Meet Emmanuel Paul

Welcome to our employee spotlight series where we showcase the incredible individuals who contribute to the success of Child Care Services Association (CCSA). Today, we are thrilled to introduce you to Emmanuel Paul, our esteemed Chief Business Services Officer. Join us as we delve into Emmanuel’s journey at CCSA, gain insights into his evolving perspective of our organization, and discover the invaluable impact he has made over the years.

As we celebrate our 50th year, learn about the profound impact of our staff’s commitment to CCSA and everyone we serve.

How long have you worked at Child Care Services Association?

This year marks 30 years for me at CCSA.

What do you recall about the early days? 

We had about ten employees. I was hired as an accountant. We had just gotten our first $600,000 grant from the state for the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® North Carolina Scholarship Program, so, I was hired as an accountant to handle the accounts payable and receivables functions. 

We were in a small office in Carrboro right off Main Street. At times we would share work spaces and computers.  We used Quicken to support our accounting functions. My intent was to work at CCSA for one year while I tried to figure out what industry I was interested in… 30 years later, here I am. CCSA has grown tremendously from that small office when I started.  The reasons I stuck around have to do with the strong mission, impact of our work and growth.  The budget and programs have grown through the years and continue to grow, offering opportunities for staff to grow professionally as well. 

How has your job changed over the years?

For one, we migrated from using Quicken to a full double-entry accounting system called Great Plains. Secondly, due to organizational growth, we’ve adapted our policies to support the larger organization that we see today, ensuring that the organization and staff are protected. And third, we own buildings and other assets, and as mentioned previously, our budget and staff size have grown quite a bit, so my job and responsibilities have grown to match the needs of the organization.

We’ve used technology to help us keep up with all of the changes. We have an Accounting Policy Manual, HR Handbook and Operations Handbook which drive our work and help us manage the complex issues related to accounting, budgets, human resources and operations.  We’re in the process of developing governance policies in the IT space to help us manage a secure yet capable and supportive IT environment.  

The embrace of technology has helped with continuous improvement of our systems and processes. A good example is our purchase requisition (PR) system, which is all online now. It used to be that staff would complete a PR and circulate the paper using interoffice mail to obtain signatures to make a purchase. The whole process would take one to maybe two weeks from start to finish. We revamped the PR system with the help of our development team and the whole process now takes two to three days.  This, in addition to initiating and expanding an ACH payment program, has reduced the turnaround time to print and mail checks or transmit ACH to our recipients and vendors.

What has been your biggest achievement/success and CCSA’s greatest accomplishments?

My team’s achievements are many.  Our biggest achievement has been to create an environment in which we can support the staff (program and administrative) to achieve the organization’s mission. That has involved at times printing and mailing checks or transmitting ACH so that our vendors and customers are paid on time, administering time cards and payroll so that staff are paid on time, providing training and supporting the IT needs of the staff and providing and maintaining a comfortable and clean office environment for staff.  

Due to the level of federal and state funding that the agency receives, the organization has to undergo an annual audit each year. In addition to the audit, there are also program and fiscal monitoring visits by various funders throughout the year.  All of the business services and program team members have played a part in CCSA having a clean audit (unmodified opinion) year after year and I’m very proud of that and the teams are to be commended. That’s a major achievement when one considers the amount of funding, the number of funders and the complexity of each grant requirement.   

What would you consider to be the biggest change in CCSA over the years?

There have been many changes over the years, as one can imagine.  The biggest ones are that the budget has grown from less than $1 million, when I started, to over $42 million today –  and that the staff size has grown from about 10 employees when I started to over 140 today.  

What’s your favorite part of the job? What excites you most?

The favorite part of the job that excites me is interacting with staff on a daily basis. Even though many staff work remotely, it’s great to be in the office and interact with staff in a non-virtual setting once in a while. The connections are important. Another favorite part of my job is knowing that we’ve accomplished and met our objectives year after year. When our customers (internal and external) thank us for something that we did, that’s exciting and rewarding.  

What is your biggest hope for the next decade? In what ways do you expect to grow?

My biggest hope for the next decade is that CCSA will continue on the path of success and continue to impact the staff, customers and community in a positive manner.  The last 30 years have been incredible! I never imagined that the organization would achieve this type of growth. I would expect CCSA to continue to grow in the areas of staffing and impact on the community through its programs, continuing to maintain a pulse on community needs through research and outreach, and being innovative and thinking outside the box will help in its success.  

Describe what CCSA means to you, on a personal level, in 15 words or less.

CCSA is an innovator in addressing challenges related to child care; CCSA is committed and data-driven.

“My biggest hope for the next decade is that CCSA will continue on the path of success and continue to impact the staff, customers and community in a positive manner.”

-Emmanuel Paul
Chief Business Services Officer