Franchise Recruitment Team

Harry Brown -
Franchise Recruitment Manager

Harry Brown

Harry joined the TaxAssist Group in 2021, with responsibility for providing support to the UK Franchise Recruitment team and Master Franchisors and Managing Directors in Ireland, Australia, the US and Canada. Prior to this, he worked at one of the UK’s leading providers of general insurance and financial services, building both customer service and client relationship skills.

In 2023, having undertaken two years of study and passing an interview with a panel of franchising experts, Harry obtained the Qualified Franchise Professional qualification (QFP) from the British Franchise Association.

In April 2024, Harry was promoted to UK Franchise Recruitment Manager, working closely with prospective new TaxAssist Accountants to discuss all aspects of the franchise proposition and business plan completion.

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.

Senior Management Team

Andy Gibbs -
Director of Services, 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.

In January 2024 Andy was promoted from Head of Group Technical, to Director of Services, leading two of our Group companies which provide payroll and tax consulting support to our network of accountants. Andy also 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.

In January 2024 Richard was asked to join the Operational Board to share his IT and technology expertise and to help deliver a number of critical group projects.

Richard's LinkedIn profile can be viewed here.

Simon Hutchinson -
Head of Group Software & Systems

Simon Hutchinson

In April 2024 Simon Hutchinson was appointed to a new position of Head of Group Business Intelligence. Simon joined TaxAssist in 2016 as a Software Training Manager progressing to his most recent role as Head of Group Software and Systems role in 2022. Simon has been instrumental in the design, deployment and training of the TaxAssist software suite and played an integral role in a gap analysis project, software, contract design and negotiations.

Simon's role reflects the importance of utilising, standardising and structuring the data we have as a network, for the benefit of servicing clients and the network of TaxAssist Accountants. Simon works alongside his Support Centre colleagues, reporting on new sources of data internally within TaxAssist Accountants and other Group Companies.

Simon's LinkedIn profile can be viewed here.

Jo Nockels -
Head of Group Practice Capabilities, 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.

Jo has held a range of roles at the Support Centre. Initially she 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. She then moved to managing the TaxAssist Accountants Training Academy, as well as delivering courses herself.

Jo was then promoted to Financial Controller and in 2022 to Head of Group Finance with responsibility for the day-to-day management and ongoing development of the group finance team and functions for the TaxAssist group of companies.

In 2024, Jo was promoted again to Head of Group Practice Capabilities, with a focus on supporting the growth of the network, utilisation of the software estate, best practices, efficiencies, productivity, profitability and staff recruitment and retention. Additionally, Jo has a focus on franchise resale values, customer acquisition and satisfaction levels, cross selling of services, as well as the design of new TaxAssist Academy courses.

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

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.

David Spurrier -
Franchise Development Manager

David Spurrier

David joined TaxAssist Accountants in 2023 as a full-time Franchise Development Manager supporting franchisees out in the field across England and Wales.

He has a strong background, initially working for the police force before transitioning to a new career in business and subsequently franchising. His experience includes running and selling two highly successful businesses, one with a 1 million+ turnover which he built up from scratch before being asked to return as a consultant. He has also received extensive training in the US on successful business development techniques by The Dwyer Group, a leading master franchisor.

David is responsible for supporting franchisees to ensure they are following the franchise system and planning ahead for their success.

David Thomas -
Franchisee Development Co-Ordinator

David Thomas

Dave joined TaxAssist Accountants in May 2015 to manage the Inbound Sales Team. In February 2024 he was promoted to a new role in the Franchise Development Team.

He works closely with Samantha Skyring and all Support Centre teams, to co-ordinate the Franchise Development Managers to optimise support as well as delivering Sales and Lead Conversion Training to franchisees and their staff. Dave has extensive knowledge of the TaxAssist business model, Practice Engine and the network and has undertaken Franchise Development visits both virtually and on-site.

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