TaxAssist Direct is poised to expand its international franchising operations building on its UK and Ireland success
TaxAssist Direct Ltd (TAD) is the Franchisor for the TaxAssist Accountants network. With no accountancy practice of its own or other business concerns, the sole function of TAD is that of a training, marketing and support company servicing a network of franchised accountancy practices.
Established in 1995, TAD has developed a strong brand and a robust business model. Each Franchisee provides a comprehensive range of accountancy and taxation services to small businesses (self employed, sole traders' partnerships and Limited companies) and personal income tax payers.
TAD was founded with the specific remit to service small businesses, a sector that is usually under serviced by the traditional accountancy practices. TAD has gone through a period of change and has revolutionised accountancy practices in the UK by creating a retail experience with customer friendly shop front premises which strip away the mystery and intimidation that traditional practices can suffer.
As of March 2010, the UK network of 180 Franchisees has a combined fee bank in excess of £20 million from 33,000 clients and continues to see significant growth.
TAD now has over 60% of their UK network in retail (shop front) based locations which, coupled with industry leading marketing strategies and the one-stop-shop services provided in house along with additional service providers, gives TAD a powerful edge over the competition.
The business enjoys full membership status with the British Franchise Association (bfa) and is proud to support and adhere to their Code of Ethics. As an active bfa member TAD has won (silver) awards in the prestigious HSBC / bfa Franchisor of the Year award category in 2008 & 2009.
It has been shortlisted along with McDonalds and Domino Pizza for the 2010 Franchisor of the Year Award whilst in 2009 their Franchisee for St Albans (Mark Fordham) won Bronze in the Franchisee of the Year award.
In 2009 TAD awarded its first Master Franchise License to the Republic of Ireland (ROI). The Master Franchise Rights were awarded to an established accountancy practice that was already successful in its own right but wanted to grow nationally and saw the value in the TAD brand, experience and support.
Having opened their pilot operation, the Master in ROI has recruited 5 Franchisees and is looking forward to growing the brand across the country.
Having proven that the concept can be replicated in the Republic of Ireland and that ongoing training and consultancy support can be given to a Master Franchisee, Karl Sandall, Chief Executive, is excited and passionate to be able to offer its Master Franchise Rights to selected international markets. Whilst there are many differences between the UK and the target countries, both cultural and legal, there is one constant – every country has a high number of small businesses and the employed that have to pay tax and are in need of a professional accountancy service.
As part of their support to franchisees, TAD hold an impressive annual conference with the 2010 conference being held in Warwickshire. The annual conference begins with suppliers having stands to promote the services that they offer (through approved additional service providers, TAD franchisees can offer over 30 additional services to their clients) and to give the franchisees chance to meet and discuss their needs. The network then receives motivational and business based presentations from the three Directors. The event finishes with a gala dinner and awards ceremony celebrating success and high achievers within the network.
- The network now employs in excess of 700 staff
- We have a total of 673 years left to run on franchise agreements
- The network has 846 years experience as TaxAssist Accountants franchisees
- Our Franchisees hold 289 professional tax / accountancy qualifications between them
TAD has an experienced Executive Directorate of three:
Chief Executive - Karl Sandall FCIB
Karl spent 26 years at a senior level with HSBC. In his last role, he was based at London Street branch in Norwich where, as Sales Manager, he led a number of teams. He was appointed Operations Director at TaxAssist Accountants on 1 January 2000, joining John Westgarth who founded the business in 1995.
Two years later Karl was promoted to the position of Chief Executive. In this role he has overseen further growth of the franchise operation, including its expansion overseas. Karl is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers, a member of the Financial Industry Group and of the ifs School of Finance committee for the East of England. Today he is responsible for the running of the company and the whole network on a day to day basis and ensures its continued expansion and profitable success.
Business Development Director – Sarah Robertson MSc, Dip M, Chartered Marketer, MCIM FIDM
Sarah has a total of 20 years experience in the marketing and advertising industry, working with a broad range of national and regional brands such as the British Red Cross, Norwich Union, Oracle, Del Monte, the Imperial Cancer Research Fund and Swinton Insurance along with her own successful business. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and a Fellow of the Institute of Direct Marketing. Sarah joined the TaxAssist Accountants' Board on 1st September 2004. Sarah is responsible for marketing strategy, brand development, shop fronts, practice management and businessdevelopment strategies for Franchisees.
Sarah was the 2007 2020 Group Marketing Person of the Year and runner up in 2009.
Network Operations & Finance Director - Phil Sullivan BSc (Hons), ACIB
During a 26 year career with HSBC Bank plc Phil achieved Executive Management status and undertook roles covering a wide range of disciplines. Prior to leaving HSBC Phil was Area Director for Leicestershire, a role with responsibility for all aspects of the bank's branch banking & commercial business in the county and corporate banking activities in East Midlands. Phil established his own business in 2006 providing corporate and commercial advisory services to selected business clients. After working with TaxAssist Direct Ltd for 18 months on a consultancy basis, Phil joined the Board as a full-time Executive Director with effect from 1 October 2008. His responsibilities include overall technical competency and compliance of the Network and Support Centre, internal financial control and operational integrity.
In addition to the executive management team, TAD has two non executive Directors (John Westgarth FCA, Founder and Chairman and Tony Jubb BSc. C.Chem. F.R.S.C. (Deputy Chairman) plus 25 suitable qualified employees supporting the network of Tax Assist Accountants.