TaxAssist launches in Queensland, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory and Victoria
TaxAssist Accountants is pleased to advise that in June 2015, accountants Terry Murphy CPA BBus DFP and Celeste Godwin BBus became our Master Franchisees in Queensland, New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory. They have subsequently added Victoria.
Terry comments: "We had been tracking TaxAssist in the UK for a few years and were impressed with their achievements and progress. It was, therefore, an opportunity we couldn't say no to, when I saw an advert advertising the Master Franchise Rights here in Australia.
"As experienced and innovative accountants, both Celeste and I are looking forward to using our skills, along with the proven TaxAssist business model to build a successful network of franchisees. They will not only benefit from our business and technical awareness, but also the comprehensive training, marketing and business development support from a long-established and multi award-winning franchisor. This should create a very strong platform for future growth."
"Like the UK, the small business market is huge in Australia at over 96% and I know that the potential for business, combined with the innovative shop front concept, which has proven to be so successful in the UK, will go down well in Australia. We both can't wait to get started!"
Karl Sandall, the CEO of the TaxAssist Group comments "We're delighted to be launching in Australia, which has a burgeoning franchise sector, but does not yet offer our unique packaged accounts and tax service for small businesses. We see a significant growth opportunity and couldn't make a better start than with the experienced team of Terry and Celeste".
Terry and Celeste currently have four TaxAssist Accountants practices.
Interview with the Australian Master for QLD, NSW, ACT & VIC
Tell us about yourself Terry
I am a CPA, BBus and DFP qualified accountant and financial planner. I have worked for a number of different companies, including large Australian companies in the top 50 and was the Commercial Manager for CSR and James Hardie driving expansion and looking over multimillion dollar budgets. I was responsible for several business turnarounds, saving them from close to closure to now being some of Australia's strongest businesses.
I started my own accountancy practice in 2001, alongside my partner Celeste Godwin who is BBus qualified. We have good, qualified staff supporting us in our five practices (four firms are in New South Wales in locations from northern Sydney up the coast road to northern New South Wales and one is located in the Gold Coast, Queensland).
When did you buy the Master Franchise licence for Queensland and why?
We acquired the Master Franchise Rights for Queensland in June 2015 and then extended this to New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory and Victoria. Our current accountancy practices already have a good spread, and through franchising, we see the growth potential as huge.
TaxAssist Accountants offers a distinctive brand and clear approach to marketing, as well as a great level of support to both their franchisees and their clients. We see it as a win-win situation for all concerned.
Tell us more about the team you currently have in place?
We've taken our time to get the right staff in place. Staff have degrees to masters level and our plan is to use the skills and experience of myself and Celeste, as well as my existing team to support the network of TaxAssist Accountants franchisees that I will grow.
How do you see TaxAssist working in Australia?
We see it doing as well as the UK if not better! The small business numbers are huge in Australia and currently there is no other unique packaged accounts and tax service for small businesses, which is why I see the growth opportunity as so significant.
Is franchising big in Australia?
Yes, the biggest per population than any other country in the world. According to the 2016 Franchise Council of Australia/Griffith University franchise survey, there are currently 1,120 franchise systems operating in Australia with 79,000 franchised units.
The sector employs an estimated 470,000 people in Australia and the turnover for business format franchise systems is circa AU$146 billion.
Tell us more about the accountancy and tax industry in Australia?
It's really the arm that collects government revenue, as government systems are poor due to making the Tax Act too complicated.
The small business market is over regulated, over taxed and over audited and attempts to fix this have failed, which is why I see a straight talking, visible, accessible network of accountancy practices as perfect for Australian small businesses.
How did you initially come across TaxAssist and what attracted you to it?
We saw an online advert promoting the Master Franchise Rights and as we were looking for growth and liked what we read about TaxAssist's own growth, decided to find out more. We have a good track record ourselves for expansion and we are confident of using our experience to make a success of TaxAssist in Australia.
When did you first visit the team here in Norwich, and what were your first impressions?
Myself and Celeste visited in September 2014 and first impressions of the key personnel and operation were excellent. After visiting the Support Centre in Norwich, various TaxAssist shops around the UK and meeting the Irish Master franchisees, we were convinced taking the brand name to Australia would work.
What impressed you most about the TaxAssist business model?
The shop front concept is what initially attracted us to TaxAssist, as it was such a unique concept, a real contrast to the traditional hidden away accountancy practice. We were also both incredibly impressed with the level of support both technical and marketing offered to franchisees.
What does your role as Master Franchisee consist of?
Our plan is to recruit, train and support 25 franchisees in the Queensland area who are all operating successful and profitable businesses. We are looking to take on franchisees who are either qualified accountants or finance professionals, although the latter will need to employ qualified accountants with a Tax Agent license. We are also looking to target accountants with an existing fee bank, who are keen to accelerate growth with the TaxAssist Accountants brand name and support.
As a small business accountant myself I've enjoyed helping my clients and watching their businesses grow and I, therefore, have a strong connection with and understanding of our local small business community. It is this ethos combined with the strong TaxAssist business model and processes that we, along with our experienced team, will be communicating to sub-franchisees.
What are your aims for the future?
Initially, we plan to re-brand our Queensland branch to TaxAssist Accountants, so this will operate as a flagship shop front office, and our Woolgoolga office will function as a Support Centre.
We will gradually relocate all of our other offices into shop front style premises, while growing the TaxAssist name right along the east coast of Australia to the point where it will be seen by and become familiar to business owners.