“If we can’t explain it, we have no business billing it.”
— Amanda Rogers, Sr. Accounting Manager
Anyone familiar with chasing an erroneous hotel invoice after a long trip knows how painfully tedious that single task can be.
Imagine managing 80 similar invoices in a single day from various countries and currencies… and you’ve just described a day in the life of a Flight Pro International Finance and Accounting services team member.
Though this powerhouse team of ladies runs their expertise largely behind the scenes, some of FPI’s most consistent compliments address the company’s invoicing methods, such as,
”I never wait for answers. I can call and talk to someone right away.”
“I love your invoicing.”
“It’s the simplest invoicing I’ve ever seen.”
Having observed aviation trip management invoicing do’s and don’ts for 30+ years, FPI’s Founder, Tom Balousek, had insisted the company’s invoicing system be as clear and uncomplicated as possible for clients from day one when launching FPI in 2020.
However, achieving this peaceful and simplified end result for the viewer required establishing a high level of complex systems and procedures, including:
- Scrutinizing invoices immediately upon receipt
- Manually comparing invoices to clients’ aircrafts and trip intricacies (requiring more than just a cursory knowledge of aircraft types and trip scope)
- Negotiating with various vendors worldwide on inevitable invoicing errors
- Identifying occasional invoicing fraud attempts (with some countries being more apt to this than others)
- Managing daily-changing global currencies
- Liasing between the many departments touching the trip (Operations, Travel, Compliance, Fuel, etc.)
- Gathering back-up data for clients with special reporting parameters
- Spending quality 1-1 phone time with clients and vendors when questions arise
“Invoicing arrives to us in many formats and accuracy levels. We take a very fine toothed comb to them on behalf of our clients,” states Amanda Rogers, Sr. Accounting Manager. “If we can’t explain it, we have no business invoicing it.”
Busy private aviation travelers and crew easily realize the value of having such a personable and highly professional accounting team at their fingertips.
None of the above can be done well when left to automated accounting systems many firms use to generate trip management invoicing.
And arguably, none of these tasks can be done as efficiently and thoroughly as can a team of professionals who’ve been both in the industry and working together for 20+ years, as is the case with FPI’s accounting team.
Carol Forbes, FPI’s Executive Director of Finance and Accounting, was the first of the team to enter the scene as an employee of Air Routing in February of 1991 then again as FPI launched in 2020, after having already enjoyed a handful of years in retirement.
“When the concept of FPI first began, I told myself, ‘If you’re smart, the first person you’ll call is Carol to pull her out of retirement and get her on board,’ ” warmly states Tom.
And that he did, much to the joy of many.
Current FPI clients with longstanding relationships from prior Air Routing/Collins days expressed delight when they learned the same “Carol” who tended to them so carefully pre-FPI was once again “their Carol” to nurture their accounts today.
Carol is a natural at making people feel valued both on and off the job, making it all the more fitting that one of her extracurricular efforts is to hold NICU babies so they feel cherished when most vulnerable.
Amanda Rogers, also an Air Routing alumna dating back to 2002, was the last employee within Collins’ trip management department (formerly Air Routing’s “AR Group” before it shuttered in 2020) and in turn one of the first phone calls Carol made when developing FPI’s budding accounting department. After all, in addition to her leadership skills on the job, Amanda leads the next generation through a life skills non-profit charity for home-schoolers and as a PTA board member in her personal time… truly leadership where most needed in today’s world.
Shortly thereafter, Donna, Tamara, and Lakisha were brought into the FPI fold after already having been “in the accounting family” as far back as the days of Air Routing themselves.
“This group is really a fun bunch to work with because we’ve known each other for so many years. They’re not co-workers, they’re family,” says Carol. “If somebody’s going through something, you feel it with them. Everybody cares about everybody, and that’s so nice. We have fun, but we work hard, too.”
The hard work is poised to continue increasing. In addition to the regular, time consuming tasks described above, FPI has seen the volume of invoice management increase substantially thanks to the steady growth of FPI as a whole.
However, by carefully maintaining a meticulous, hand-managed approach, FPI’s small-but-mighty Accounting Team is fondly referred to internally as the primary force with which to be reckoned.
“The work is indeed intense, but it’s interesting and exciting to work with so many people from all over the world,” states Amanda. “It’s purposeful which makes it enjoyable. It doesn’t feel like work.”
Whether you’ve been an FPI client for some time or are just recently joining the family, rest assured your invoicing is managed by a decidedly experienced accounting team that has your best interests at heart. Their expertise is standing by to consult on small or large issues, and their amiability is standing by should you simply want to meet the ladies and put friendly faces with your team.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” Carol says of FPI in general. Of the Accounting Team, she says, “They’re a small group but they are dynamite. They do an enormous amount of work but boy are they efficient. I can’t say enough about these girls.”
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