By John B. SnyderMarch 6, 2014
WATERVLIET ARSENAL, N.Y. (March 6, 2014) -- To anyone who has ever managed a household checkbook, they know the degree of difficulty of trying to account for the last few cents that is keeping them from achieving a balanced accounting. Now imagine the degree of difficulty when the account balance has a few more zeros, in this case $117 million worth of zeros. That is what the arsenal's budget was for fiscal year 2013.
Dorine LeBlanc, who is the lead budget analyst for the arsenal, has this awesome challenge as she oversees tens of thousands accounting inputs each year that tell the story of whether the arsenal's revenue, expenditures, and fiscal health are in balance and if they are not, where the discrepancies may be.
If this was simply a matter of tracking the ebb and flow of revenue and expense dollars, then some might think that with today's technology that this shouldn't be too hard to manage. But it is more than just that. The $117 million is just a drop in the bucket compared to what Dorine and her team of seven manage.
In addition to $117 budget, she and her team oversee all financial requirements for an Army manufacturing center valued at more than $1.6 billion. The arsenal's 72 buildings and the more than 600 machines have value that must be captured and measured. Then when one adds in depreciation expenses and capital improvements, this then becomes a task that few would want, let alone have the experience level and or training to manage.
Although Dorine says that the Logistics Modernization Program or LMP has given her team fairly good visibility on thousands of records and financial data calculations, the difficulty in trying to make sense of this data requires an "art" to go with the science.
Simply being able to enter and extract data is the "science" to financial management. Being able to understand, visualize, and then to explain in layman's terms what the science means is the "art." Dorine is able to do both.
"What Dorine brings to the arsenal's financial management team goes beyond simply being extremely professional and dependable," said Tony Urban, the arsenal's chief of resource management. "Dorine's more than 25 years of military experience, coupled with her being one of the architects of the financial modernization program, makes her value to the arsenal nothing less than significant."
By the end of this year, Dorine will wrap up her military career, one that began in 1984 as an U.S. Air Force officer.
"When Dorine retirees, the arsenal will lose the last remaining financial analyst who built the accounting system that is in use today," Urban said. "Although there is no one who is truly irreplaceable, Dorine comes pretty close."
For her many years of service to the Department of Defense and to the nation, Dorine LeBlanc is very deserving to be called an arsenal Face of Strength.