We asked three accountants how they balance work and life

Whether you work solo or at a large company, balancing personal and professional demands can be challenging.

Vassil Staykov, CPA, CMA

Divisional controller, Multimatic
Richmond Hill, Ont.

Vassil Staykov, CPA, CMA“I work for a global company whose core business is engineering and manufacturing of complex automotive structures. My staff and I manage the books for one of the Ontario divisions. I oversee the financial accounting, budgeting, forecasting and business-planning functions. Automotive is a demanding environment that can be very stressful.

My predecessors worked long hours, but from the start, I’ve emphasized open communication with my team to set priorities and realistic goals. We work late during peak periods; at other times, I make a point of telling my staff to leave on time or earlier. I don’t want people staying late just for the optics. I optimize my life as much as I can and pride myself on helping those around me do the same. Providing flexibility and hiring professionals who live close to our facilities have made for happy and effective employees.”

Lorne Wolfe, CPA, CGA

Sole practitioner

Lorne Wolfe, CPA, CGA“After working for corporations, I opened my own firm in 1998. I work with businesses and individuals in many industries and I love what I do. I work from my office at home, which keeps costs down, but the challenge is designating quality family time — no calls or emails. You’ve got to carve out that ‘me time.’ Before and after busy periods, take time off to recharge or your well-being will suffer. Figure out what works for you and put it in stone. Don’t say, ‘I’ll go away for the weekend if I’m not too busy.’ If you have a successful business, you’ll be 80 before you have time! And it’s OK to turn down business. If you bite off more than you can chew, everyone suffers. It may disappoint someone, but you have to draw the line someplace.”

Angela Logan, CPA, CA

Director, Financial services, Grande Prairie Regional College
Grande Prairie, Alta.

Angela Logan, CPA, CA“When I took this job after 10 years in public practice, my husband and I made changes to have better balance. He stopped working out of town and we moved so I’d have a shorter commute. We have two small kids, I’m working on my master’s and I volunteer, so I have to plan ahead. We cook dinners on weekends or in the Crock-Pot, and I exercise in the morning or at lunch. Technology helps me stay organized. On my phone, I have a calendar that I share with family members and an app filters my email. I have about 20 staff in my department and I advise four executives. But you have to set boundaries. It’s up to you to say, ‘I need to take this time for me.’ And don’t be afraid to rely on friends and family.”

All work and no play?

Find strategies for better balance in CPA Canada’s professional development archive.

- Achieving Personal Quality: Workbook — See cpacanada.ca/personalquality

- “When Business Is Personal” — See cpacanada.ca/businesspersonal

- “How I Find Balance” — See cpacanada.ca/findbalance