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Ahead of the curve

Posted: 06 Aug 2019
Estimated Read Time: in 8 minutes

TaxAssist Accountants franchisee Dave Forrester is online not in line when it comes to business

Ahead of the curve

Dave Forrester joined TaxAssist Accountants, the UK’s largest network of small business specialist accountants, in 2009 after purchasing a franchise resale.

He has grown his business consistently over ten years, building his practice up to almost 1,000 clients, who are serviced from three shops across West Yorkshire in Keighley, Ilkley and Bingley.

A change in direction

On his decision to join the TaxAssist network, Dave says: “I had been working as a chartered management accountant for a large American bank in controllership and financial systems roles, but was at the stage of my career where I was a bit fed up with the job and wanted a change of direction. I also had young children and wanted to spend more time with my family.”

TaxAssist has been operating successfully for 24 years and is a game changer for both the accounting industry and small businesses, in the way it ‘retails’ tax and advisory services through open and welcoming shops. This concept has proven to be an effective way to build a practice, with many franchisees opening multiple shops in their territory. It’s also popular with small businesses, which enjoy the friendly, convenient local service.

For Dave, a typical day is varied and includes seeing clients, meeting with new business contacts or attending regular networking events. He acknowledges his team of 13 is key to his success, embracing the staff training that’s offered by the TaxAssist support centre and offering clear career progression. “I am passionate about staff development, as this is key to enabling me to take more of a back seat and let the business run itself,” Dave explains.

Early adopter

Dave was one of the early adopters of online bookkeeping products, adding: “We’re in a digital age and the natural progression is for everything to be online as it’s quicker and so much easier to access than working on a desktop. With Making Tax Digital being rolled out, it’s fantastic for both myself and my clients, as we are ahead of the curve, already used to working in this way.

“I think for a client, if they went to a practice that wasn’t using the current leading software, both could be losing out, whether it be with the functionality or the time saving aspect. Clients benefit from, and are aware of our commitment to online accounting and refer to us for this reason regularly.”

Getting the balance right

For Dave, the main highlight of being a TaxAssist franchisee has been: “Building my own business whilst having quite a young family. I’ve been able to balance my home and work life. “Being your own boss is a massive benefit of being a franchisee. Ultimately, you’re responsible for staff and for growing your business, but the rewards are yours if you are successful. With our model, it takes time for your business to develop and build, but if you follow the road map that TaxAssist lays out for you, you’ve got a very good chance of success.”

TaxAssist attracts both accountants and business/finance professionals, as franchisees can employ accountants, leaving them free to concentrate on building their practice.

At a glance Taxassist Accountants

Established: 1995
Number of franchised outlets: 329
Location of units: UK-wide
Investment range: £100,000-£130,000
Minimum required capital: £40,000
Contact: Nikki Haythorne:

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