Audit and Accounting > Purchases and Payments

Purchases is one of the major areas of success with IDEA. The main objective is to check for the validity of items. This encompasses suppliers over-pricing, invalid invoices, frauds of various types, accidental duplication and simply picking up expenses out of control.

Before embarking on all the various tests, consider performing a type analysis and creating a values profile.

The following are commonly used tests (grouped by type).


  • Analyse purchase or payments by value bands and identify unusual trends. Test for invoice splitting, particularly below authorisation levels
  • Summarise by the type of payment (regular supplier, one-off, cheque, electronic transfer, etc.)
  • Analyse by period to determine seasonal fluctuations
  • Analyse late shipments for impact on jobs, projects or sales orders due
  • Reconcile order received to purchase order to identify shipments not ordered
  • Report on purchasing performance by location
  • Summarise item delivery and quality and compare vendor performance
  • Summarise cash payments by the respective account distribution for reconciliation to the general ledger posting
  • Compare accrued payable to received items to reconcile to general ledger
  • Check for continued purchases in spite of high rates of return, rejects or credits


  • Reproduce purchase analysis and posting totals
  • Recalculate the total of cash payments
  • Track scheduled receipt dates versus actual receipt dates

Exception Tests

  • Produce exception reports of large items, possibly with an exception limit determined by the type of item (e.g., the General Ledger code)
  • Test for valid VAT numbers
  • Identify pricing and receipt quantity variations by vendor and purchase order
  • Identify price increases greater than acceptable percentages
  • Identify invoices without a valid purchase order
  • Identify high volume purchases from one vendor
  • Find invoices for more then one purchase order authorisation
  • Extract pricing and receipt quantity variations by vendor and purchase order
  • Identify multiple invoices at or just under approval cut-off levels
  • Find invoice payments issued on non-business days (Saturdays and Sundays)

Gaps and Duplicates

  • Test for duplicate invoices/payments (either on internal invoice number, external invoice number, supplier/amount, purchase order number or combination)
  • Identify duplicate purchase orders or receipts without purchase orders
  • Test for missing Cheque Numbers
  • Test for missing Goods Received Notes
  • Test for multiple invoices for the same amount on the dame date, same item description

Matching and Comparing

  • Match purchases with payments
  • Cross match payees with the employee file
  • Identify invoices from the suppliers not in the approved suppliers file
  • Reconcile receipt by comparing accrued payables to received items
  • Reduce inventory by comparing projected receipts to available stock
  • Compare vendor performance by summarising item delivery and quality
  • Compare accrued payable to received items to reconcile back to general ledger


Most sampling options apply