IOFM Department of the Month Award Winners - May 2020

IOFM received dozens of outstanding nominations from our community, and the stories were truly inspiring. In fact, the nominations were so exceptional that our editorial team opted to select three departments for this inaugural month. 

Please join us in congratulating our May 2020 Departments of the Month!

Tower Health System's AP Department

"I am nominating my AP Team from the Tower Health System.  We are a centralized AP department that oversees the payables for seven hospitals as well as multiple joint ventures and urgent care centers.  As with most hospital or health system AP departments, we are often considered non-essential. 

However, during this epidemic, my team has become one of the most essential teams there is.  How are we going to pay for those 30,000 masks that we need yesterday?  Every time, my team jumps on getting the invoice processed and the payment made so we can continue to ensure the safety and precaution of our frontline health care providers while still following all of policies and procedures in line with our compliance policies.  This team of 10,  who have never worked from home or remotely, has conquered their fears of the unknown and some have even started to enjoy working remotely.   

This team deserves to be recognized without a pandemic but right now where we are all fearful of our health, our loved ones health, our company, our finances, they have showed up every day and continued to kick butt.  They are true rock stars in my opinion.  Thank you for taking the time to read about my wonderful team at Tower Health."

— Kelli Mills, Assistant Manager, Accounts Payable, Tower Health System 

Cameco Corporation's AP & AR Department

"I couldn't wish to work with a better group of individuals. Through thick and thin we celebrate team success and life events and we pull together through business challenges and now pandemics. This team demonstrates daily their professionalism and commitment to each other, our department objectives and to our company success.

On March 13, 2020 our team picked up our laptops said good-bye to each other knowing we would begin working 100% from our home offices due to COVID-19 for an unknown period of time. As a company the objective was to keep employees, families and communities safe. As a department, we were fairly well positioned for this temporary new norm (with only a few responsibilities that we need to be in the office for twice per month). 

Cameco's group photo on Zoom

Since Monday March 16, we have continued all AP/AR routine work following established processes adhering to expected controls without complication. For the manual wire process, we had a Sharepoint library set up and a draft work instruction to support the payments that had to be transacted that day. Cheques printing and customer cheque deposits are completed every two weeks with rather aggressive approaches to transition the small number of these transactions to electronic methods. We are also continuing with our AP Automation project, which kicked off on March 9 and 10. We are figuring out how to manage a project with our solution provider and our IT department without being physically together.

Over the past six weeks, we have used Skype to continue our twice-a-week huddles and to reach out as required  maybe just to check in on each other or to work through a problem we continue to support each other. During our huddles, we take time to have some non-work related conversation which helps us keep connected and cope with #stayhome #staysafe #washyourhands #don'ttouchyourface #eatwell #sleepwell #wewillgetthroughthis." 

— Doreen Smuda, Manager, Accounts Payable & Accounts Receivable, Cameco Corporation

Tractor Supply Company's AP Department

"As the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread across our country, Tractor Supply Company's Store Support Center was tasked with responding quickly. In a matter of 48 hours, my entire team of ~20 individuals went from all working on desktop computers to receiving laptops for the FIRST time and working entirely remotely. The team did an amazing job adapting to the new work from home environment and excelled at figuring out creative ways to process invoices and vendor account adjustments without the handy office scanner. They have been able to keep up with all of their volume and our metrics are right in line with expectations.

During this time, they have also helped to on-board a new AP Supervisor. They successfully completed our first ever remote quarter closing period. As a publicly-held company, being able to close Accounts Payable on time and with no setbacks ensured the rest of the Accounting function was able to proceed without any delays. They have also helped tremendously to serve our Procurement partners to ensure prompt processing of invoices and payments for emergency response supplies for our team members working on the frontlines in our stores and DCs who are taking care of our customers. They have truly embodied the values of Tractor Supply Company - Teamwork, Winning Attitude and Change!"

— Lori Terlecki, Director, Operations Accounting, Tractor Supply Company

Do you know a department that deserves to be recognized? We're actively accepting nominations for our next Department of the Month! 


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