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Franchise Basics and Focus
Why have you delayed moving into public practice?
As an accountant, have you every really wanted to run a public practice and to be self employed? What has stopped you from doing this?
Here are three reasons that often come up, and in fact more than one of them are usually factors:
- You are not a registered tax agent.
- You have limited or no tax experience.
- You do not have enough knowledge, skill or experience to run a public practice.
Bridging the Gaps:
Success Tax Professionals provides the opportunity to purchase an Accounting and Taxation Franchise and to legally provide relevant services to clients with the use of our brand, systems, training, support, intellectual property, and with the added advantage of receiving on-going franchise membership benefits. We provide the legal basis, the support, supervision and functionality to help bridge the gaps.
Our franchisees become a member of the Success Tax Professionals network of accountants. They, and the practices they establish and develop comply with franchise requirements – including work standards, quality and professional development.
Focus of our franchise:
Success Tax Professionals is about building a true accounting practice and not a seasonal business.
There is ‘accounting’ and ‘taxation”. Let’s discuss taxation, as most people understand that accounting occurs throughout the year, as required and with various deadlines. It is taxation which causes the most misunderstanding. It is a misconception that taxation is seasonal. Seasonal tax businesses are created by accountants who, for example, only want to work specific times of the year, or who have a limited understanding or knowledge of the full range of functions that a professional accountant in public practice should competently be able to provide. Seasonal business can also arise out of not understanding the needs of the customer and in targeting either the wrong market or only a portion of the right market.
Success Tax Professionals accountants deliver services to businesses, self managed super funds (SMSFs) and to customers with more detailed or involved individual taxation needs. Straightforward, or simple individual taxation returns, are not the focus for our accountants, although some work may arise from this sector. Where an individual can complete their own taxation, they should do so and use government online services and ATO support as required. This is already increasingly happening with uptake in use of the government myTax system.
Our focus is directed primarily to forming lasting working relationships with business clients, SMSFs and in managing taxation unable to be completed by an individual due to complexity or the need for professional assistance and knowledge. Our business is about ‘value adding services’ and these types of services lead to the opportunity for continuous work, viability and business growth.
Understanding the Industry
Our franchise is structured not to be seasonal:
Confusion often arises between seasonal tax return preparation (typically July to October annually), compared to the full functionality of a true professional accounting practice which has work all year round. Yes – all year round.
What actually is seasonal: Seasonal tax return preparation is typically found in a portion of the Salary and Wage tax market. The Salary and Wage market is also often referred to as the ‘Individual Tax Return’ market, or ‘Employee Tax Returns’. It is the simple Employee Tax Returns within this group that are seasonal. This sub-group typically want a fast refund and can also often complete the tax return themselves. If they use an accountant they favour the months of July – October. Increasing numbers of these people are moving across to the government online system called myTax – i.e. self-service. The statistics from the ATO confirm this and simple tax return preparers are therefore becoming increasingly concerned about significant losses to their client base and business viability.
Success Tax Professionals accountants do not target this sub-group of the overall market, but still complete work in this area if approached by a customer. Simple tax returns form only 12% of the tax market. This means work that makes a business non-seasonal can come from multiple areas that make up the other service areas of the industry, and this is extensive. (See the table below).
Target the right market:
Achieve workloads that are not seasonal: Success Tax Professionals franchises are pitched at professional accounting and taxation practice level. We work with all of our accountants to achieve a learning curve and skill level that will allow for a wide range of work to be performed. Here is the data to help put things in perspective:
The Accounting Industry (which covers Bookkeeping/Accounting, Advisory, Audit and Tax Services), is $18.7 billion of work and is broken up as follows:
The 22% or $4.11b that are Tax Services are made up of the following:
If an accountant positions themselves in the market correctly there is plenty of work in multiple areas – Bookkeeping/Accounting, Advisory, Audit and Tax Services (with only Employee Tax Returns – Simple not being a group of significant interest).
Ideal practice structure:
The diversity of the work available from the full industry we operate in provides the opportunity to secure continuous work. Ideal practices within our network are guided to evolve over time to comprise a minimum of 80% business clients and only 20% (or less) Salary and Wage (i.e. Individual) clients.
Our franchise has a strong focus on professional development which continues after recruitment:
As the Franchisor, we are committed to the development of all of our accountants and this development is continuous due to constant changes in taxation policy, legislation and the needs of the consumer market. We train and upgrade the knowledge of our practitioners by delivering new material and by bridging identified learning needs.
The Success Tax Professionals Franchise is therefore a unique model which incorporates intensive ongoing training, mentoring and technical support. We continue to develop our franchisees throughout their association with our practice network.
Furthermore we assist in finding affordable ways for our members to expand business, obtain commercial premises and undertake effective advertising. We have low risk proven strategies to assist franchisees who wish to rapidly expand their business and total revenue. As the Franchisor we are therefore active in business development for our accountants on an individual basis and also for the entire Success Tax Professionals network and brand.
It is important to note that our accountants must complete any outstanding formal tertiary qualifications in the field, as necessary, and may do so after joining should this be the case.
Wide range of support:
Our franchisees have access to technical support, our extensive intellectual property including forms, documents, templates, letters, manuals, tools, processing systems, marketing material, artwork services, stationery and recognisable branding. We design and provide systems and work related tools to simplify the work environment for our practitioners and to create identifiable consistency.
There is still plenty of scope for our accountants to add their own creativity to their practice while adhering to franchise requirements.
Up to two years of flexibility:
Can you work from home? The answer to this question is ‘yes’, while you are phasing in, part-time and/or home based or mobile services are options, but you need to be able to move into commercial premises within 24 months and be operating on a full-time basis. This is not anywhere near as overwhelming, expensive or unattainable as some accountants set themselves up to believe and making this change constructively results in a big difference to business outcomes and growth. Home-based operators who are ‘phasing in’ are encouraged to use a number of different advertising mediums to facilitate business until they move into commercial premises.
What to expect:
Part-time, home based or mobile servicing typically generates a small client base and allows practitioners to establish rapport with this base, and refine work patterns and planning in preparation for larger scale business in a commercial environment.
Part-time operators do not achieve tax agent status. Home-based and mobile service operators (even if full-time) during the 24 month period of flexibility are extremely unlikely to obtain sufficient volumes of work or variety in the work to meet the Tax Practitioner Board (TPB) requirements for this part of the TPB’s criteria.
Practitioners electing to commence in a commercial office obtain faster growth and access to higher paid forms of work.
Open to non-registered and registered tax agents:
There are a number of different recruitment levels into Success Tax Professionals with different levels of support and supervision depending on an accountant’s qualifications and experience. This means that recruitment is open to both Non-Registered and Registered Tax Agents. Applicants need to have completed an accounting qualification and previous tax experience is desirable but not essential. A more detailed description of ‘qualification requirements’ and also other ‘suitability’ criteria are outlined in our Information Package. Yes, we can look at overseas qualifications as well and let you know if we can accept these and what else you may need to do.
We form a strong working relationship with all franchisees and it is important that we both feel we can work together to achieve successful business results.
Some of the Benefits
- Professional practice opportunity.
- Franchisor supported.
- Brand recognition.
- Virtual team environment and culture with sharing of best practices, economies of scale and networking amongst practices and accountants.
- On-going professional development.
- Access to technical support and resources.
- Marketing and business development.
- Rapid business growth option through fee parcel and whole practice purchases, (when available and where the accountant has suitable experience levels and is able to obtain finance to expedite growth).
Success Tax Professionals are Registered Tax Agents and Public Accountants and hold all essential legal licences. The Franchisor is involved full-time in network training, support and relevant franchise development activities. We do not operate an accounting practice. Our full-time business is Success Tax Professionals franchising.