HR person playing a pseudo-role? If the latter, I imagine this to be a common problem when you have a general HR person trying to cope with a specialised job role and failing admirably when the head of department would be better conducting the interview... this is where niche agencies earn their money, I must add! ;-))) )

    You've had the correct answers here already - the 'official' one is vague, unclear and tantamounts to virtually nothing. A complete non-answer. You could always tell him that!

    About as valid as one of my hands is clenched into a fist. Which one?

    I hate stupid interview questions.
  • AatAbi
    AatAbi Registered Posts: 47 💫 🐯 💫
    deanshepherd: You are correct, I did not get the job, and to be honest that job would require me traveling 5 hours everyday between buses and trains, but i have no other options as it has been 6 months and this is the 2nd accounts interview I had so far.
    blobbyh: I assume he's got some qualifications as he has been there for years and I don't think NHS will leave him without it. he is the Accounts manager, and the other guy is the Finance deputy manager.

    I applied for this jobs because I would love to have some experience on Oracle, it is a temp job which was suppose to terminate on 31/3/10..that means it will last for 6 weeks.
    I actually got invited for the interview on 31/3/10.. they said they extended the rule.
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