IT was a no-brainer when Rory O'Donnell was offered a job in Taunton.

The offer of a Rover SDI as a company car swung it for Rory as his then employer in London was only prepared to give him a Ford Cortina.

Former Somerset Cricket Club treasurer Rory is now planning to retire at the end of the year after 44 years as an accountant.

He set out on his career with a firm based in the capital after qualifying at the age of 22 in 1975.

"As a young audit manager, one of my main clients was Debenhams, who at the time employed over 600 people in Bedford House, the retailer’s support centre in Taunton," said Rory.

"I led a team of 15 people who descended on Taunton for weeks at a time to check the company’s finances."

He would leave his employer in London for a partnership position in the county town

Rory said: "In London, my employer Josolyne Layton-Bennett offered their managers a Ford Cortina.

"Taking partnership in Taunton meant that a luxurious Rover SDI was on offer. Needless to say, the Rover was the carrot which tempted me to move."

Rory was president of the South West branch of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales in 2000, and honorary treasurer for Somerset Cricket Club for 20 years.

He most recently joined chartered accountants MHA Monahans following the merger with accountancy firm BJ Dixon Walsh in 2017.

He said: "There are a significant number of partners with a wealth of expertise, so I’m leaving my clients in safe hands when I retire at the end of this year.

"The culture and support of MHA Monahans has been amazing and I can’t fault it, nor can I think of a better bunch of people to have worked with."

MHA Monahans managing partner Simon Tombs said: "Rory has made an outstanding and enduring contribution to the accountancy profession over the years and we’ve all benefitted from his breadth of knowledge, enthusiasm and good humour.

"We wish him a long and active retirement and he will truly be missed by everyone who has had the pleasure of working with him."

Rory has volunteered for a number of years with the ICAEW Support Members Scheme, acting as a listening ear and offering free, non-judgemental assistance to fellow practitioners.

One of his most memorable deals was advising one of the family members of the Goddard-Watts family (Screwfix) on the purchase of Silverline Ltd, a company selling tools to retailers, subsequently growing it from a million-pound turnover to the £100million turnover it enjoys today.

In 2010 Rory joined Group Silverline Ltd as a director, a role he will continue part-time after retiring.

Rory said: "My motto is ‘have fun’. If you’re not enjoying something, you won’t get the best out of it.

"I’ve had immense fun, and I’m going to miss it, but it’s time to make way for new blood and for me to watch some more cricket."