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Finance Problems

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Guest buddy

So, there i was for the 10th plus time at finance, its 1 day before i am supposed to pick up my rental truck and other equipment before i PCS 2 days from now. I go to the counter like i always do, sign in, sit down and wait..... I consider myself fairly up-to-speed on things like filling out forms, following up, getting as much info as possibe, and looking up the regs to educate myself on how the world goes around at finance but, with all these precautinary steps, and my prior reserve/enlisted experience I still am amazed how unreliable finance is. I turned in my paperwork early like i always do, and of course for my DITY move advance (60% upfront), and all other pay allotments to this point for that matter, they dropped the ball yet again. I speak with the desk NCO and she acts as if I should just except it (B.O.H.I.C.A) :bohica: . So, I speak with the Lt in charge and she pretty much sang the song: too bad so sad. I was furious at this point :M16: with their repetitive incompetence. I let them have it and explained to them that getting paid should be the last thing every service member should have to stress out about especially before they are about to move ( like the move itself isnt enough!). So now I am forced to use my GTC for the move and open the can of worms that goes along with it (voucher info, split dispursement, ensuring its paid before the due date, etc.) instead of just paying for the crap and going about my business.

Its not just this instance that set me off, how about the time when i first came on active duty, before i had a GTC or any other means of support, and i didnt get paid for 2 weeks while trying to get ready for a tdy and getting my family set up for while i'm gone. Or the time i had to turn in the 400$ clothing allocation form, that all LTs fillout to get reimbursed for some of their initial uniform costs, 3 different times. And they always have the same answer...Oh sorry sir, your paperwork was in the wrong pile! rediculous! :bash: Oh and to top things off, they are currently over paying me slightly so, I am having to get all my reserve paperwork, commissioning paperwork, etc to try to get that straightened out before it adds up to 15000 dollars or something. Keep in mind all the above happned in less than a 4 month time span! Let me know if i'm off base in thinking this is completely unacceptable! thank god i'm pcsing!

The thing about it is I am ussually the last to complain about anything, but I guess my money is my weak spot!

Let me know if you have any horror stories or advice for my next base.

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A concise, non-emotional letter addressed to the MPF commander of the base that is screwing you over should help.

It probably won't solve your immediate problem, but it will get his/her attention and he/she will direct that attention to his finance people.

Repeat non-emotional. Don't call them 'tards or any other names. Give a specific listing of times/dates you submitted stuff, dates they screwed up/who if possible, etc. Ask him to please follow up with you for any actions taken on your behalf. It lets him know you aren't just 'going away' and he can forget about it.

Be respectful, but firm in expressing your frustration at the situation and the hardship their buffoonery is causing you and your family.

If no answer/satisfaction, then send another letter and a copy of the first one to the Support Group Commander of the base asking him if this is standard practice.

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One thing I don't understand is how this crap isn't freaking easy and damn near fully automated. This whole business logic could be coded into a program with a database backend and a few babysitters to help answer questions and deal with only the most extreme circumstances. I guess that's what comes with having 19- and 20-year-old Airmen doing the legwork. Hell, I've only been in for six months and I've already seen some late payments, lost forms and the like. WTF? I guess I just don't understand payroll for such a large organization. Every civilian company I ever worked for was perfect... truly perfect... with my pay. Perhaps it was just the smaller scale. Definitely one benefit to the civilian world... more money there, too!

Edited by Ill Destructor

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It never ceases to amaze me how incompetent 99% of these people are at their jobs. They act like their job is so stressful, hard, etc...give me a break, if you can't handle this you probably couldn't even handle a briefing, let alone flying a plane. I think what pisses me off the most is that I could do their job w/ little to no training (hence I'm actually kind of glad now for DTS), but yet they still fuck up all the time and make excuses. Unbelievable. And in case I haven't made it clear...I hate finance (with the exception of 1 in a million like finance guy on here who actually has a clue).

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One thing I don't understand is how this crap isn't freaking easy and damn near fully automated. This whole business logic could be coded into a program with a database backend and a few babysitters to help answer questions and deal with only the most extreme circumstances.

Let's call it DTS!

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Guest xtndr50boom
One thing I don't understand is how this crap isn't freaking easy and damn near fully automated. This whole business logic could be coded into a program with a database backend and a few babysitters to help answer questions and deal with only the most extreme circumstances.

Just what we need... So the people who constantly bitch and moan about DTS will have something else to bitch and moan about

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I admit I bitched about DTS at first b/c once again you're doing someone else's job for them. But now I understand that some things are just better done yourself than to be done by incompetent shoes. I say bring on a DTS equivalent of everything else. Finance is completely incapable of doing their own damn job and it pisses me off when it negatively affects me...I'd rather spend some of my own time doing it right so I don't get screwed out of money. More people should see the benefits of such a system.

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I admit I bitched about DTS at first b/c once again you're doing someone else's job for them. But now I understand that some things are just better done yourself than to be done by incompetent shoes. I say bring on a DTS equivalent of everything else. Finance is completely incapable of doing their own damn job and it pisses me off when it negatively affects me...I'd rather spend some of my own time doing it right so I don't get screwed out of money. More people should see the benefits of such a system.

You're going to have to do Finance's job for them anyway, might as well do it in a way that gets you paid the first time.

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Guest Cap-10

DTS can lick me bean bag!

I've recently PCS'd, and I'm already being sent TDY. DTS still thought I was at my old duty station. Called back to the our squadron rep so he could 'release me' from the system, so my new duty station could pick me up. Even though this is all done on computer, it took 3 days until my new squadron was able to add me. In that time, I could have flown back to the states, got a hand written note, and brought it back with me.

So now that I can into DTS again, it's smart enough to know that I need airline tickets, but it tells me that no flights are available. I find this as weird as I know I didn't row a boat to get to this country, but I indeed flew a commercial airline. Then I noticed that DTS was looking for commerical flights originating from Osan AB, instead of Seoul. Once I manually changed the search values, flights were amazingly available. Apparently DTS is not smart enought to know that Korean Air does not have daily flights out of Osan. Amazing.

Outbound flight booked no problem. When the list of 6-9 options for my return flight popped up, I chose the most direct flight with only one connection, and them I'm directed to pick my seat, but it won't show me the seating diagram. Guess I'm not picking my own seat then. . I do this for both portions of my return flight, wait 60-90 seconds while DTS processes my request, only to be told that the flight is not available. I figure it's possible (1 in 69 billion) that someone, somewhere was also in DTS and booking that same flight and pressed 'proceed' .69 seconds before me, taking the very last seat on a 777, so I go through the process again, selecting a different flight. Same result. 3rd time a charm? Negative. 4th? No love! 5th time, I am swearing at my computer, lots of F bombs, and my ROK counterparts are starting to look worried. IF THE F$CKING FLIGHTS ARE NOT AVAILABLE, THEY WHY THE F&CK IS DTS SHOWING THEM TO ME!!!!!!!

So it finally took me walking to the official travel office and talking to a real live person to get me booked on a flight.

Did mention that I needed a rental car as well. DTS told me the airport I was flying into didn't have any cars, but it could get me a car at another airport that was about a 2 hour drive from the airport I was flying into. Unfortunatly there was not a space allowing me to ask DTS how the hell it expected me to get to the 2nd airport to pick up the car. I cancelled the request.

When I picked up my tickets, I couldn't believe my ears when the travel agent told me that she could indeed get me a rental car at the govt rate at the airport I was arriving in.

:flipoff: DTS

Cap-10

(Edit: Spelling)

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I guess I'll add to the finance/DTS fire. I go TDY maybe about twice/qtr and it's all CONUS (rough life huh?). The agency I work for uses the Disaster Travel System. However, it's shortly after the fiscal year and funds haven't been disbursed yet (BTW they STILL haven't and it's fvcking February). So my boss directs me to go ahead and do it the old fashioned way and just make all of my reservations with my GTC. I do so (nice and easily), go and complete my mission and filll out my travel voucher w/in 5 days without too much ass pain.

Now I don't have a local finance office or someone to choke when they screw things up. I have to send everything to DFAS Indianapolis, because they have our funds that haven't been disbursed. 35 short days later I see a deposit which looks very light. I recheck my claim and my reciepts and they are over $1200 short. I promptly call these mofos at Indy and have them pull up my voucher, orders and what they filed. I even underlined in a sharpie pen that "variations," "actual lodging," and "rental car" were all authorized by my commander. They decide to skip over this minor detail and not pay for any lodging expense, air travel or rental car as well as screw up each individual day of lodging expense when it is plain as day on my 1351-2.

Without a choice, I go to battle with DFAS. The key is to GET A NAME. I decided to document everyone's name, the service they provided (or lack there of), the amount of time I was on hold etc. After calling them every other day for 2 months, I had a substantial pile of documentation (ammo). I even made a spreadsheet for this particular voucher.

Well I finally get reimbursed for what looks fairly close to the right amount, but it turns out that they just paid me a second time for the same trip instead of reimbursing me what they actually owe me, but this time DFAS Columbus pays me, not Indy. I leave a scathing customer service critique complete with my name, number and forwarded a copy to my boss. The critique included everything in the spreadsheet that I created as well. I actually got a phone call from a supervisor apologising for the shitty service.

I'm not out of the woods yet I guess because I have to pay back the money they paid me for the second time before they can properly reimburse me. My boss, a Col, decided to step in, and if those MFs call me, I'm supposed to transfer the call to him. Now that's top cover. Why is the "customer" always the one who pays for finance's fvckups? The best advice I can give is to know the Joint Travel Regulation cover to cover and then stuff it up finance's ass when they screw up.

IMHO, Finance, DTS, DFAS, Carlson Wagonlit, Sato Travel can all eat my ass. :flipoff:

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I am gonna sound like a dork for a moment:

I am reading Newt Gingrich's new book, and he discusses the disaster of government bureaucracies, and how they are more focused on self preservation than on serving their purpose.

Case in point: the civilian and pentagon influence and ineptness in Iraq post major hostilities.

I worked for a business after college for a few years, and despite traveling with it, etc, never had a pay issue. Visa can authenticate a valid or invalid transaction or give you money through an ATM in about 5 seconds, but our government is unable to tell if someone is illegally in the country, etc.

Finance and other organizations are a microcosm of that bureaucracy problem. They are more interested in self preservation and self protection than accomplishing a "mission." This issue goes beyond just being inconvenient, its complete and utter government waste.

I have caught close to 3000 dollars in mistakes in pay in just four or five years.

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One thing I don't understand is how this crap isn't freaking easy and damn near fully automated.

It's coming (sts). AFFSC.

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Guest sabini

Finance overpayed me, and being the financially responsible and first-rate individual that I am, I alert them to this fact. They tell me to come in to slice a check for the improper disbursement. Sounds like a minor mistake so far, right? When I take my lunch break to go over there, A1C Snuffy says that they can't take my check because they have to verify that they overpayed me. I appreciate the concern, but freakin take my money! Do you normally get people who want to make charitable donations to the AF?

Ultimately, I think this is some sort of test set up by the DIA to investigate my financial management skills. Will he spend the windfall on hookers and booze, or will he have enough self-control to keep the money stashed away until we take it back?

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Guest JimmyH
It never ceases to amaze me how incompetent 99% of these people are at their jobs. They act like their job is so stressful, hard, etc...give me a break, if you can't handle this you probably couldn't even handle a briefing, let alone flying a plane. I think what pisses me off the most is that I could do their job w/ little to no training (hence I'm actually kind of glad now for DTS), but yet they still ###### up all the time and make excuses. Unbelievable. And in case I haven't made it clear...I hate finance (with the exception of 1 in a million like finance guy on here who actually has a clue).

WOW! Say what you will about how sucky finance is.. I won't disagree with you there. But to speak even slightly kind words for DTS.. that's just.. wow. Wow. You must not go TDY a lot... :aviator:

Ignoring the downfalls mentioned above of trying to set up a trip on DTS before leaving, if DTS worked the way it was supposed to it would be a great tool for the majority of its users who go on medium to longish TDYs to one location, and then return home. DTS is AWFUL for any length TDY to multiple locations the sort of which airlift aircrew, for example, do almost exclusively. It should not take me two days of putting my fist through a computer screen to dig my way through a long TDY with dozens of locations only to have it all screwed up in the end anyway. No amount of DTS training, short of sending me to finance tech school and awarding me with their badge will allow me to understand the correct, least ass-tastic way of using it.

Given the choice, I will fill out a paper voucher every time. I can take it with me, update it every time I change locations, and keep track of expenses (taxis/ATM fees/hotel taxes/etc/etc) as they occur. Then when I get home I get signatures and turn it in. Unfortunately, with the massive layoffs in the support structure of the AF, the paper voucher is rarely an acceptable option. And with that downsizing, the two folks who work finance for the whole base would be overwhelmed and probably lose it anyway.

To the OP:

As for the folks at finance being a bunch of 'tards. Well, that's no big surprise. Before going over them to their commander try going to your Sq's Shirt (if you have one). Chances are he has better connections over there than you do, and might be able to get them to pull their heads out of their asses. If that doesn't work, by all means, use your/their chain.

Its kind of sad how many folks in the Air Force aren't as mission focused as they should be. For Finance, the "mission" should be making sure everyone gets everything they're entitled to as soon as they're entitled to it. Imagine that! Its almost as if their "mission" is to cheat us out of as many entitlements as they can get away with. Its almost as if they TRY to make it harder on everyone else. That they actually do go out of their way to accomplish that "mission". Ugh.

Good luck, and let us know how you fixed it when you finally do. Do NOT give up on the entitlements you're supposed to get. You're allowed to get an advance for a DITY move, so if you need or want it, don't take "no" for an answer.

Edited by JimmyH

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Guest Bender

First off, I'm the kinda guy that doesn't even want to file a voucher for the 2 days per diem and the 1600 baht I spent on the hotel...

I can take it with me, update it every time I change locations, and keep track of expenses (taxis/ATM fees/hotel taxes/etc/etc) as they occur.

You could do that on a piece of paper, or if you're not a moron, just piece it together from the reciepts...if you're capable..otherwise just write it down and reference...should work. Sorry you're having such a hard time.

As for the folks at finance being a bunch of 'tards. Well, that's no big surprise.

I think you should re-evaluate things a little. I'm guilty of frustration too (you should see the line badge picture I ended up with due to it,) but continually calling the people that work in these places names is a bit much, IMHO.

Its almost as if their "mission" is to cheat us out of as many entitlements as they can get away with.

Care to tell me what their mission statement is (WITHOUT looking it up?)

DTS sucks...I'm not gonna argue that. It's there, figure it out...it's NOT that complicated. If it defeats you, guess what....get stronger.

BENDY

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WOW! Say what you will about how sucky finance is.. I won't disagree with you there. But to speak even slightly kind words for DTS.. that's just.. wow. Wow. You must not go TDY a lot... aviator.gif

Well it does blow, that's for sure. Just in my limited experience, the pain of DTS is less than the pain of dealing w/ Amn Assbag. I've done DTS 4 times now with limited problems. I've done the old travel voucher way the same amount of times...every time was a disaster. They all sound similar to Coasta's description above as far as the amount of time, under-payment and no-common-sense idiots.

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Guest Bender
...less than the pain of dealing w/ Amn Assbag.

Try takiing the time to be nice and make him/her feel like helping you is a good thing.

I don't give ###### if you're a pilot or a Col.

That "Amn" is capable of helping you, you just need to find a way of getting them to do it. Granted, you shouldn't have to and sometimes you'll run into a new guy, can't help sack, but ask for someone else or go back next timeyou're free during their 3 hours of service a day.

BREAK BREAK...

Don't complain about automation. It;s MUCH easier to fix a bug, glitch, issue, then it is to improve the readiness of people. Don't kid yourself.

The problem is getting Lt's to code something, when they have a Art Appreciation degree.

Why was that okay?

BENDY

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Try takiing the time to be nice and make him/her feel like helping you is a good thing.

I don't give ###### if you're a pilot or a Col.

That "Amn" is capable of helping you, you just need to find a way of getting them to do it.

DUDE WHAT???? NO!!! Be nice, but they should do their job regardless if you have foreplay with them or not!

Good lord. Imagine this: "Hey be really nice to Capt. Flypants, he has to take you to the desert, and he wont fly you there if you are a meanie head. Make him feel as if flying you there would be a good thing"

Thats our problem, we arent making things happen cuz we think we just weren't nice enough.

Bender, punch yourself once please for the above comment.

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Guest Bender

No.

You do your job. Great, you understand it.

Don;t try and empathize with people you don't understand.

S vs. E...Get...? pobably not.

Our job and their job are FAR different things.

You don't have the lux of f'in up like they do....

I don't have the capacity to explain it all to you right now, but I hope you get htat...

It's great to bitch and comapin...I get that....but, don't call me out here.

BENDY

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Guest JimmyH

Bender, you're right. Under ideal circumstances DTS would probably work great. And yes, I probably could use it a lot more efficiently than I do. I guess that's what comes with the DTS training I've received consisting of a not very well thought out powerpoint presentation printed up and put in a binder that I literally have to reference every time. I don't see how DTS is "automation". It takes me 5 times longer to do than someone who's major part of their job includes handling travel vouchers. And I do write everything I do down and keep track of it, but it doesn't always translate into DTS the way it should.

I like the voucher because it feels a lot more automatic to me. IDEALLY, I fill out a piece of paper once without translating it to an inflexible computer program, get a signature on it, and get paid a few days later.

It should be as hard as it is to get DTS to figure out how to pay you best when you're moving around w/o regards to the calendar day. When there's weird circumstances involving multiple locations on the same day, for example, you could always just ASK a finance person. Good luck actually finding one these days.

And you're also right, I shouldn't call people names. I was simply overreacting (exactly what I had said not to do) to the situation of the OP with them basically telling him to shove it. I shouldn't have called them 'tards. At best, they're being "unhelpful".

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It should be as hard as it is to get DTS to figure out how to pay you best when you're moving around w/o regards to the calendar day. When there's weird circumstances involving multiple locations on the same day, for example, you could always just ASK a finance person. Good luck actually finding one these days.

I've got a question. (or four)

Are you being forced to have DTS orders in hand to travel on missions these days? Or can you still travel on flight orders?

Why do you want to put multiple locations in for the same day? I know I'm missing something, but please explain the necessity of doing that?

Finance doesn't know much more about DTS than you do. There is probably one SME over there that knows it in and out, but I bet you've had more training on DTS than most of the Amn in finance. All of the power of approving/ denying DTS orders and vouchers rest within your squadron and whoever is the money person for your squadron (a resource advisor or something similar).

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Guest buddy

A little update for my 'i hate finance" blog.

30 days after i file for the Dislocation allowance, I finally recieved it. It only took about 8+ phone calls and talking to the entire comptroller squadron but, what you know I finally got it. :rock: I have recently also recieved all the other allotments i was supposed to recieve also. It turns out that the columbus AFB finance may have their crap together, or atleast better than Moody's. So after over a month of being at my new duty station I am squared away. I am really looking foward to my next move after UPT! hahaha :M16:

thanks for all the advice and the horror stories. it feels good not being alone! :salut:

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Let's call it DTS!

No, even better:

DIMHRS (Defense Integrated Military Human Resources System) is a comprehensive, Web-based solution that will integrate many existing personnel and pay processes into one self-service system. It will support the military's Total Force - across the services and components (Active or Regular Component, Reserve, and National Guard). It represents the Department of Defense (DoD) and Air Force's commitment to modernizing business practices and providing enhanced support for today's service member and their families.

DIMHRS is expected to launch in 2009.

Airmen must get familiar with ‘self-help’ personnel systems

http://www.stripes.com/article.asp?section...mp;archive=true

"Now the challenge lies in getting the airmen they serve to adjust also, according to Lt. Gen. Roger Brady, the Air Force’s deputy chief of staff, manpower and personnel."

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Okay, i just inprocessed at Hurlburt and things have just taken a turn for the worse, nothing has gone wrong yet but I see massive potential for it do so.

Now instead of filing a PCS voucher themselves, finance has to ship them out (maybe scanning them) to the new fangled central processing center at Ellsworth. Now you can't even hate your local finance office anymore, you have to hate the center at ellsworth, and when you call them up to tell them that your probably really hating on some indian guy working at a call center.

Just another reason of why you need to keep every copy of everything you ever turn in. And check your credit reports regularly. You never know when some laptop is going to go missing at the Bank of Air Force containing your SSN.

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