TaxAssist sees rapid growth since £1m resale

High street accountancy franchise network TaxAssist completed its first million-pound office resale last year and has since seen "rapid growth" in the practice.

In early October last year, financial services and consulting expert Mike Melling bought the Harpenden and St Albans franchise from Mark Fordham at a multiple of 1.25 of revenues. 

Melling told AccountingWEB that the new practice under his management will continue to trade under the TaxAssist brand and that there were no out-of-the-ordinary terms and conditions associated with the resale. However, he confirmed that "various measures were put in place to ensure a smooth transition", including client events and a handover period where Fordham has been present. Since completion the practice has continued to grow.

Despite a backdrop of high street and retail failures, he has already expanded the territory to include Radlett and Shenley, and is looking to double the 850-client base over the next five years. Since October the number of clients has already risen by 50 up to 900 in total.

Last month he told whichfranchise.com:

Continued...

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Comments

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query | | Permalink

I wonder how long the practice acquired had been trading for as a franchise?

robertlovell's picture

10 years    1 thanks

robertlovell | | Permalink

Mark Fordham established the Harpenden and St Albans offices 10 years ago

Glennzy's picture

I often how well these franchises did.

Glennzy | | Permalink

As someone leaving employment to go it alone I often wondered how well these things did, I assumed most franchisees were left unhappy and out of pocket. This has obviously worked well for this guy, although I am sure he had to put a lot of effort in to get 800 clients. There is a tax assist near me and they are chartered accountants and not unqualified bookkeepers as indicated above.

macdougall's picture

My dentist is called Brian.  

macdougall | | Permalink

My dentist is called Brian.   He has a superb brain.

zarathustra's picture

Not just about the franchise system    1 thanks

zarathustra | | Permalink

You could argue that it was more about having capital to invest than a franchise system as such.

It stands to reason that a new accountant startup will have a better chance of growing if they have capital to invest than if they are on a shoestring.

That goes whether they choose to invest in a franchise or just invest in building their practice.

That said, you cant knock him. The boy done good !

Franchise system

taxassist | | Permalink

zarathustra wrote:

You could argue that it was more about having capital to invest than a franchise system as such.

It stands to reason that a new accountant startup will have a better chance of growing if they have capital to invest than if they are on a shoestring.

Hi @zarathrustra, Mark followed the franchise system well and also brought his own personality and flavour but there has to be a system in place and investing in the right system should pay dividends as it has for Mark.  We are extremely pleased for Mark and help our exisitng accountants with their exit planning and we are excited about what Mike can and already has brought to this practice. 

I have to agree zara....    1 thanks

justsotax | | Permalink

whilst i don't doubt that some of the success has been down to the individuals involved and the franchise system, having money to throw at marketing/website/training/shop fit out etc helps...and would help whether a franchise or not.

 

Imagine starting with a blank piece of paper....a pen....and nowt in the bank.....then try growing a practice of substance in a short period.....not impossible....but certainly difficult! 

mr. mischief's picture

my thoughts    1 thanks

mr. mischief | | Permalink

Personally I judge rival firms to a large extent on the quality and timeliness of the handover information I receive when I win clients from them.  Local Chartered practices - which include one national award winner, and award winner on this site too - vary greatly from 2 out of 10 (rubbish data with holes in sent patchily after 4 months) to 9 out of 10 (the award winner and one other - always quality data with no holes, within a month usually).

I've won a couple off the local Tax Assist guy, 8 out of 10.

Not quite as hole-free as the two 9 out of 10s, but LOTS better than the average local Chartered practice and MILES better than the 2 out of 10 ones.

So on that basis I am pretty positive about Tax Assist.  As an ICAEW myself - albeit I can't any longer be bothered paying the subs for zilch value - I don't think I have an axe to grind.

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query | | Permalink

how much does a franchisee typically have to pay to the franchisor annually?

 

and how does the franchisor help the franchisee grow?

Thanks for your questions

taxassist | | Permalink

query wrote:

how much does a franchisee typically have to pay to the franchisor annually?

and how does the franchisor help the franchisee grow?

A franchisee pays a percentage of their turnover (around 6-9% but there are varying bands which decline as a franchisee grows) so they are only paying us when they make their money.  We have 192 franchisees all paying varying amounts dependent on where they are in their business.

We help franchisees grow in a number of ways I am mindful as to what point the editor of AW considers this selling!  We run a free Discovery Day which explains everything we do for our franchisees. We only award franchises to the right people who can run a practice to our model.