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In the News: Sandra Clarke Talks About Financial Management During the Pandemic with SF Strategic Finance

Sandra Clarke, chief financial officer at Blue Shield of California, talks about the nonprofit's efforts to help providers, employees and customers amid the pandemic. Her interview was published March 1 in SF Strategic Finance magazine.

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Sandra Clarke

In terms of the implications of working from home, we have focused heavily on providing flexibility and support for employees. That entails making sure we’re giving additional financial support to caregivers and that they have public health emergency leave available to them, which we reset for the beginning of 2021, given the uncertainty of how long the pandemic situation will last.

We also made sure that our employee assistance program was leveraging our telehealth partner, Teladoc, so that we could offer employees sessions with licensed mental health professionals. We recognize that there’s a lot of additional stress right now and want to make sure that they have a culture that supports their needs during this time.


We already had a big push to accelerate our technology levels across the company—and that included finance. We worked cross-functionally across finance to reduce silos and improve information sharing. The team identified bottlenecks causing delays in the close process, such as manual workflows and approvals that resulted in faster processing times and reducing manual labor. As a result, we now do our period financial close 40% faster, a reduction of four days.

Read the full story here.