FIRSTLY, I would like to compliment The Southern Star on their increased coverage of the whole agri sector in the recent years by devoting a specific area of the weekly addition to this very important sector of rural Ireland. Once again, I wish them the best on their now extended coverage of this area and we in FDC Group are delighted to partner with them on contributing fortnightly going forward.
FDC Group has its roots firmly set in West Cork as it was set up in the town of Dunmanway in 1972. Its present general manager, Mr Jack Murphy, initiated the idea of providing an accountancy service to the West Cork community even before farm taxation began.
The service expanded gradually over the years and we are now strategically located all over the south of Ireland with 27 area offices and a staff of 270 employees approximately. Given the importance of agriculture to the wider economy and the 170,000 direct and indirect jobs it supports, it is in particular a huge part of West Cork and always has been.
There are 140,000 farms in Ireland, 99% of which are classified as family farms, which have proven to be one of the key areas which stabilised the economy in recent years with new farm investment totalling €726 million in 2013 alone. Given that agriculture is Ireland’s biggest indigenous sector contributing €24 billion to the Irish economy annually and representing almost 10% of all exports and nearly 8% of all employment, we too within FDC Group have seen our business grow extensively over the years by partnering with the agricultural sector and these family enterprises in expanding and developing the range of services available within the group to meet the need.
We in FDC Group have evolved our range of services to meet this ever-changing need from what was once a traditional accounts preparation task, to what is now an extensive range of preparation of management and interim accounts, personal
taxation, VAT, PAYE, extending on to agri-consultancy and farm budgeting, together with loan negotation and restructuring.
With the evolution of time and the demand for the services, we extended our range of services to include, a Financial Services Department, which is now also extensively available through our offices in West Cork, namely Bandon, Skibbereen and Bantry.
Furthermore, FDC over time added the service of FDC Tax Department of which has a specialist need due to the ever changing Finance Act and Tax Laws which are impacting on our clients regularly.
FDC Group also offers agri-consulting to partner with the farmer on such issues as ways to optimise entitlements and possibly generate extra income, together with such areas as discussing the concept of greening, young farmer scheme top-ups, transferring in leasing in 2015, as well as the various schemes being developed by the Department of Agricultural, Food and Marine on an ongoing basis.
We intend to develop on these services going forward in these articles and elaborate and any particular points of interest.
To conclude, in this fortnightly column in partnership with The Southern Star, we will endeavour to cover various aspects of the services mentioned here and will endeavour to keep the content of benefit to you our readers and partners on the ground in rural Ireland. We indeed also welcome any suggestions or questions you may like to pose and we will do our utmost to have these answered for you and, in that way, keep the content relevant to the reader’s demand.
Any suggestions or queries may be sent to the following email address: [email protected]
• Edward O’Flynn is regional manager of FDC Group South West.