Franchise Recruitment Team

Seth Brown -
Senior Franchise Recruitment Manager

Seth Brown

Seth joined the TaxAssist Group in 2019 to work as part of the team responsible for franchisee recruitment in the UK. Before joining TaxAssist Accountants, Seth had a 34-year banking career with HSBC UK Bank plc and has undertaken a wide range of general management, leadership and risk management control roles incorporating both retail and commercial banking. Seth is able to use his extensive career experience to work closely with prospective franchisees that are considering joining the network to discuss all aspects of the TaxAssist Accountants franchise proposition and Business Plan completion. Seth’s LinkedIn profile can be viewed here.

Andy Lightfoot -
Franchise Recruitment Manager

Andy Lightfoot

Andy’s career has seen him work for well-known brands as well as founding and selling his own courier business. After 15 years in the recruitment sector, Andy moved into franchising and has been involved at a senior level with franchise brands for more than a decade.

Alongside franchisee recruitment, he’s provided mentoring and business development to franchise networks. He has a strong focus on the cultural fit between franchisee and franchisor, believing it to be key to a successful long-term relationship between the two.

Group Management Committee

Andy Gibbs -
Head of Group Technical, ATT, CTA

Andy Gibbs

Andy is a qualified Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA), holds the STEP Advanced Certificate in Trust and Estate Accounting, and has dealt with both tax compliance and tax advisory projects across a range of industry sectors.

He joined us from one of the big four accountancy firms where he looked after the affairs of high-net-worth individuals and private equity executives. Prior to this he worked at a local regional practice where he dealt with the affairs of owner managed businesses and private individuals.

Andy manages a highly qualified and experienced team providing technical support and offering practical solutions in relation to the accounting, tax and practice needs of TaxAssist franchisees and staff.

Andy's LinkedIn profile can be viewed here.

Tim Duffield -
Head of Group Compliance, FCCA

Tim Duffield

Tim is FCCA qualified and originally joined the Technical Helpdesk in 2009, before moving into a technical project role. After a two-year spell in practice, he returned in 2018 and was promoted to his current compliance role in 2020. Tim manages compliance for the TaxAssist Group of companies and acts as a source of best practice and guidance for the franchisee network. Tim's LinkedIn profile can be viewed here.

Kelly Chick -
Head of Group Marketing

Kelly Chick

Kelly joined the Business Development Team in July 2020, following an extensive agency background working for a number of national brands in both B2B and B2C environments. Reporting to the Group Business Development Director, Kelly oversees the Marketing, Communication and Inbound teams, implementing the national and local marketing campaigns for the acquisition of network leads. Kelly's LinkedIn profile can be viewed here.

Richard Washington -
Head of Group Technology

Richard Washington

After 5 years of working with one of the UKs leading franchise consultancy and recruitment companies Richard joined TaxAssist in 2010, bringing with him a high level of technical knowledge in programming and database administration. Since joining Richard has pushed forward the TaxAssist Accountants online presence, implementing a local website for each franchisee, rebuilding from scratch the TaxAssist Accountants Support Site and implementing a custom ticketing system for the Technical Helpdesk. On a day-to-day basis Richard is responsible for the relationship management with our recommended IT, telephony and printing partners as well as for the continuing development of our web-based systems. Richard's LinkedIn profile can be viewed here.

Simon Hutchinson -
Head of Group Software & Systems

Simon Hutchinson

Simon is responsible for the delivery of Software training to TaxAssist franchisees and their staff. Prior to joining TaxAssist in 2016, Simon worked for 8 years as an IT Trainer across the Housing and Health industries and has experience as an IT Service Delivery Manager and Customer Relationship Manager. Simon has designed courses and trained staff on multiple software implementations and has a keen customer focus to ensure that the right solution is being delivered. Simon will be the main point of contact for software training or support issues, and he will ensure that all franchisees have access to the right information at the right time and in the right format. Simon's LinkedIn profile can be viewed here.

Jo Nockels -
Head of Group Finance, FCCA FMAAT

Jo Nockels

Jo is AAT and ACCA qualified and before joining TaxAssist Accountants in 2010, looked after a range of clients in the small business sector at Larking Gowen.

Formerly, Jo was the Senior Training & Technical Communications Manager and worked alongside the Business Development team, to ensure communications to clients were accurate, timely, relevant and easy to understand. The other part of her role saw her managing the TaxAssist Accountants Training Academy, as well as delivering courses herself.

Jo has been promoted to Financial Controller and is responsible for the day-to-day management and ongoing development of the group finance team and functions for the TaxAssist group of companies. The commercial element of her role sees her supporting the TaxAssist network to realise commercial opportunities to improve growth, efficiency and profitability. Jo's LinkedIn profile can be viewed here.

Samantha Skyring -
Head of Group Learning & Development, FCCA, MAAT, ACIPP

Samantha Skyring

Samantha Skyring qualified in 2014 with a medium sized firm of accountants in Norwich. She developed strong relationships with her portfolio of clients and helped them with everything from bookkeeping to accounts and tax as well as advice to help them better their businesses.

Samantha joined the Technical Support Team in 2014 as a Technical Manager, assisted franchisees and their staff over the phone with technical queries, headed up training courses and undertook due diligence visits to franchisees.

In 2017 Samantha took on a new role as Franchise Development Manager for our UK network, visiting franchisees to help them develop and grow their businesses. She used her experience in practice to help ensure that systems and processes were being used effectively to maximise efficiency and profitability.

In 2019, she was promoted to Group Senior Training & Technical Communications Manager with responsibility for looking after all the training needs of the network, alongside preparing client facing technical marketing material. In this role, Samantha sought to bring in technology within all the applicable training courses to ensure the network is ready for the digital revolution.

In January 2022, Samantha was promoted to Head of Group Learning and Development with a focus on embedding continuous learning and self-improvement within the network through the 'TaxAssist Academy'. She also takes responsibility for the continued growth and development of franchisees through in depth consultations and organises a team to complete visits. Samantha's LinkedIn profile can be viewed here.

Franchise Development Managers

Mark Fordham -
Franchise Development Manager, BA (Hons), ACIB, CMIIA

Mark Fordham

Mark's career has been spent entirely in the financial services industry. He spent the early part working for NatWest Bank in retail, corporate and investment banking including spells in corporate lending and the training department where he taught financial analysis, (balance sheets, cashflow forecasts, profit and loss accounts and bookkeeping). He also taught investment management including personal tax at degree level for 14 years. The latter part of his banking career was spent qualifying as an auditor and then planning and managing a team of 150 auditors to run audits across the Royal Bank of Scotland Group.

Mark became a TaxAssist Accountants franchisee is 2003 and built up a client base in St Albans and Harpenden in Hertfordshire. He won the TaxAssist Fastest Growth Award three years in a row as well as Accountant of the Year and the British Franchise Association Bronze award in 2009.

Mark sold his franchise in 2012, achieving the network's first landmark £1m resale, after selling his franchise to Mike Melling (now himself a successful franchisee and Group Commercial Director), achieving a multiple of 1.25 against an accountancy industry average of 0.8 to 1.

He was invited to join the TaxAssist board as a Non-Executive Director representing franchisees in January 2015, and following over seven years' service, he retired from that role.

In 2022 Mark took up a new position as Franchise Development Manager with a specific remit to support new franchisees sharing his expertise and experiences along with TaxAssist best practice to help with growth and operations in a franchisee's vitally important first year in business.

Terry Peachman -
Franchise Development Manager

Terry Peachman

Terry joined TaxAssist Accountants as a franchisee in 2002 and built up a substantial and successful multi office practice in Lincoln before successfully exiting the franchise in August 2022.

He became a regional Franchise Development Manager for TaxAssist Accountants in February 2023 and draws on his 20 years 'real life' experience to share his knowledge and expertise to mentor franchisees to maximise the potential of their practices, to build income and value.

Terry also has experience as a Commercial Banking Manager with time spent in both corporate finance and working with SME businesses, followed by a short period as the Marketing and Business Development Manager for a multi office regional firm of Chartered Certified Accountants. He was accredited by the British Accreditation Bureau as a generalist business consultant.

Steve Mack -
Franchise Development Manager

Steve Mack

Steve Mack is TaxAssist's longest serving member of staff, having joined the franchise in 1998. Steve spent 20 years travelling around the UK visiting franchisees, he now works from home, offering virtual consultations to franchisees. As well as providing a friendly ear for franchisees to discuss anything, knowing that the advice given is without prejudice, he played a major part in founding the regional meetings, the LEAD course and the staff forum.

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