Name: Ali Al-Sadi
Program: Technical Assistance, SA Training Institute
Job Title: Financial Coordinator
Can you explain your job title a little bit more in-depth? Meaning, what does the Financial Coordinator do?
As the Financial Coordinator, I handle all things pertaining to the financial coordination of our contracts. What the Technical Assistance (TA) department does is we have a contract with the state, as well as counties, to provide Technical Assistance. This technical assistance is a range of anything from coordinating trainings or consultations, curriculum development, and purchasing of materials that are needed on behalf of the state and/or clients. I handle the financial side of all these pieces. That ranges from issuing payments to subcontractors when services have been rendered, to making supply order purchases, to managing the overall budget of those categories. This also includes logging payments and reporting to the state on the status of their budgets to ensure that they can use up as much of the funds as possible. I also budget effectively for the entire fiscal year.
What does a typical day look like for you?
One thing that has changed about my job responsibilities since the pandemic started is that the state is utilizing SA to host quite a few of their trainings for the virtual webinars. These trainings have taken the place of in-person classes. Oftentimes, a typical day starts off by opening a class or making sure that someone else within the TA department is handling the virtual hosting responsibilities. In addition to that, it is a matter of reviewing email correspondence and managing new invoices that come in (we receive dozens of invoices a week). Reviewing these invoices includes making sure that the subcontractor has completed services that have been requested. Responding to requests for coordination from the state is a typical day for me. At the end of the week, I write checks to subcontractors from the ones that are ready to pay.
What was normal or typical about your last workday?
On Monday I assisted with a training that was in the morning by virtually hosting the training, and then I had to catch up on work from Friday. On Monday, I also had to place a few orders that had come in from the state for purchase order requests. I also had a TA team meeting with the rest of the team and presented a brief overview of where we are at with the budget, as well as program and weekly updates. Currently I am handling the RIGHT RESPONSE© invoice generating until a staff member comes back from maternity leave. I ended my day by creating invoices for RIGHT RESPONSE©. (RIGHT RESPONSE© is an SA exclusive training specializing in crisis prevention and de-escalation techniques).
Was there anything uncommon about your last work day?
I feel like there was. The week before we found out that Zoom (the virtual meeting platform), for whatever reason, had license issues with the trainings. Licenses that were there, were no longer able to be found! This resulted in quite a bit of scrambling to get everything figured out and generate new links (for all the attendees to access) amongst the chaos!
How do you make sure that you are showing a deep profound respect towards the customers that you work with and interact with?
By being responsive to their needs, their concerns, and remaining cognizant that their work with us, is only a part of their job. Just like our work with them is only part of what we do. We also must have good relationships with our subcontractors that we contract out with for filling the state’s requests. It is like a balancing act between our contractors and our customers at the state. We are always making sure that we can act as a sufficient liaison between them and our subcontractors as well as be responsive to any questions, needs, or request that they have. We always do our best to provide the most accurate and quickest responses to those needs. We are providing them with the information while always upholding our own values within SA. In terms of making sure that we are forming our work, we work with integrity and excellence to provide excellent customer service.
If I could talk to some of your customers, what would they say are the ways that you show respect and show the SA values in the work that you do?
I think that a lot of the work we do is a direct reflection of the SA Values. When a contractor has a last-minute purchase that they need for a training, being responsive and assisting them is showing excellent customer service. Making sure that we can find a vendor that provides our customers with what is being requested, as soon as possible, is a demonstration of excellent customer service. Ensuring that we are finding them the most affordable options for what they need, or to fill their request is ensuring that we are reflecting fiscal responsibility. We also do this by providing them with updates on their budget and encouraging them in effective ways of spending. We always are maintaining a professionalism in our communications as well as in meetings that hold respect on a business level.
We try to live out the SA Values as best we can when serving everyone in the community.