Work hard, play harder: MYOB’s CFO Richard Moore
Born in Northern Ireland and university educated in Scotland, ICAS member Richard Moore CA discovered happiness and hard work in the Australian sunshine.
Having spent several months in hotels and airports as he travelled to promote the IPO of cloud software business MYOB, Chief Financial Officer Richard Moore CA recently decided it was time to knuckle down and work on his fitness.
He took up cycling, and was immediately (and perhaps unsurprisingly) struck by the differences between the UK and Australia.
“I’m cycling down Beach Road at seven o’clock on a Saturday morning and the sun is rising and it’s 20 degrees and the sky is blue and so is the sea,” he smiles. “At the equivalent time of year in Scotland it would be minus-three and raining and nobody would go out on a bike!”
But it’s not all fun in the sun when you move to Australia, Richard warns. It’s a business environment in which you have to work hard before you play hard, but fortunately each brings brilliant results.
What brought you to Australia?
I was working for GE at the time and had been married for a couple of years - my wife is from Edinburgh - and we didn’t yet have any kids. We fancied a change. One of the guys I used to work with at GE had come out to Australia and I sent him an email asking if he was looking for any financial analysts. That was August 2001 and by November we were in Australia, settled in and working.
Were you always here to stay?
In my mind it was for three years. It was just an opportunity to see the world. Once we realised it was a spectacular place to live and work we never really thought of going back.
You’ve been CFO of MYOB for over three years and managed the business through an IPO. How was that experience?
The direction of the business before and after listing is broadly the same. But it’s a very different beast from a personal standpoint. My job has changed materially from a listed CFO to a private one.
How has your job changed?
What prepared me for life after listing was the listing process itself. We listed on May 4 - that’s right, on ‘Star Wars Day’ - but we actually started the process in October last year. So I had eight months of working very closely with investment banks and doing roadshows and putting together the prospectus and all the disclosures etc. It all gave me a good idea of what the future would hold. Since we listed I’ve been spending perhaps 40% of my time on investor-related matters. That has been a huge change but the listing process set me up for that.
How has your CA training helped?
It is the foundation that everything I’ve been able to do has been built on. I’m not a technical accountant but that CA training sits in the back of my mind and supports me in every decision I make and every conversation I have. When work is done by my team I feel very well equipped to get in behind it and work with them on it. It is absolutely the foundation on which everything else is built.
So has Australia just been about hard work?
From a work standpoint, there’s a real ‘work hard, play hard’ culture here, which I love. I look forward to coming to work because of the interaction with colleagues. Everyone works hard to get the job done and takes the work seriously, even if you don’t necessarily take yourselves seriously. And coming from the UK it felt like a slightly smaller community, which meant opportunities for me were greater.
And how has Australia been from a personal point of view?
Considering both the weather and the environment, this is the place I’d rather bring up my children. The sunshine and the warm temperatures and the beaches quickly outweigh the history that has made the UK such an extraordinary place. Australians sometimes complain about the weather in Melbourne, but if they lived in Edinburgh for a year they’d probably see things differently.
Main image credit: MYOB
About the author
Chris Sheedy is one of Australia’s busiest and most successful freelance writers. He has been published regularly in the Sydney Morning Herald, Virgin Australia Voyeur, The Australian Magazine, GQ, In The Black, Cadillac, Management Today, Men’s Fitness and countless other big-brand publications. He is frequently commissioned to carry out copywriting and corporate writing projects for organisations, including banks, universities, television networks, restaurant chains and major charities, through his business The Hard Word.