Karl Sandall, Group Chief Executive Director of TaxAssist Accountants, offers his take on a highly successful 2019 for the leading small business tax and accountancy franchise.
Despite the political and economic uncertainty which has marked much of 2019, I am very pleased to report continued strong growth across all KPIs. We now have over 226 franchise areas in the UK, looking after more than 76,000 clients with a collective fee bank of £50 million, as well as a growing network in the Republic of Ireland and Australia.
We are also happy to report network client growth of 7%, fee bank growth of 8% and sales growth of 9%, a higher rate than one of the Big 4 accountancy practices.
In 2019, we recruited 23 new franchisees, including 15 new franchisees, six successful resales (with good multiples due to practice efficiency) and two new partners. This is a growth rate of 13% on 2018, which is very much bucking current franchise industry trends.
I put this down to a number of factors: our well-established brand including a network of 226 highly visible high street shops, 136 offices, our support teams and systems, the banks’ willingness to lend to new franchisees because of network successes and our increasing dominance in the small business accountancy arena. I strongly feel that the benefits and additional security that franchising provide will gain in popularity as a business model for future investors.
Over the last few years we have seen increased pressure to keep pace with the biggest technological revolution the profession has ever seen.
Principals of accounting practices have a huge amount of challenges to manage, including regulatory, technological and cultural shifts. As a leading and dedicated franchisor, we see our role as taking as much of this burden away from our network as possible.
We have invested a huge amount of time and resource to research, evaluate and train the network on our market-leading software estate, which includes Quickbooks, TaxCalc, Practice Ignition and Receipt Bank and the level of support and guidance will increase throughout 2020. It is always uppermost in our minds to help each TaxAssist Accountant run an efficient, profitable practice and to ensure our software estate attracts and retains every kind of small business client.