Trek support

Patrick Moore balances a busy career with a passion for sport.

On Saturday mornings, while most of us relax over a cup of joe, Patrick Moore heads to work. Instead of the suits befitting his role as an assurance partner at MNP LLP in Edmonton, however, he throws on a T-shirt and jeans; a necktie would just get in the way when he’s applying grip wax.

Moore, 33, is a world-class cross-country ski technician. His part-time job at Fast Trax Run & Ski Shop is just one aspect of his devotion to the sport. Growing up in Vermilion, Alta., he trained with the Vermilion Nordic Ski Club (the home club of Olympian Beckie Scott). Years of working on his own skis and those of his teammates gradually honed his technical skills. Now, Moore travels the world with the US Cross-Country Ski Team, helping the athletes select and prepare skis for races. (At press time, he had just returned from the 2015 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Sweden.)

"The nature of the work is really different from accounting — ski waxing is a very physical trade — but the process, project management, teamwork and communication skills are similar," Moore says. "The skills I learned as an accountant have benefited my ski service career, and working at ski racing’s highest levels has benefited my accounting career." For example, accounting taught him how to deal with people, work under pressure, manage expectations and resolve conflicts — all essential skills for his ski technician job.

Moore is an MNP "lifer" — his co-op terms, articling and work experience have all been at the firm. "From early on, I was drawn to the assurance stream," says Moore, who is on MNP’s risk partner committee. "I work with a wide range of clients, from not-for-profits to privately held companies. I like the variety — no two days are the same," he says.

How does he manage his double career? With plenty of planning and communication, says Moore. When ski season ends in mid-March, he plans for the next year, working around MNP’s busiest times. While away, he stays in touch with the firm via BlackBerry and Skype. "I make sure things aren’t getting hung up because I’m on a different continent."

For accountants thinking of pursuing a creative or athletic passion, Moore shares this advice: "You should absolutely pursue it, but know that it takes sacrifice to make both things work. If you have effective communication, it can be a good process — and it’s a rewarding thing that adds a lot to your quality of life."