I perceive that it will be too expensive to go into shop front premises in my area. Is it absolutely necessary for me to make this move?
You will have up until the end of the third year to find and move into a shop front. We have franchisees who have managed to find good shop front premises when at first glance there appeared to be nothing remotely suitable. It is location, location, location translated as visibility, accessibility and affordability. This will help you to achieve the growth that we both seek.
I am a qualified accountant without a tax certificate. How do I obtain this, or can I operate without one?
You will need to either obtain a Tax Agent license or employ someone within your practice who holds one. Some assistance can be given in regard to this in both training towards qualifying for a Tax Agent license, or through our technical support, by way of a commercial agreement, providing you with a service whereby we hold the Tax Agent license for your practice in the short to medium term.
How much net profit can I earn from my operation?
This is really down to you, but we want you to build up your turnover and profits consistently, aiming for a turnover of $500,000 + after five years. Our training covers the staffing requirements for your business and we expect a third of your turnover to cover the costs of running your franchise, with a third payable for your staff, leaving you with a third of your turnover as net profit.
Do I have to pay a deposit? If so, is it refundable?
If we offer you a franchise, you can reserve an exclusive postcode territory for 30 days for which we require a deposit of 10% of the Franchise Fee.
If you enter into a Franchise Agreement with us then the Deposit will be credited against the initial Franchise Fee. If, for any reason, the Franchise Agreement is not signed before two weeks prior to the Commencement Date, then we will agree to refund the Deposit less a sum to cover any expenses incurred by us.
I am a qualified accountant. Do I still need to go on all of the training and pay the full franchise fee?
We understand that you would naturally wish to avoid any unnecessary duplication and expenditure, but because we have correctly identified a niche in the market, our training is specifically tailored to address that niche and nothing else. Past experience has shown that even fully qualified accountants will benefit from full participation in our training course. However, if you are already an accountant in practice, it is possible, subject to confirmation of your background and qualifications, that we could offer a reduction in the training you need to attend and, therefore, a reduction in the Franchise Fee payable to us. This will be at our discretion.
Can I talk to some of your existing franchisees?
We would need your CV and Application Form to assess your suitability before giving names and contact details out. We will give you access to the whole network, after you have attended a Discovery Day, and we would encourage you to speak to at least six franchisees as part of your research.
What if I already have clients before becoming a TaxAssist Accountant?
We have recruited accountants who already have a block of clients of their own acquired during the period before they joined us. We have been asked to consider whether some relief can be given against charging our normal rates of Management Service Fees. Our policy for this scenario is subject to a minimum fee base of $10,000 being involved, we will allow the fees introduced or acquired to be kept in a separate pool, and for two years only we will not charge Management Service Fees on these fees. After two years these fees will be amalgamated with other fees acquired during the TaxAssist Accountants Franchise term to form one pool, and full Management Service Fees will be payable on the total pool of fees.
For how long is the franchise granted and is there a fee payable on renewal?
The term of the Franchise Agreement is five years, but this is renewable by you every five years for an administration fee of $1,000 – assuming you have operated the franchise as set out in the Franchise Agreement including meeting your minimum targets. In most cases we anticipate franchisees will renew the agreement to continue the franchise every five years until they dispose of it at some future date. We also now offer at our discretion a 10-year plus Franchise Agreement.
Does this contract permit me to sell my business?
Yes, the client base is a considerable asset built up and owned by you. There are various deferred fees to consider, which are laid out in our Franchise Agreement, which you would factor into your selling price.
How do you justify your franchise fees and why should I join TaxAssist Accountants rather than one of the other accounting franchises?
Formed in 1995, we are the leading franchised accounting organisation with many years experience of operating a substantial international network of branded offices that is well recognised and respected.
We have a highly visible presence with over 300 shop fronts and offices, and we are growing around the world. The shop front brand in Australia is supplemented by the many branded cars driving around the country, national advertising, online presence and marketing collateral. We constantly look to be at the forefront in terms of brand awareness, technical training and support for business growth. Our training courses, practice management software, as well as a raft of bolt-on relevant business services our franchisees can offer their clients at significantly discounted prices means in our opinion, that we are market leaders whose offering far outweighs the competition.
Along with our Master Franchisee for QLD, NSW, ACT and VIC, and our Master Franchisee for WA, SA and NT the five UK Executive Directors 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; 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; James Mattam has spent his entire full time career with TaxAssist Accountants and has vast exerience in IT, marketing, business development and training and Daren Moore has over 26 years' experience in the accountancy practice sector, having worked his way up from accounts trainee to a member of the Management Board of Price Bailey LLP where he had an outstanding track record of achievement.
In May 2015 Terry Murphy acquired the Master Franchise Rights in Australia for Queensland, New South Wales, ACT, and most recently, Victoria. An experienced accountant with practices already in QLD and NSW, Terry has established his franchise support team and has recruited four franchisees in Sydney CBD, Chatswood, Liverpool and Nerang.
Steve Herlihy, along with his business partner Tricia Kingston also saw the opportunity TaxAssist Accountants would offer to leverage developments in integrated technology, cloud-based security and emerging trends in accounting services. In January 2018, they acquired the Regional Master Franchise Rights for TaxAssist Accountants in Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory. This acquisition also brought with it over 23 years of international experience, and award-winning technical and marketing support for a global network of circa 220 franchised areas supporting over 76,000 clients.
Alison McGinley is our Republic of Ireland Master Franchisee. With a Support Centre in Dublin, TaxAssist in Ireland has grown to a network of 18 franchisees servicing over 5,500 small business clients with a combined fee bank of over €5.3 million.
What exclusive rights do you get?
You will be allocated an exclusive marketing territory defined mainly by postcode boundaries. No other TaxAssist Accountant can market directly in your area or vice versa. When you and other franchisees carry out local advertising in publications covering more than one franchise area, then the normal procedure is to share costs and divide out responses according to the geographical areas covered by you. However, should you receive a genuine recommendation from a potential client outside your exclusive marketing territory then you can act for that person.
May I have a copy of your Franchise Agreement?
Yes, we will be pleased to give you a copy of the draft agreement along with the Franchise Disclosure Document in accordance with the Australian Franchising Code of Conduct following your Discovery Day.
What fees do I charge?
We give you guidance on the level of fees that you should charge your clients, but the final decision on the exact amount is up to you.
Is the business seasonal?
No. A client’s accounts are made up to financial year-end dates that can be at any time of the year. Many tax returns are received in July when they are issued by the Australian Tax Office, but these do not have to be completed and returned until the following 15th May. We have strategies to ensure that cashflow is even throughout the year.
Is there an extra cost if I wish to bring my partner on the initial training course?
Yes, there will be an additional cost, because the Franchise Fee applies to only one person. We make our training course costs as reasonable as we can for partners/staff, etc., because it is beneficial for both franchisee and franchisor to have a well-trained network. Please ask for further details on costs on or after your Discovery Day.
Do you train me? Who pays for my training?
Full and professional initial and ongoing training is provided to all franchisees. Accounting and tax training is provided by in-house staff or specialist training partners. The initial training course, which lasts for six weeks, is included in the Franchise Fee.
We also provide further update days, operations manuals, a support website, which offers our franchisees access to technical releases, frequently asked questions, online tutorials, advice and the ability to update your own website.
What sort of person does TaxAssist Accountants look for?
Whilst a background in accounting is desirable, the main attribute we look for is the determination to develop a successful business. We recruit accountants and non-accountants alike. General business acumen and people skills are essential as the franchisee will be responsible for developing relationships with existing and prospective clients, as well as looking after staff needs.
All financial information in this prospectus or website, with the exception of any financial information in the international section, is intended only for prospective franchisees in the US. This information is based on actual historic information provided to us by our operating franchisees in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia, and not elsewhere. Accordingly, if you are considering operating a TaxAssist franchise in any other country, do not review or rely on this information. It relates to US only, and the differences between the US and your country in respect of how long the system has been operating, the reputation and goodwill of the brand, the economic environment, competitors, industry associations and other factors make this US information inapplicable to you. If we have elected to provide financial information for your country, it will be expressly set out in the international section.
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