Meet CPA Canada member Tim Herrod, CPA, CA, PotashCorp

Learn about the career path followed by CPA Canada member Tim Herrod. The senior director at PotashCorp discusses professional highlights and offers advice on moving into industry.

Tim Herrod became senior director, Global Sourcing — MRO & Capital at PotashCorp in September 2013. Previous roles for the company include director, Treasury, and manager, Investor Relations. Tim has continued significant involvement in investor and public relations initiatives including the development of a Global Institute for Food Security at the University of Saskatchewan and PotashCorp’s acclaimed integrated reporting program.

Prior to joining PotashCorp, Tim worked as a financial analyst for Saskferco Products (now Yara), a private nitrogen fertilizer company in Regina. He obtained his accounting designation in Regina at Ernst & Young LLP, and worked at the Regina KPMG LLP office as a manager in its assurance practice.

How did you get into the profession?

I was always interested in business and finance and was aware that many business leaders were accountants. Given the reputation of the accounting program at the University of Saskatchewan/College of Commerce and how heavily recruited its graduates were (i.e., great training and a likely career at the end — it was the early 90s when I started the process and the economy wasn’t great), it seemed like the obvious best choice. So I followed the typical approach at the time, and went through the university recruiting process into public practice.

Describe your company/organization

PotashCorp is the world’s largest crop nutrient company and plays an integral role in global food production. The company produces the three essential nutrients required to help farmers grow healthier, more abundant crops and to help meet the long-term demand for food.

What is your biggest business or career accomplishment?

I’m proud to be part of a great team in the ongoing success of PotashCorp. I have also been very involved in our great profession, and was significantly involved for numerous years in many different aspects of the development and delivery of education with the CA School of Business (CASB). I received an outstanding facilitator award as voted on by students, which was very gratifying. There are few things better than helping students succeed, and even with virtually no time now for that work, I see many of my former students regularly. Several work for PotashCorp and I’ve hired a couple of them to work for me. Watching their careers develop and knowing I had at least a very small role in that is fulfilling. I am also very proud to be a volunteer on ICAS Council and am on Council executive currently as second-vice president.

What piece of advice would you give someone moving into industry?

You will encounter people who work and think very differently than you, and are in most ways very different from the personalities you’ve experienced in public practice. It takes a great deal of work, self-awareness and patience to successfully transition, to learn what motivates others and to lead and achieve short and long-term team and organizational goals on a sustainable basis. Very few people are like you, and that’s a great thing — you can learn so much more.

Describe yourself in three words.

Unapologetically goal oriented.