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Finance transformation an ongoing process

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Staff Sgt. Megan Mavis, 30th Comptroller Squadron is the Air Force Space Command Financial Management & Comptroller NCO of the Quarter for Apr - Jun 2007.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Nichelle Griffiths)

The Vandenberg Finace office continues to make changes to better serve Airmen better as the Air Force transfers various finance responsibilities to the Air Force Financial Services Center at Ellsworth AFB, S.D. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Nichelle Griffiths)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- As most of Vandenberg is aware, the Financial Services Office is in the middle of massive changes. You've likely noticed some of these, but the most visible changes are still to come. Below is a sort of timeline to guide you through what changes are or will be taking place Air-Force wide, and what we've done to prepare our customers. 

Why the change? The reasons were 3 fold: 

1) A customer regularly spent 30-60 minutes of their day in the finance lobby waiting for an open technician. With the draw-down of forces throughout our service, we needed a more efficient process. Your time is important, to your unit, to us and, most importantly, to you. On top of that, we realized most of the customer inquiries could be handled by a phone call, meaning you wouldn't even have to leave your desk. So we initiated the call center. If your question can't be answered over the phone, we will set up an appointment for you, so you can come in at a scheduled time, sit right down with a technician, and be out in less time than you previously spent just sitting in our lobby. If you don't get a technician, you can leave a message and expect a return call within 24 hours. 

2) The draw-down of manpower has hit finance as hard as it has hit everyone else. The transformation effort is centralizing at least half of the FM enlisted force at Ellsworth AFB, S.D. As the Air Force barrels down the transformation track, base-level FSOs no longer have the manpower to handle a lobby full of customers. That 30-60 minute wait would at least double. 

3) Lastly, but most importantly, this change was done to prepare you, our customers, and the entire base for the transformation effort. When all is said and done, all Air Force members will direct their pay inquiries to the Air Force Financial Services Center (AFFSC) at Ellsworth, via phone or electronic communication. What better way to prepare Vandenberg for an Air Force where we have to call South Dakota for pay help than to set up the same process on a smaller scale here? 

With that said, the only walk-ins currently being accepted are retirees and travel voucher drop-offs. We also offer weekly briefings to cover our most common questions. Please contact Finance at 606-4606 for more information. 

October 2008: In six short months, the Air Force plans to open the call center portion of the AFFSC. The call center will be one part of an entire package of products that will become available to you, known as the FM Services Delivery Model. Also included in this package will be a "self-help" website known as Web Self Service. This site will walk you through document preparation and requirements. It will include a PCS tutorial and calculator, and extensive FAQs. The FSDM will give you the tools to be self-sufficient, including direct customer service phone and electronic communication with the AFFSC for your pay inquiries. 

By the time we reach our end-state with this effort, the issues you will come to base finance about will be few and far between. Outside of these activities, you will only need to visit the finance office if the AFFSC refers you to us. The Air Force is, in essence, going the same place with Financial Services that we went with banking several years ago... online and over the phone.