Alan Johnston joined TaxAssist Accountants in 2016. He operates from a shop in Goldenacre, near Edinburgh in Scotland where he looks after 700 clients.

Why did you go down the franchise route? And why TaxAssist Accountants?

I was offered the opportunity to invest into a new franchise of TaxAssist Accountants as a joint venture with existing franchisees. And after my initial research and conversations, it looked like a really exciting business and I took up the offer.

What did you do before taking up the franchise?

Most of my working life has been within franchises, I really embrace the concept and enjoy the value and support.

Most notably I was co-franchisee of 3 Domino’s Pizza stores and worked in that business for 14 years. With long, unsociable hours and at its peak 140 staff, it was certainly a challenge, but a really enjoyable time.

Coming from the other side of the table and previously been a client of an accountancy firm, it’s great to have re-trained and can bring my real-world experience to my own firm, knowing what it’s like on the other side.

What is a typical day for you as a franchisee?

Busy…. Well, most days certainly are (especially the lead up to January). Generally, I am talking to existing and new clients, supporting my team of five talented individuals and trying to keep my email inbox to a reasonably manageable level.

What challenges have you faced?

Covid was a notable challenge, but everyone was facing that one. We were inundated daily with panicking clients, looking to help understand all the messages they were getting from the government, which at first was so busy, all while trying to switch to remote working and keep our own business on track.

However, we tried to go above and beyond to support our clients, we didn’t charge for processing furlough, gave a lot of free advice and even some free tax returns for clients who were really struggling.

What have been the highlights of being a TaxAssist franchisee?

I have really enjoyed being in the position to be able to help people. Tax and accountancy are complicated, and for many people a real cause of stress and anguish, and for me being able to release some of that stress/pain, is a real privilege.

We can’t always bring good news, but seeing people leave the office with the world lifted off their shoulders is a lovely feeling.

What has the training and support from TaxAssist Accountants been like?

From the minute I started on my journey to retrain into accountancy, the initial training has been brilliant, from the initial franchise training, to the ongoing support from when I opened my doors for the first time. It’s been a massive benefit to have the level of support and the team at head office on hand to help.

Has becoming a franchisee changed your life, if so, how?

I can confidently say that this has been the best commercial decision that I have made. To have the level of financial security that I have now is something that I always dreamed of, but it always seemed out of reach – best move ever.

In your opinion, what differentiates TaxAssist from the competition?

This is easy to summarise in three words – Brand, Support & Development.

How has being a part of the franchise helped you to grow your practice?

From potential clients seeing and trusting the brand, the level of quality marketing we receive to the dedication of the inbound lead team, delivering high quality leads and doing all the hard work – it just leaves me the easy job of signing them up.

What is the most invaluable piece of advice you could give someone looking to buy a TaxAssist Accountants franchise?

Stop thinking about it and do it, you won’t look back – call me and I’ll tell you more.

What are your plans for the future?

I am looking to bring some of my management team on as shareholders, start working a little less and looking at how to pass on the business and retire by 55 (hopefully).

Contact Us