Team recognized for Accounting Day

Team recognized for Accounting Day
Posted on 11/09/2022
Accounting team members include Samantha Duran (from left), Elma Ulloa-Nava, Karla Garcia, Carmen Flores, Lety Hernandez, Ernie Fiocca, Daniel Cortes, Thlema Dominguez and Gustavo Hurtado.

Diligently crunching numbers behind the scenes, attention to detail counts when you are part of the El Paso Water’s award-winning Accounting Department.

Processing more than $350 million annually to vendors as well as overseeing the accounting of EPWater’s multimillion-dollar Capital Improvement Program, the team is especially vital in its support of utility operations, said Jeff Tepsick, Assistant Chief Financial Officer.

Nov. 10 marks International Accounting Day, and EPWater acknowledges accounting professionals set the foundation for the utility’s success.

“Aside from recording multiple complex financial transactions throughout the year and producing an Annual Comprehensive Financial Report, the team has received the prestigious Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for 26 consecutive years,” said Tepsick of the Government Finance Officers Association award. “The employees are extremely dedicated and work cohesively.”

Making utility thrive

Thelma Dominguez (right) trains Lety Hernandez, who recently joined El Paso Water. Both are Utility Capital Improvement Specialists. Departmental duties don’t end there, though. Accounting is also responsible for administering benefits and ensuring timely payroll for more than 800 employees.

“These hard-working people are very dedicated and are quick to help each other,” said Fiscal Operations Manager Gustavo Hurtado. “They always do their best, and that’s one of the things that makes me proud of my team.”

For 25 years, Disbursement Supervisor Ernie Fiocca has supervised the paying of the utility’s bills, which includes everything from chemicals used in water treatment to utilities. The work might be tedious, but it suits Fiocca just fine.

“I love that it’s either black or white; it’s either right or it’s wrong,” Fiocca said. “I thrive on that pressure. It’s not something that everybody can do.”

Accounting runs in the family for Accounting/Payroll Specialist Carmen Flores.

“My dad was an accountant,” said Flores, recalling the smell of pencils that surrounded her dad. “I always saw him with paperwork and a calculator. I went to work with him sometimes.”

Flores is grateful she found an incomparable team at EPWater.

“My co-workers are very supportive,” Flores said. “No matter what, I am here for them because they are here for me. And Ernie is the greatest boss I have ever had.”

Fruits of labor

Over the years, the Accounting Department has created a valuable work-family culture through teamwork and by sharing many meals. Food is the glue that bonds this team.

“Our success starts at the top, and we have always had great leadership,” Fiocca said. “We know the stresses and pressures that come with the job. You have to stick together to get through it.”

Thelma Dominguez, Utility Capital Improvement Program Specialist, loves her job and relishes her role at the utility.

“When there are main breaks, everybody plays a part in it,” Dominguez said. “Employees call us because they need job numbers in the system because Warehouse will be issuing inventory to employees. Also, payroll must be in the system because employees must charge that payroll to the project. Everything comes down to Accounting. We might not be getting our hands dirty out there, but we are taking care of business in here.”

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