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All things financial.

The All Things Financial (ATF) concept embeds an enlisted financial manager in a unit that currently does not have a funded resource advisor (RA) or financial manager. The enlisted member is assigned to a unit to perform all financial duties. The ATF test began at Dover AFB, Delaware in August 2012. The initial planning started with selecting a squadron that would not only embrace the test, but would be able to provide a large enough population to make the test worthwhile. The 436th Aerial Port Squadron (APS) is one of Dover's largest units with about 500 personnel working 24/7 shifts in a high ops tempo environment. The APS agreed to be the test supporting unit for ATF. We selected one of our brightest non-commissioned officers, SSgt Jeremy Convery, as the ATF member. The selection was not only based on his expertise, but also his personality and attitude, which would affect his ability to fit in with the APS members.

The test was separated into three phases beginning with initial setup and advertising of the ATF office. During this phase, SSgt Convery moved to the APS and was placed within the Readiness Flight, which includes the RA. While he was advertising his position throughout the APS, the comptroller squadron (CPTS) was focused on his training and on organizing a document flow process that would be smooth for both the ATF and the CPTS. They also worked to determine the duties that would be assigned to the ATF. SSgt Convery helped members with PCS In-Processing System (PiPS) and Defense Travel System (DTS) vouchers, adjusting his hours to assist members on all shifts. He also worked closely with the APS RA, learning those duties as well. This gave SSgt Convery the opportunity to see fiscal year closeout from a different perspective.

During Phase 2, SSgt Convery began processing documents in the Military Pay system. The documents were then submitted to the Financial Services Flight (FMF) for audit and certification. The ATF manages all APS Case Management System (CMS) cases, separations and retirements, and debts. SSgt Convery expanded this phase to include some RA responsibilities, such as processing documents in the Automated Business Services System (ABSS). The APS commander included him in the status of funds and unfunded priorities meetings. SSgt Convery had limited experience in FMF and Financial Management Analysis (FMA). Since his experience was mainly in travel pay, the ATF position provided him the opportunity to see many processes he would have missed working in only one area of the CPTS.

Although Dover has not entered Phase 3 of the test, it will consist of more RA and budget processing, including decision support to APS leadership during initial distribution, execution plans, and unfunded drills. The ATF will also prepare financial reports and data to support the financial working group, the financial management board, and financial improvement and audit readiness.

The feedback we received from the APS has been great. The APS commander, readiness flight commander, the RA, and unit members are all very pleased with the ATF concept. The ATF hours are helpful for shift workers and members do not need to schedule their time around CPTS customer service hours. The assistance given to the RA, which is an additional duty for the APS, is invaluable. The readiness flight commander stated that he was not sure how he managed previously without the ATF. SSgt Convery's ability to "fit in" the APS was most important, and his personality and attitude made a significant difference in the success of this test thus far. The APS members accepted him as one of their unit personnel and he was able to learn some of their duties, such as pallet building and cargo loading and unloading. SSgt Convery indicated that his experience gave him newfound respect for other Air Force members and their duties. SSgt Convery actively participated in events with both the APS and CPTS, and his performance and value to the APS was recognized by his selection as APS Airman of the Quarter. Communication between both units has been vital to the success of the ATF concept.

From the CPTS perspective, we have seen a decrease in the number of customers at our customer service counter, as well as our government travel card (GTC) delinquency rates. Additionally, outstanding travel orders have decreased in the APS due to the ATF. The squadrons meet twice a month to discuss the ATF and use the meetings to adjust the ATF test as needed. The biggest benefit we see is for the ATF members; the ability to work both FMA and FMF could take years in a typical CPTS. Members are able to see a larger Air Force perspective while providing outstanding financial support. In addition, having the APS members work so closely with the ATF has changed the reputation of finance within the APS.

Overall the ATF test at Dover has been successful and provides a service that can benefit all. There have been several bumps in the road and many lessons learned, but this is all part of the test. We can see where the ATF concept may not be worthwhile for all units, but in our particular scenario, it has worked out well for all involved.

by SMSgt Mandy Williams and SSgt Jeremy Convery, AMC

About the Authors

SMSgt Mandy Williams is currently the superintendent of the 436th Comptroller Squadron at Dover AFB. She has served 21 years in the Air Force; this is her second assignment as a comptroller superintendent.

SSgt Jeremy Convery is the All Things Financial technician at the 436th Aerial Port Squadron at Dover AFB. He was previously assigned to the Air Force Financial Services Center at Ellsworth AFB.
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Title Annotation:ARTICLES
Author:Williams, Mandy; Convery, Jeremy
Publication:Air Force Comptroller
Date:Sep 22, 2013
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