Does your accountant “get” franchising? - BNR Partners
As with every segment of today’s ever-changing business environment, the accounting and franchising industries are going through some significant changes. With the speed and frequency of these changes, there is an increasing need for specialisation to remain up to date and relevant. The accountant who does your family individual tax returns is unlikely to be aware of , for example, the latest changes in debt-equity rules.
Franchising is one of those areas where legislation and complexity need to be understood to give appropriate advice.
Having been actively keeping up to date in this space for many years, and involved in establishing the Franchise Accountants Network for that very reason, we have heard some interesting stories come about from inexperienced practitioners giving advice to potential franchisors and franchisees. One of the worst recurring themes tends to be the “why would you buy a franchise?” objection, coming from the accountant!
Having thought long and hard about this, I have concluded that this reaction can only come from a lack of understanding.
Franchise businesses have a greater chance of success than non-franchised small businesses. There are systems in place to guide the operator through most of the operational business requirements. Marketing is usually handled predominately by the franchisor. They may even hold the lease on behalf of the company.
So what’s not to like?
Lack of understanding around that franchise term, confusion over contracts and disclosure documentation, and perceived lack of control are the excuses that have been tabled.
So our advice is if you are contemplating buying a franchise, or franchising your own business, speak to advisors experienced in the franchise space.
After all, if your accountant doesn’t even “get” franchising, what level of advice are you getting for your money?
Jason Bertalli CPA
Director – Franchise & Business Services