Posted on Friday 16 September 2011 by Ulster Business

FPM celebrates 20 years in business

Newry-headquartered FPM Chartered Accountants has celebrated 20 years in business by hosting a breakfast for staff, businesses and local dignitaries at its offices

Founded by managing partner Feargal McCormack on August 20, 1991, FPM has grown to become one of the most recognised businesses on the island of Ireland for providing accountancy and business consultancy services to SMEs, international firms and the public sector.

From humble beginnings twenty years ago FPM now employs over 70 staff, eight of whom are equity partners. Clients span all sectors and areas of specialisation are audit, accounting, tax, business advisory, corporate restructuring and insolvency.

Feargal McCormack told Ulster Business: “I don’t think you can ever envisage where you will get to, but it would be fair to say that I always felt there was an opportunity to develop an exciting, people friendly and business friendly chartered accountancy practice. I was always ambitious to establish a progressive business.”

While he acknowledged the current tough economic climate was the worst he had seen in 20 years, Mr McCormack urged business people to be resilient, remain positive and draw on all the resources they have available.

“I am optimistic, however I do believe we will have to make changes,” he added. “The future will have to be private sector led, we’re going to have to see green issues becoming more important, and we will require more exports. Whether it is Northern Ireland or the island of Ireland, 1.5 million or 5 million is not a sufficient market to build a business on.”

FPM now has four office locations across Ireland and the UK and the business has grown on average by 20 per cent per annum without acquisition. It has also won numerous work place and employment awards over the years, but the company’s founder says it cannot afford to be complacent as it looks to expand into new regions.

“We were fortunate in that we have achieved growth of over 20 per cent per annum, but with that comes the challenge of making sure you continue to grow the competencies and the breadth of competencies within your organisation. We’re a people business and the key to that is your intellectual capital. That’s always going to be the challenge, attracting the best,” he said.

Mr McCormack believes the biggest change he has seen in the local business environment is the development of a true “island economy”.

“I don’t think 10 or 15 years ago we would have been saying that such as high percentage of exports from the North of Ireland would go South. Equally I don’t think you would have seen the level of Southern investment that there has been in the North,” he said.

“We’re operating in a totally different business environment. I think business people are starting to think more global and that can only to be our benefit. I’m not sure they were thinking that way 15 or 20 years ago,” added Mr McCormack.

“Without doubt the biggest thing has been peace and political stability, and the opportunity that hopefully will create in future.”

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