Liberty Tax Service starts new network

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Liberty Tax Inc. has started a new network looking to acquire mid-market tax firms.

The network, 360 Accounting Solutions, is owned by Liberty-parent JTH Tax in Virginia Beach, and recently acquired seven accounting firms in four states.

The network is in the process of franchising its concept and looks to have 25 to 30 locations by the end of the year, said 360 CEO Nicole Ossenfort, adding that several more conversions were “in the works.” The cost to join the network “varies” right now, Ossenfort said, as 360 works to complete its franchise disclosure document.

“[Our] offering leverages cloud-accounting technologies to provide small businesses with near-real-time bookkeeping, payroll, tax and other business and financial services,” she said.

The network uses 360 Pro, a back-office accounting and tax solution customized for franchisees to outsource services that may be beyond the current competency or capacity of member firms’ staff. Other perks include access to a research library and referral network of CPAs and Enrolled Agents; free or significantly reduced CPE; back-office support functions such as HR and staff development; preferred vendors for office supplies, toner, Internet and telephone service providers and insurance; sales, marketing and training; and best practices R&D.

This opens opportunities, Ossenfort said, for members to provide financial advisory and wealth management services, insurance related products and services, and tax resolution, to name a few. Franchisees can participate on two levels: Ability to utilize the 360 Pro to outsource accounting, tax and financial services, offering the opportunity to expand offerings hiring staff.

Qualified franchisees can open or convert to a 360 location in their territory or a new territory. (Ossenfort said 360 is working on a turnkey system now for roll out this fall with 20 to 30 offices.)

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