The methods by which Dappen et al. (1988, 1990, 1991) and Dziembowski et al. (1990, 1991, 1992) recently obtained discrepant estimates of the helium abundance in the solar convection zone are compared. The aim of the investigation reported in this paper is to identify the main source of the discrepancy. Using as proxy data eigenfrequencies of a set of modes of a theoretical solar model, computed with the same physics as were the frequencies of a reference model with which these data are compared, the two methods yield similar results. Thus we ascertain that the principal source of the discrepancy is not in the inversions themselves, which yield essentially a measure of the variation of the adiabatic exponent gamma of the material in the He II ionization zone. Instead it is in the approximations adopted in the treatment of heavy elements in the equation of state used to relate the variation of gamma to chemical composition. We obtain acceptably consistent results when inverting solar data by two methods using the same equation of state. We attempt to identify the likely residual sources of uncertainty.