Teamwork: Key to successful end-of-year fiscal close out

  • Published
  • By Maj. John J. Ryan
  • 71st Comptroller-Contracting Squadron commander
You've heard the old saying that money makes the world go round. That's also true for Air Force bases. U.S. Air Force operations would quickly come to a halt if money wasn't available to pay for salaries, equipment and services. 

It takes a strong financial team with synergy to plan, manage and execute base financial plans and operations from the beginning of a fiscal year through end-of-year close out. Teamwork and unselfishness create the backbone of a great team. 

Teamwork is defined as a group of people contributing their individual knowledge and skills working together to achieve a common goal or mission. 

To be successful teams must develop what's called synergy. Synergy is where the group is greater than the sum of the individual members. You can have a group of superstars, but if they can't work together as one unit, they're not going to succeed. 

Do you remember the 1980 Olympic Winter Games "Miracle on Ice?" This was when our U.S. team of amateur players defeated the Soviet Union's hockey team. The Soviet Union's team was the best hockey team in the world at the time. Our U.S. team went on to win the gold medal by defeating Finland in the final game. 

OK, so you may not remember this because you probably were in elementary school or maybe not born yet -- I'm really starting to feel old. Nevertheless, this was a spectacular example of teamwork and synergy. 

Our finance and contracting team also demonstrated spectacular teamwork and synergy during end-of-year close out. The last day of the government's fiscal year was on Sept. 30, and we successfully executed about $14 million of purchases. The base projects that we funded ranged from multi-million dollar runway and taxiway repair to buying new playground equipment and library books. 

Our team worked exhaustively until the early morning on Oct. 1 balancing and closing out the base's "books." The fiscal close out was a total team effort between active-duty service members, Reservists, civilian employees and our contracting partners committed to getting the job done by funding the commander's priorities. 

The Air Force financial accounting system is extremely complex. The general accounting and finance system is the core financial management accounting system. This financial system updates and maintains accounting records for funding authority commitments, accounts payable, accounts receivable, expenditures and collections. 

This financial system has a multitude of common interface systems that update financial records. There are scores of accounting requirements for funds distribution, execution and financial plans. There are numerous forms, documents and orders to input and process.

There are countless budget and financial reports to compile, analyze and submit to higher authority. We wouldn't be successful without teamwork and synergy. 

The key to our effective end-of-year closeout was teamwork and synergy between all players. A team working as one cohesive unit is the key to success. 

The end-of-year close out is now successfully completed. Unfortunately, we don't have time to relax because more challenges are immediately ahead of us. We have the upcoming base exercises and operational readiness inspection to prepare for. 

As always, Team Vance is going to succeed with team work. Remember, team stands for Together Everyone Accomplishes More.