How a CPA approaches work-life balance: Robert Boscacci

CPA Robert Boscacci discusses how he achieves work/life balance in his career.

  • Title: Manager, Assurance and Advisory Business Services
  • Organization: Ernst & Young LLP, Vancouver
  • Year joined firm: January 2005
  • University grad year: December 2004
  • Designation year: 2007

You might call Robert Boscacci an occupational and social cartographer. As a manager at Ernst & Young (EY)'s Vancouver office, he "maps out" everything from key deliverables at work to top priorities at home. At 25, it looks like he's charting his way to success in the work-life balance department.

He has time to both swim and run a couple of times a week. Last winter, he had a night pass for Cypress Mountain and was able to leave work early every Wednesday to ski.

He gets out of the country twice a year. Last summer, he travelled around England, Bulgaria, Turkey and Hungary for four weeks; he recently returned from the Mayan Riviera. On business, he has been to Hong Kong, the Philippines and the U.S.

He enjoys spending time with his girlfriend and family, and walks his 15-year-old Labrador Retriever, Chester.

As a manager in Assurance and Advisory Business Services, he drives 40 minutes to work, arriving at 8 a.m. and leaving at 7 p.m. Once a week, he works from home. Every fall, through the firm, he volunteers for the United Way, sitting on a committee and helping with the auction.

"When choosing my career, I wanted an organization that would allow me the flexibility to determine where and how I worked," says Boscacci, who joined Ellis Foster in January 2005, the year it merged with EY.

"The firm focuses on deliverables, not face time, and offers telecommuting, leaves of absence and flexible hours," he explains.

He believes that flexibility plus communication and goal setting get the work-life balance ball rolling. Reaching your targets, however, takes "sitting down and mapping out" routes.

"As a manager, I find that when working on larger client engagements, making a team calendar outlining personal commitments is useful in allowing us to map out key deliverables, while also making sure we allow time for personal commitments," he says.

"By mapping out my commitments ahead of engagements, and communicating these to the team, I find I'm able to balance my personal life with the office."

He found having his BlackBerry turned on 24/7 hampered down time so he shuts it off after hours. And, when he goes on holiday, the Berry and laptop get a vacation too — at home.

"As you move up within an organization, the scope of your job increases, as do the demands on your time," says the grad of Victoria B.C.'s Royal Roads University, who earned his designation in 2007.

"As an intern, you could probably get away without time management skills, but as a manager, they are essential to meet deadlines. With the advancement of my role last September, my responsibilities increased but it also gave me more control of my schedule."

To newbies on the block, Boscacci stresses it's important to list non-work goals and map your way to their end. At EY, all staff include personal goals in their annual professional goal setting.

Boscacci says in five years he hopes to still "learn every day on the job. Being challenged every day is the aspect of my job that I enjoy most."

— Lorie Murdoch