Are you looking to start your own accounting business from home, but not sure how to go about it?
Learn how to start your own accounting business with the support of one of the most well-known, professional and respected accounting franchises in South Africa.
Founded in 2000, Business Accounting Network is the first accounting franchise of its kind in South Africa. If you are a highly experienced accountant or registered balance sheet bookkeeper and have always wanted to work for yourself , yet hesitated to do so because of the risks involved, then read on. When starting your own business, you would have to face tough issues like:
- No idea on how to market yourself
- No or limited selling skills
- Sourcing a client base
- No idea what to charge or how to charge
- Devote considerable non-billable time to devise systems, templates, procedures, etc.
- Expensive design and printing costs of brochures and other advertising material
- How to establish and maintain a name and reputation in the marketplace
- High risk of professional liability due to no quality control process and limited technical support
- No assistance or fill-in when on holiday, sick leave or time off
You will also, as a self-employed bookkeeper/accountant, need to incur continuous expenditure in keeping up-to-date with the latest legislation and software advancements, for example:
- Complex amendments in taxation legislation
- Multifaceted amendments to accounting standards in IFRS for SME’s
- Keeping up-to-date with accounting, payroll and other software advancements
- Upgrading of accounting software as well as maintaining older versions
- Timesheet and billing systems
- Income tax and company secretarial systems
Business Accounting Network has identified franchising “through a networking concept” as an excellent mechanism for halving the risk for self employed accountants and bookkeepers while enabling the franchisee to keep abreast of on-going amendments to law governing business today.
On the output level, the target client base is SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises), as they are attracted by a network’s branding activities, which imply a strong component of quality assurance and fidelity. They are also reluctant to deal with large professional firms, considering them too expensive for their needs. Rather, they prefer to deal with franchisees, business owners themselves.
What is the BAN Franchisor’s vision?
Our franchisor strives to be the most respected professional accounting franchise in South Africa and one of choice for talented professionals seeking a rewarding business opportunity.
How is the BAN Franchisor going to get there?
- To engage franchisees who share our core values and code of ethical conduct and who have an inherent culture of integrity, pride and passion that strive for personal and professional growth, profitability and display enthusiasm in everything that they do.
- To maintain special relationships with each one of our franchisees and empowering them to excel by providing service manuals and continued professional development training and support.
- To ensure our franchisees work together with us to increase growth so as to optimize economic opportunity and consequent benefits for all.
Through a licensing agreement, BAN contracts with a single operator franchisee (home based) or a management franchisee (area practice based) to own and run a Business Accounting Network enterprise. Territories are owned by Business Accounting Network, which allows franchisees to service clients in any area anywhere in South Africa. The criteria for placing a franchisee with a client is based more prominently on the skill level of the franchisee matched to the client’s service requirements and the capacity of the franchisee at the time rather than on just the geographical location of the franchisee in relation to the client.
BAN takes the risk away
Join BAN’s independent contracting team and enjoy the best of both worlds – running your own business whilst enjoying the support of a highly professional company with a well known brand name and excellent reputation with clients and medium/large registered audit firms.
- 9 days initial training on BAN’s systems and proven business methods
- Client referrals
- Marketing material and advertising artwork and design (you are largely responsible for your own local marketing)
- Conceptualising and training franchisees in local marketing strategies
- At the franchisor’s discretion and cost, public relations and regional marketing activities to promote its business
- Newsletter for clients – (BAN Bulletin) monthly electronic circulation and printed bi-annually
- News flash for clients – (Business Notice Board) ad hoc electronic circulation
- Newsletter – (The BAN Brief) a publication for franchisees – printed and posted as well as loaded on the Franchisee Login on this web-site
- Use of the well known BAN (Business Accounting Network) name
- The experience of a well-established franchise company since 2000
- 7 service manuals/guides
- Templates of all customised BAN reports, forms and stationery (e.g. Management account templates, working papers for compilations, business analysis reports, estimating template (to work out estimates for clients), proposal letter templates, engagement letter templates, tax letters to clients, VAT calculation templates, business diagnostic templates, accounting officer correspondence templates, etc, etc.)
- All legal agreements, eg. terms of engagement, employment contracts, etc.
- Accounting and payroll software
- Cloud based time-sheet and billing software system
- Cloud based income tax and company secretarial software system
- Training on upgrades to BAN systems and new services introduced when required
- At its unfettered discretion, to assist organizing monthly technical training sessions to benefit franchisees to increase their knowledge and keep abreast of ever changing income tax, VAT and accounting standards (counts towards your CPD points)
- Improvements to templates and systems from time to time
- Brand reputation management
- Ongoing technical support from the franchisor and the entire network
- Purchasing power – negotiation of discounts
- Access to BAN’s strategic alliance partners, eg. labour lawyer, litigation and commercial attorneys, financial planner, risk financiers, debt collectors, etc.
- Opportunity for franchisee feedback through bi-annual franchise forum meetings
- Assistance and advice on opening a Management Franchise (area practice)
There are 2 franchise models, namely:
- the single operator franchisee, and
- the management franchisee
Single Operator Franchise (home based)
In this franchise module, the franchisee carries out the work him/herself. No employees can be hired. The business is home based and the type of work is executive, i.e. bookkeeping and accounting, payroll, income tax, drafting annual financial statements, business analysis and business consulting.
In this situation, the franchisee will need to:
- Be fully trained in an accounting and audit practice (firm) with above average knowledge of the Value Added Tax Act, payroll (employee) tax, company and individual income tax and IFRS for SME
- Be able to perform the service of writing up client’s books from source documentation to preparing monthly management accounts, usually at the client’s premises
- Work on his/her own (no employees are permitted to be hired under this franchise module)
- Market the franchise within his/her local area
- Deal mainly with businesses
- Work from home but essentially be mobile as the majority of work is conducted at client/business premises
- Work regular office hours, at least most of the time
Management Franchise (area practice – commercial premises)
As a single operator franchise with no employees, your business will grow, so it may become ideal to employ staff and the franchise could develop into a management franchise (area practice). This opportunity is not available to all Single Operator Franchises as:
- A single operator franchisee will need to apply to the franchisor for approval of adopting this business module
- The areas available to open a management franchise are limited
- The prospective management franchisee would need to show proven ability of personnel and management skills
- The prospective management franchisee would need to have an in-depth knowledge of taxation laws and hands-on accounting skills (current proven ability will be required)
- BAN’s focus is on developing and supporting the Single Operator Franchisees (home based). Management Franchisees would only be considered for areas where it would be preferable to have an area practice and where that area practice will not compete unduly with that area’s single operator franchisees
- Further to BAN’s focus on developing and supporting single operator franchisees as well as to ensure top quality service to clients, employees are limited to 8 employees (excluding the franchisee/s themselves) at any time in this franchise module
- Management franchises must be owner run
Franchise Agreement and Operation Manuals
The relationship between the franchisor and the franchisee is built upon the Franchise Agreement, BAN’s Code of Conduct and the Operation Manuals. These documents should ensure the protection of both parties. The Franchise Agreement is a legal document between franchisor and franchisee and is one of the most important documents relating to a BAN franchisee. It is only with this balance that a franchised business can prosper and happy relationships develop.
The Ideal profile of a Single Operator Franchisee (home based)
We consider a franchisee (Single Operator Franchisee – home based) running their own BAN business, to be an exceptional person and as such fit the profile below:
What is the profile of our ideal franchisee?
- Completed SAICA or SAIPA articles with at least 5 years post articles accounting experience, or
- Worked in the client accounting division of a medium to large audit firm for at least 5 completed years
- Have thorough knowledge of VAT, Income Tax and IFRS for SME’s
- Hold a degree or 3 year diploma relative to the industry
- Registered with an accredited controlling body as a Tax Practitioner
- Computer literate, particularly with Excel and accounting and payroll software programs
- Able to follow guidelines and replicate the BAN system, willing to learn
- Share the franchise’s passion for uplifting and growing small and medium business entrepreneurs
- Prepared to uphold the values of the brand
- Have the ability and confidence to work entirely on your own, yet a willingness to be a team player
- Be highly professional, with integrity, honesty and good business ethics as well as an undisputed employment record
- Have excellent interpersonal and communication skills – be people orientated
- Should present a professional personal image at all times
- Be self motivated and highly disciplined
- Be able to multi-task and work under pressure
- Service-orientated, hard working and willing to put in long hours when needed to meet all monthly and annual deadlines for a varied client portfolio
- Be credit worthy with financial resources to cover the initial 6 months of joining the franchise (working capital)
- Be able to fund a fully equipped office on acceptance of the franchise, as well as initial training and legal fees
- Be prepared to participate in a psychometric analysis
What is the profile of our ideal Management Franchisee (area practice)?
Shares the same profile as that of our ideal franchisee listed above, but with the additional requirements of:
- Previously a BAN single operator franchisee for at least 3 to 5 years and has proven ability of managing skilled personnel in the accounting environment with a “hands-on” approach, as well as management and business skills
- Must be a “go-getter” with a strong will to succeed
- Totally service-orientated and people friendly
- Recognises the importance of BAN’s operating standards
- Understands that increased personal involvement at area practice level equals a higher competence level in staff performance and increased profits
- Has the development outlay in unencumbered funds
Single Operator Franchise (HOME BASED)
There is no franchise fee payable!
Initial training and legal fees and software set-up:
Approximately R 59 000 (excluding VAT)
This fee is variable and includes:
Initial training fees:
- 9 day preliminary training of the franchise systems (see training)
- Accounting and payroll software
- Timesheet and billing software
- Income Tax software
- Company secretarial software
- The use of all 8 service manuals
- Marketing material
- Initial legal costs incurred on conclusion of the Franchise Agreement
Cloud computing customized BAN software:
- Initial set-up of timesheet, billing, income tax and company secretarial software -cloud based.
Initial Working Capital:
Six months gross salary you received at your last employment to cover your personal monthly expenses while you and our team build up your client portfolio.
Estimated breakdown of average capital equipment for the Single Operator Franchisee:
|Computer – laptop (excluding software) with Windows 7||R10,000|
|MS Office Basic Edition (with Outlook, Excel and MS Word)||R2,000|
|Adobe writer or similar open-source PDF writer, anti virus and firewall software||R –|
|3G Dongle (Vodacom, MTN, Cell C)||monthly sub|
|Other computer equipment, e.g. flash drives||R1,850|
|External Hard Drive for backups||R1,400|
|Office equipment e.g. shredder, answering machine||R3,500|
|Stationery (see below)||R1 800|
|Technical (reference) books (Silke on Income Tax, SAICA Legislation Handbook, IFRS for SME)||R 1600|
|Desk, office chair, filing cabinet, hanging file cabinet||R6,850|
|Motor vehicle||monthly instalment|
|Estimated Total:||R37 500|
The Single Operator Franchisee has an office based at home. The prerequisite of BAN’S condition of having a home office is that the office must be an appropriate room utilised exclusively for the purpose of conducting BAN’s business.
- Laptop (recommended: 64 x 2 dual-core; 21.Gz; 4 gb DDR2; 250 gb HDD; DVD super-multi DL)
- Laser printer – (for printing financial reports for third parties)
- Colour printer – recommended multifunction colour printer with print/scan, copy and fax facilities (for printing official BAN stationery, e.g. letterheads, etc)
- Flash drive
- External back-up drive (recommended – not less than 320 gb)
- ADSL and 3G internet access
Software (all software listed below is compulsory)
- Microsoft Windows 7 (Please note that Apple Mac software is not compatible with Pastel)
- Microsoft Office – with, Excel,MS Word and PowerPoint
- pdf writer (Adobe writer or open-source PDF writer such as Cute PDF)
- Acrobat reader
- Antivirus programme
- Dedicated office telephone line
- Fax machine
- Answering machine
- Dedicated cell phone (for your business’ exclusive use)
Stationery and reference books
- BAN writing pads (purchase from BAN)
- BAN columned pads (purchase from BAN)
- BAN business cards (free)
- BAN file carrier bags (purchase from BAN)
- BAN 3 x self ink stamps (free)
- Silke: South African Income Tax (latest) – franchisee to purchase
- SAICA Legislation Handbook (latest) – franchisee to purchase
- IFRS for SME’s (SAICA) – franchisee to purchase
- Applying IFRS for SME’s (SAICA) – franchisee to purchase
- A reliable, roadworthy motor vehicle
Management Franchisee (commercial premises)
There is no franchisee fee payable!
Initial legal fees incurred on conclusion of the Management Franchise Agreement
Set-up and initial training fee:
On application (excluding VAT)
This fee is variable and includes:
- Assistance in compiling a business plan, budgets and cash flow projection
- Assistance in selecting an office (please note, the franchisee will be responsible for signing the lease agreement and rental)
- Advice on office layout and workstation design, office furniture (pre-defined), telephone systems, computers, printers, computer networking, signage, etc.
- Training, encompassing;
- BAN’s recruitment process
- financial management of your practice
- marketing and sales
- Training of initial employees on BAN’s systems and templates prior to opening of the office (please note, prospective employees must have followed BAN’s recruitment process and skills criteria)
- Approximately R250 000 including VAT for a 4 workstation office plus conference room with a small, equipped kitchen
- One month’s value of your debtors book (Vat inclusive)
Management Service Fees and BAN Membership Fund
Each Single Operator Franchisee and Management Franchisee is required to pay a monthly management service fee equivalent to 10% (excluding VAT) of net turnover. Net turnover shall mean and include all fees billed less VAT.
The management service fees are payable by the franchisee on the 30th day of the first calendar month following the calendar month to which such fees relate. Amounts are payable by electronic transfer and the onus is on the franchisee to ensure payment.
BAN Membership Fund
In addition, a monthly membership fee is payable to the BAN Association Membership Fund, administered by the BAN Administrator. The monthly fee payable is currently R1 195 and covers group purchases that benefits every franchisee, for example:
- Cloud based software monthly licence fee for time-sheets, billings, income tax, company secretarial services and a CRM (Client Relationship Management) system
- Cloud based e-mail and work-schedule program and shared calendar
- Pastel Accounting site licences (all Pastel Versions)
- Pastel Payroll site licence for 10 employees (franchisee pays for additional employee licences if required)
- Member of the Pastel Accountants Forum (Dealership)
- Your own e-mail box (BAN domain), e.g. email@example.com
- Web-hosting and your own career portfolio
- Business cards (a maximum of 400 per annum)
- Monthly subscription to debt collector company, Accountability
- The fund will pay for a designated franchisee to attend a seminar identified by the franchisor in order to keep up-to-date with legislation amendments affecting our clients’ business. The franchisee must obtain all reference material at the seminar and in turn must present the important elements of the seminar to all franchisees at a technical training session
- The fund will pay for copies of the seminar notes for distribution to all franchisees
- Refreshments at all technical training sessions and venue hire
- Material for internal technical training, e.g. copies of manuals, training material, notes to training material, etc.
- Annual diaries for each franchisee with the BAN logo (area offices can buy these diaries from the Fund for their staff)
- Stock of BAN stationery for sale to BAN franchisees and their staff
- Stock of BAN carrier bags for lever arch files for sale to BAN franchisees and their staff
- BAN self inking stamps (for working paper files and addressee information on envelopes)
- Year end function held in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban (partners are invited – but for own cost)
- Other cloud software licences
Training will be conducted at venues elected by the franchisor in Cape Town. It is a prerequisite that the prospective franchisees, before being accepted, have passed a due diligence on their technical abilities set by BAN as well as having the following minimum experience, skills and tertiary requirements:
- Be a registered member of one of the following Tax Practitioner accredited controlling bodies,
- SAIPA (SA Institute of Professional Accountants)
- SAICA (SA Institute of Chartered Accountants)
- SAIT (SA Institute of Tax Practitioners)
- IAC (Institute of Accounting and Commerce)
- CSSA (Chartered Secretaries of Southern Africa)
- CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants)
- ACCA (The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants)
- AAT (SA) (Association of Accounting Technicians Southern Africa)
- Either trained as an article clerk (must have completed articles) or worked in the client accounting division of a medium to large audit firm for at least 3 completed years, but preferably 5 or more completed years
- Must have left the accounting and auditing profession (firm) no more than 6 years prior to application
- Preferably hold a degree or 3 year diploma relative to the industry
- Computer literate, particularly with Excel and accounting and payroll software programs, for example, Pastel, Pastel Payroll, VIP, Accpac, etc.
Initial Training – Single Operator Franchisee
We provide 9 day’s intensive initial training in Cape Town for our single operator franchisees. We provide daily lunch and refreshments only. However flights, travel, accommodation and other meals are to be borne by the Franchisee. It is necessary to emphasize that the 9 days training of Franchisees is not negotiable and it is imperative that all applicants remain mindful of this critical element at all times throughout the Application Process and the impact of the possible training venue on their overall decision to proceed.
The training will cover the following:
- Set-up electronic filing system
- Load software and BAN templates
- How to manage your business
- Pastel product sales (Pastel dealership)
- Templates – overview
- Engagements, Risk, Liabilities and Quality Control
- ISRS 4400 and ISRS 4410
- Companies Act
- Close Corporation’s Act
- Tax Administration Act
- Accounting Officer engagements
- ISQC 1 (International Standards on Quality Control)
- Client engagements
- How to prepare a cost estimation
- How to prepare a proposal for a client
- Terms of engagement and other engagement letters
- Value Added Services
- Presentation on Hidden Money – introduction to business analysis
- Manual and templates:
- Business Financial Analysis monthly reports
- Business exit strategy – advanced due diligence readiness
- Manual and templates:
- Management accounts and interim financial reports
- Company secretarial services
- Manual and Templates:
- Tax, VAT, payroll
- Manual and Templates:
- Working papers – overview
- Marketing and Sales training
- Marketing versus sales
- Your local marketing strategy and marketing plan
- Sales training – how to convert leads into fees
- Timesheets, invoicing, reports (using BAN’s cloud based system)
- How to set-up a new or prospective client
- Timesheets – recording time
- WIP – work in progress
- Billings / invoicing – how to invoice clients
- Debtors management
BAN’s cloud based system for Company Secretarial and Tax services – Webinar training
The following training should be done at home. It is presented on-line by logging into BAN’s franchisee zone on our web-site and downloading the webinar.
E-Sec : This is the module to administer company and security registers, CIPC returns, etc.
E-Tax : This is the module to administer individual and company tax affairs.
Training – Management Franchise (area practice)
There is no doubt that the level of competence the management of an area practice exhibits is the critical success factor of any franchisee, when coupled with the commitment, dedication and hard work of a new BAN practice. The franchisee must have the ability to train subsequent/replacement staff at a level of efficiency sufficient to ensure the communication and maintenance of BAN’s high standards and level of service. It is necessary that the Management Franchisee will receive training on topics that do not include their staff. In addition to the training and templates given to Single Operator Franchisees, Management Franchisees training will also cover:
- BAN’s recruitment process
- Local marketing strategies
- Staff appraisal forms and appraisal procedures
- Basic Conditions of Employment Act
- Employment contracts
- Job descriptions
- Annual work planning for entire practice
- Monitoring of work plan to actual
- Review of working paper files
- Review standards of monthly accounting and statutory returns before submission
- Staff productivity analysis
- Incentive bonus scheme
- Staff training (external, formal internal and on the job)
- Setting estimates (budgets) for all client work
- Monthly billing and time write offs
- Financial management of an accounting practice
We receive countless applications weekly for our franchise business opportunity. As a result, we have developed a high-performance and effective recruitment process. Consequently, we cannot consider applicants who are unable or unwilling to attend our Discovery Day or follow due process.
Your application success is based on the effort you are willing to put into your responsible due diligence to ensure that you make a career move that will enjoy optimal fit, both for you and for BAN and that will expose you to typical work to help you evaluate whether you can and whether you want to do this.
Complete the “Single Operator Franchisee Application Form” online under the Careers tab on this web-site (or request the application form via e-mail) and submit together with your CV by emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your application form and CV is approved, we will send you an invitation to our next “Discovery Day” which is held in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban bi-annually. Please see this web-site’s Career tab to find out when our next Discovery Days in these provinces are being held.
It is necessary to emphasize at this stage that applicants need to be mindful that by being invited to join our Discovery Day, you acknowledge that, should you wish to pursue your application thereafter, and should it be successful, acceptance and initial training will commence on the very next advertised date following the Discovery Day (either 1st June, 1st October or 1st February).
At our Discovery Day you will experience a day in the life of a BAN franchisee to see for yourself how and why our franchisees are as successful as they are. You’ll meet the franchisor. You’ll have the opportunity to put your brain to the test, enjoy a convivial lunch, hear about the benefits, ask/answer your questions and ensure you walk away well placed to make your decision on whether to pursue selection by the most established and well known franchise of professional accountants, chartered accountants and qualified bookkeepers in the Cape, Gauteng, Free State and Kwa-Zulu Natal.
Should you indicate on your feedback form after Discovery Day that you would like BAN to consider your application as a single operator franchisee and to take the next step, we will send you some more due diligence that you can do at home.
Upon receiving your further due diligence we will assess the results and if achieved, will set up an interview with the franchisor in one of the following cities closest to you – Cape Town, Johannesburg or Durban. If we are both happy … we will request that you complete a psychometric questionnaire.
We will then carry out reference checks covering all of your previous employment, credit bureau reports as well as any civil lawsuits that may have been brought against you plus criminal and/or civil convictions.
Should all references be satisfactory, we shall forward you our Franchise Agreement for your perusal and would also encourage you to seek legal advice to ensure that you are fully conversant with the terms and conditions contained therein.
The relationship between the franchisor and the franchisee is built upon the Franchise Agreement and BAN’s Code of Conduct. It is the single most important legal document that governs the relationship between franchisee, franchisor and our other franchisees. We will meet to discuss any queries you might have with this agreement before signing it.
The effective date of commencement will be established. Dates will be given for the initial franchisee training program. Sign the Franchise Agreement.
Franchisee to make payment of the initial training and legal fees upon receipt of invoice.
We have 3 different charging methods:
- Fixed fees:
For various services, for example, income tax returns, company secretarial services and payroll
- Special service rates:
Special services, or our “value added services” are charged hourly at a higher rate than “compliance services” as it requires a higher level of experience, expertise and competence.
- Compliance services
As with all professional service providers, the accounting profession is no different. Fees for bookkeeping and accounting services are billed at hourly charge-out rates for compliance services relative to current market related rates. As a result of various factors influencing your value to your client, BAN has categorised 5 different levels of knowledge, experience and skills. Hourly rates are determined by the category within which you fall.
First and foremost, hourly charge-out rates are determined by the market, that is they are determined by 2 main factors:
- The average hourly rate charged by other accounting firms relevant to your level of knowledge and experience
- What your client is prepared to pay for the services you provide and the value you add to his business
Your hourly charge-out rate is determined by some of the following factors:
- Your BAN due diligence results
- Your years of experience in an audit and accounting firm and the number of various clients and their relevant industries with which you have had solid working experience
- Your last position held in the audit firm (articled clerk, senior bookkeeper, supervisor, manager, etc.)
- Your strength in bookkeeping and accounting, both manual and accounting software, e.g. Pastel. Your ability to reconcile accounts as well as setting-up accounting systems and controls, including stock control
- The level of your knowledge of the VAT Act, Income Tax Act (including employee tax) and IFRS for SME’s
- Additional experience, e.g. business plans, cash flow investigations, tax returns for companies and individuals, experience in presenting training or lectures on any subject in the accounting and tax field
- Your ability to review other franchisees working paper files for technical accuracy and quality standards
- Your written and spoken English, work ethic, self motivation, time management, organisational ability, interpersonal and communication skills etc
Further details of the potential earnings of franchisees are covered in the interview process stage as well as in the initial training by the franchisor.