Franchising is a great way to start your own accountancy business and be your own boss without the high level of risk that you’d face if you did it all alone. As a franchisee, you’ll join an established network of accountants and benefit from a proven business model, as well as all the support and training that you need. Here’s everything you need to know about becoming an accountant and starting an accountancy franchise.
The dynamic world of franchising is open to everyone, and if you’re interested in a career as an accountant, you’ll find many different franchise opportunities in the sector. If you’re ready to make a change and enter a profitable and rewarding role as a franchisee with an accountancy and bookkeeping company, this article is the perfect place to start.
What does an accountant do?
In 2018, combined membership figures for five different accountancy bodies revealed that there were 275,000 professional accountants operating in the UK and Ireland [Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies]. Accountants might work for individual clients or for bigger businesses, and will be responsible for a range of daily tasks, including:
- Responding to client queries and messages
- Communicating with clients (in person, on a video call, on the phone and via email)
- Crunching the numbers (VAT returns, tax returns, accounts, so on)
- Researching and staying up-to-date with the wider industry
- Prioritising tasks and meeting deadlines
Though the competition is stiff, as evidenced by the number of working accountants in the UK, success is still very possible in the sector because demand remains equally high. The key benefits to hiring an accountant, and the reasons that accountancy services are so in demand, are:
- Saved time
- Ensured accuracy and reduced tax liability
- Supported business growth
- Removal of financial anxiety
- Organisational continuity
- Prevention of tax penalties and fines
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How to become an accountant
If you’re interested in making a career change with a bookkeeping franchise or an accountancy business, the following tips for becoming an accountant will help you to get onto the right path...
1. Consider your qualifications and assess your skills
In order to succeed as an accountant, you’d benefit from a qualification in a subject such as Mathematics, Economics or Business Studies, even if this isn’t expressly required. You’ll also need to obtain the AAT qualification, and if you’re interested in becoming a chartered accountant, you’ll be looking to work towards higher level qualifications like the ACA, ACCA or CIMA (though most of these qualifications can be worked towards on the job, so you won’t have to wait years and years to invest).
Beyond qualifications, there are certain important transferable skills that all the best accountants possess. Before you enter into a franchise agreement, you should first ask yourself whether you possess the following abilities and skills:
- Organisation and time management
- Critical thinking
- Adaptability and resilience
- Commercial awareness
- Computer proficiency
- Data visualisation
Given how the nature of information is evolving, I see the development of data visualisation skills as a huge advantage of today’s accountants, and an absolute necessity for tomorrow’s accountants.
– Gary Hecht, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
2. Do your research
When you know where you stand and you feel ready to embark on a career as an accountant, you’ll need to do your research on the opportunities that are out there, and the expectations of each of these opportunities, from cost all the way to time commitment and marketing responsibilities. This is a crucial part of the process, as a failure to fully investigate an opportunity and do your due diligence could lead to an unsuitable investment.
In terms of the cost of investment, the average cost of starting a franchise unit in 2018 was £42,200 [British Franchise Association], but this figure will differ from franchise to franchise and sector to sector, dependent on a number of factors like the size of the brand and the area you’ll be operating in. As you evaluate opportunities, be sure to consider not just the cost of the initial investment, but all the potential ongoing fees like royalties, advertising charges and running costs. Make your decision carefully, and don’t jump in too quickly.
3. Give it your all once the contract is signed
When you’ve committed to an opportunity, the best way to succeed as a franchisee (in the accounting sector and the wider world of franchising) is to give it your all. Your franchisor will be providing you with training and support, and you should grab onto these provisions with both hands and make the absolute most of them. Avoid mistakes that could limit your franchise’s potential for success, such as:
- Neglecting the business model
- Not communicating with your franchisor/support team
- Going against the terms of your franchise agreement
- Failing to engage in ongoing development and training programmes
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Franchise opportunities in the accounting sector
1. TaxAssist Accountants
TaxAssist Accountants was founded in 1995, and has since become one of the largest networks of its kind, specialising in serving small businesses and self-employed individuals.
- Becoming a TaxAssist Accountants franchisee: The ideal TaxAssist Accountants franchisee would be driven, determined and disciplined, with the ability to follow the TaxAssist business model with plenty of commercial acumen.
- How much you need to invest: To franchise with this business, you’ll need to make a minimum initial investment of £39,950.
- What you get for your investment: In return for your investment, you’ll part-own the business, benefit from the popular brand name and receive bespoke training and technical support from industry experts. The TaxAssist lead generation service will deliver customers right to you.
Accountants247 offers expert accountancy services to individuals and SMEs at affordable rates. A trusted UK business, Accountants247 is well-loved by its many clients.
- Becoming an Accountants247 franchisee: The ideal Accountants 247 franchisee would be hard-working, like-minded and determined, ready to run their own business and grow with the network.
- How much you need to invest: To franchise with this business, you’ll need to make a minimum initial investment of £9,999, with a total investment cost of £15,000. You’ll also be charged a monthly operating fee of £400, and a monthly advertising fee of £1000.
- What you get for your investment: In return for your investment, you’ll have access to a proven business model, you’ll enjoy flexible working options and you’ll be provided with all the tools and support that you need to thrive, including plenty of training and marketing assistance.
The accounting industry is full of profit, promise and career satisfaction
Now that you know where to start, an incredibly rewarding career could be just a few steps away. If you’d like to dive more deeply into the franchising side of things, keep up the research on Point Franchise. Find out the four most common habits of successful business owners, or meet the new faces of franchising.
Lily Sweeney, Point Franchise ©