Costs dropped and new benefits added to support franchisees’ practices
Due to the unprecedented upheaval from the COVID-19 pandemic, TaxAssist Accountants has been working flat out to assist clients with applications for grants, loans, cash flow projections and business continuity plans.
Karl Sandall, group chief executive director, explained: “Since the lockdown began, I’ve been so impressed with the network’s ability to carry on and get things done. They are very much on the front line, being the trusted advisors to over 77,000 UK clients.
“As a franchisor, our primary role is to do everything we can to support our franchisees. This, in turn, means they can continue to do what they do best – providing a first-class service to their clients.”
To help the network of accountants further, the TaxAssist Accountants Support Centre has rolled out an initial package of support measures to help franchisees navigate their way through the months ahead:
• Regular bulletins (daily – sometimes twice daily) providing same day expert advice and guidance about the latest government announcements for franchisees and their clients.
• Comprehensive coronavirus hubs – for franchisees and clients – unparalleled in detail and timeliness compared to virtually all competitors.
• Negotiated with key partners – software and IT – to ensure reduced costs in some instances, free training and updates and cost-effective renewal terms – to help all franchisees financially and operationally.
• TaxAssist has written to the bank’s franchise departments (Barclays/HSBC/Lloyds/NatWest), explaining the package of savings and support the franchisor has put in place for franchisees and the efforts being made to obtain some relief from the main suppliers to the network. This is to aid franchisees if they have any borrowing requirements.
• To help franchisees who have joined in the last year, an enhanced marketing package is being provided which includes an earlier Sky TV campaign, Facebook advertising, Telemarketing and an increased spend on Google Ads, with extra online training and support.
• Brand awareness and client acquisition media payments have been suspended for three months. This will be reviewed at the end of three months to see if it should be extended.
• Brand awareness and client acquisition payments have been reduced by 50per cent for three months, again this will be reviewed at the end of three months.
• The brand awareness and client acquisition fund will be topped up from TaxAssist’s own reserves to ensure continuity of client leads if appropriate to spend.
• The collection of the TaxAssist Accountants Training Academy subscription has been suspended for three months while training needs are still being supplied online.
• The number of training webinars have been increased.
• Virtual regional meetings will be run for no charge later in the year to replace the round of face-to-face meetings held each autumn.
• Minimum management service fees have been dropped for the remainder of 2020.
• Partial refunds from the franchise fee have been made to new joiners in respect of accommodation and meal charges not incurred by the franchisor.
“Without doubt, these are challenging times,” continued Karl, “but we will continue to monitor developments daily and take any further decisions that are right and necessary, with the overriding aim of being commercial, fair and responsible to all.
“As a franchise, we are in a unique position, with many of our franchisees holding around 40 per cent ownership of the franchisor – proof the TaxAssist ‘family’ is working together to benefit all. I have every faith that by sticking together, we will come out of this stronger than the competition and able to capitalise on the opportunities that will undoubtedly be available at that time.”