Following its success in the UK, the business model was launched in the Irish market in 2009 through the appointment of a Master Franchisee.

According to Greg Murphy of TaxAssist Accountants, Ireland, "We are seeking individuals with a proven track record in accountancy or business development in a related industry to take on the challenge and help us achieve our ambition to create a nationwide network across the island of Ireland."

He believes, "As the recession bites, self-employed people and small businesses turn to accountancy firms for sound business advice and for ways to save money on their taxes".

In his opinion, "Now is the ideal time to launch an accountancy franchise to capitalise on this situation and fill the gap".

Murphy assured prospective franchisees, "TaxAssist Accountants will be on hand every step of the way to ensure they get off to a flying start. By tapping into the experiences of our parent company in the UK, we can provide expertise and hands-on advice with the launch and the effective running of new franchises and we offer comprehensive on-going supports.

We help our franchisees prepare a thorough financial model and business plan and also provide thorough training to franchisees, to cover all aspects of their business including marketing and management".

Having gone through an initial set up period which included establishing a pilot operation to prove the concept in Ireland, TaxAssist Accountants have their first franchisee up and running and have just launched 3 new franchisees in Cork, Dublin and Kildare.

Interest in TaxAssist Accountants in Ireland has remained strong and with the support of Bank of Ireland providing the required funding it is anticipated that they are set to see excellent levels of growth within the Irish network.

TaxAssist Accountants is fully focussed on servicing the small business market and the self-employed. "This is a lucrative market that is largely untapped by the more traditional accountancy practices which tend to seek larger business clients with higher fees, but more complicated work", commented Murphy.

He added, "Figures from the Central Statistics Office for small business in Ireland reveal that in 2005 four out of five industrial enterprises were small firms employing less than 50 people. In total small industrial firms employed almost 50,000 people, over a fifth of total industrial employment. In the services sector almost all enterprises, at 98 percent, were deemed small. These are the businesses we aim to work with".

He reported, "We operate a tried and tested model that can give our franchisees business success and furthermore, they will have a valuable and tangible asset to sell upon their exit. We provide full support and back up from a professional and experienced team to help with technical competence and we empower our franchises to promote and grow their business.  Our franchisees have rights to an exclusive territory and benefit from trading under a national brand name".

The business model of TaxAssist Accountants is fundamentally simple, to take on hundreds of small business clients, with relatively simple work.

Asked who this franchise will appeal to, Murphy said, "Those who are frustrated by working hard to make others rich, who realise that taking on a franchise offering a service that has been and always will be in demand, could be the answer.

This business model makes financial sense, with the potential for taking a good salary whilst creating a real asset for their long term future".

He reckons that by adhering to the business model and taking a proactive approach to marketing within their territory, franchisees should succeed in attracting clients at a considerable rate.

"The franchisee will be the principal of the business and can employ accountants leaving them to concentrate on growing the business. Franchisees do not need any formal accountancy qualifications as full training is given, but we do look for key abilities and attributes. High levels of commercial acumen and finance and business awareness are essential as we look for franchisees who are determined to build a sizeable business".

The five-week training programme covers all aspects of accounts, production and taxation for sole traders, partnerships and limited companies. Also addressed is software training on taxation and practice management.

During the last of the intensive five-week training programme, franchisees will receive sales, marketing and recruitment training.

Murphy pointed out, "Our support and training doesn't stop there. Franchisees will be given on-going training, support and guidance on how to operate their business under the TaxAssist Accountants brand name. We operate a ‘Nurture Programme', which continues for six months after the initial training course, focusing on business development, HR, staff recruitment and client acquisition. Franchisees also have access to advice helplines including access to our technical support website, support material and visits from our technical experts".

Not only do we work closely with franchisees, particularly in the early period days and months, to ensure everything is going well and clients are being obtained, we are there for them whenever they need us in the future".

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