Behind the Numbers

February 21, 2017
Whitney VanKlaveren

Featured in Muncie Power Quarterly, Issue 1, 2017

When it came to selecting a field of study, Senior Accounting Manager Geralyn Bilyeu knew she either wanted to work with numbers or be a teacher. Over the course of her 38 years within accounting, she’s had the opportunity to do both.

“Accounting touches almost every department in one way or another and allows me to teach others about processes, systems and the potential outcomes for actions taken or not taken,” explained Bilyeu.

Since beginning her career at Muncie Power Products in 2001 Bilyeu has not only had the opportunity to work with numbers, but to also teach others and grow professionally. Having witnessed significant company growth in her 15 years with Muncie Power, Bilyeu has also seen positive changes to a culture that, while evolving, remains true to its core.

“Our culture is changing for the better, concentrating on continuous improvement, developing our strengths and improving our knowledge base,” Bilyeu said.

As she noted, the support of Muncie Power’s upper management has provided a safe environment to learn and try new technologies and thought patterns.

It’s within this kind of environment that Bilyeu completes day-to-day responsibilities, while also handling projects and answering questions that can result in significant changes from one day to the next.

“In a nutshell,” said Bilyeu, “as senior accounting manager, my team is responsible for timely and accurate reporting of financials, standard cost, inventory accuracy, audit and systems support in Tulsa.”

When projects and questions arise, it means prioritizing, communicating and getting feedback from other departments and sharing responsibility, as Bilyeu mentioned.

While Bilyeu works with her team to handle accounting functions in Tulsa, Oklahoma, there is also another team handling accounting functions in Muncie, Indiana. It is a unique and impressive dynamic as the two teams operate at different locations, and yet together as a holistic department.

“Working together as a team is extremely important to ensure Muncie Power is as strong as it can possibly be,” said Bilyeu.

As a result, understanding and utilizing the mix of strengths amongst team members, regardless of location, has been important for Bilyeu and the entire accounting department as it continues its ongoing project with IT – to integrate Muncie Power Products’ financial systems onto its operating system.

A journey that began with a cross-functional team to expand the use of the operating system's capabilities, the integration efforts have been greatly supported by all departments – as Bilyeu noted – including those beyond accounting and IT such as purchasing, shipping and receiving, sales, administration, operations and quality assurance. Once completed, the integration will have a company-wide impact, eliminating manual systems and making resources once tied-up available.

“I cannot speak highly enough of the dedication and teamwork between all of our departments,” Bilyeu said. “Not only do our accounting teams work well together, but also our departments company-wide. We could not accomplish our initiatives without their support.”

Each day Bilyeu and those from across the company work together to make Muncie Power Products as strong as it can be – as behind the numbers are Bilyeu, a strong accounting department and the support of the entire Muncie Power team.

Geralyn Bilyeu - Senior Accounting Manager

A graduate of Kansas State University with a Bachelor of Science, Geralyn Bilyeu has been an employee at Muncie Power Products for 15 years. She is currently a member of IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) and outside of work enjoys hiking, cooking, needlework and spending time with family. Geralyn is married to her husband of 36 years, Roger.