Keeping financial operations running smoothly during COVID-19

SLt Steph Beaton.

By Ariane Guay-Jadah,
Base Public Affairs Officer

While the majority of the Defence Team has been working remotely since mid-March, when CFB Halifax reverted to core services in response to COVID-19, many members are reporting to the Base to support the delivery of core activities and operations. As we all navigate these uncertain times together—doing our part in the collective fight against COVID-19 — the Defence Team’s on-site contributions have proven especially crucial and important to highlight.

One such Defence Team member doing exceptional work in difficult circumstances is Sub-Lieutenant (SLt) Steph Beaton, the Base Finance Officer working in the Base Comptroller’s section at Stadacona. SLt Beaton has reported to the Base as required and has been working diligently from home to ensure continuing services are delivered. The end of the fiscal year is already a very busy time for the Base Comptroller’s Office, never mind in a context of limited resources and pandemic concerns.

“My first thought when my chief called an emergency meeting to communicate that we were changing posture was ‘but it’s year-end, we’re going to have to make this work!’” explains SLt Beaton. Despite these unique circumstances, SLt Beaton has managed to complete year-end financial processes, coordinate her team remotely as well as support other branches with their financial reporting.

Lieutenant Commander (LCdr) Natalie Hiscock is the Base Comptroller, and SLt Beaton’s immediate supervisor. LCdr Hiscock has been nothing but impressed with SLt Beaton’s efforts. “The COVID-19 measures hit us at the worst possible time, but SLt Beaton immediately went above and beyond to ensure work progressed smoothly; working long hours, multitasking, problem-solving and ensuring continuity in our financial reporting. Her hard work and dedication have been paramount to the operational and financial decision-making across CFB Halifax.”

Originally from Brooklyn, Queens County, Steph Beaton joined the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) as an RMS Clerk in 2014 and went on to become a Logistics Officer in 2017. Today, her position as Base Finance Officer requires daily communication with eight Base branches and Maritime Forces Atlantic’s N8 unit to ensure that the Base’s financial position and reporting requirements are met.

Not only does SLt Beaton manage business responsibilities, but she is also the Divisional Officer for seventeen military and civilian staff. Now more than ever, it is vital to check in and ensure that our colleagues are staying safe and healthy—which is an important part of SLt Beaton’s day-to-day.

The last six weeks have been an incredible learning experience for SLt Beaton; adapting to the Base’s Business Continuity Plan and making adjustments to keep operations going, ships sailing as well as personnel ready. Despite the long days, she would not change a thing. After all, “smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.”

In her spare time, SLt Beaton enjoys reading, hiking, tennis and spending time at the beach with her partner. Since the implementation of the Nova Scotia state of emergency in response to COVID-19, Steph and her partner have purchased bicycles and are now exploring the Rails to Trails system near their home on the South Shore, staying healthy and active as best they can.

CFB Halifax thanks SLt Beaton for her dedication, professionalism and leadership at work and her overall support to Defence Team personnel during these incredibly challenging times. Bravo Zulu!