Jennifer Warawa — 37
VP, Partner Programs & Channel Sales, Sage
Education: Strategic Marketing Management at Harvard Business School, Accounting at Okanagan University College
Professional Associations/Memberships: Team Captain, American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, Committee Lead, IT Alliance
Hobbies: Reading, writing, blogging
On a broader scale, how do you see new technologies changing the accounting profession in the near term (3-5 years)? New technologies will change the accounting profession in the near term by increasing the opportunities for collaboration between accountants and their clients. As new technologies are made available, the traditional relationship of accountants speaking to their clients only once a year will begin to disappear (over time) as businesses demand more frequent communication with, and increased value from, their accountant. Businesses are starting to realize the true value an accountant can bring but it will definitely require more frequent communication and deeper insights, which thankfully new anytime, anywhere technologies can help facilitate.
How mobile are you regarding your work? How have mobile devices and apps impacted your productivity and work-life balance? I recently heard work-life balance referred to as work-life integration which actually makes more sense to me. It seems as though one never shuts off when the other kicks in; they both are happening simultaneously. I actually love being (almost) ‘always on’ – we are all in the people business and being able to be reached when someone needs you is important.
Have you found business success via social media, either via recognizable ROI, new customers, marketing or networking? Yes! I have made many valuable connections through social media (particularly through Twitter) that have turned in to long term relationships and great opportunities. There is definitely ROI with social media and we’ve been able to realize it in many ways.
What tips on social media do you think are essential, but perhaps missed, by professionals and small businesses? Social media is a longer term strategy that requires frequent and ongoing investment of your time. Many businesses get on Twitter (or another social platform) for a week or two and because they don’t see immediate results, say it doesn’t work. Social media is like building relationships – it takes time and each day builds off the last so you have to be prepared to be actively engaged for the long term if you want to see results.
What single piece of technology do you find the most important in your professional life? I would have to say the one piece of technology I could not live without is my iPhone. It’s always within reach and keeps me plugged in to what’s going on.
Not including your current employer, what company do you most admire and why? I have a great deal of admiration for Apple. There was a time when their company was viewed as a laggard and was almost fading away and now they are one of the most popular brands in the market. Their ability to reinvent themselves and become as relevant as they are is amazing.
What brand/model mobile phone do you use? iPhone 4S
Do you use a tablet for work purposes? iPad
How many monitors do you have on your desktop workstation? Two
Read more about this year's 40 Under 40 Honorees.