Excellence in Payments or Taxes: Diane Alberigi

Diane Alberigi is the Director of Payroll Services at ACES$ Financial Management Services. She has worked for our organization since 2007 in our Payroll Department. Our organization prides itself on the personal relationships we develop with the individuals we serve. Diane, as part of our leadership team, stresses the importance of the idea that “payroll is personal” to all of us in the company, including those that are in her department.

Diane leads by example and sets the tone for all who report to her. Diane continually ensures quality by making sure payroll, in every state, meets all of the federal and state prompt pay requirements, as well as all other requirements for each of the individual programs we serve. She plays a key role in quality assurance and provides innovative solutions to improve our processes and services. She is diligent in ensuring that supplemental payroll is cut for individuals that have problems with their timesheets and that her department fully understands the importance of personally notifying individuals when there are timesheet errors that may prevent payroll to be issued on time. She understands that many of the employees who work for our participants live paycheck to paycheck. She goes above and beyond to ensure that they are taken care of and can count on us. She maintains a hands-on philosophy, regardless of our rapid growth. She still answers calls and emails from participants or employees whom she has developed relationships with over the years, many of whom will only speak with their friend, Diane.

In an industry where everything is becoming more automated and sterile, we are proud and grateful to have individuals, like Diane, on our team. They understand the importance, not just of the paycheck, but of the warm heart and compassion, people need in their everyday lives. Our organization and the individuals we serve are the better for her presence and the work she does. Diane consistently shows significant PERSONAL commitment to payroll.  

We have taken the opportunity to note just a few personal commitment stories about Diane:

At the end of 2014, when ACES$ was preparing to go live with our services in Colorado, we hosted participant information sessions. Diane attended many of these sessions; often providing folks with her personal cell phone number should they have any questions after hours or on weekends. One particular participant called Diane a few times in the late evenings. Diane is located on the east coast. Since Colorado is two hours behind, these calls were often occurring late at night for Diane and were never quick, and the topics often moved from basic FMS-related questions to personal concerns. Diane was always patient and responsive. The participant is still with us today after two years. He often talks about his connection to Diane when he speaks with the ACES$ Colorado program manager or other staff and still occasionally “checks in” with Diane to see how she is.

For nearly seven years, Diane has had an especially close relationship with a mother/daughter team in Illinois. The daughter is on the Adult DD Waiver, and her mother serves as her worker. As mentioned above, we personally contact participant/employers when there are issues with their timesheets. From the beginning, timesheets from this pair had problems: illegible handwriting, miss-calculated hours, etc. Diane began to have them send their timesheets directly to her so that she could check them personally. Diane always made it a point when they came in to be the one to work with them to fix the errors. Regardless of how large the program is (we serve nearly 8,000 participants and over 10,000 workers in Illinois), she is committed to providing a personal experience when she can. Diane often gets emails and letters from the mother and daughter with sentiments like “we sincerely do not know what we would do without you Diane.” They exchange updates on life events, holiday cards, pictures of baptisms and birthdays on their side, and ask to see pictures of Diane’s nieces wedding and her trio of rescue dogs. After all these years, Diane feels like she has family in Illinois and gets teary eyed when she talks about them. Judging by their letters to us, the sentiment is mutual.

Every state and every program has the “challenging participant” and Wyoming is not any different. We became the sole source provider in Wyoming during the summer of 2016. During the transition from multiple providers to one, the state also took the opportunity to refine and revise some of the program policies, especially in light of FLSA/overtime changes. At that time, Wyoming made the decision to cap hours at 40, to avoid overtime issues. When we go into a state, we build in all of the policy rules as validations in our system. When a timesheet does not comply with program policy, it is set aside from payment and is reviewed for errors. The participant is then contacted to correct errors and resubmit. From the start, this particular participant did not want anything to do with the policy changes. She is “the Employer, she makes the rules for her worker, and we, as the FMS, work for her.” This was said, and more often yelled, bi-weekly at payroll or customer service staff as her timesheets were routinely pulled for overages in budget, overages in hours, miss-calculations, and services not authorized, being submitted. This did not go on long before Diane took the participant under her wing. Once again, Diane has the participant send her timesheets directly. She patiently works through each timesheet, checks math, reminds her of the program rules, and has the participant update when/where needed. While she is still a challenging participant, her timesheets have improved greatly and she respects and appreciates Diane’s assistance. We are VERY certain the customer service staff appreciate Diane’s assistance as well!