A number of our business lines grew significantly in 2021. Outsourced services and financial planning were two standout areas for us. Our reputation for delivering high-quality advisory is also growing fast. We are engaging in myriad projects from business transformation to digital transition and new business generation in the SME and family business sectors. We are recruiting across the firm, and we have lots of opportunities for high-quality professionals who want to make their mark.
Our farming base needs more support. Food security is a huge issue, and the environmental cost of food imports is massive. Ireland has less than 100 vegetable producers; we are importing food that could be grown here in vast quantities because of flawed economics. The tillage, pig and lamb sectors are also in serious decline, and action is needed to protect these sectors.
The major stress points for clients are inflation and access to people. From a labour force perspective, it is clear that Ireland will need to bring people into the country from outside the EU, and this means more flexibility on work permits.
Our team members work three days per week in the office and two days at home. Our hybrid model has been hugely successful, and we believe it is helping us to recruit and retain great people. There is a cost in terms of technology, but better work-life balance is leading directly to happier team members and better business outcomes.
Recruitment is challenging, but our proposition is unique. With 30 offices across the country, our people get to live and work where they feel at home. We are a very credible alternative to the Big Four for professionals who want to work with SMEs in Ireland.
We bring large firm expertise and a deep relationship-driven service model to clients in the farming, food, agri, and family business sectors. Our combination of expertise, competitive pricing, innovation, and a highly aligned team of ifac professionals is a proposition that our clients love.