Solihull accountant retires after nearly 50 years - The Solihull Observer

Solihull accountant retires after nearly 50 years

Solihull Editorial 12th Feb, 2024   0

AN ACCOUNTANT who has seen Solihull’s business world change has retired after nearly 50 years.

When John Osborne started in the industry in 1977 at the age of 19 there were many differences in the work place, from not being able to advertise to no computers and not being contactable when he went on annual leave.

He joined Raftery and Co in 1981, the Norfolk native became a partner in 1993 and remained with the business when it became Prime Accountants Group in 2007 after merging with Pilley and Florsham and ended his career in the VAO department where he has advised a broad range of principally owner-managed businesses.

He said: “It’s amazing to think you weren’t allowed to advertise – putting yourself in the Yellow Pages was all you could do.

“I guess at the time it was considered unprofessional to promote yourself, but the rules eventually changed.

“There’s always the fallacy that accountancy and maths go hand in hand, but for me it just seemed like the natural thing to do.




“Basic maths was more important then, as there were no computers. I’d been in the profession for maybe three years when I first saw a computer come into the workplace – in those days, it was in a room of its own which you booked to use.

“Technology has changed lots, particularly with email, which means client expectations, and expectations generally, are raised because of the instant access you have.


“When you went abroad on holiday you were genuinely uncontactable. When you came back there might be a bit of post on your desk – now you can get 50 emails on your phone and see them while you’re on holiday.”

To mark his retirement, the Prime team took him and his two sons to his beloved Norwich City FC for a day’s hospitality for their game against West Bromwich Albion in January.

John said he didn’t have any firm plans about how he would spend his retirement beyond following the fortunes of the Canaries.

Kevin Johns, managing director at Prime Accountants, said: “John has been a wonderful servant to our business and a hugely valued colleague and friend.

“To work in any industry for as long as John has requires continuous learning and adaptability and he has demonstrated that at every stage.

“We will all miss him and we were delighted to be able to give him a great send-off at his beloved Norwich City for his retirement party.”

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