The founder 

Whilst working in practice in 1995, John Westgarth FCA saw an opening in the marketplace, realising that the small business sector was often over charged by larger accountancy practices, and poorly serviced by smaller practices. Business owners were not always proactively supported in looking for ways to reduce their tax liabilities and in helping them to develop their businesses. He anticipated that the demand for such a service would be ideal for a franchise network and TaxAssist Accountants was formed.  

Following a period as a partner in a national firm of Chartered Accountants, John went on to build up and sell on a number of accountancy practices over a 20-year period. He 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 franchise model and support infrastructure.  

For personal reasons, the original Master Franchisees relinquished the Master Franchise rights in 2020 and a new company was created: TaxAssist Direct Australia Pty Ltd. Experienced businesswoman Mandy Sigaloff was appointed as Managing Director for Australia to drive up the growth of the network with a shareholding in the company, with The TaxAssist Group as the majority shareholder. 


Franchising is a proven, tried and tested route into self-employment and the banks are supportive in providing funding, as there is a lower rate of failure than going into business alone. Through franchising we knew we could maximise growth potential to the mutual advantage of both TaxAssist Accountants and our franchisees. Franchising helps to minimise the risks and pitfalls usually associated with business start-ups, by providing specific guidance for franchisees newly into business. 

Franchisees pay an initial investment to us, the franchisor, which covers the initial set up requirements. This includes initial training, marketing, identification of premises and IT equipment, amongst many other things, which enables a franchisee to hit the ground running (a full break down can be viewed in our prospectus). Franchisees then pay a percentage of their monthly turnover to the franchisor, in return for ongoing business support. The support of a franchise removes many of the hurdles of starting and growing your own business. 

The Franchise Council of Australia is the peak body for the $172billion franchise business segment, which includes over 1,300 networks, with 94,000+ individual franchised outlets, employing more than 565,251 people. TaxAssist is a ‘Full’ and long-standing Member of the Franchise Council of Australia (FCA) and adheres to their Code of Ethics. 

 Growth of the Brand 

Our intention, through the growth of our brand across Australia, is to establish ourselves as the natural choice for small business owners. 


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