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Wannabe Geek


Topic # 31392 16-Mar-2009 16:34

Telecom's billing systems are a huge and complex beast at the best of times. However you would like to think that the simple things like arithmetic are done correctly.

The following is taken from my recent Telecom account at work. You would like to think that a company that sends out hundreds, if not thousands, of accounts each day has the processes in place to ensure they are accurate. How many other customers have had these sort of mistakes made but don't have the systems in place to capture and attend to them? How much additional money has Telecom earned through these mistakes? How can a user expect such an organisation to manage a complex telecommunication system when it doesn't know the difference between addition and subtraction?

Telecom Bill

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  Reply # 201449 16-Mar-2009 17:11
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From an accounting perspective since the - is a negative value it does add up since you're subtracting a negative value it becomes a positive.

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  Reply # 201474 16-Mar-2009 19:22
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GreenCabbage:
Telecom Bill


Just so I'm reading this straight, the subtotal should read $58,720.21 (the $28.20 should be minus-ed whereas Telecom has plus-ed), and this puts the GST amount out, which should be $7,340.03.  Have I done this right?

I agree this mistake is a problem, but it's nothing that an on-to-it business owner and/or company accountant shouldn't pick up on.

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  Reply # 201490 16-Mar-2009 20:42
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It may not actually be an issue at all.

How is the GST exempt value a negative amount? Is this infact supposed to be a negative amount (ie has been billed incorrectly in the past)? If so if you are subtracting a negative value which is a double negative which infact means that value is actually added, not subtracted which is basic math and what happens in any normal accounting procedures but would normally have brackets () so it is clearer.

If this is infact the case there is nothing actually wrong.




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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 201546 17-Mar-2009 08:19

Nate, yes you have got your sums correct. And yes also a good business owner should pick this up. My issue over this is that it looks like a systemic issue. How long has it been there? How many other invoices have just been approved and not picked up? How much extra revenue has Telecom collected because of this issue?

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  Reply # 201562 17-Mar-2009 09:29
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GreenCabbage: Nate, yes you have got your sums correct. And yes also a good business owner should pick this up. My issue over this is that it looks like a systemic issue. How long has it been there? How many other invoices have just been approved and not picked up? How much extra revenue has Telecom collected because of this issue?



I'd hate to harp on about this but have you actually spoken to Telecom about this or escalatced the issue?

From an accounting perspective there is absolutely nothing wrong with the bill and it adds up perfectly.

Before you start blaming Telecom have you actually established if anything actually is wrong here? Is the - value supposed to be a nagative value or a positive value?

The unanswered question is whether this GST exempt charges value is infact supposed to be a negative value or a positive value.



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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 201565 17-Mar-2009 09:39

It must be St Patricks Day.

Steve Biddle is actually correct and my interpretation is wrong.

The issue is that the GST inclusive amount of $28.20 (which was a credit transferred from a closed business to this account) was buried in a schedule of GST inclusive amounts.

In order to calculate the correct GST amount the $28.20 had to be reversed.

While the accounting treatment of this amount was correct I still have an issue with the way it is displayed.

I was wrong and it doesn't look like this is some arithmetic mistake earning Telecom undeserved revenue.

It is still confusing and should be made clearer.


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  Reply # 201571 17-Mar-2009 10:09
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Good to see you have it sorted!

The sums did add up - it's just the way it was presented would certainly make people initially think there was an issue! Certainly in an ideal would there would have been far better ways of presenting this.


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  Reply # 201574 17-Mar-2009 10:16
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GreenCabbage:Steve Biddle is actually correct and my interpretation is wrong.


Don't say that too loud, we'll never hear the end of it. Cool

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  Reply # 201663 17-Mar-2009 16:47
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I’m curious.   Did you speak to someone at Telecom about the issue before or after you posted your initial rant?

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