CFOs and Tech Special Feature part 3: For Tiffany Boesch, technology is about freedom and balance
Kate Ferreira asked five CFOs about the most useful applications or types of technologies in their lives, both professionally and personally, and discovered it's not all about the newest, latest, and greatest tech on the planet, but rather how these tools and innovations are integrating into their days, unlocking insight, and - figuratively and literally - keeping the lights on.
Tiffany Boesch is the CFO of mutual financial services company, PPS. For her, technology is about freedom and balance. Naturally, in the workplace, Tiffany and the finance team use numerical tools and data systems to best perform their function, but in managing and overseeing this as CFO, she takes a “light touch” technology-wise, using her mobile or tablet to review and communicate.
“My context is that I am a working mom, with three jobs at once – like all moms,” Tiffany says. “Technology in itself – our mobile devices for example – makes life easier in that I don't always have to be physically present at the office. Being able to review and sign docs online, send emails, and work remotely wherever I am is the biggest advantage for me."
“I use the normal suite of tools for this, like Outlook and Excel, on my iPad. It provides me with that comfort that I can stay on top of things even when I am away from my desk, and that I am always contactable as needed.”
Furthermore, the speed and efficiency of these tools are a big win for her. “Being connected in this way means you can sort out issues so much quicker. If something comes up, you can deal with it straight away. Things don't fester. You can quickly nip it in the bud.”
“We also do all of our packs for meetings digitally - so you can review them remotely. I like to be present when my kids are awake in the evenings, but after they go to bed, I can sit with my tablet or phone at a table in my garden, for example, and pick up work again as needed.”
Technology has allowed Tiffany to weave together her professional and personal lives. “I run my life off the Outlook calendar,” she says – something we heard from several of the interviewees. “Everything from who is fetching the kids to events to what meetings I have coming up goes in there. Outlook is my friend. The kids have access to the same calendar, and it is colour coded for private and work. My diary looks insane on the calendar, but it makes a huge difference in my life to have that overview and sense of control.”
She also does a lot of her shopping online to save time, purchasing a wide range of items from clothes and groceries, to gifts and even her Nespresso pods via local shopping apps like those from Takealot and Woolworths. “It is so much more efficient, and means I can essentially be in two places at once.”
In her downtime, technology allows Tiffany a sense of escape and creativity. She says: “I am not into Facebook and Twitter at all. I like to be private, and I don't have time or inclination to hear about people's random stuff or share my own random stuff. But certain social platforms like Pinterest and Instagram are very useful to me as I'm a closet baker. I love to bake elaborate cakes, so I spend a lot of time on those platforms, using them for inspiration.”
“I use these via an app, or if the site in question doesn't have a dedicated app, I create a bookmark on my phone so I can navigate to them directly. It works for me because that is my creative outlet. It is by nature very different from my work, so that's how I relax and chill.”