Ali Redwood celebrates 10 years of success with TaxAssist Accountants

November 29, 2019

Clifton and Portishead-based Ali Redwood reflects on her decade of business building

For Ali Redwood, it was her desire to leave corporate life that inspired her to join TaxAssist Accountants.

With a background in banking and finance and experience of running a family business, self-employment held no fear for Ali, who relished the opportunity to establish her own practice.

“The experience of running my family business equipped me with a sound knowledge of accounting and the finance skills required to run a small business,” explained Ali. “It also gave me a real passion and joy.

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“As I grew tired of corporate life, I started to look at my options and owning a TaxAssist Accountants franchise appealed to me as I valued the on-going support and readymade systems which would fast track my business.

“I didn’t want to be ‘just an accountant’. I recognised that with TaxAssist, I would be building a team, allowing me to be the principal of the business, meeting new and existing clients, managing staff, supervising work, networking and managing the customer experience.

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“The support from the franchisor and fellow franchisees over the last 10 years has been fantastic. My neighbouring franchisees are not in competition with each other, due to our exclusive territories, and it gives us a real opportunity to work together and support each other. You have your own business but you are not on your own. My staff get great training from the courses provided and I get the benefit of on-going great marketing and operational support.

“The business has grown well, and I now have an exceptionally good team in place. I opened a shop in Clifton in Bristol in 2011 and an office in Portishead in 2016 and I am hoping to open a third premises within the next three years.

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“I feel that I am now building an asset for a comfortable retirement, which I would not be in a position to do, had I remained in employment. If you asked me if I would do it all again – the answer is definitely yes!”

New TaxAssist Accountants shop opens in Bury, Greater Manchester

November 26, 2019

Balaji Krishnamurthy launches small business tax and accounting service from 91 Bolton Road, Bury

Balaji Krishnamurthy, joined the TaxAssist Accountants network in September, and has already sourced and fitted out his welcoming shop ready to meet with clients.

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“I was very lucky to spot the ideal shop, in the ideal location so quickly,” explained Balaji. “It ticks all the boxes in terms of being highly visible and accessible and offers plenty of parking. I would encourage all small businesses owners and individual taxpayers in the area to pop in for a free initial consultation to learn more about our services.”

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Balaji worked in the financial services sector for a number of years, initially in investment banking, before moving onto audit work with a Big 4 company where he qualified as an accountant.

“I extensively researched opportunities available to me for the next step in my career,” stated Balaji”. “I was keen to operate my own practice and found TaxAssist to be the perfect match for my aspirations. I am able to run my own accountancy practice while at the same time being a part of one of the largest accountancy groups in the country with a well-established brand name.

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“I have a broad range of experience working with companies of all sizes, but it is small businesses that I am passionate about and I am looking forward to adding value to these businesses in my local area.”

Balaji’s shop joins an established network of over 225 TaxAssist Accountants shops nationwide.

TaxAssist represents voice of small businesses at meeting with Chancellor of the Exchequer

November 26, 2019

On Thursday 21st November Karl Sandall, Chief Executive Director of The TaxAssist Group, met with Sajid Javid and raised a number of issues concerning the small business community.

Sajid Javid, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, was in Norwich on 21st November and took the opportunity to visit the TaxAssist Accountants Support Centre to meet Directors and Senior Managers to learn more about the concerns of small businesses.

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“It was a very worthwhile meeting, during which we discussed a number of really important issues”, said Karl.

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“The TaxAssist Accountants network of over 350 shops and offices looks after the needs of more than 75,000 small businesses across the country, and we used the time we had with the Chancellor to highlight a number of key concerns on their behalf:

  • IR35 and the changes scheduled for April 2020
  • The disproportionate costs and impact of compliance on small businesses
  • The advantage online businesses have compared to the high street as a result of the business rates system which is in need of a review to ensure a more even playing field
  • The lack of tax incentives for small businesses and the proposed cap for Research & Development tax credits which will hit innovative small businesses
  • The future for inheritance tax following ministers’ comments surrounding it’s future
  • The lack of support available to small businesses to help them comply with Making Tax Digital, such as access to compliant software and good internet speeds
  • The current arrangements for apprenticeship funding, which don’t help small business owners nurture new talent

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“We are proud to represent small businesses, the ‘lifeblood’ of the UK economy and we will take every opportunity we get to speak up for their needs and concerns,” added Karl.

TaxAssist Accountants awarded 5-Star franchisee satisfaction for 7th consecutive year

November 21, 2019

TaxAssist joins a select group of only four franchisors in receiving the award for seven years running.

TaxAssist Accountants has once again been awarded 5-star franchisee satisfaction from WorkBuzz following positive feedback from its network of more than 200 franchisees.

This led it to receiving above the average benchmark results for key areas of the survey which inform the final Franchise Satisfaction Benchmark report. These include training and support, franchise system, culture and relationships, leadership and general satisfaction.

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The satisfaction benchmark is provided by WorkBuzz, a leading independent franchise consultancy. It works by inviting existing franchisees to participate in an anonymous online survey, which asks them 29 questions about their franchise ownership experience.

Using a consistent methodology, the franchise is assigned an overall satisfaction benchmark score and the highest performing franchisors are recognised at the Best Franchise Awards.

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Karl Sandall, Group Chief Executive Director at TaxAssist Accountants, said: “It was a pleasure to once again read so many positive comments from our franchisees, which allowed us to achieve this prestigious accolade for the seventh year in a row.

“We are extremely proud of the successful TaxAssist business model and the support we provide and receiving 5-star franchisee satisfaction is testament to the hard work of our dedicated team, which has now grown to 60 at the Support Centre in Norwich.

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“We will not be resting on our laurels as we have read all of the comments in detail and we will consider and address any issues or suggestions made.”

For more information about WorkBuzz and the Best Franchise Awards please visit

TaxAssist Accountants continues impressive rate of growth

November 21, 2019

Six new franchisees plus one new staff member have recently graduated from the TaxAssist Accountants training course.

Leonard Woodbridge (partner at Paignton), Raza Syed (Southall), Balaji Krishnamurthy (Bury West), Samir Gosrani (New Malden), Michael Sidon (staff member at Chiswick), Daniel Wu (Welling) and Mark Dhillon (partner at Shepherds Bush) are the latest to join the TaxAssist Accountants network.

Daniel Wu worked for 11 years in the Big 4 accountancy firms before deciding that he needed to make a positive change in his life.

“I wanted to get out of corporate life, do something local and be part of my community,” explained Daniel.

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“I searched for opportunities on the internet and nothing appealed to me until I came across TaxAssist Accountants. I decided to attend a Discovery Day in December 2017 to find out more. On the day, I was pleasantly surprised that people at the support center were genuinely warm, welcoming and friendly. There was no hard sell about the business model. They were open, honest and transparent. I had the impression that TaxAssist is like a family run business where there is encouragement to grow and be successful. I knew that I had found the right place. There was no doubt that I wanted to join and start my business with TAA in a shop front.

“I did my research and gathered feedback from the existing franchisees. Every one of them that I spoke to was friendly and helpful. It was very apparent that they enjoyed working in their TaxAssist businesses and there were no regrets.”

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Leonard Woodbridge decided to work for himself in 2005, building up a small client base and sub-contracting to a few Chartered firms.

“After several years being extremely busy and not having much opportunity to think about it, I realised this business model was working very well for the firms I was sub-contracting to, but not so well for myself,” explained Leonard. “I was spending the majority of my time servicing clients for other firms, who were becoming more demanding. Spending the majority of my time out at clients also meant there wasn’t much time to build my own client base.

“I was aware of how time consuming it was to keep up to date with the work, legislative, technical changes and systems as well as undertaking marketing. Hence, rather intrigued, I came along to the Discovery Day in May this year. I really enjoy meeting people and helping them but I wanted somebody to help me with the operational side of things, this would enable me to develop and grow the business. The TaxAssist model fitted perfectly and thanks to the support office, this has already proved to be the right move for me as I go forward in the next stage of my journey!”.

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Karl Sandall, Chief Executive Director at The TaxAssist Group, said: “We are delighted to welcome another fantastic group of franchisees and staff to the network and look forward to helping and supporting them with all aspects of the running of their practices.

“This year has been very successful in terms of recruitment. We are currently running our last course of 2019 and we already have interest in our first course of 2020 which starts in February.”

If you would like more information about becoming part of the TaxAssist Accountants network, please call our Franchise Recruitment Manager Nikki Haythorne on 0800 0188297.

TaxAssist holds bespoke event to engage and support the staff of franchisees

November 17, 2019

Knowing that happy staff who feel engaged and supported are key to the success of a practice, TaxAssist Accountants recently held its first staff regional meeting at Hampton Manor Hotel in Solihull.

This event was delivered by Senior Managers Richard Washington, Richard Chatten-Hague and Jo Nockels on the back of the recent franchisee regional meetings with similar content but tailored specifically for staff.

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Richard Chatten-Hague, Senior Business Development Manager, said: “It was great to be a part of this productive and enjoyable, inaugural event.

“We know how vital a role staff play in the running of a practice, and so we felt it was important to hold a bespoke meeting to showcase the vast support on offer, keep them up to date with technical and business development initiatives and to provide them with a platform for views and ideas.

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“We are hopeful that holding events such as these will help with staff engagement, development and retention. We received excellent feedback from all who attended, and we will be looking to hold this event again next year.”

TaxAssist takes its commitment to staff development very seriously and runs a two-year diploma course for senior practice staff designed to nurture management and leadership skills. It also produces regular webinars and business development, technical and software training days for staff to attend.

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Many franchisees in the network are also recognised as ICAEW accredited trainers, helping to attract and retain talented individuals by offering the ACA qualification.

A list of current staff vacancies can be found here.

Official shop launch for TaxAssist Accountants in the heart of Norwich

November 12, 2019

Jeremy Gilks celebrated the official launch of his shop on Ber Street on the 7th November with a party for the local business community.

The Deputy Lord Mayor of Norwich, Caroline Ackroyd, and the Chief Executive at Norfolk Chambers of Commerce, Chris Sargisson, joined Jeremy Gilks on 7th November to celebrate the official opening of a new TaxAssist Accountants shop on Ber Street, with a party for the local business community.

Since Jeremy first opened the doors to his shop at 113-119 Ber Street on 27th August, he and his wife Sally have already become firmly embedded within their local business community resulting in dozens of clients, colleagues and well-wishers dropping by.

“The shop is in the hub of the busy Ber Street community, which has become a buzzing hive of small independent businesses with a vibrant local traders association. There is also plenty of on-street parking for clients to use when popping in, as we want to be convenient to the city centre, to make it easy for clients to come and visit us while doing their shopping.

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“We do not consider ourselves to be typical accountants, which is clear from the look and feel of our modern shop. We are passionate about offering a bespoke, tailored service to every kind of small business client and we have adopted the latest software on offer, which allows us to be more responsive to clients’ needs and provides greater efficiencies. But we have a ‘best of both worlds’ approach for those who enjoy using tech and those who prefer just to come in and talk to us.”

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As well as providing all the regular services you would expect from a local accountant, Jeremy, who has over 30 years’ accountancy experience across a range of sectors, is looking for his shop to become a destination for new start-ups by providing a business hub. This will offer a flexible working environment with space to hire by the hour, half day, day, week or month.

Caroline Ackroyd said: “It is delightful to see another small independently-owned business become part of the regeneration of Ber Street. Not only that, but TaxAssist works with small businesses and we know the importance of small independent retailers working together. I am told that for every £10 that we spend at a small independent shop, £50 goes into our local economy, so how good is that for Norwich.”

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Chris Sargisson added: “Ber Street is a small business community and it’s great that a home-grown organisation like TaxAssist has opened a shop in this thriving area. Most of the things that small businesses need to know are ‘unknown’ unknowns. That is where TaxAssist can really help as it not only helps small businesses with what they know, it is telling them what they don’t know and that is how businesses survive.”

TaxAssist directors deliver key messages to franchise network at regional meetings

November 7, 2019

James Mattam and Daren Moore recently hosted nine interactive meetings across the various regions of the UK

A key benefit of becoming a TaxAssist Accountants franchisee is being a part of a successful market leading network, which includes numerous opportunities throughout the year to meet up with other franchisees and share best practice.

The annual series of regional meetings, ensures all franchisees are engaged, informed and supported by the TaxAssist Support Centre, so they can take full advantage of all that is on offer to them.

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Group Business Development Director, James Mattam, explained: “We’ve thoroughly enjoyed travelling to see the network at these meetings to present and take the temperature of what franchisees want from us and how they are performing. The tour takes us all over the UK and these meetings are a key element of the support that we provide to the network. It’s always great to catch up with everybody and we are very pleased with the high turnout and the feedback we received from the attendees.”

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Group Commercial Director, Daren Moore, said: “This year we presented several new initiatives and gave updates across the key parts of our business.”

Topics covered included:

  • The success of the national marketing results demonstrating how and where the new client growth has stemmed from in 2019
  • Strategies and ideas for local marketing initiatives
  • Development of our digital software estate and how to achieve efficiencies within their practices
  • Practice growth and profitability advice
  • Insourcing tax and payroll services offered to the network by the franchisor to enable growth, resourcing solutions and increasing their income
  • New tax services being launched including Property landlord structures, IHT planning reviews and Trust planning/compliance
  • Advisory services and the tools available to deliver them
  • The measures we have in place to keep us secure from cyber attacks
  • A new mental health support service called Health Assured for all franchisees, staff and their families

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“We know that we are living in economically uncertain times, coupled with the pace of technological and regulatory changes, but a key message we wanted to deliver was that franchisee sales are still growing strongly,” added Daren. “We continue to be excited at the potential we see for growth and the many opportunities which are present.”

TaxAssist moves up one place in Accountancy Age Top 50 + 50 survey

October 31, 2019

TaxAssist Accountants’ continual growth has seen the network of small business specialists rise one place to 21st in the highly regarded industry league table with a 5% increase in fee income, up from £39.6m to £41.5m.

The latest survey reveals that growth across the sector has accelerated despite the economic uncertainty caused by Brexit and new regulations. The top UK accountancy firms recorded fee revenues totalling over £16bn in the last financial year, one year after breaking the £15bn barrier.

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Karl Sandall, Group Chief Executive Director at the TaxAssist Group, said: “To have moved up one place to 21st in the league table is fantastic news. Our rise of 13 places, since we first entered the Accountancy Age survey in 2010, is testament to the dedication of our network and our sustained vision for continual growth.

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“Although we are living through uncertain times, recruitment of new franchisees continues to be strong. The benefits to being part of the TaxAssist network are clear and our full service offering is increasingly in demand with small business clients, who need help and advice with software and regulation, attracted by our visible, welcoming shop based practices. I feel confident that our adoption of a best-in-class technology suite, investment in our brand, coupled with our plans to develop services to help attract and support clients, bodes well for future performance.”

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Austin Clark, Editor at Accountancy Age, said: “The good news for the sector is that this year’s ranking showed widespread growth across the table – from the Big Four through to the smaller firms in the listing – despite the multitude of challenges faced and the uncertain climate.”

To see the list of the Top 50 firms and an analysis by Accountancy Age click here.

The TaxAssist Direct Group named finalist for Business Award

October 18, 2019

The Eastern Daily Press has named The TaxAssist Direct Group as a finalist in the Large Business category in the Norfolk Business Awards.

The annual Eastern Daily Press Business Awards are a celebration of business success within the Eastern Region. All the entries have been rigorously analysed, after the finalists were interviewed as part of the process to help inform the final decision as to who will be named winner next month.

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Karl Sandall, Group Chief Executive of The TaxAssist Direct Group, said: “To even make the shortlist is a huge honour, and highlights the stature of our business which has grown so successfully since its inception in Norwich in 1995. We now have more than 250 franchised areas across the UK, Ireland and Australia, with the network servicing over 84,000 clients with a combined fee bank of more than £55.4 million.

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“We moved to new premises 5 years ago and last year doubled the size of our office on the prestigious Broadland Business Park to cope with demand from our fast-growing franchise network. We plan to recruit further new employees this year, as new support lines to our global franchisee network are added. We are also progressing well with plans to launch in Canada and USA in 2020.”

Richard Porritt, Business Editor of The Eastern Daily Press, said of the finalists: “These are the firms that are driving our region. These are the firms on the edge of innovation that will change all our lives. These are the firms making a difference.”

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Award winners will be announced at the Norfolk Showground Arena on Thursday, 21st November by the host, star of film and television, James Nesbitt. Further information about the awards can be found here.