Page created by Fernando Cole
Bingley, UK

 Your own accountancy business with TaxAssist Accountants

2020 Franchise Prospectus

   We aim to be the most trusted and respected UK and international
     brand for accounts, tax and general business advisory services
    for small/local businesses and be the premier provider of choice
                             for that group.

    We dedicate ourselves to help our franchisees to build a successful,
          profitable and future-proof ‘one-stop-shop’ business.

Disclaimer: This prospectus is for information purposes only. We make every effort to ensure that the information is accurate and up-to-date,
however all figures, quantities, amounts given as examples are approximate and for demonstration purposes only. The success of the franchise
depends on the activity of the franchisee.
Step out from the crowd!
             TaxAssist Accountants has been empowering professionals to achieve their goal of running
             their own business since 1995.

TaxAssist Accountants is the largest                      transitioned from closed inward-looking
network of accountants focused on the                     surroundings to a welcoming customer-
small business market in the UK. We                       focused atmosphere, a large percentage of our
provide the opportunity for accountancy                   global network is now operating successfully
and finance professionals to develop                      from shopfronts.
their own profitable accountancy
                                                          As a consequence, brand awareness is growing,
business and build an asset for their
                                                          and their traditional fee base is complemented
                                                          by clients attracted by the friendly, professional
Now an international brand, we were founded               and unintimidating environment. As the
in 1995 by a group of dedicated professionals             number of self-employed and small businesses
based on a concept that was and still is                  grow, this simple doctrine has proved
fundamentally simple: to bring first class                invaluable. With this in mind we are continuing
professional services to small businesses (i.e.           to attract and recruit high-quality franchisees.
sole traders, trusts, partnerships or companies with
                                                          With locations across the UK, we continue to
a turnover of less than £2million).
                                                          build a strong global network of TaxAssist
Through innovation and franchising, we knew               Accountants with successful operations in
we could deliver superior services to clients             Ireland and Australia.
and maximise growth potential for our
                                                          Our UK network now comprises:
franchisees. Franchising helps to minimise the
risks and pitfalls usually associated with                •     239 franchised areas with over 383 shops,
business start-ups by providing specific                        offices and virtual offices
guidance for franchisees newly into business.             •     Supporting more than 76,284 small
In a world of sometimes impersonal online                       businesses and self-employed individuals
services, and observing how some of the best              •     With annual billings in excess of £51.1m.
financial institutions have effectively

   UK Growth            2013        2014        2015     2016        2017        2018        2019

   Fee bank            £31.2m      £35.1m      £38.9m    £42.7m     £44.6m      £47.4m      £50.9m

   Clients             46,952      52,469       58,522   64,836     67,253      71,621      76,565

   Sales               £27.2m      £29.7m      £33.7m    £37.3m     £39.6m      £41.5m      £45.3m

Our concept
          We have developed an innovative business model that allows our franchisees to focus on a
          lucrative market of potential clients.

Whether you have a business, or a
financial background, or are an
accountant already, we have
opportunities nationwide to purchase
new territories and existing businesses
coming up for resale.
The TaxAssist Accountants model is
fundamentally simple; to focus on the supply of
professional accounting, taxation, advisory and
associated services to small businesses.
Our definition of small business is a trading
entity with a turnover of up to £2 million. This
includes self-employed, sole traders,
partnerships and smaller limited companies, as
well as individual tax payers. Our shopfront
strategy is based on making our services more
accessible to the client base and to aid in the       A franchise owned by its
development of brand awareness.
The small business sector has traditionally been
                                                      Our network of over 230 accountancy
ignored by larger accountants, and poorly
serviced by smaller practices. Establishing a         practices are 100% franchised, either wholly-
                                                      owned by or in partnership with our
unique network that focuses solely on smaller
                                                      franchisees. We are also a franchisor that is
businesses, we are targeting a market that has
                                                      partly-owned by its franchisees and new
a need for our services. Operating from shop-
style premises, these locations make us more          franchisees have the opportunity to not only
                                                      join a successful franchise network, but also to
                                                      buy a stake in the business.
We pride ourselves on being at the forefront
                                                      Our shareholders are as follows: Executive
of technology, implementing innovative
software applications to enable us to provide         Directors 47%, franchisees 43% and known
                                                      partners/staff 10%. Data is correct as of 06
more advisory and value-added services. Our
concept, along with the numerous awards that          January 2020.
we have received, demonstrates that we are
highly regarded as both an accountancy
network and as one of the UK’s leading

My own accountancy business with TaxAssist Accountants

“I was looking to work for myself using skills I had built up over
my working career, but wanted the advantage of the support
that a franchise offers. The vast reputation and success of
TaxAssist gave me all the confidence I needed to join the
network. Myself and my wife work together in our practice
and I haven’t looked back!”

Kam Sira | Watford, Barnet & Borehamwood
Our marketplace
          Every small business needs to have an annual set of accounts prepared in one form or another,
          for taxation and other purposes.

At TaxAssist Accountants, we
understand our market. Very few
                                                       Market potential
business people have the knowledge or                  The small business market is enormous in the
inclination to prepare their own                       UK with huge potential for future small
accounts, hence the ever-increasing                    business growth. According to the latest
demand for accountancy services.                       Business Statistics report from the government
In addition, there are people who need to              and statistics issued by The Federation of Small
complete their own Self-Assessment Tax                 Businesses (FSB):
Return who will usually need some help and
will turn to a professional for assistance. With       5.9 million private sector businesses in 2019.
initial and ongoing training and support, you          This is an increase of 2.4 million since 2000
can provide that help and build your own
business and financial independence.
                                                       Over 99% of the private sector businesses
                                                       are classified as small
Small business owners seeking to establish and
grow their business require a broad range of           3.5 million are sole proprietorships
business services. Our franchisees provide a           2.0 million are small Ltd Companies
core suite of tax, accounting and advisory
services. These are supplemented by                    405,000 are self-employed partnerships
recommended business partners including HR
                                                       381,000 new businesses started in 2018
specialists and financial institutions, to allow
small business to access a full range of business
services.                                              The sector therefore continues to be
                                                       dominated in terms of numbers by small firms
We were established on the back of the
                                                       and client base by small businesses.
founder, John Westgarth FCA, realising that
small businesses were often over charged by            The business model of TaxAssist Accountants
the larger accountancy practices and under             is to focus solely on this market and avoid
serviced by the smaller accountancy practices.         clients that require audit. Focusing on small
The proprietors of these businesses were not           businesses has many advantages. It keeps work
always proactively supported in looking for            relatively simple and there is much more
ways to reduce their tax liabilities and in            security in operating with 400-500 small
helping them develop their businesses. He              business clients, each with a modest average
realised that a franchise network would work           annual fee in that if some of the clients leave,
perfectly to service this market.                      the risk to the overall business is negligible.

The accountancy industry
         There is no escaping the fact that the accounting world is undergoing some of the biggest
         changes it has seen in decades.

The accountancy sector is currently                    Accounting in the cloud
going through fundamental change.
                                                       Cloud-based accounting software has
Technology, digitalisation, regulation and
                                                       revolutionised the way accountants operate
client expectations have impacted in
                                                       and interact with their clients. To stay one step
recent years in a way that is
                                                       ahead of the competition, and to be at the
unprecedented. Most small firms are
                                                       cutting edge of new technology, you need to
struggling to cope with the pace of this
                                                       be able to offer a service that attracts and
change, creating huge opportunity for
                                                       retains every kind of small business client.
those best prepared to embrace it and
develop innovative, technology-led                     At TaxAssist Accountants, we continually
services.                                              research, evaluate and recommend the best
                                                       software to suit the needs of our network and
TaxAssist Accountants prides itself on being at
                                                       its clients. This is an ever-changing arena we
the forefront of the changes facing the
                                                       monitor closely to ensure we offer first-class
accounting industry, leading the way to ensure
                                                       training and support to our franchisees and
our accounting individuals and practices are the
                                                       their staff with the advent of each new
first choice for small business services and
                                                       development. The implementation of leading
dedicating ourselves to help our accountants
                                                       cloud-based technology has enabled our
build a successful, profitable and future-proof
                                                       network to increase efficiencies and develop
‘one stop shop’ business.
                                                       even stronger relationships with their clients.
With a network of more than 300 highly visible
high street shops and offices across the UK,
                                                       Making Tax Digital
everything is client-driven and our accountants
are ideally placed to take advantage of the            Many software changes are linked to ‘Making
opportunities that change is bringing. Our             Tax Digital’ for business, a Government
continual growth has seen us risen to 21st in          project aimed at putting tax information
the highly regarded Accountancy Age Top 50             together in one online place. Intended to bring
league table.                                          the UK tax system into the 21st Century, by
                                                       providing businesses with a modern,
                                                       streamlined service to keep their tax records
                                                       and provide information to HM Revenue &
                                                       Customs (HMRC).
                                                       All the research shows that business owners
                                                       will need their accountants more than ever
                                                       before. The Federation of Small Business,
                                                       The Forum of Private Business and

the ACCA all believe that small businesses will    General Data Protection Regulation
not find these changes easy to manage and will
                                                   General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
rely on their advisors to support them.
                                                   intends to strengthen and unify data protection
At TaxAssist Accountants, we’ve spent a great      for all industries, including accounting. It
deal of time training and developing the right     became enforceable on 25th May 2018 and
support services to help our accountants           means that Data Protection Authorities will
support small businesses through this period of    have the power to enforce much more severe
change. HMRC will not be offering software to      penalties for breaches of personal data. The
help clients report quarterly, so we have          legal and technical changes involved with being
already partnered with Intuit QuickBooks to        GDPR-compliant are huge, and require major
help make managing accounting records easy.        changes for all companies at an operational
                                                   level. All businesses, no matter how small will
                                                   be affected by this change in data protection
Client advisory services
Not surprisingly, the nature of client advisory
                                                   TaxAssist Accountants has ensured that our
services is evolving to take technological
                                                   Franchise Support Centre and accountants in
changes into account. This means our industry
                                                   our network are fully GDPR-compliant.
needs to be adding new services to their
practice portfolio not only to stand out from
the crowd, but because clients now expect
their accountant to offer an enhanced service,
including business support and advice.
As advisors we need to be more than good
accountants. We work alongside our clients,
building relationships, helping them to better
understand their business and supporting their
informed decisions. Advisory is not about
selling dashboards, forecasts or apps – apps
don’t provide advice, we do!
At TaxAssist Accountants we care about the
success of our clients’ businesses and our
current client advisory services include tax
advice, bookkeeping and management
accounts, additional service providers and
supporting our clients to achieve their goals.
Our Trustpilot rating reflects this, with
feedback received from clients on a daily basis.

The franchise industry
          We know that franchising is the most successful way of starting a business, but don’t just take
          our word for it.

Franchising is a successful method of
                                                        Multi-award winning franchise
business expansion and the industry itself
continues to grow in the UK. It is seen as              TaxAssist Accountants has an enviable
a safer way to start up a new business.                 reputation in the franchise industry and we
                                                        have won many awards for the support we
The 2018 British Franchise Association/
                                                        provide to franchisees. We have been Gold,
NatWest Survey which remains the UK’s
                                                        Silver and Bronze winners of the British
leading survey of the current state and
                                                        Franchise Association/HSBC Franchisor of the
dynamics of franchising highlighted the
                                                        Year Awards and are Finalists again this year,
                                                        for the 2020 Franchisor of the Year Award.
£17.2bn Estimated turnover of the franchise
                                                        In 2019, the TaxAssist Accountants network
                                                        completed a Franchisee Satisfaction Survey
48,600 Franchised units now operating in the            conducted by independent research agency
UK.                                                     WorkBuzz.

935 – The number of active franchise systems.           As a result, we were awarded ‘5 star
                                                        franchisee satisfaction’, one of only four
44 – The average age of a franchisee.                   franchisors to have received this for the
                                                        seventh year in a row.
37% of new franchisees are women.
                                                        Elite Franchise Magazine publish an annual
93% of franchisees claimed profitability in
                                                        Top 100 rankings, with TaxAssist
                                                        Accountants coming in the top 15 for the last
710,000 people employed in franchising in               two years.
the UK.

60% of franchisees claimed an annual turnover
of more than £250,000.

1 in 3 UK franchisors have international

British Franchise Association (bfa)
The bfa’s remit is to develop and continuously
improve the standards of good practice in
franchising and to accredit franchisors who
meet these standards. The bfa represents 346
UK franchise brands each vetted against a strict
code of business practice. TaxAssist
Accountants is a ‘Full’ and long-standing
member of the bfa and fully endorse their code
of ethics and operate in accordance with them.
Karl Sandall (Group CEO), David Paulson
(Senior Vice President, Franchise
Development), Richard Chatten - Hague
(Senior Manager, Global Franchise Support)
and Nikki Haythorne (UK Franchise
Recruitment Manager) are accredited bfa
qualified franchise professionals. The Qualified
Franchise Professional (QFP) is the formal
recognition of professional knowledge and
experience in franchising. It demonstrates
understanding of the complexities and best
practice in franchising and the investing of time
to continuously develop understanding.
The QFP has been specially developed for
people working within the franchising industry
who want to demonstrate their experience,
understanding and ethical approach to
franchising. As a standards-based franchise
qualification built upon the ethics of the bfa,
this qualification is open only to principals or
employees of bfa member organisations. This
further strengthens the value of the
qualification and underpins the vital importance
of best practice and ethics within UK

My own accountancy
business with TaxAssist

  “Returning to work after
 maternity leave, I realised it
  was very difficult juggling
home and work life with the
 pressures of working over-
time and monthly deadlines,
    and I just thought...

I need to work for
  myself to have
more flexibility and

TaxAssist gives you guidance
    and good practices to
 follow, but you can make it
your own requirements. It’s
  so much easier for me to
 juggle home and work life.
  I’m having so much more
  time now with my family.
Taking on this franchise has
     just worked for me.”

     Cheryl Hopkins
  Nuneaton & Tamworth
Who do we look for?
         Do you have a strong commercial and/or financial background? If so, the TaxAssist Accountants
         model may appeal to you...

We look for people who are capable of                 Like running your own business, running a
setting themselves up in business, but                franchise requires hard work and commitment.
see the value in the brand, training,                 We provide the proven systems, the business
support and systems that investing in a               model and the experience to run the business
franchise with TaxAssist Accountants                  well, but the model also relies on you to make
brings.                                               it work by introducing your own personality,
                                                      energy and initiative.
Most franchisees join us with a recognised
accountancy qualification, typically, ACA,            All franchisees, if not a UK citizen, will need to
ACCA, CTA, AAT, ATT or CIMA and have a                provide evidence that they have the right to
mix of industry and practice backgrounds. You         work in the UK for the duration of the
do not necessarily need to have worked in             Franchise Agreement, for further information
practice recently and you don’t have to be an         please visit: www.gov.uk/tier-1-entrepreneur/
accountant to join us.                                overview, or contact the Recruitment
                                                      Department for more clarification.
We are, however, very selective on who we
award a franchise to. Franchisees who are not
qualified accountants will come from senior
management positions within the banking/
financial services sector and will need to show
existing financial acumen.
To successfully operate a TaxAssist
Accountants franchise, you will need to
demonstrate high levels of:
•    Commercial awareness
•    Business acumen
•    Energy
•    Motivation
•    Communication skills
•    Discipline to follow a proven, successful
     business model

What can you achieve?
          By following 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               Profitability
your shop front presence, your
                                                        Our training covers the staffing requirements
marketing and our national activity.
                                                        for your business and we expect a third of
Networking activity will also contribute
                                                        your turnover to cover staff costs, another
to help you grow your fee bank.
                                                        third to cover the other costs associated with
The shop provides the business with a                   running your business and the final third being
professional appearance where clients will              your profit. Franchisees embracing efficiencies
‘walk-in’ and also gives you the opportunity to         can increase profitability to 40%.
encourage referrals. The visibility of the shop
combined with your passion for your business,
enthusiasm for providing high quality service           Building an asset
and hard work to drive the business forward             As well as the profits that you should earn
will be the key to your success.                        whilst you are a franchisee, you are continuing
                                                        to build an asset for yourself with a strong
                                                        sales value. The clients you engage belong to
Turnover & clients
                                                        you and are yours to sell when the time is right
After five years, depending on your own                 for you to exit TaxAssist Accountants. A well-
ambitions, it is possible to aim for 400+ clients       run accountancy practice generally has more
with a turnover of £300,000 upwards. Some               buyers than sellers and the TaxAssist
franchisees are happy to maintain this level,           Accountants brand is proven to add value – the
comfortable with both the income generated              current industry average for accountancy
and being relatively light touch on the business,       practices is 0.8-1.0 times annual billing, whilst
while other franchisees continue to work full-          our franchisees are achieving multiples up to
time on the business pushing it past the                1.4 times annual billing.
£500,000 turnover level.
                                                        We do not pretend that these figures are easily
Our biggest franchisees have gross annual               achieved – it requires real effort,
recurring fees in excess of £1 million. Full            enthusiasm and the following of our
business planning support is provided to help           business model – but we know that this level
you gain an understanding of what could be              of success can be achieved.
achievable for you.

Please note, these figures are for illustration
purposes only and are not a guarantee of earnings.
Revenue and business growth is dependent on
activity. Our business model involves certain activity
requirements including marketing, networking and
general business development. `

                                        Month 12         Month 24              Month 36

        Fee Bank Median                   £63,449        £133,021               £175,642
       Number of Clients                    109             226                   274

      Fee Bank Maximum                   £161,640        £303,136               £408,230

       Number of Clients                    177             369                   451

           The median and maximum performances of the top 25% of franchisees who have joined
                                TaxAssist Accountants in recent years.

Our Covid-19 Support
         The Support Team worked tirelessly during the Covid-19 pandemic to ensure its
         franchisees have had correct and up-to-date information to meet their clients’ requests for help.

The timely advice and online and email                 •    Advice and tips on how to network on
campaigns offered by TaxAssist Accountants                  the online networking communities.
have been a lifeline for worried clients – and
                                                       •    Daily social media content covering
have made a tangible impact on the survival and
                                                            further announcements from the
future recovery of independent businesses
across the UK.
                                                       •    A dedicated section within the franchisee
Realising accountants would play an intrinsic
                                                            Support Site to collate and access all
part in helping to explain the many support
                                                            Covid-19 related content.
measures rolled out by the Government, the
TaxAssist Support Team has ensured every               •    Daily Covid-19 update bulletin emailed to
franchisee has the resources they need to                   franchisees issued from the Support
effectively communicate with and assist their               Centre, which contains a detailed
clients.                                                    summary of announcements from the
                                                            Government, practice advice and support,
                                                            client communications, new marketing
Comprehensive support
                                                            materials and using technology.
•   We set up a dedicated TaxAssist Covid-
                                                       •    Live webinars delivered to franchisees
    19 Action Group producing a daily news
                                                            outlining the latest changes and practical
    update to each franchisee, highlighting the
                                                            guidance around planning points.
    latest announcements and examining the
    finer detail of the Government’s help              •    Advice on how to support clients with
    measures.                                               short-term cashflow planning and the
                                                            tools we have available to assist with this.
•   Covid-19 Business Support Hub created
    on the national website, for franchisees to        •    SMS texting to communicate with
    share latest news, articles, questions and              prospects and clients to keep them
    answers to their clients.                               informed of working arrangements.

•   Video tutorials and guides for franchisees         •    To help recent joiners to the network, an
    on how to have client meetings using                    enhanced marketing package is being
    video technology to maintain service to                 provided which includes an earlier
    new and existing clients.                               advertising and digital marketing campaign,
                                                            with extra online training and support.
•   Video messaging from the Group Chief
    Executive and other Directors to provide
    guidance and support.

A major strength of the TaxAssist model is the           “I have never regretted the decision to set-up in
ability to support its franchisees with a                practice as a franchisee, I always believed that the
centralised mailing system and social media              back-up of the Support team would be both
campaigns. This means every client can be                reassuring and an invaluable asset that most sole
contacted quickly and professionally with the            practitioners can never experience.
very latest developments relevant to them.
                                                         Indeed this has always been the case but never
More than 750,000 emails have been sent on
                                                         more so than now. Although Daren and James
their behalf to date alongside regular posts and
                                                         have led/fronted the effort magnificently it is very
client guides shared on social media.
                                                         clear indeed that the immense amount of work
                                                         and tangible output is very much a wider team
Franchisee feedback
                                                         They have been absolutely brilliant and I would be
Feedback received from the network has been
                                                         amazed if any other accountancy organisation has
fantastic with many praising our proactive
                                                         got anywhere close to delivering what they have in
approach and our depth and quality of
                                                         the past few weeks.”
resources, which has allowed them to offer an
enhanced service to their clients, who are               Nick Sims
desperately looking to them for clarity and              TaxAssist Accountants Devizes and
guidance:                                                Chippenham
“Thank you so much to the team for all of your
support. Our job may not be an enviable one at           “Pat and I want to voice our appreciation for all
the moment but I would hate to be running an             TaxAssist have done and are doing for us during
accountancy practice without the support of the          this Covid crisis. TaxAssist were so quick to spot
network right now. “                                     the looming situation and what it might mean for
                                                         all of us and what needed to be done.
Hannah Campbell
TaxAssist Accountants Leith and                          We are so impressed with the professionalism and
Dalkeith                                                 quality of support we have received. We know our
                                                         clients are also impressed with the service given
                                                         and some of our clients have actually thanked us
“Having worked in private practices across London,       and said how much they appreciate the emails.
and having provided consultancy services to              We look at what goes out to clients and think it’s
franchisees of other franchises, I can safely say that   fantastic.”
the support and guidance received from TaxAssist
                                                         Pat & Selwyn Mozley
in this rollercoaster environment is incomparable,
                                                         TaxAssist Accountants Thirsk and
both as an accountant and a franchisee. The daily
updates and assistance are things that I will
remember throughout my career and really prove
the strength of the franchise.”
Raza Syed
TaxAssist Accountants Southall

Making a difference
          We are supporting small businesses and helping them through the Covid-19 pandemic, and our
          ‘Buy Local’ campaign is how we make a real difference to local communities.

TaxAssist Accountants is championing a
‘Buy Local’ campaign aimed at
encouraging consumers and local
businesses to come together and support
each other.
The Buy Local message has never been more
important. We feel strongly about supporting
local small businesses who need the right levels
of assistance. We are advising businesses to
manage their cashflow correctly and giving tips
on handling the current economic situation.
TaxAssist Accountants is also supplying small
businesses that have visible premises with
window stickers in order to send the message
out to the general public.                           This campaign is not about TaxAssist
Whilst we are a network of accountants with          Accountants, it’s about our clients, but in doing
national coverage, each TaxAssist Accountant         this campaign we gain positive profiling of the
is a small local business in their own right. They   local accountancy practice and enables us to
only trade with local businesses and are very        pick up clients on the back of the goodwill
much a part of the community. The small              created.
businesses we have spoken to are really              With our focus on ‘Buy Local’ we are in a
pleased to support this campaign by placing the      position to engage with local businesses.
stickers in their shop or office windows.            Franchisees benefit from combining local
The ‘Buy Local’ campaign raises the profile of       relationships with the small business
our franchisees in their local area by adding        community with our award-winning franchise
real meaning to the ‘Small Business Champions’       support.
tag line that we operate. The campaign
provides franchisees a great opportunity to
meet independent shop owners who are our
target market, and gain momentum and
support for local press and radio coverage, as
there is a serious amount of support for
shopping locally.

The franchise package
         We breakdown what our Franchise Package includes, such as licence, support, marketing, IT
         and more...

We are with you throughout your                      Annual Conference. These activities allow
journey offering comprehensive in-house              franchisees to express themselves and make
and bespoke training, and full technical,            operational recommendations, and they
marketing and business development                   provide us opportunities to further build
support for you and your practice.                   relationships with the network.
                                                     All of the Support Centre staff are committed
                                                     to supporting the franchise network and their
Licence                                              clients with no other business interests to take
                                                     their focus away from the importance of
The licence grants the right to trade under the
                                                     assisting the network. Look at our
identity of TaxAssist Accountants for the
                                                     competitors’ offerings closely to our own, both
duration of the Franchise Agreement.
                                                     on an initial basis and ongoing, because we feel
                                                     we have a fully comprehensive offering and the
                                                     best on offer in the UK.
The benefits of franchising are that you are a
self-employed individual benefiting from an          Training
established support infrastructure and a
                                                     We provide 44 days training starting off with a
committed brand development strategy. The
                                                     six-week intensive induction training course
extent of the support you will receive from
                                                     (including one week’s home study). This covers
TaxAssist Accountants we believe is second to
                                                     all aspects of the TaxAssist Accountants
none. This is comprehensive and comprises of
                                                     business model and prepares new franchisees
training, marketing and technical helpdesk for
                                                     for trading as a TaxAssist accountant with a
accounting, tax, software and human
                                                     wide range of accountancy, tax, software, sales
resources. In addition to this, you will benefit
                                                     and marketing topics. It is designed and
from field visits from the Support Centre
                                                     delivered by our in-house team of qualified
Team , as well as ongoing training to
                                                     accountants and trainers in conjunction with
accommodate ‘Continuing Professional
                                                     specialist training partners. Through this
Development’ requirements from the
                                                     partnership, we are able to ensure that
accounting institutes.
                                                     materials are up to date, directly relevant for
The concept of network development and best          our network and of the highest quality.
practice is very important to us and we have a
                                                     We pay for all meals and accommodation
number of arenas where the focus is on the
                                                     during the course and ensure you have the
franchisor/franchisee relationship. These
                                                     opportunity to meet and really get to know all
include ‘Innovation Groups’, Master Classes,
                                                     staff in the Support Centre. During the initial
Regional Meetings, Franchisee Forums and an

six-month period, further shorter training
modules are delivered covering Limited
Company issues, corporation tax, payroll,
guidance on completing your own accounts,
planning tools, human resources and staff
recruitment and further software training. We
are also proud to have our own TaxAssist
Training Academy, which allows us to provide
new training modules covering a wide range of
technical and general management skill topics.
The TaxAssist Accountants Training Academy
provides bespoke training courses to
Franchisees and staff all over the UK. The
Training Academy fee of £65 pcm per territory
covers all your ongoing training requirements.
Additional courses are charged at nominal
rates. The detailed Manuals form the basis of
your training reference material and are
explained fully during the training programme.
All the manuals are available on our support

With TaxAssist Accountants, your business will
have the marketing power of a global brand.
Our proven lead generation service delivers
the right prospects to grow your fee bank,
while your own responsive website and search
engine campaigns increase your visibility locally.
We’ve made significant investment in our
online presence to cater for mobile and tablet
device visitors, including fully responsive
websites provided by us and a mobile app with
various calculators and content. We have
successfully undertaken our first TV advertising
campaign for the network in 2018 and have
continued this throughout 2019 (stills pictured
right), which has significantly boosted all
marketing activities.
To kick-start your business, we provide you
with an initial online marketing campaign and
we will guarantee 25 free qualified leads from
our lead generation activities within 12 months
(don’t worry these won’t all be delivered in

your first month!). If for any reason this is not    business. We don’t want franchisees having to
met, we will refund £200 per lead for                follow up 100’s of leads only to convert 5 into
reinvestment to the business under our no            fee paying business. Our unique lead
quibble guarantee.                                   generation minimises the franchisee
                                                     involvement and our franchisees currently
This includes a variety of brand awareness
                                                     report a high 1 in 2 conversion rate and this
activities through paid search engine advertising
                                                     delivers significant business each and every
and social media. We will also provide a TV
                                                     year to our network.
advertising campaign across all of the Sky TV
channels using the Sky AdSmart platform              For every qualified lead provided to a
(subject to Sky AdSmart T & C’s) in your area        franchisee there is a £55 contribution to the
when your shop opens. If we do not do this for       Brand Awareness & Client Acquisition fund
any reason, we will spend these funds on other       (BACA), although the first 25 leads are free as
marketing activity (up to £2,000 within the first    part of the Franchise Package. These leads are
year of trading). We also pay up to the value of     delivered year in year out through our unique
£500 for your first-year subscription to a           marketing strategy. The lead charge is recycled
networking group of your choice.                     into the BACA budget to provide further
                                                     marketing benefits for the whole franchise
The TaxAssist website attracts thousands of
                                                     network. The purchasing of leads is fairly
unique visitors every month, over 500,000
                                                     common in the accountancy industry, but
visitors in the last year alone. Whilst we are
                                                     generally attracts a much higher charge per
proud of our website exposure it would be
                                                     lead, and do not come close to converting at
vanity to use this measurement solely to
                                                     the same levels as our system making it a cost-
determine the strength of our website
                                                     effective way for franchisees to gain new
presence and effectiveness in generating
                                                     business. We re-invest the contributions to
business for our franchisees.
                                                     deliver more leads.
Our key metric in determining the success of
                                                     From our monitoring, we have calculated that
our marketing activity is to measure how many
                                                     the average annual client fee for the basic
qualified leads the website generates and in
                                                     accounts and tax return work is approximately
turn how many of these qualified leads turn
                                                     £700 (plus VAT), so the service should pay for
into business for our network. We speak to
                                                     itself many times over. Also, remember that
every potential client and qualify whether there
                                                     once you have built up a substantial client base
is an opportunity of business before passing
                                                     many of your new clients will come from
that lead to a franchisee, thus sifting out at the
                                                     referrals and recommendations from existing
beginning those enquiries that will never
                                                     ones. Clients stay with us on average for eight
progress. If a prospect does not attend the
appointment then we will try and re-arrange
this or cancel it without this counting as a         Our unique marketing strategy has been
qualified lead.                                      carefully crafted over many years and has won
                                                     several industry awards. Effectiveness is shown
Without a qualification process, our
                                                     by the network recording that 2 of the top 3
franchisees would be inundated with lead
                                                     sources of new business come directly from
enquiries wasting time that we believe would
                                                     this blended mix of activity.
be better spent on producing fee charging
work. Other franchisors claim high levels of
sales leads from their marketing activity but
only convert 1 in 20 of these leads into

Local marketing & social media                    Technical support and helpline
In order to deliver an enhanced level of          TaxAssist Accountants is a successful business
advertising and support for raising the profile   that has a real understanding of the tax,
of the TaxAssist Accountants brand in             accountancy and bookkeeping services needed
franchisees’ local areas, the BACA Media          by small businesses in the UK. The technical
initiative comprises of ongoing TV advertising,   support we offer our franchisees is extensive.
paid social media advertising campaigns, social   We offer a technical helpdesk which is staffed
media management and local marketing              by many qualified accountants and experienced
support with local marketing plans, along with    support staff covering bookkeeping, accounts,
the creating, personalising and placing of        tax, VAT, payroll, National Insurance and tax
adverts in relevant local media. Charges range    investigation and software. In the early days of
from £50-£125 per month and the first twelve      operation this back-up will be invaluable, and
months are included in the Franchise Package.     the continuing help and advice will benefit your
                                                  practice as you take on staff who are also
                                                  entitled to use their help.

Business acceleration and
nurture programme                                 Initial software
This is a holistic induction and monitoring       We provide a suite of software products as
package that is designed to help you set up       part of the Franchise Package to support a
parts of your operation prior to the training     modern and efficient accountancy practice.
course. The programme also monitors your          This includes onboarding, practice
business development through the first six        management, tax and accounts compliance,
months and comprises further training at          data capture and digitisation, and bookkeeping.
months two, three and six. The follow-up          Being part of the TaxAssist Accountants
training is a mix of technical, general           network means that you benefit from our
management and business plan review to track      global group discounts which we have agreed
the progress of your business.                    with all of our specialist providers. Full training,
                                                  support, installation and updates are provided
                                                  on an ongoing basis.
Competitor analysis report
Some thorough research into your
competitors, their services and more
importantly, how they look after their
customers, will provide you with valuable
information that will help your business
become successful. A Competitor Analysis
Report will highlight your competitors’
strengths and weaknesses. It will also tell you
how to use the information to win more
customers and keep the ones you’ve got.

The Franchise Package includes the first year’s
                                                   Business stationery
payroll software, 12 months use of the online
learning facility, 3 month’s usage of TaxCalc,     A starter pack of stationery is provided,
and Practice Ignition and 6 month’s usage of       including letterheads, envelopes and business
Receipt Bank.                                      cards, fully personalised with your details. A
                                                   comprehensive initial starter pack will be
                                                   provided, including personalised corporate
IT equipment and maintenance                       brochures, marketing leaflets, etc.

package                                            HR and employment package –
We have a single ISO27001/9001 certified IT        Employmentor
partner who supply a wide range of services
                                                   We provide all franchisees subscription to
and products including hosted desktop and
                                                   ‘Employmentor’. This service provides you
hardware solutions which are tailored to
                                                   with comprehensive HR support for all your
franchisee needs. As part of the Franchise
                                                   employment needs and more, and is paid by us
Package, a business-quality laptop and
                                                   for you.
peripherals, as well as twelve months of the
remote hosted desktop and Office 365 E3 are
included. This solution has been created to
ensure a minimal amount of your time is used       Free set-up on Direct Debit
on IT, everything is compatible and ‘just works’   system
out of the box.
                                                   It is a key part of the TaxAssist business model
                                                   that your clients should pay you by regular
                                                   monthly payments. This makes a very
Support Site                                       significant difference to your cash flow and also
A wealth of useful information is contained on     enhances client loyalty.
our easy to use internal support website. The
Support Site forms the blueprint for managing
and developing a successful TaxAssist              Health Assured EAP
Accountants practice. It offers advice and
guidance, allows you to order stationery,          The TaxAssist Direct Group has adopted the
adverts, and book into training sessions to        services of Health Assured, the UK and
name but a few features. This website has won      Ireland’s largest employee assistance
three business awards for the way we support       programme (EAP), which has helped more than
our franchisees 24/7.                              9.5 million people to overcome physical,
                                                   mental, social and financial challenges.
                                                   This is a comprehensive service, which includes
Website and email address                          free face-to-face counselling as well as online
                                                   and webinar-based support to franchisees, staff
All new franchisees are set up with email and
                                                   and their immediate families.
their own website for you to personalise with
information about you and your local contact       As a caring franchisor, we recognise the crucial
details. We administer and maintain this for       role we can play in improving health and
you.                                               wellbeing and by providing quick access to
                                                   counselling and support, workplace stress and
                                                   absence will be minimised, leading to a

healthier and happier network of franchisees
                                                    TaxAssist telecoms system
and staff.
                                                    To get you up and running from day one, we
The EAP offers a complete resource of
                                                    have included a single license for the TaxAssist
wellbeing services including a 24/7 all year
                                                    Telecoms system for a 12-month period.
round helpline, access to structured
                                                    Included in this you will receive a local
counselling support, an online Wellbeing Portal
                                                    telephone number (from a choice of 10), an IP
and Health e-Hub app, mental health first aid
                                                    phone with power adapter and the required
(MHFA) training, workshops and more.
                                                    software pre-installed on your laptop.
The TaxAssist Direct Group regularly
                                                    This service works seamlessly with the
monitors the welfare and happiness of
franchisees and employees and following             telephone answering service and can easily be
surveys of Support Centre staff and franchisees     expanded to include additional licenses and
by independent research agency WorkBuzz,            phones and the software can be upgraded for
TaxAssist was awarded ‘5-star employer’ and         features such as conference calling. Out of the
‘5-star franchisee satisfaction’ status for being   box voicemail-to-email is enabled, the
above the benchmark compared to businesses          TaxAssist on hold music is loaded and all calls
of a similar size and industry.                     to local, national and mobiles are free. This
                                                    service enables you to take your number with
                                                    you as you move into a shop with a minimum
Telephone answering service                         of fuss and is easy to expand as you grow your
                                                    TaxAssist franchise, even between multiple
In the first year of your franchise you may be
working on your own or have few staff
members. In order to ensure a professional
and corporate response to clients and
prospective clients, we are pleased to provide      Fee Bank Acquisition Service
the services of a personal answering service for    To assist you with building your business, we
either a full year’s service or 200 messages        provide you with our Fee Bank Acquisition
whichever comes first. Each TaxAssist               Tier 1 service as part of the Franchise Package.
franchisee will be given the names of two or        We will pull together a suitable target list of
three PAs who will work for them and answer         fee banks from data lists and then approach
their calls and forward their messages either by    these firms on your behalf. We will review
email, SMS or fax.                                  opportunities that come out of this and then
                                                    discuss funding needs with you.
                                                    It is possible to upgrade to a next tier of
Anti-money laundering                               support, which includes help with due
compliance                                          diligence, business planning, thoughts on
                                                    structure, an overview of issues to consider in
As part of the franchise fee, you are provided
                                                    any purchase agreement, limited post-deal
with your first year’s membership fee to
                                                    integration support etc. (This service does not
AMLCC Ltd, who provide online Client
                                                    include any legal work or tax advice, these
Verification and The Complete Anti-Money
                                                    services would need to be sourced from third
Laundering Guide for Professionals. The Guide
                                                    parties.) See page 54 for more information.
steers you through the process of client due
diligence including electronic verification and
automatically classifies the client’s risk level.

Franchise package summary
          What you receive for your initial investment for a new territory or franchise resale.

Licence to operate a TaxAssist Accountants franchise business                             ✔         ✔

Exclusive territory                                                                       ✔         ✔

Technical helpline for you and your staff, providing support on accounts, tax, VAT
                                                                                          ✔         ✔
and payroll

Starter pack of personalised business stationery including letterheads, envelopes,
                                                                                          ✔         ✔
business cards and a pull-up stand

Starter pack of promotional material including personalised corporate brochures
                                                                                          ✔         ✔
and marketing materials
Competitor Analysis report                                                                ✔         ✔

Your own personalised TaxAssist Accountants website and email address                     ✔         ✔

Support in finding suitable premises and branding premises                                ✔         ✔

Ongoing support and advice covering all areas of the franchise                            ✔         ✔

Business accelerator and nurture programme                                                ✔         ✔

Training Package including an initial 6-week intensive training course (44 days
                                                                                          ✔         ✔
training in the first year) and follow up training at months 2, 3 and 6

Employmentor service providing you with HR advice                                         ✔         ✔

Operations manuals                                                                        ✔         ✔

5-year Franchise Agreement with the right to renew                                        ✔         ✔

Highly informative Support Site access                                                    ✔         ✔

Direct Debit system set-up                                                                ✔         ✔

Award-winning support and training for you and your staff                                 ✔         ✔

Access to a network of preferred suppliers                                                ✔         ✔

Selection of relevant course materials and books                                          ✔         ✔

First year’s attendance at the Annual Conference                                          ✔         ✔

Health Assured EAP                                                                        ✔         ✔

Whillans Tax Table                                                                         ✔           ✔

All accommodation and meals for your initial training course and follow-up training
                                                                                           ✔           ✔
at months 2, 3 and 6

Lasting Power of Attorney                                                                  ✔           ✔

IT equipment including laptop (with 3-year next day warranty), docking station,                     Optional -
monitor, secure USB drive, keyboard and mouse. Office 365 E3 and Hosted                    ✔        additional
Desktop with automated backup and remote support for twelve months                                    cost

Initial Marketing Campaign including 25 guaranteed free qualified leads within 12
months. If for any reason this is not met, we will refund £200 per lead for reinvest-      ✔
ment to the business under our no quibble guarantee.

£300 contribution to a virtual office                                                      ✔

Payroll software for the first year                                                        ✔

Software Suite: 3 months’ free usage of TaxCalc & Practice Ignition and 6 month’s
free usage of Receipt Bank                                                                 ✔

First year’s Membership to AMLCC (Anti- Money Laundering Compliance service)               ✔

First years Membership to a networking group of your choice                                ✔

Telephone answering service for the first year                                             ✔

First year free for the TaxAssist Training Academy                                         ✔

First year free for BACA Media                                                             ✔

3 months’ free BACA                                                                        ✔

12m single license for TaxAssist Accountants Telecoms system                               ✔

12m free fee protection (to assist your clients during HMRC investigations)                ✔

Tier 1 Fee Bank Acquisition Service                                                        ✔

Sky AdSmart campaign                                                                       ✔

Franchisee case study
         A featured case study from one of our franchisees.

Ali Redwood
Portishead and Clifton, Bristol

Since joining TaxAssist Accountants in
2010, Ali Redwood has successfully
grown her practice from an office in
Portishead and, in summer 2016, a shop
in Clifton in Bristol, where she and her
team of five staff look after over 250
clients. Here, she shares her experiences
of running her business.
“Having started my working career in a bank, I
then progressed into various managerial roles
culminating in running my family business
alongside my husband,” explained Ali. “We had
a construction firm which, over a period of 12
years, we developed from a small business
turning over £80,000 to a medium-sized                “I didn’t want to be 'just an accountant'. After
company with annual sales over £5million and          attending a TaxAssist Discovery Day, it was
employing 80 people.                                  great to realise that I was actually expected to
“This experience equipped me with sound               run the business, employing accountants to do
knowledge of accounting and finance skills            the operational side. This was exactly what I
required for small businesses, especially those       wanted and what I was looking for.
that wanted to grow. It also gave me real             “For my research, I did a lot of reading up on
passion and joy in running my own business            the franchise and spoke to many franchisees to
and this stayed with me when I moved on to            hear how their businesses were going. I also
my next position as a Finance Manager                 completed marketing and financial business
covering internal investment.                         plans.
“As I grew tired of corporate life, I started         “I was lucky in that I had a decent personal
looking at options to start my own business           pension and was able to utilise some of this for
again. Owning a TaxAssist Accountants                 start-up finance. I also found my bank, who
franchise appealed to me, as I valued the on-         understood the benefits of franchising, were
going support and readymade systems which             very supportive and able to offer me a
would fast track my business.

competitive loan for the balance of the funding        that the franchise you are looking at works for
I needed.                                              you in this way. By speaking to other female
                                                       franchisees, you can understand if this will
“A typical day for me is a mix of meeting with
                                                       work for you.
new and existing clients, managing my staff,
supervising work and networking. I joined              “The business is doing well and growing at a
several networking groups, some mixed and              good pace. The main areas where I invest most
some women only. Having moved to Bristol to            of my time are business and team development
start my business, I knew no-one and the               and improving the customer experience. It
support offered by networking was invaluable. I        took some time to establish, but I now have an
no longer network as much, but maintain                exceptionally good team in place, who are now
regular contact with female friends I met via          taking on responsibilities with managing clients.
networking.                                            This frees up my time to develop the
                                                       business. I hope to open a third premise within
“The support from the franchisor and fellow
                                                       the next three years.
franchisees has been amazing and helped me
set up the business. We are not in competition         “I feel that I am now building an asset for a
with each other, due to our exclusive                  comfortable retirement, which I would not be
territories and it gives us a real opportunity to      in a position to do, had I remained in
work together and support each other. You              employment. If you asked me if I would do it all
tend to find that you have your own business           again – the answer is definitely yes!”
but you are not on your own. My staff get
great training from the courses provided and I
get the benefit of on-going great marketing and
operational support.
“TaxAssist provides a comprehensive initial six
-week training course, followed up by further
training days at months 2, 3 and 6. This is
complemented by onsite visits and of course
the Support Team are available to chat to on
the technical and marketing helplines.
“If you are thinking of buying a TaxAssist
franchise, I would advise you to remember that
it is a marathon and not a sprint. It takes time
and hard work to grow, but I now have a solid
business. Listen to the advice and training given
to you by your franchisor. I feel it is vital to use
the tools, systems and support available to you
to ensure you achieve your goals.
“The main advice I would give to anyone
looking to invest in a franchise more generally,
is to make sure you have a great franchise.
They need to have a solid track record and
allow you to contact as many of their
franchisees as you can when researching your
chosen area. If you are looking to build a
franchise business around your family, it’s vital

Investment required
             A breakdown of the estimated start-up costs and ongoing fees when joining as a franchisee.

Franchise Fee (new territory)
Initial sum (excluding VAT)                                                           £39,950

Additional set-up costs
In addition to the Franchise Fee you will also need to consider the total investment. This very much
depends on your geographical location, whether starting in a shop or an office, initial staff requirements
etc. You also need to include your personal drawings to be able to still pay your home bills including
mortgage, rent, food shopping, etc.
The total investment is the sum displayed as a simple formula:
Franchise Fee + Business Expenses + Your Drawings = Total Investment*
TaxAssist is AAA rated with the banks we work with and they know our franchise model well. Banks
will typically lend up to 70% of the total investment amount.
Your total investment amount will be apparent after you have attended a Discovery Day and
completed a Business Plan (both carry no obligation and are free of charge).
*For a Resale, the formula will differ

Mandatory Ongoing Costs
Management Service Fees
Ongoing fees payable monthly for the continuing guidance, marketing and technical help from the
Support Centre. Fees are charged as outlined below and based on income received by you.

                                                 Band               Rate
                            First               £145,000             9%
                            Second              £145,000             6%
                            Third               £145,000             3%
                            All Further Sales                        1%

Our Management Service Fee is set so as your sales income increases the rate payable to us decreases.

Brand Awareness & Client Acquisition Fund (BACA)
 Calculated and payable on a monthly basis, increasing by £60 per year           £1,920pa (from month 4)

BACA Media
Sales in the last 12 months (up to £49,999)                                     £50pcm (from month 13)

Sales in the last 12 months (up to £99,999)                                     £75pcm

Sales in the last 12 months (up to £149,999)                                    £100pcm

Sales in the last 12 months (£150,000+)                                         £125pcm

 Inbound qualified leads (first 25 leads included in franchise fee)              £55 per lead

 The TaxAssist Accountants Training Academy provides bespoke training            £65pcm per
 courses to franchisees and staff in Norwich and at regional centres around      territory
 the UK, your first 12 months are included in your package

 TaxCalc Software (first three months free)                                   £175pcm (from month 4)
 (£175 is the monthly fee for up to 5 employees)
 Practice Ignition (first three months free)                                  £15pcm per 100 clients up
                                                                              to max. £150pcm (from
                                                                              month 4)
 Receipt Bank (six months free, following training at month 2)                £125pcm per 100 clients,
                                                                              price increase per next 100
                                                                              clients (from month 9),
                                                                              capped at £350pcm

 BrightPay Payroll (first year’s subscription inc. in package)                £229 pa (approx.)

 Remote hosted desktop, remote support, managed cloud backup, anti-    £66 per user pcm
 malware software and MS Office 365 E3, including MS Hosted Exchange,
 MS Office, MS Teams, Skype for Business and MS OneDrive for Business.
 (first twelve months inc. in package)

Other example costs to consider
Commercial premises costs
Commercial office lease (per calendar month)                                     £400-£700

Shop front lease (per calendar month)                                            £1,000-£2,000

Shop front re-fit (depending on premises), including planning permission/        £18,000-£21,000
advertising consent costs as required

Virtual office (£300 contribution from Franchise Package)                        £50-£100 pcm

(Prices would vary between regions)

Furniture & equipment
Office furniture                                                                 £1,800 (approx.)

Black and white laser printer                                                    £400 (approx.)

Mobile phone (per calendar month)                                                £40 (approx.)

Fax                                                                              £120 (approx.)

Shop telephone system                                                            £79 (set up charge
(approx. cost depending on requirements)                                         +£65 pcm
Office telephone system (per calendar month)                                     £25 (set up charge)
(approx. costs depending on requirements)                                        + £17 pcm per staff

Other start-up costs
Legal fees (optional)                                                            £400-£600

Professional indemnity insurance                                                 £600 (approx.)

First 12 months general marketing (networking, advertising, etc.)                £5,000

Individual working capital (to be considered) will vary on an individual basis

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