The History of TaxAssist Accountants in the UK
Whilst working in practice in 1995, John Westgarth FCA saw an opening in the market place, when he figured out that small businesses would need help with their accounts in the wake of self-assessment. He anticipated that the demand for such a service would be ideal for a franchise network, and TaxAssist Accountants was formed. Following a period as a partner in a national firm of Chartered Accountants, John went on to build up and sell on a number of accountancy practices over a 20 year period. He made use of his experience and knowledge of how to build up a successful accountancy practice specialising in looking after small businesses, having himself built up a client base of 500 with a turnover of over $500k, to develop the TaxAssist Accountants business model and support infrastructure.
TaxAssist Accountants was founded in the UK in 1995 by a group of dedicated professionals and based on a concept that was, and still is, fundamentally simple: to bring first class professional services to the small business owner. Our aim is to continue to expand in a controlled manner to become a UK wide (and also now International) network of people all working hard to succeed in both financial and personal terms.
Through franchising we knew we could maximise growth potential to the mutual advantage of both TaxAssist Accountants and our Franchisees. Franchising helps to minimise the risks and pitfalls usually associated with business start-ups, by providing specific guidance for franchisees newly into business.
Since recruiting our first franchisee in the UK in 1996 our philosophy has naturally evolved with a large percentage of our network now operating from shop-style premises. Our strategy is to continue to recruit new franchisees who share in our vision, and to facilitate the move of remaining franchisees into similar shop-style premises.
Our intention, through the growth of our brand across the country, is to further establish ourselves as the “natural choice” for small businesses.
TaxAssist Accountants Timeline
Karl Sandall joins TaxAssist Accountants as Chief Executive and Director.
After extensive research, the integrated software suite offered by CCH is launched across the network.
Sarah Robertson joins the TaxAssist Accountants Board as Business Development Director.
With full network agreement, the name of the franchise is changed from TaxAssist Direct to TaxAssist Accountants. This decision was made so that the franchisees’ potential clients could more clearly understand the core services being provided.
Phil Sullivan joins the Board of Directors as Network Operations and Finance Director.
The Master Franchise Rights are awarded to an established firm of Accountants in the Republic of Ireland.
TaxAssist Accountants wins the BFA Franchisor of the Year Award.
TaxAssist Accountants enters the Accountancy Age survey for the first time as the 34th largest accountancy firm with growth in sales of 19.9%, one of just six top 60 firms that achieved double-digit growth.
Sarah Robertson wins 2020 Innovation Group ‘Marketing Person of the Year’ for the second time (she previously won the award in 2007).
100th TaxAssist shop opens.
Our commitment to training leads to the founding of the TaxAssist Accountants Training Academy. This is made up of our in house team of qualified accountants and specialist trainers, who design and deliver our initial and ongoing face to face and online, and Continuing Professional Development programmes. This partnership ensures that materials are up to date, directly relevant to our network and of the highest quality.
Debbie Corbett and Vince Dalaimo become the first franchisees in the history of the network to exceed the £1 million ($1.9million) fee bank milestone.
TaxAssist Accountants wins ‘Best Large Franchisor’ awarded by Smith & Henderson.
TaxAssist Accountants voted winner of ‘The Accountancy Firm of The Year’ award by the members of the Association of International Accountants (AIA) beating global groups and industry giants
150th Shop front opens.
For the third year running, Smith & Henderson awards TaxAssist Accountants the award for ‘Best Training and Support’. We are also awarded a ‘5 star franchisee satisfaction Recognition Award’ In the Accountancy Age Top 50 listings, TaxAssist Accountants beats the “Big 4” international groups achieving the fifth highest growth across the whole Top 50.
A TaxAssist Accountants resale breaks the million pound barrier when Mark Fordham sells his franchise to Mike Melling.
TaxAssist Ireland breaks into the Top 20 Accountancy Firms in the Republic.
The Network has a record start to 2014 when for the first time, a Franchisee exceeds £100,000 ($190,000) sales in one month.
The Master Franchise Rights are awarded to Rina Mancini for the Greater Toronto area of Canada.
TaxAssist Accountants are up to 25th in the Annual Accountancy Age Top 50 survey.
Franchisee Assisted Management Buyout. John Westgarth retires as Chairman and Director after TaxAssist Accountants completes a MBO. This sees the business 32% owned by franchisees, 53% by the senior management team and 15% by long-standing external business partners. This is believed to be the UK’s first ever franchisee-assisted management buyout.
UK network client total reaches 50,000.
TaxAssist in the Republic of Ireland celebrate 5 years of success at their Annual Conference. They have built up to a network of 26 franchisees with a fee bank of over €5,000,000 and over 5000 clients.
Accountancy Age publish their Financial Power List 2015 with CEO of The TaxAssist Direct Group Ltd Karl Sandall making it to number 50.
Alison McGinley of TaxAssist Ireland wins the Irish Franchise Association award ''Irish Franchising Woman of the year'
British Franchise Association / HSBC Franchisor of the Year Awards Bronze Winner.
The Master Franchise Rights are awarded to Terry Murphy for Queensland, New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory, Australia.
At the Smith & Henderson awards, TaxAssist Accountants won the award for ‘Best Franchise with total investment £75k plus’. We were again awarded a ‘5 star franchisee satisfaction’.