Press release date: 21-Aug-2009
TaxAssist Accountants, the UK’s leading accountancy and taxation service for small businesses is delighted to announce the opening of their 90th Shop Front. The franchisee that hit the 90th spot is John Thomas who operates from Newport.
John, who joined TaxAssist Accountants on the January 2009 training course and moved into his shop front in May, advises:
“When I joined TaxAssist Accountants I immediately saw the benefits of being based in a shop front. I spoke with other franchisees that made the move and all the positive things they told me was backed up by the statistical evidence. I knew I was required to be in a shop front within three years so I decided go into a shop front as soon as possible to save myself the cost and aggravation of having to move in a couple of years”
“Since moving into my shop front the difference to my business has been extraordinary with business literally walking through the door!”
The shop front concept was developed with the aim of attracting the local small sized business owner with a fresh, modern and stylish look. Not only does the shop front lend visibility and accessibility they also offer the credibility that working from home or an office simply could not provide.
With 165 franchise areas awarded, this means that well over half of the TaxAssist Accountants network are now operating from shop front premises. The TaxAssist Accountants network is now looking after over 29,000 clients making them the largest network of accountants in the UK looking after small businesses.
Franchisees do not need any formal accountancy qualifications as full training is given, but you do need to have a relevant career background, be self motivated, disciplined, ambitious, hardworking and keen to build a substantial successful business.
If you would like to find out more about joining the TaxAssist Accountants network in either the UK or the Republic of Ireland where we have recently launched, then contact us without delay.
The Accounting Franchise Opportunity
- TaxAssist Accountants is the largest network of accountants specifically servicing the small business market.
- We focus on a lucrative market that is largely untapped by the more traditional accountancy practices which tend to go for larger business with higher fees, but more complicated work.
- Figures from the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform reveal "There were an estimated 4.7 million private sector enterprises in the UK at the start of 2007, an increase of 212,000 (4.8 per cent) on the start of 2006...almost all of these enterprises (99.3 per cent) were small (0-49 employees). These levels are the highest since the time series began in 1994".
- Figures from the Central Statistics Office for small business in Ireland reveal “In 2005 four out of five Industrial enterprises (81%) were small firms employing less than 50 people. Small industrial firms employed almost 50,000 people, over a fifth of total industrial employment. In the services sector almost all enterprises (98%) were small…small firms accounted for almost half (49%) of the total turnover in the services sector, generating a total turnover of almost €81.6 billion in 2005.”
- We operate a tried and tested model that can give you business success
- You will have a valuable and tangible asset to sell upon your exit
- We provide full support and back up from a professional and experienced team to help your technical competence and your ability to promote and grow your business
- You gain rights to an exclusive territory
- You gain the ability to trade under a national brand name
Why become a TaxAssist Accountant Franchisee?
The business model of TaxAssist Accountants is fundamentally simple - to take on hundreds of small business clients - with relatively simple work, whilst being based in visible, accessible and friendly shop front premises. Many of our franchisees were fed up with the daily commute, bored, had been made redundant or were frustrated with working hard to make others rich. They realised that taking on a franchise, which offers a service that has been and always will be in demand, could be the answer.
They saw the business model made financial sense, with the potential for taking a good salary whilst creating a real asset for their long term future. Fee banks are very saleable (there are more buyers than sellers) and with the TaxAssist Accountants brand name this could add a premium to the value of the business when you decide to sell. By adhering to the business model and taking a proactive approach to marketing in your territory, you should be attracting clients at a considerable rate. Client acquisition will be facilitated by your shop front presence, and your marketing and networking activity will significantly help the build-up of your fee-bank.
What can be achieved?
Let’s consider what can be achieved in reality. As at the beginning of 2009, the top franchisees who opened in the last 3 years, have at the end of their first year an average of 120 clients and almost £80,000 of fees. We do not pretend that this is easily achieved – it required real effort and enthusiastic following of our business model – but that level of success is being achieved and in some cases exceeded. After five years, depending on your own ambitions, it should be possible to aim for 350+ clients with a turnover of £250k upwards. Full business planning support is provided to help you gain an understanding of what could be achievable for you.
Are we compatible?
You will be the principal of the business and can employ accountants leaving you to concentrate on growing your business. Franchisees do not need any formal accountancy qualifications as full training is given, but we do look for key abilities and attributes. High levels of commercial acumen and finance and business awareness are essential as we look for franchisees who are determined to build a sizeable business
Training and Support
TaxAssist Accountants Training
BPP Professional Education, the UK and Ireland’s leading providers of accountancy and taxation tuition, provide our accountancy and taxation training. Training is carried out at our Support Centres in Norwich and Dublin by qualified personnel in an informal atmosphere. The courses are residential and TaxAssist Accountants pays for all meals, accommodation etc.
The 5 week Training Programme consists of:
- The first and second weeks cover all aspects of accounts production and taxation for sole traders and partnerships.
- The third week covers software training on Taxation and Practice Management.
- For the fourth week you will be working from home. You will be given relevant case studies to work through which will need to be sent to BPP and business plans also need to be submitted to TaxAssist Accountants during this period.
- In the last week you will receive sales, marketing and recruitment training.
TaxAssist Accountants Support
Full training, support and guidance are given to operate your business under the TaxAssist Accountants brand name.
You will receive:
- an exclusive marketing territory
- Accountancy and Tax training by one of the market leading training providers
- Nurture programme which lasts for 6 months after the initial course focusing on business development, HR, staff recruitment and client acquisition
- Fully integrated software suite from CCH
- Complete ongoing training programme (technical, marketing, software, administration)
- Comprehensive operations manuals
- Continuous guidance and support
- Technical advice helplines including access to our technical support website, support material and visits from our technical experts
- Access to specialist advice/in-field back-up
- Regular contact with our Franchisee Liaison Manager to monitor and discuss progress
- Technical updates
Inbound and outbound lead generation service including 25 free leads
We work closely with you, particularly in the early period of your operation, to ensure everything is going well and clients are being obtained.
- National Yellow Pages/Golden Pages advertising and internet optimisation creating inbound leads
- Initial stationery and marketing materials including your own personalised website
- Marketing, publicity and brand building
- Regular regional training and development for franchisees and their staff
- A support site with adverts, guidance, stationery etc
- First year’s membership of a networking group such as BNI or BRE
- Telephone answering service for first year
- Plus much more with our full ongoing support programme
- A lifestyle package (a smaller territory) is also available in selected rural areas. Please enquire to the support centre for specific details of this package. Please note this package is not available in the Republic of Ireland.
Financial Information – The franchise packages
We offer two entry levels to the franchise.
The first entry package costs £29,450 + VAT and allows you to work from a commercial office and then move to a shop front by the end of your third year. Alternatively you can also open up a shop front from day one. The franchise fee includes an exclusive territory, licence fee, a fully configured laptop and IT software, training fees, our Nurture Programme that helps you to maximise your activities and kick-start your business, operations manuals, promotional material and stationery, an accountancy and tax helpline and national marketing amongst many other things. We also provide 25 free client leads from our lead generation providers and look to arrange membership of a networking organisation wherever possible, simply to help you raise awareness of your business in the area.
The second package is called the ‘Lifestyle Package’ and costs £19,950 + VAT. We are offering this package in limited rural areas. This package has been created on the back of the increasing desire among many to escape the confines of city practices and the costs of city living through the purchase of a practice in a new location such as smaller market towns or rural areas. We have selected various locations around the country where we wish to offer this package, and it would also be relevant if a reduced size territory is all that is available in a certain area. Please speak to the recruitment department to see what areas are included.
The main differences between this package and the one listed above, are that you would be paying a reduced franchise fee, and your ongoing costs would also be lower. This is because you only have a territory half the size of a standard size territory.
This package requires the franchisee to work from a commercial office and then move to a shop front by the end of their 3rd year. It also allows franchisees to open a shop front from day one if they wish.
Financial Information – the franchise package
The franchise fee is €39,450 + VAT and allows you to work from a commercial office and then move to a shop front by the end of your third year. Alternatively you can also open up a shop front from day one. The franchise fee includes an exclusive territory, licence fee, a fully configured laptop and IT software, training fees, our Nurture Programme that helps you to maximise your activities and kick-start your business, operations manuals, promotional material and stationery, an accountancy and tax helpline and national marketing amongst many other things. We also provide 25 free client leads from our lead generation providers and look to arrange membership of a networking organisation wherever possible, simply to help you raise awareness of your business in the area.
TaxAssist Accountants was founded in 1995. The company has been set up to provide a national network of trained, experienced personnel, offering a professional and personal service in accountancy, taxation and business services to small businesses.
The company's founder, John Westgarth, is an experienced and innovative Chartered Accountant. It was whilst working in practice in 1995 that he saw an opening in the market place. He realised that small businesses would need help with their accounts in the wake of self-assessment, and he anticipated that the demand for such a service would be ideal for a franchise network. TaxAssist Accountants was formed on the back of this realisation.
Self Assessment has revolutionised the way in which small businesses and the self-employed are required to report results and calculate tax liability. To meet this demand, there is an ever-increasing need for a good, local, personal service. Many small businesses find they don't get the service they deserve from their present accountant and resent the large fees they have to pay. Therefore they are often willing to change to an accountant that specialises in offering a complete range of services specifically for small businesses.
Our target market is the sole trader, partnership or small limited company.
Clients range from pubs, garages, hairdressers etc. through to pilots and professional musicians. "Generally, clients' businesses have grown because they are good at what they do, not because they enjoy the inevitable paperwork. Taking away that burden leaves them free to concentrate on their skill area to everyone’s mutual benefit" says Chief Executive Karl Sandall.
John has made use of his experience and knowledge of how to build up a successful accountancy practice specialising in looking after small businesses, having himself built up a client base of 500 with a turnover of £300k, to develop the TaxAssist Accountants business model and support infrastructure. In the early days the franchise was developed alongside John's accountancy practice, but as the franchise expanded John sold his practice in order to dedicate his full time to TaxAssist Accountants.
Today John's role is as a Non Executive Chairman, but he is still heavily involved in board level decisions and supporting the other Directors of the Company.
Now, the Support Centre offers a complete range of professional, experienced and qualified personnel to fully support your business endeavours. The team is headed by three executive directors and they have a have a breadth of business experience which they bring to the franchise. Karl Sandall had 26 years working for a major clearing bank and is an ex bank manager, Sarah Robertson is a Chartered Marketer who previously operated her own Marketing and PR company and Phil Sullivan spent 26 years with HSBC achieving Executive Management status before leaving to establish his own business in 2006 providing corporate and commercial advisory services.
In February 2009 the Master Franchise License for the Republic of Ireland was sold and so the international expansion of TaxAssist Accountants began.
Greg Murphy CPA, CBS and Roddy Comyn BBS, FCA are our Republic of Ireland Master Franchisees. Before joining TaxAssist Accountants Greg and Roddy built up a successful accountancy practice from a very small base, into a firm with 300+ clients and a turnover of €750,000. This has been converted into the pilot TaxAssist Accountants Franchise in the Republic of Ireland and operates from the Republic of Ireland support centre in Dublin.
Success to Date
Our first franchisee joined our first training course in July 1996. Since then, our network has grown in size and performance, to over 160 franchises across the UK. We continue to recruit successfully, and we are seeking to grow to a full network of 400.
We launched our flagship shop front office in 2002 and we now have over 80 shop fronts spread throughout the country.
When you join TaxAssist Accountants, you will be making a commitment to operate your franchise from shop front premises within 36 months of joining. Our Franchisee Development Managers will be able to assist you when considering location, and they can help you locate suitable premises within your territory.
What do we mean by a ‘shop front’? When we created the first shop front in Norwich our main intentions were to create a modern, welcoming, branded office with the aim of departing from the look and characteristics of traditional accountancy practices. Our shop fronts help with increased visibility and credibility with banks and other financial institutions and because of their accessibility are easy for potential clients to just walk in.
We operate in a lucrative market and provide a service, which is, and always will be, in demand where the rewards can be substantial.