Can I run my franchise as an incorporated business?
As an accountant you are not permitted to operate as a traditional incorporated business, but as a CPA qualified accountant regulated by CPA Ontario, you are able to operate as an Incorporated Professional. Franchisees may start as a Sole Proprietor before becoming an Incorporated Professional or start as an Incorporated Professional from the outset, whichever is the most tax efficient route.
One of the reasons that the franchise is only available to CPA qualified accountants is that CPA Ontario does not permit their members to be associated with incorporated business providing public accounting services. As we only accept members of CPA Ontario, and do not permit franchisees to operate as traditional incorporated businesses we operate within this bylaw.
Are there any conflicts due to me being an associate of other franchisees?
No there are no conflicts. While by default, as all franchisees trade as TaxAssist Accountants, you will be an associate of other franchisees within the TaxAssist Accountants network because all franchisees will be members of CPA Ontario and are classified as Incorporated Professionals.
However, all TaxAssist Accountants franchisees will operate as independently owned and operated businesses, notwithstanding the above “association” with other franchisees in the network, which “association” is defined by CPA Ontario and does not constitute any legal relationship between franchisees.
If, as a CPA, you are looking at franchises this along with the trading status and activity of the Franchisor is something that you will need to consider.
Notwithstanding any of the information contained above, it is recommended, however, that you satisfy yourself about the requirements of the various Canadian accounting bodies e.g. CPA Ontario.
Master Franchisees operate through an Incorporated Business. As a member of CPA Ontario am I allowed to be an associate of a Master Franchisee?
Master Franchisees’ roles are that of a training, support and communications business being responsible for recruiting and training a network of franchisees and providing ongoing business development. All technical support will be outsourced to a third party and not provided in-house.
Do Master Franchisees Establish Pilot Operations Themselves?
No, for two reasons. Firstly, the brand and business model is already well-established in the UK, Ireland and Australia, where collectively TaxAssist has over 200 franchisees operating from 270 locations. Secondly, had we done so we would then, albeit through a subsidiary, be providing accounting services through an incorporated business which would have prevented CPA Ontario members from becoming TaxAssist Accountants franchisees.
What control does a Master Franchisee for my province have over the franchise?
We have a proven business model, namely the provision of professional accounting and tax services to small businesses while operating from branded storefront premises, and franchisees are required to follow this model (and if you weren’t comfortable with that then you wouldn’t be considering a franchise, would you?).
Franchisees are free to:
- Set their own fees
- Network and advertise within their territory
- Engage directly with clients
- Recruit their own staff
- Operate from an office for up to two years before committing to store front premises
- Leave the franchise and take their clients with them
- Sell their business
The level of control is deliberately low as ultimately it is your business though the level of support we provide is much higher as we know what it takes to run your own business.
Who has the client relationship?
All client relationships sit with the franchisee.
- Meets with the prospective client
- Quotes and sets their own fee for the agreed services
- Manages all aspects of the client relationship
- Ultimately owns the clients thus building an asset for their future.
The Master Franchisee has no direct client relationships.
Do I need to be a qualified accountant to join TaxAssist?
Yes, it is our requirement that all franchisees are members of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario (CPA Ontario). This not only protects the integrity and professionalism of the network but also satisfies the bylaws of CPA within your province.
Does this contract permit me to sell my business?
Yes, the client base is a considerable asset built up and owned by you. There are various deferred fees to consider which are laid out in our Franchise Agreement, which you would factor into your selling price.
Can I talk to some of your existing franchisees?
We would need your background information, resume, and Application Form to assess your suitability before giving names and contact details out. We will give you access to the whole network, after you have attended a Discovery Day and we would encourage you to speak to as many existing franchisees as you possibly can as part of your research.
What if I already have clients before becoming a TaxAssist Accountant?
We have recruited accountants who already have a block of clients of their own, acquired during the period before they joined us. We have been asked to consider whether some relief can be given against charging our normal rates of Management Service Fees. Our policy for this scenario is subject to certain minimums, we may allow the fees introduced or acquired to be kept in a separate pool and for two years only we will not charge Management Service Fees on these fees. After two years these fees will be amalgamated with other fees acquired during the TaxAssist Accountants Franchise term to form one pool and full Management Service Fees will be payable on the total pool of fees.
For how long is the franchise granted and is there a fee payable on renewal?
The initial term of the Franchise Agreement is five years. Assuming you have operated the franchise as set out in the Franchise Agreement including meeting your minimum targets, the agreement is renewable by you every five years for an administration fee. In most cases we anticipate franchisees will renew the agreement to continue the franchise every five years until they dispose of it at some future date. We also now offer at our discretion a 10-year plus Franchise Agreement.
How do you justify your franchise fees and why should I join TaxAssist Accountants rather than one of the other accounting franchises?
Formed in the UK in 1995, TaxAssist Accountants is the leading franchised accounting organization in the UK and Ireland. TaxAssist Accountants has many years’ experience in operating a substantial global network of branded offices that is well recognized and respected in their domestic market.
Internationally, we have a highly visible presence with more than 250 store fronts and offices, and growing. The retail location brand is supplemented by the many branded cars, national advertising, internet presence and marketing collateral. We constantly look to be at the forefront in terms of brand awareness, technical training and support for business growth. Our training courses, practice management software, as well as a raft of additional relevant business services our franchisees can offer their clients at significantly discounted prices means in our opinion, that we are market leaders whose offering far outweighs the competition as had been proven in the UK, Ireland and Australia.
Unlike some of our competitors, we have no other business interests or our own accounting practice to support. The five UK Executive Directors have a breadth of business experience which they bring to the franchise. Karl Sandall had 26 years working for a major clearing bank and is an ex bank manager; Sarah Robertson is a Chartered Marketer who previously operated her own Marketing and PR company; Phil Sullivan spent 26 years with HSBC achieving Executive Management status before leaving to establish his own business in 2006 providing corporate and commercial advisory services; James Mattam has spent his entire full time career with TaxAssist Accountants and has vast exerience in IT, marketing, business development and training and Daren Moore has over 26 years' experience in the accountancy practice sector, having worked his way up from accounts trainee to a member of the Management Board of Price Bailey LLP where he had an outstanding track record of achievement.
What if it is too expensive to move into a retail location in my area? Is it absolutely necessary for me to make this move?
You will have up until the end of the second year to move into a retail location. We have franchisees who have managed to find good retail premises when at first glance there appeared to be nothing remotely suitable. It is location, location, location translated as visibility, accessibility and affordability. This will help you to achieve the growth that we both seek.
I am a qualified accountant. Do I still need to go on all of the training and pay the full franchise fee?
We understand that you would naturally wish to avoid any unnecessary duplication and expenditure, but because we have correctly identified a niche in the market, our training is specifically tailored to address that niche and nothing else. Past experience has shown that even fully qualified accountants will benefit from full participation in our training course.
What exclusive rights do you get?
You will be allocated an exclusive marketing territory defined by postal code boundaries. No other TaxAssist Accountant can market directly in your area or vice versa. When you and other franchisees carry out local advertising in publications covering more than one franchise area then the normal procedure is to share costs and divide out responses according to the geographical areas covered by you. However, should you receive a genuine recommendation from a potential client outside your exclusive marketing territory then you can act for that person.
May I have a copy of your Franchise Agreement?
This will be made available as part of the Franchise Disclosure Document which will be supplied to qualified people after attending a Discovery Day.
What fees do I charge?
We give you guidance on the level of fees that you should charge your clients, but the final decision on the exact amount is up to you.
Is the business seasonal?
Client accounts are made up to financial year-end dates that can be at any time of the year. Although typically busier during the traditional Canadian tax season (January to April) we have strategies to ensure that cashflow is even throughout the year.
Is there an extra cost if I wish to bring my partner on the initial training course?
Yes, there will be an additional cost, because the franchise fee applies to only one person. We make our training course costs as reasonable as we can for partners/staff, etc., because it is beneficial for both franchisee and franchisor to have a well-trained network. Please ask for further details on costs on or after your Discovery Day.
Do you train me? Who pays for my training?
Full and professional initial and ongoing training is provided to all franchisees. Accounting and tax training is provided by in-house staff or specialist training partners. The initial training course which lasts for six weeks is included in the franchise package fee.
We also provide further update days, operations manuals, support website which offers our franchisees access to technical releases, frequently asked questions, online tutorials, advice and the ability to update your own website.
How much working capital will I need?
In addition to your own living expenses you will need to allow for a marketing budget, office expenses, any staff and sundry costs, which may vary across regions.
What sort of person does TaxAssist Accountants look for?
Along with a recognized Canadian accounting designation, one of the other main attributes we look for is the determination to develop a successful business. General business acumen and people skills are essential as the franchisee will be responsible for developing relationships with existing and prospective clients, as well as looking after staff needs.
All financial information in this prospectus or website, with the exception of any financial information in the international section, is intended only for prospective franchisees in the US. This information is based on actual historic information provided to us by our operating franchisees in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia, and not elsewhere. Accordingly, if you are considering operating a TaxAssist franchise in any other country, do not review or rely on this information. It relates to US only, and the differences between the US and your country in respect of how long the system has been operating, the reputation and goodwill of the brand, the economic environment, competitors, industry associations and other factors make this US information inapplicable to you. If we have elected to provide financial information for your country, it will be expressly set out in the international section.
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