On Friday 30 June, Roberts & Morrow said goodbye to retiring Senior Partner, Simon Croft, after 23 years with the firm.
Simon completed a Computing and Accounting degree in Lismore before beginning his career in Brisbane, where he met his wife Susan. They married in 1995 and settled in Armidale.
Simon became a Chartered Accountant in 1993 before he began working at Roberts & Morrow in 1994 as a Senior Accountant for John Robertson. Simon was an asset to the team with his background and passion for agriculture and he primarily assisted rural clients with their business.
In 1999 Simon recognised that the accounting landscape would experience significant change due to the introduction of computer systems and also the newly announced goods and services tax (GST). It became obvious to him that there would be an explosion in cashbook processing and information technology. It was with this in mind, that Simon founded with now fellow Partner Brad Schumacher, Roberts & Morrow Technology (RMT). They started by sourcing and on selling computers to clients and then began to support businesses with more holistic IT solutions. Brad took RMT on full time and built this into a very successful division of Roberts & Morrow in a short space of time.
Over the years, Roberts & Morrow has experienced change and growth and Simon is proud to have championed much of this, to see the practice take on a more professional and corporate model. The firm today offers expert specialist advice to local people at the same standard offered by the city based ‘big four’ but without the travel.
Simon is passionately involved with the Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand (CAANZ) and he was asked to be the Regional Chairman for the North West Regional Group. He is also the only Regional Chair to ever Chair the State Committee. This involvement with the CAANZ has raised the profile of the firm within the CAANZ which is an internationally recognised organisation. The CAANZ recognized Simon’s commitment to the profession by making him a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in 2010.
In recent years, Simon has been focused on promoting the Chartered Accountant career to school aged children in the local regions, in the hope of attracting more accountants to work locally. In addition, he founded the Tour de North West charity bike ride. Now in its 3rd year, this event, supported and funded by the CAANZ, is aimed at raising the profile of the Chartered Accounting professional and raising funds for the Melanoma Institute of Australia.
Simon has been supported over the years by numerous staff who he describes as incredibly dedicated and hard working. In fact, two such staff members are still with the firm today, Robyn McCarthy who has been working for Simon for 16 years and Paula Ryan, who has Managed the Narrabri office for Simon for over 10 years. Nathan Gilbody became a Partner in 2015, having worked for Simon for 7 years in Armidale. Simon mentored and trained Nathan in this time and he now takes on much of Simon’s client group.
Simon is very thankful for the team he has had around him in his last years with the firm and he will miss working with them. Having worked very hard over the years to build the client base he has today, Simon is looking forward to turning his business attention to his quarry and family farm. He also looks forward to spending more time with his wife Susan and their two children Rowan and Amelia.