TaxAssist Accountants signs up 20,000th client

After a busy period of meeting the January 31st tax return deadline, TaxAssist Accountants has signed up its 20,000th client, reports Rachel Spaul

'Signing up 20,000 clients is a feat most accountancy networks would love to boast,' says Sarah Robertson, TaxAssist Accountants Business Development Director. 'The fact that we have now reached the 20,000 client mark shows that clients are happy with the TaxAssist Accountants offering.

'This comes on the back of successful marketing campaigns and professional training and support given to our network. We have also just hit the 30 per cent referral rate, which means our customers are happily telling others about us. We look forward to working with our franchisees for continued growth and success within their practices.'

TaxAssist Accountants offers a range of services specifically matched to the needs of small business throughout the UK, with services ranging from the completion of end of year accounts and annual tax returns to payroll, VAT and bookkeeping. This is further complemented by additional services designed to help small business owners maximise their financial position including debt recovery, independent financial advice and personnel (HR) services.

The company aims to provide a friendly, prompt service with fixed fees agreed in advance which are payable in monthly instalments, making cash flow easier to manage. This allows their clients to concentrate on what they do best, with the assurance that their accountancy needs are being well looked after.

As part of a national network of over 160 offices, 47 of which are shop front premises, TaxAssist Accountants provides a local service with the full back-up of a national organisation. The shops are aimed at attracting the local small and medium sized business owner with a fresh, modern and stylish look. The properties are located throughout the UK and cover all aspects of accounting and tax work.

Living the high life

With a client portfolio that includes Claudia Schiffer's Stylist and her Chauffeur, TaxAssist Accountants' Franchisees of the Year 2006, Debbie Corbett and Vince Dalaimo, are living the high life in Central London.

A branded electric car is just one of the marketing initiatives that Debbie and Vince have employed to advertise their small business accountancy services within Central London. And their strategies have proven highly effective with around 400 businesses using their services including fashion stylists, graphic designers, a plastic surgeon, and even Claudia Schiffer's Stylist and her Chauffeur.

Launched in 2001, the business currently turns over £300,000 per year with one shop front and five employees. Debbie and Vince are aiming to open two more shop fronts in Central London and to build the business to 25 employees. 'I love meeting with my clients and helping them to grow their businesses,' Debbie lists as one of the high points of being a TaxAssist Accountant. 'Strategic business planning over a cup of tea is really enjoyable. It's really great to be able to empower business owners to become successful.'

When delivering their accountancy services, which include bookkeeping, payroll, tax and accountancy, Debbie and Vince can draw on a wealth of information provided by the franchisor. 'As you become more experienced, the support you need changes, and TaxAssist delivers this. There are certain aspects that are particularly beneficial,' reveals Debbie.

'Firstly, we don't need to research anything. If a client comes up with something unusual we can email the Support Centre and they'll do the research for us. Secondly, we can ring the other Accountants with practical problems to discuss how they cope with them. Also, the franchisor keeps us up to date on changes in legislation. For instance, when new money laundering regulations were introduced, the Support Centre produced all the new contracts, policies and documents for us, which would have taken a huge amount of resources.'

Having followed the TaxAssist Accountants story for several years before finally joining the company, Debbie believes the business offers the right combination of long-term vision and steady growth. 'When I first discovered the company they had 40 Accountants, they now have 160. They've invested a lot of money and effort into improving the company, and they offer real value for money compared with other franchises. Their only problem is ensuring they are attracting the right calibre of people.'

Debbie and Vince are typical of the type of people TaxAssist Accounts are aiming to attract. CEO Karl Sandall clarifies: 'You do not need to be a qualified accountant to be a franchisee, although a good commercial brain, and a desire to succeed are essential.'