A day in the life: TaxAssist Accountants – Vince Dalaimo

TaxAssist Accountants is an innovative and award-winning franchise servicing small businesses and the self-employed, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.

Services offered include year-end accounts, tax returns, bookkeeping, VAT returns, payroll and cash flow projections. After consistently winning awards in both the franchising and accountancy sectors, TaxAssist has grown to become the 25th largest network of accountants in the UK servicing more than 53,000 clients from more than 245 shops and offices. Vince Dalaimo joined the franchise in 2003 as he could see the value in the TaxAssist brand name and support. He previously worked as a senior product controller in credit derivatives for the Royal Bank of Canada, is a qualified accountant who also worked for Deutsche Bank, supervising and training teams on corporate and government bond work and for JP Morgan, as a team leader on USA Swaps and latterly as Vice President of structured finance.

Here, Vince shares what might be on the agenda in the typical day of a TaxAssist Accountants franchise owner: “I have worked as an accountant now for 13 years. With this franchise, the structure of the day very much depends on where we are in the tax year.

I usually get up at seven in the morning; I am quite a slow starter in the morning and it takes me about an hour and a half to get ready! I only live five minutes away from work, I specifically chose a job close to where I live for this reason, so I don’t have to waste time travelling.

The working day
I am the first one to open the office at 8:30 AM, and mostly start the day checking emails. The staff start arriving at 9:00 AM, and I will chat with them to ask what they are going to do with their day; staff will tell me who is coming along, and it might be that there is a certain client that I need to speak to.

I don’t actually do the work; I tend to be more client-facing, so if clients come in, I will have a word with them, manage staff and deal with any issues or concerns that arise during the day.

At the moment, we are potentially going to open up a new shop in King’s Cross, London, and there is quite a lot of planning going on around that: signing the legal contracts and getting the builders in to give us quotes for the work.

About three days a week, I disappear to go to the gym; I try to break up my day, and that would usually be early afternoon. Lunchtimes can get busy, because clients or local people might pop in during their lunch break to have a quick chat, so I always make sure I am around for that.

The days can vary. At the moment, because the tax deadlines are out of the way and it is a new tax year starting, we are very much in a planning stage for the year. There is a lull with work, so we tend to spend this time looking at projects and deciding over and above the normal work that we do, what projects we want to spend our spare time on, and what accounting projects we are going to push forward. There is quite a lot of planning at this stage.

I leave work at about 7:15pm. It is a long day, 8:30 to 7:15, but if you have a break in the afternoon, it makes a longer day shorter.” Vince works in partnership across two shop front premises in central London with fellow franchise owner Debbie Corbett. They joined TaxAssist Accountants individually, but took the decision to combine forces in 2005. As well as shops in Holborn and Southwark they are also partners in Martin Thomas’ Victoria franchise.

Vince confirms that they are planning to open more shops in Central London.

“Probably one this year and more next year, and we are looking for more accountants keen to grow their own accountancy practice, to work with us within a business model which is tried and tested and has a proven track record, he concludes.”