Murray, devoted husband and father of two young children, an involved member of the Guelph community and our firm’s practice leader for the not-for-profit and charitable sector. Although Murray did not originally plan to have a career in accounting, he has realized it is the profession he was meant to be part of. Murray became a partner at RLB in January 2015.
Murray initially pursued a career in marketing as he thought that field would provide him with the opportunity to deal with people on a daily basis. As a “people-person”, he felt that this interaction would make every day at work interesting. When Murray began his marketing career, he worked in a variety of positions to gain experience including positions in marketing, fundraising and sales positions for a variety of organizations from a plumbing products company, to the United Way, to the Burlington Public Library, to a website design firm and a mutual fund and insurance company.
Friends and family had always told Murray that accounting would be a good fit for him. After finding marketing to be less rewarding than he expected, Murray decided to take the advice he had received, and in 2003 began taking the additional accounting courses required to achieve his accounting designation. Looking back, Murray realizes that accounting provides him with the opportunity to work closely with others that he had expected from working in marketing, while marketing work required a lot of time in front of a computer preparing reports, which is what he expected of a career accounting. Thus, the switch to accounting has allowed Murray to experience the interaction with others that he craved.
In January 2005, Murray started at RLB where he worked while completing his last few accounting credits and going through the process of obtaining his CA designation, which he received in 2007. Although he initially enjoyed the variety of working with clients of all types, he developed an affinity for the not-for-profit and charitable sectors and our municipal government practice. Due to Murray’s focus on these clients, he was able to become the champion of the firm’s not-for-profit practice.
Our Not-for-Profit Team focuses on adding value to existing not-for-profit and charity clients, promoting RLB’s services to potential new clients, and reinforcing that RLB is the “go to” firm for not-for-profit and charitable clients and government organizations in the region. The team is comprised of members who work exclusively in the sector, which is unique to the accounting world. Although many accountants dabble in the not-for-profit sector, RLB’s specialization truly sets our team apart. Our clients truly recognize and appreciate the differentiation in service that comes from this specialization.
In addition to leading the NPO Team and his client work, Murray is also a member of the firm’s Assurance Executive, where he is able to share his ideas and work to continuously improve the firm’s efficiency, technical standards and work quality.
One of Murray’s favourite roles at RLB is as a mentor to up and coming staff. This is a role that Murray takes very seriously as he firmly believes that “in public accounting, our people make the firm what it is, therefore developing staff is hugely important.” As Murray understands the importance of developing staff, he has committed to being involved in the Leadership Development program at RLB. Murray has a wealth of experience that he is willing to share to help our team grow and continue on the path to a successful and fulfilling career. Because of this, Murray has a reputation at the firm as a great mentor and his commitment to the program shows in everything that he does.
Yet another aspect that Murray enjoys about working at RLB is the firm’s commitment to community involvement. This is no surprise as Murray is personally very committed to the community himself. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of St. Joseph’s Health Centre Guelph, and as Treasurer of both the Hillside Community Festival and the Volunteer Centre of Guelph-Wellington. Previously, Murray has served as Treasurer of the Guelph Chamber of Commerce and the Guelph-Wellington Business Enterprise Centre, and as Chair of the River Run Centre Board. These positions have allowed Murray to grow his professional network and to share his knowledge and expertise for the betterment of the community.
Murray feels that what sets RLB apart is the firm’s commitment to doing whatever we can to help our clients, whether that is providing insight and support, or just trying to make our clients’ lives easier. Murray sees RLB as having the resources of a big firm, but proving the personal service of a local firm. Murray truly believes in the work RLB does for our clients and the community, and as a partner, he plans to continue to promote these values inside and outside the firm.
On top of all his work at RLB and his community involvement, Murray still finds time to be a very involved father of 10 year old William and 7 year old Molly and husband to his wife, Jessica. Murray enjoys his family time and tries to be as involved as possible in his kids’ activities, such as field trips and sports. This season, Murray is helping coach William’s hockey team and looks forward to doing the same for Molly in the future.
As a family, the Shorts spend much of their summer at their cottage, camping or doing other outdoor activities such as swimming, kayaking and canoeing. Murray has also run three half-marathons. He is beginning to train for a fourth and, perhaps against his better judgement, hasn’t ruled out running a full marathon in the future. In the colder months, Murray and his family love skiing, skating and hockey. It will come as no surprise to those who know that Murray is a die-hard Toronto Maple Leaf fan. He’s hoping that, at some point in his lifetime, the team finally returns to the glory of being one of the most successful franchises in the NHL.