The Success Tax Professionals business was established in March 2003 and there are now over 75 franchises in the network. The Franchisor is based in Perth, Western Australia and is exclusively involved in franchising, training, marketing and business/technical support commitments in relation to its network members.
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Training Our Franchisees
Programme requirements change as franchisees develop and become tax agents:
Franchises are available Australia-wide and are subject to non-tax agent franchisees being able to commit to complying with our in-house “Continuing Professional Development Programme’.
Our programmes are delivered in Perth (WA) and Melbourne (VIC). Programme details are available in our full Franchise Information Package, and applicants should consider this information carefully as it is an essential requirement of membership to the group. Once franchisees achieve tax agent status they have further options and greater flexibility regarding attendance, which becomes optional. It is important to factor in that tax agents must still comply with minimum Continuing Professional Education requirements set by the Tax Practitioners Board and the professional bodies they belong to, such as CPA. Tax agents have extensive opportunities to customise their own programmes and courses they wish to attend.
Why Learning Programmes Are Important
Constantly expanding knowledge and skills to take business to a superior level:
Not all accountants in the tax industry continue to keep up to date with advancements, policy changes, and new products. Reasons for this might include lack of interest or time. A primary reason however is often the cost involved in attending professional workshops and information seminars, and also the significant cost of purchasing resource material.
Training and information comes at a price and many accountants or the companies they work for are not prepared to incorporate this into their work environment as an ‘essential’ requirement. Nor do some accountants feel a need to commit sufficient time to training the staff in their practices.
Success Tax Professionals practices are different. As Success Tax Professionals has a central body responsible for areas such as training, support and information, our accountants and practices have access to extensive material and professional development.
Accessibility and Low Purchase Cost
Affordability with low risk:
Many franchises are expensive, making them beyond the reach of people who otherwise hold appropriate qualifications and business aptitude. This is not the case with Success Tax Professionals.
Applicant suitability, purchase fee and on-going fee structures are available in our Information Package.
Our franchise is based on the principle of a working ‘partnership’ rather than an excessive up-front fee.
What you did before and your opportunity and direction now:
The path before and after joining Success Tax Professionals is different for each member, although there can be some similarities at times.
Some of our most successful practice members at the time of joining were not registered tax agents. Others had accounting qualifications but had not previously worked in public practice so had no tax experience, for example, they were company accountants seeking to change direction. Other applicants had used their qualifications and abilities to work as seasonal/casual tax preparers or in public practice for an employer (i.e. on wages). Some recruits were even working well beneath their abilities and qualifications as bookkeepers. Accountants migrating to Australia and who are prepared to complete bridging units after joining might also be able to join our network depending on their work history and overseas experience.
Achieving tax agent status and being realistic:
Since joining, various members have achieved Registered Tax Agent status in their own right and others are well on their way, or even with applications currently before the Tax Practitioners Board. It is a requirement of the franchise that members achieve Registered Tax Agent status and be prepared to fulfill the necessary criteria within a reasonable period of time after joining. Visit the Tax Practitioners Board to find out the criteria for tax agent status – www.tpb.gov.au.
Tax Agent status does not however magically facilitate a successful business. Our franchise, therefore is multi-faceted in providing business development and support. Viable businesses do not simply occur because someone is a tax agent and has an office. Viable businesses occur when smart procedures are in place, work tools are used productively, practitioners are skilled, customer service is given high attention, and business expansion opportunities are undertaken. This is all part of public practice ongoing development and management.
Prior to tax agent status being achieved, one hundred percent of all non-registered tax agent work is reviewed, checked and delegated on by a registered tax agent. The customer therefore receives the benefit of internal quality assurance having evaluated their circumstances, paperwork and claims. Once the work has passed internal quality assurance processes to the satisfaction of the registered tax agent they then take lodgement or other finalisation action.
Full supervision of non-registered tax agents is provided by an experienced registered tax agent.
Equity in your own business:
Our accountants also deal with all client matters and build equity in their own practices. This is a satisfying arrangement for our accountants and also their customers. Success Tax Professionals takes a modern approach to developing accountants and assisting them to achieve functional business status and viability.
Success Tax Professionals establishes a career path that allows our accountants to build equity in their own business at the same time as working towards their tax agent status.
Registered Tax Agents continue with Success Tax Professionals under the franchise contract and continue to receive ongoing benefits and support as well as specific assistance tailored for tax agent level whereby new factors and word demands often arise. Non Registered and Registered Tax Agents operate under separate franchise fee structures which acknowledges their level of achievement and differing needs.
Our franchise is not suitable for applicants who are purely seeking registered tax agent status, but who do not want to remain within the franchise network following this. The terms and conditions within the franchise contract contain specific conditions to protect our investment and business.
Obstacles in the General Industry
Are you being held back?
In the general taxation industry, when accountants work for an employer or practice owner who is a registered tax agent (i.e. they work as an employee on wages in a firm) a number of circumstances might occur that could restrict their career path:
- The employer structures their practice so that their employee accountants do not see the clients. They do not get the opportunity to build rapport with the clients or have the opportunity to learn important communication and interviewing skills. The employee accountant remains back office, removed from public contact, while the employer becomes ‘the face’ of the practice and interviews the clients, but then passes the work and interview papers to back office staff who prepare the taxation returns and accounts for the client.
- The employee accountant therefore performs data entry and learns very limited business skills – if any. The client has no knowledge that the practice owner who interviewed them did not also prepare the taxation return, because the practice owner signs the taxation return as the registered tax agent and their name therefore appears on all relevant paperwork and documents produced for the client.
- This is a common occurrence whereby the practice owner may seek to protect their client base and business by limiting their employees direct contact with clients and also the development of their skills. This means the employee poses ‘no threat’ as a competitor.
- The employer refuses to provide the employee accountant with the required reference to support their application for registered tax agent status, even though the employee meets the qualification and experience requirements.
- The employer invests very minimal time and funds into regular training of their staff. This could be due to the training cost involved, as good training is frequently expensive in terms of dollars and also involves time away from processing work in the office environment. It can however also be to limit the employee’s skills to only the level deemed necessary to get the work done and without fear of future competition from the employee.
- The tax agent incorrectly approves work prepared by employee accountants in the firm without checking the accuracy first. This results in lack of important developmental feedback to employee accountants and also fails to provide an ethical service to clients in relation to the accuracy of the data.
Circumstances such as those listed above can leave a person with ambition and desire to run their own accounting practice in difficulty or can dramatically slow down the time it takes to realise this goal.
Minimising Obstacles with our Franchise
Our franchise is structured to advance and encourage business growth, sense of ownership and opportunities:
We do not set up obstacles as some employers may do, as described above in the ‘Obstacles in the General Industry’ section above. Quite the opposite. We help accountants to build equity and business dynamics:
- All of our accountants and practices build rapport with their clients.
- All of our accountants have full communication with their clients and deal with client matters themselves, or via their trained staff.
- Our accountants comply with franchise requirements but also have the option to add their own creativity to allow for a modern non-sterile servicing environment for their clients.
- Our Continuing Professional Development Programme targets change, advancements and up-grading of knowledge. We build knowledge. We do not restrict knowledge. Better knowledge, better accountants.
- We are not in competition with our franchisees. We have the same goals and vision. Our business is affected by the results of our franchisees. We are therefore motivated and committed to the success of their practices.
- Tax agent status is not restricted by us. We provide all required references when experience and qualifications meet the criteria. Registered Tax Agent status is welcomed as an achievement in Success Tax Professionals. We advertise opportunities (including the option to purchase client fee parcels) for franchisees to expand their business and this can assist in achieving the required experience levels at a faster rate.
Key Franchisor Areas
We support your business but do not run your business:
As the franchisor, our core business is to sell franchises and support, train, supervise and develop franchisees. Success Tax Professionals is a ‘continuous improvement’ company evolving with change. Our Franchisor business plan for the network focuses on the following key areas, which are integral to achieving performance outcomes:
- Strategic planning and business expansion programmes.
- Recruitment of suitable franchisees.
- Development, maintenance and review of learning and development systems, training material and programmes, work based tools, IT systems and learning guides.
- Training franchisees in the Success Tax Professionals system and methods – including standards, expectations and best practices.
- Motivation of franchisees and assistance in building their business on an on-going and proactive basis.
- Supervision and monitoring of franchisees and the quality of their services against key performance indicators and key results areas.
- National brand promotion.
Find out more:
More details are in our Information Package.
As the Franchisor we are not interested in easy sales. It is important to note that we have a seriously high level of investment and interaction with our members on an on-going basis after they join. We therefore need to establish compatibility between the purchaser and ourselves – this includes a comparable vision regarding targets and goals, understanding of the franchise contract terms, conditions and time lines, willingness to attend our Professional Development Programme for the required period and understanding of the virtual team environment and Success Tax Professionals culture.
Every franchise arrangement that we enter into is effectively a ‘partnership’.
Success Tax Professionals is uniquely positioned in the accounting and tax services industry due to its different approach and perspective but has firm anchorage in solid franchising concepts such as training, mentoring, systems, quality, structure and expansion options.
If you think this is for you, then please read our full Information Package which you can download from our site.