TaxAssist is a nationwide network of over 200 accountancy franchises. We created a special support package to help franchisees stop worrying about IT and focus on growing their business instead.
TaxAssist, is an accountancy franchise with over 350 branches across the UK and the Republic of Ireland. The Support Centre, which operates from the Broadland Business Park in Norwich, provides franchisees with training and full technical, marketing and business development support.
Each TaxAssist franchise serves its own individually allocated territory and develops its business independently, supported by the Support Centre with referrals, advice and other resources.
Although franchises can base themselves anywhere, they’re encouraged to have a high-street presence where they can use the bright, distinctive TaxAssist branding to attract walk-in clients.
Custom support package for franchisees
We first got involved with TaxAssist in 2013, when we began providing the Support Centre with a standard proactive support contract. Once we’d proven ourselves, the opportunity came up to offer a support solution to members of the franchise network too. So we devised an exclusive package that would give franchisees everything they needed at the right price.
With our cloud-hosted solution, franchisees’ data and software are securely hosted in our own datacentre, so team members can work anywhere, any time. Microsoft Office 365 is included as standard, but franchisees can also use their own software – for example, Sage or another accounting package.
‘Franchisees rely on us to put the right package together for them,’ explains Sarah Robertson, Group Operations Director. ‘We try to make their lives easier, on every level, so they can win more clients and earn more money. Accountants charge for their time, so if their IT isn’t working, they’re losing money.’
Originally, our package was offered alongside two other IT providers. However, it soon proved so popular that TaxAssist have now made it mandatory for all franchisees. ‘Originally, we thought we should spread the risk and offer a choice,’ explains Sarah. ‘But as time went on, we realised that we were getting different levels of service across the three providers, and that Computer Service Centre’s offering was far superior, both technically and in terms of management style.’
Certified for the job
Our ISO certifications for quality management and information security, as well as our Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation, reassure franchisees that their data is in safe hands. ‘We just felt we were safer with Computer Service Centre than anyone else,’ says Sarah. ‘If something went wrong and an accountant lost all their data, they’d lose their business along with it.’
You do the accounts, we’ll do the IT
Our proposition to franchisees is simple: ‘You do the accounts, we’ll do the IT.’ With our support, they can get up and running quickly without major upfront costs, knowing that they’ll be able to scale up later when their business takes off.
With franchisees running their own business, they want to be sure that they’re making the right choice. ‘Within a franchise, you’re trying to influence lots of different people, and that’s about hearts and minds,’ affirms Sarah. ‘You need a convincing argument for why your proposal is the right one. Computer Service Centre are very good at understanding that people element.’
We now support over 900 users across the network, keeping the arrangement running smoothly with monthly reviews with the Support Centre, and close collaboration on new initiatives and communications.
In terms of franchisees’ feedback, it’s mostly a case of ‘no news is good news’. ‘Many franchisees come from corporate backgrounds, where a team looks after IT, so they’ve never really had to deal with downtime,’ says Sarah. ‘When it’s all working fabulously, it just ticks along and we don’t hear much about it. The only time we hear anything is when something goes wrong – but we just don’t have that with Computer Service Centre.’
Overall, Sarah is pleased to have a partner who can work the way TaxAssist wants. ‘Computer Service Centre work in such a proactive, flexible and mutually inclusive way,’ she says. ‘It’s not just about trying to sell products; it’s about finding the right solution. Computer Service Centre are very professional and organised, but they’re also an absolute pleasure to work with. I’d wholeheartedly recommend them.’
Customised support arrangement for hundreds of franchisees
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