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NEWS | Feb. 24, 2010

Mandatory eFinance system to take effect March 1

By Staff Sgt. Daniel Bowles 628th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Effective March 1, the 628th Comptroller Squadron is slated to implement mandatory filing of non-Defense Travel System travel pay documents though the new eFinance system.

Jan. 1 the 628th CPTS began offering eFinance, and the mandatory implementation set for March 1 will assist in spreading eFinance's efficiency to the entire base by providing a secure, paperless process with automated assistance.

Joint Base Charleston was one of several bases to first test the eFinance system, and Airmen in the 628th CPTS have become familiarized with eFinance during the past two months in preparation for providing the best service possible with the new system.

"There will obviously be a learning curve," said 2nd Lt. Timothy Slechta, 628th Comptroller Squadron financial services officer. "But after using it, a person will find how easy it is. And the more they use it, the more familiar they will be."

eFinance is designed to provide all non-DTS military travel pay support, including partial settlements, accrual payments, final settlements and travel advances. The system does not currently include support for military pay issues. For military pay financial services, the 628th CPTS will continue providing traditional customer support.

The eFinance system is completely Web-based, putting control of the filing process at the user's fingertips. Its familiar Turbo Tax-style design guides users through a "user friendly" internet application step-by-step to compete filing processes, said Lieutenant Slechta.

The benefits of eFinance also extend beyond the workplace, he said. With eFinance, a user may file from home using a common access card reader and home-use software available through the Air Force Portal. Throughout Air Force Reserve Command, the lieutenant said the feature has been well received by reservists who may not have regular access to government computers.

When a user navigates to the eFinance site, the system uses an easy to understand question and answer session to walk each member through the process of travel and entitlements from start to finish.

Claimants will be asked to digitally sign for the information provided, which requires a common access card reader. At the end of the process, the claimant will be asked to upload or fax supporting documentation, such as receipts and the front and back of travel orders.

After approval, the voucher is routed to the financial services office at the 628th CPTS. The voucher is then quality checked by finance technicians and submitted to the central Air Force Financial Services Center at Ellsworth AFB, S.D., for processing.

As with other processes in eFinance, the customer receives e-mail status updates as the document package moves through the various stages of processing.

The components of the eFinance workspace will assist Airmen by providing the tools needed to operate in today's increasingly digital environment. In addition, they help to standardize and streamline the processes at the local finance office and provide the AFFSC with complete and legible documentation.

Across the Air Force in recent years, the modernization of financial support services has brought about beneficial changes to the way Airmen conduct day-to-day financial business.

From access to Web-based leave and earning statements and financial resources on the Air Force Portal, the creation of the Defense Travel System, and the advent of the centralized Air Force Financial Services Center, steps are consistently being made to keep financial services on the cutting edge.

The eFinance system is yet another step in the same direction, and the eFinance system will enable Joint Base Charleston to offer non-DTS travel pay services with better accuracy and more efficiency than the former paper-based system.

eFinance may be easily accessed via its secure Web site application using a common access card and pin at https://efinanceworkspace.wpafb.af.mil or by accessing the Air Force Portal, selecting the "Air Force Portal Money-Finance Central" option and scrolling down the page to the hyperlink.

For any additional questions, contact the 628th CPTS via e-mail at finance@charleston.af.mil. The finance customer service lobby will remain open Mondays through Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The office is located on the third floor of Building 322.