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TaxAssist Accountants is making a big impact on small business

TaxAssist Accountants is making a big impact on small business

TaxAssist Accountants is primed for a strong U.S. launch.

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One of the most well regarded U.K. franchises is further expanding its global reach as it finalizes the launch of its first U.S. location – which is just the latest step in its journey to dominate small business accounting on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as around the world.

British success story TaxAssist Accountants arrives in North America following its growth in Ireland and Australia. Supplying a “chronically under-served, fragmented market” according to David Paulson, SVP, franchise development, this isn’t about simply being another tax prep agent – it’s about becoming a pillar of your local business community.

“TaxAssist differentiates itself most prominently in our focus as ‘Small Business Champions’ and with the retail storefront model,” says Paulson. “We also have a business model and systems that are highly proven and well-thought-out in terms of its adaptability to the U.S. From our expansions in Ireland and Australia, we have gained experience and applied invaluable lessons learned as we’ve planned our expansion to the U.S. and Canada.”

That word ‘proven’ is key for franchisees: the brand has over 430 locations operating globally across the U.K., Ireland and Australia, with imminent openings on the way in New Jersey and Canada.

Collectively, franchisees service over 84,000 clients globally, with $76m in annual recurring fees.

Paulson says: “We might be an emerging player in the U.S. market, but globally that couldn’t be further from the truth – the Group Support Center employs 65 people with a combined 480 years’ experience at TaxAssist!

“That level of expertise delivers powerful support for every franchisee globally, and means that whatever they face, there are people to call on to help.”

The global network boasts an even more impressive figure, with a combined 2,001 years of experience as franchisees.

THREE STEPS TO SUCCESS

Paulson says there are three key reasons why TaxAssist is set to grow rapidly in the U.S.

“I see our success broadly as a function of three things: One, having a valuable offering and clear brand positioning, with substance. Two, we’ve always focused on only recruiting the right franchisees, with huge numbers of awards to prove it. And three, we know how to attract clients and grow franchises, we’ve been doing it for decades.”

TaxAssist is one of the largest accounting brands in the U.K. by turnover and by some distance the biggest specializing in the small business market. Providing more than simply accounting services (though the brand does that too), franchisees and their teams become trusted advisors to local business owners.

“TaxAssist franchisees help small business owners achieve more,” says Paulson. “This is a business that’s rewarding in so many more ways than just financially. In the pandemic more than ever we’ve seen how much support business owners need. And we’ve seen the importance of community, a renewed focus on all things local. That’s where our franchisees are – at the heart of their local community, operating from highly visible store fronts.

“It adds credibility, positions them alongside many of their clients, and it’s also a great marketing tool.”

MUCH DEMAND, LITTLE SUPPLY

The sheer scale of the demand should excite potential franchisees, Paulson believes.

“We will be filling a need in the marketplace, recognizing that small businesses need help and that there is nothing out there like we are offering. It is an under-served market. There are a staggering number of small businesses in the U.S. who play a key role in the economy and these business owners now need extra support from their accountant to help them to understand how their business is performing and to look ahead. They need to protect their business, plan for growth, consider financing, make key decisions and to plan for their own and their family’s future.”

“We might be an emerging player in the U.S. market, but globally that couldn’t be further from the truth”

And that plays into the brand’s strengths. “We have a very broad offering in terms of what we can do – a real one-stop-shop. There is nothing out there quite like the TaxAssist franchise model.

“There is huge potential and a real need for our services, which is why I believe now is the time to be opening a small business accounting practice.”

Backing up that point of view are figures released from the Paychex/IHS Markit Small Business Employment Watch, showing consistent rises in the Small Business Jobs Index this year. The data and general mood of optimism is promising, with many businesses returning to regular activity and increased vaccine availability.

People are enjoying the return to a degree of normality and there is a lot of pent-up desire to spend and socialize. That’s all good news for small business owners – the core client base of TaxAssist Accountants.

DISCOVERING MORE

To give potential franchisees the information they need, TaxAssist runs 45-minute Discovery Sessions to help people explore the opportunity. Renowned for its franchising ethics in its U.K. heartlands – with a string of accolades to prove it – there’s no hard sell involved.

“The Discovery Session is a 45-minute presentation held on Zoom or over the phone, at a time and day convenient to the individual,” explains Paulson. “It enables us to bring our fantastic opportunity to life, to explain how we help franchisees to build substantial accounting practices and to answer any and all questions. Topics covered include our background, the franchise package, our accounting and tax helpdesk and the marketing and business development support that we provide.”

The opportunity will appeal to CPA-experienced accountants working in industry, full-time tax preparers looking to scale up their business, individuals with a strong financial services or banking background, as well as those that already own an accounting or tax practice they wish to develop as part of a global brand.

Paulson concludes: “We see the same thing in the U.S. that we saw in the U.K. – the small business marketplace is ready for a brand to take control of that space on a nationwide level.

We’ve got the systems, the business model, and 25 years of innovation and success behind us. What we need is people who share our vision and passion for their community to drive the opportunity locally.”

AT A GLANCE

Established: 1995

Number of franchised outlets: 436

Location of units: U.K., Ireland, Australia, Canada

Available states: Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas Investment range: $130,000 - $180,000

Minimum required capital: $75,000

Contact: David Paulson, recruitment@taxassist.com

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