Tim Richardson, CPA: A "five-legged sheep"

I have a long and varied career working around the world. I'm strong at automation, being an experienced developer in modern technologies, I'm a CPA with CFO experience, and I've managed global supply chains. I was CFO (technically Finance Director) of two industrial groups in Europe (five factories), and before that, same role at an FMCG business supplying grocery and DIY in Western Europe. I've also been CFO of a global online business. Before this finance phase, I was an ERP and business intelligence developer and consultant. I have a strong academic background in Computer Science, Linguistics, Accountancy, and qualifications in production and inventory management. 

The diversity of my experience and skills lead to my first boss at Philips describing me as 'five legged sheep', which is a Dutch saying for rare versatility (so I was told). 

I've lived in Asia through coups and crises, Europe when the Euro came in. I've had the fun of working with businesses running from alleys in Calcutta to German factories depositing nanometre layers of materials for quantum-effect optical filtering. I was lucky enough to spend a lot in time in Poland as it re-integrated with Western Europe, and now I'm back in Australia.

I love the way technology can help people do things better. I love smaller businesses because people know why they are doing things, and they have a lot of fun doing it. I love cloud technologies because it means all this comes together: I get to help SMEs access technologies which exceed what top 100 companies had ten years ago. It's catastrophic for legacy IT vendors, but great news for fast adopters.

When I returned to Australia I was amazed and disappointed to see so much isolation between finance and IT. In a world where "data science" is the hot new job overseas, I came back to a compliance-focused corporate world and an SME sector struggling with inflexible systems providing almost no useful business insight.

After seeing how unusual my skill set and perspective is, I started GrowthPath to work with SMEs looking to build on points of difference. Taken even small businesses through a generational leap in business IT is very fulfilling. Luckily there are business owners and senior managers who are looking for change, and the demand has been overwhelming".


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I started my career as an ERP developer and consultant.  About three years later, I was recruited by Philips Asia Pacific to join the Finance function. After five years in South East Asia (also completing his Masters), I moved to the Global HQ of Philips Lighting in the Netherlands where I was Controller of the European Retail lamps business and then Finance Director of a group of four factories and a Chinese sourcing operation, at the same time completing my CPA exams. I played a key role in major streamlining of budgeting, closing and forecasting activities, bringing a much strong commercial focus and radically faster cycle times. I made business cases for millions of Euros of investment, and worked on M&A projects to restructure industrial operations. Along with the introduction of a European transactional shared service centre and the rollout of new IT, these projects transformed the role of the finance teams attached to business management. 
I grew up in Mansfield, Victoria, attending Mansfield High School. I was a scholar at Queen's College, University of Melbourne.
I've been programming since the age of 11, from Logo on Apple IIs to ZX81s to an explosion of activity. I learnt paper-based double-entry bookkeeping at about the same time as Treasurer for a junior sporting club. 


  • CPA (Australia)
  • CPIM
  • Masters of Accountancy (CSU, Distinction).
  • Bachelor of Science (Melb, Computer Science, H1 avg)
  • Bachelor of Arts (Melb, Linguistics)

Community Involvement

Tim has served as Treasurer for Bellevue Kindergarten Association Inc, Eastern Gymnastics Inc and is currently School Council Treasurer at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School. He does volunteer teaching in starting small businesses for community organisations. He worked for about four years in the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS), a long-standing and highly successful Australian-government program to help people move into self-employment.