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JUNE 2016


TaxAssist Accountants hold annual conference


n Celtic Manor in Wales was once again the venue for the TaxAssist Accountants annual conference this year, with more than 490 franchisees, staff and business partners in attendance. The morning exhibition included over 40 stands for franchisees to visit, meet and talk with partners. This was followed by an afternoon conference highlighting the growth of the franchise in the UK and internationally. What’s more, the changes and initiatives accountants have to embrace due to new government policy and technology/software developments were also raised, together with how TaxAssist is addressing them. TaxAssist unveiled a mutually beneficial


relationship with the Federation of Small Businesses, while software company, CCH talked about imminent new initiatives to enable clients and accountants to get better connected.


Quickbooks, the accounting software


DID YOU KNOW


1 in 5


Franchisees who launched their business in the last two years were under 30 years old when they did so


? < 30


Source: According to the bfa/NatWest Franchise Survey 2015


12 | BusinessFranchise.com | June 2016


business, highlighted the booming small business market and how its cloud-based software will enable franchisees to be more time efficient and create greater profit. Phil Sullivan, group operations director of The TaxAssist Group, commented:


“This has been a fantastic conference and we have been inundated with positive feedback from franchisees. All of the attendees will have come away in no doubt that TaxAssist is a forward thinking and digitally ready network of accountants on both a national and local level and that whatever the future holds, TaxAssist has it covered. The TaxAssist brand is now so powerful, that we can attract suppliers who can offer superb deals for franchisees and their clients alike, as we unveiled during the conference. All at TaxAssist are certainly feeling very positive for the future.” John Mayer, Weston-super-Mare franchisee, commented: “As per normal, thanks to the fantastic TaxAssist team for putting on the conference. It really does cut a very favourable impression with my staff, and I regard the cost of bringing them along as an investment. They come to appreciate the size and the power of the franchise, and its sheer professionalism. They come back to the office with real enthusiasm, and full of ideas to improve the practice. It is so good to catch up with the support centre staff, my fellow franchisees and the exhibitors.”


SME growth expectations bounce back in first quarter of 2016


n Running a small business? Did you know almost half of SMEs expect sales to increase in the months ahead? According to Bibby Financial Services’ (BFS) latest SME Confidence Tracker, UK SMEs have signalled a more bullish outlook in the first quarter of 2016. The new research showed that growth expectations rose by twelve per cent in the first quarter of 2016 when compared to the last quarter of 2015, while the number of small businesses expecting sales to decline fell by over half from 17 per cent at the end of 2015 to eight per cent at the beginning of 2016.


David Postings, global chief executive of Bibby Financial Services, said: “Despite the uncertainties of the upcoming EU referendum and a muted outlook for the UK economy, small business owners started the year in an unexpectedly bullish


manner displaying more confidence than in the second half of 2015.


“Having made business-critical capex decisions and invested in the building blocks of business in 2015, SMEs are looking to position themselves for growth in 2016. However we are not out of the woods yet as SMEs still don’t believe in the UK growth story and optimism remains far below 2014 levels.


“Add to this changes such as the National Living Wage and pension auto- enrolment, it’s clear that SMEs crave stability and would benefit from a more simplified operating environment. “The Budget nibbled at the edges of


SME’s challenges but much more can be done to get businesses moving in 2016. This should include rebalancing the North-South divide by offering tax breaks to redevelop brownfield sites rather than building on greenbelt farmland.”


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