November 28 2014 Latest news:
Shaun Lowthorpe, Business editor
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Common sense and hard work have been hailed as the key to the success of a Norfolk-based accountancy business which is harbouring global ambitions.
Started in 1995 the TaxAssist Accountants network has more than 195 franchised practices across the UK servicing over 50,000 small business clients with collective gross annual recurring fees at the end of 2013 of £31.5m.
It recently opened its 160th shop in Long Eaton, Nottinghamshire, and it is now the 26th largest accountancy practice in the UK.
Karl Sandall, chief executive, said a firm focus on its core small business market has helped propel its success nationally, and now they are fostering global ambitions after successfully taking the business into the Canadian market.
“The expansion globally has started,” he said. “We have nearly 50,000 small business clients, we have 35 staff in Norwich and another 600 across the UK working across franchises.”
TaxAssist, an EDP Business Awards winner in 2011, launched its first international operation in Ireland in 2009, which has since grown to 24 franchisees supported by a master franchisee in Dublin.
The business has now signed the master franchise agreement for the Greater Toronto Area of Ontario, Canada with further oversees operations planned for Canada, Australia and New Zealand with the US to follow.
It is also looking at entering new EU markets via its Ireland operation.
“We look at one shop per 100,000 people,” Mr Sandall added. “In the states that could be enormous and there are not many franchises that have successfully taken a UK franchise to these countries.”
The firm has won industry accolades for its work, including an Accountancy Firm of the Year award from the Association of International Accountants, beating global groups and industry giants, and it is bringing in three new recruits to join its technical support team in Norwich.
Mr Sandall said: “It’s been done with good old Norfolk boys. We have just used common sense and hard work.”
Bosses at automotive group Caterham are locked in crunch talks to determine the fate of its business in Norfolk, the EDP understands.