Invoice disputing is often an important skill for employees who work as billing specialists or in accounts payable. Many hiring managers ask questions about invoice disputing when interviewing candidates for these positions to ensure they understand how to check for discrepancies on bills and invoices. If you’re applying for a position as a billing specialist or accountant, it may be beneficial to explore some of the invoice dispute questions you might encounter in an interview.
In this article, we list eight common questions about invoice disputes, describe why interviewers might ask them, give tips on how to answer them, and provide sample answers to help you develop your own.
8 invoice dispute interview questions with sample answers
Here are eight invoice dispute interview questions, including tips on answering them and sample answers to help you develop your own:
1. What would you do before approving an invoice for payment?
Ensuring the accuracy of invoices is often an important skill for billing specialists. It can ensure that companies don’t overpay or make duplicate payments. Interviewers may ask this question to test your knowledge of the billing cycle and your ability to work in the company’s interest.
When answering this question, consider providing enough detail to demonstrate your expertise while keeping your answer brief. Start by listing the specific steps that you would take to check the accuracy of an invoice before clearing it for payment. You can then explain why the process is important and what benefits it can provide to the company.
Example answer: “I would begin the approval process by comparing the invoice with the company’s order details and receipt records. Next, I would compare the dates on the invoice with past invoices to ensure that there weren’t any repeated charges. Finally, I would check with the staff members who placed and received the orders to ensure that everything arrived as ordered. After completing these steps, I would schedule a payment to the vendor. In my past positions, I have used this process for every invoice to ensure that my employer didn’t incur any unnecessary costs.”
2. What would you do if your employer paid an invoice twice?
In some cases, a company may pay a bill more than once, causing it to lose important revenue. Resolving these situations is often an important task for billing specialists. Interviewers may ask this question to test your knowledge of common invoice dispute procedures and to understand how you might perform if hired.
When you answer, it’s often beneficial to describe specific steps to demonstrate your confidence and expertise. You can begin your answer by briefly describing each step of the process for contacting the collector and obtaining a refund. If you have encountered this situation before, it may be helpful to describe how you resolved it.
Example answer: “If I discovered that my company made a repeat payment, I would start by reviewing the company’s transactions to verify. Next, I would contact the vendor to notify them of the double payment and request that they either apply credit to our account or issue a refund. In my past positions, this has been sufficient to resolve the issue. If repeat payments occurred frequently, I would ensure that we had a dedicated employee checking and approving all invoices before payment.”
3. What steps would you take to solve an invoice dispute?
Disputes over invoices often occur for reasons besides duplicate payments. For example, a supplier may send its client an invoice that charges it for the wrong delivery or overcharges it. Hiring managers may ask this question to understand how you would handle an important invoice dispute on the job.
Since the question is relatively broad, it may be helpful to create an example scenario to make it more specific. For example, you can frame your question as a response to an invoice that overcharges your company. You can then describe the steps you would take to resolve the situation in detail. Your own experience of invoice disputes may be helpful when answering this question and you can consider including details from past jobs.
Example answer: “My response to the situation would depend on the type of dispute, but in my experience, overcharges are a common cause of invoice disputes. When I encountered overcharges in the past, I would begin by verifying the excess amount with the staff members who placed the order. I would then send an email to the vendor as quickly as possible that included the invoice, a complete description of our reasons for rejecting it, and the expected correction on the part of the vendor. During the process, I would keep copies of all relevant documents and communications. “
4. Please describe a billing cycle.
A billing cycle is a strategy that many companies use to evenly distribute their billing operations over time. It is often an important concept for billing specialists who work on collecting payments from customers. An interviewer may ask this question to gauge your understanding of common billing procedures and your experience of sending invoices.
When answering this question, begin by explaining what a billing cycle is. You can then describe why setting up a billing cycle is important and list some of the benefits it provides. You can then list the steps that commonly make up a billing cycle, using your own experience to inform your answer.
Example answer: “A billing cycle refers to the schedule that a company uses to charge its customers for services or products that it delivers regularly. My last company used a monthly billing cycle for most clients while retaining an annual cycle for some. The cycle usually consists of determining the cost of services delivered, creating and sending invoices, and receiving payment. Some cycles also include a brief grace period after which late fees accrue to the bill.”
5. How would you explain billable and non-billable work?
A company’s client services often fall into the categories of billable and non-billable work. This distinction is often vital for billing specialists and can help them determine what to charge their clients or what to pay when they receive an invoice. Interviewers may ask this question to gauge your understanding of basic billing processes and reasons for invoice disputes.
When answering this question, you can begin by describing the basic concept of billable and non-billable work and explaining why it’s important. You can then consider giving an example to demonstrate your expertise and to clarify your answer. If possible, it may also be beneficial to explain what role these concepts have in invoice disputes.
Example answer: “Billable work refers to services that a company invoices to its clients and non-billable work refers to activities that the client doesn’t pay for. Non-billable work often includes internal processes like repairs, staff events, and error correction, as well as work that is outside the scope of a contract. In past jobs, I have received invoices that included charges for non-billable work that required correction before payment.”
6. What steps would you take to ensure timely invoice collection?
Timely invoice collection is an important element of a company’s cash flow and customer relationships. Ensuring timely invoice collection can also help businesses avoid disputes over invoices. Hiring managers may ask this question to test your ability to optimize their invoicing processes. Your answer can also demonstrate your ability to avoid invoice disputes as well as resolve them.
When answering this question, try to give a detailed answer and list more than one method you might use to ensure timely invoice collection. Like other questions, it may be helpful to think about any experiences you’ve had in the past. This can help you give a more specific answer and can show your experience with billing processes.
Example answer: “Whenever I start work in a new department, I begin by developing a clear policy regarding invoice payment, late fees, and collection that I share with all vendors. I also ensure that I inform new vendors of our policies on the first day we meet with them. In case of late payments, I would introduce a policy of contacting the vendor regularly, starting on the first day after the deadline. To encourage payment, I would also ensure the accuracy of my department’s invoices, introduce payment plans, and work to improve relationships with vendors.”
7. What is the importance of invoice disputing?
This is an example of a more general question that an interviewer might ask you. This question can help interviewers understand your approach to invoice disputes and can help them judge your ability to fit into their accounting team. When answering this question, try to consider the importance of invoice disputes in daily operations as well as their long-term impact. Consider describing how well-executed invoice disputes can help a company be more profitable and maintain good customer relationships.
Example answer: “Invoice disputing is a vital task that can ensure the health of a business. One important result of invoice disputing is that it ensures that employees receive the products and services they need to perform their tasks. It can also ensure that a company avoids wasteful spending on duplicate payments or overcharges. In the long-term, successful invoice dispute can ensure the operational stability and profitability of a business.”
8. Explain some common causes of invoice disputes.
Invoice disputes may occur for a variety of reasons, including inaccurate charges, switched orders, or repeat payments. Understanding these causes is often important for employees who work in billing or accounting. Hiring managers may ask this question to gauge your understanding of invoicing fundamentals and your ability to respond to common challenges. When answering this question, you can list some of the most common causes of invoice disputes, including those that you have experienced in past jobs.
Example answer: “During my time as a billing specialist, I have encountered many types of invoice disputes. Some of the most common are excess charges, followed by duplicate payments, dissatisfaction with services, incomplete orders, and late fees. In some cases, I have also encountered disputes because a client didn’t receive an invoice, or because they didn’t have the resources to pay at that time.”
I hope you find this article helpful.