by Franchise Accountants
last updated 16/09/2021
Get Off To The Right Start
by Franchise Accountants
last updated 16/09/2021
Wise franchise buyers take specialist advice from Franchise Accountants
After 30 years in the finance industry and with an MBA to his name, you might think Mike Taylor didn’t need an accountant’s advice when he looked at buying a franchise – but Mike disagrees.
‘If you buy a business without talking to an accountant first, you need your head examined,’ he says bluntly. ‘You need to know what you’re paying for, whether the price is over the odds, and what the most tax-efficient structure will be to suit your own personal circumstances – let alone whether the business can be profitable or not!
‘I was with ANZ for 25 years, then 10 years with a finance company before being made redundant after the GFC, and I still went to a specialist accountant for help before buying my Open2View franchise. 10 years later, I own three areas in Auckland, have 10 photographers working for me, and I’m still working with Philip Morrison at Franchise Accountants to help me keep my business on track.
‘Franchise Accountants are specialists. They knew a bit about Open2View before I bought my first franchise, and took a lot of interest to get to know my business inside out. That was crucial to my success. They put me on to the Xero online accounting platform from day one, which has saved a lot of time – doing my GST return takes me about five minutes – and when you send them information, they turn it around quickly so that you can actually do something with it.
‘Back in my banking days, I remember you would see Financial Year End information from clients in September or December, if you were lucky – far too late to spot any trends and do anything about them. Given the speed of change these days, having up-to-date information is vital.’
And Mike offers an unusual compliment. ‘Philip isn’t like a normal accountant – he’s an advisor. While the Franchise Accountants team handle the bookwork, Philip will sit down and chat, explain what you are looking at and what it means for your business with a real understanding of the issues. That’s invaluable for people with no business or finance background, which is why I have no hesitation recommending him to anyone buying or running a franchise.’
Reduce risk, increase success
Philip Morrison founded Franchise Accountants 10 years ago, and the company has since worked with over 1000 franchisees and evaluated over 250 different franchise brands all over New Zealand. Franchise Accountants is also five-times winner of the Service Provider of the Year title at the Westpac New Zealand Franchise Awards.
‘Not all franchise opportunities are created equal, and every buyer has their own individual circumstances, so it pays to take professional advice right at the beginning,’ warns Philip. ‘You’re going to need an accountant when you do your tax returns, anyway, so get them on board before you buy to reduce the risk and give yourself every possible chance of success.’
Make a wise decision
Another client currently working with Franchise Accountants to evaluate a new opportunity is Kimberley. She and her husband Simon have already owned one franchise, in the education sector, for three years, but now they are looking at moving into the food business by buying an existing franchised outlet. ‘It’s a big step up,’ Kimberley says. ‘It’s a much larger investment and requires a lot more day-to-day management, so we wanted to take advice from someone who really understood the franchise model and could compare this particular outlet to others in the same system.
‘It’s a big decision for us and although a broker will tell you lots of details and you form your own gut feel, we thought it was vital to get independent advice. Franchise Accountants came highly recommended as the specialists.
‘It’s like buying a house – the more you find out, the more you can see yourself doing this and you get emotionally invested in the purchase. You need an unbiased, professional pair of eyes to look at the figures and see what’s really there. And it’s not just about the purchase price, or the profitability, or the assets – you also need someone to consider your own financial profile, the risk factors and the practical side of how to set things up and manage them.
‘We talked to Franchise Accountants and they asked us some very good questions, then produced a detailed report on the business we are looking at. That was followed by a 90-minute chat with Philip via Zoom, so that we could chat through things, ask questions, get comfortable with the numbers.’
Having run one business already, Kimberley says, ‘It would be easy to think, “Here’s what the business is currently doing, I could grow it, I could make $x more profit.” But Philip is very good at saying, “Look at the numbers in front of you, that’s what you are paying for,” and exploring the costs and implications. He prevents you getting carried away.’
At the time of writing, Kimberley and Simon hadn’t made their final decision about the new business, but they were certain of one thing – they’d recommend Franchise Accountants to anyone. ‘They are reassuring, professional and very approachable. They’re great!’
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