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Mari McLoughlin moved to the UK from South Africa with her husband Kevin and their daughter Ciara in 2005.
Science graduate Mari was a well-established professional, having cut her teeth in the corporate jungle of the city of London and then pursuing her dream of qualifying as an accountant in 2013. While Kevin worked in financial services for over two decades during which time he co-founded and sold an IT consultancy, a nano-molecular fertigation business, alongside high level consultancy work.
While they were in South Africa, Kevin and Mari gave up city life for four years to establish a wildlife reserve in Drakensberg and alongside taking care of the animals they also set up OneBeat; a charity which helps vulnerable and impoverished orphans in the KwaZulu-Natal area of South Africa.
Once the reserve was established and a local management team was in place, Mari and Kevin returned to the UK and continued to oversee the successful management of the reserve and the charity remotely.
Following their return to the UK, Kevin started a property business and Mari took a job and in the following three years gave birth to two girls, Anique and Rachel. Mari continued to work in finance, joining a large international law firm as an international finance accountant while Kevin, being a serial entrepreneur, progressed his property business, helped establish another IT consultancy, and expanded the nano-molecular fertigation business with offices in France and Spain.
But both were keen to enjoy the autonomy of working together again and running their own concern. So they set about researching an opportunity that would give them the income they needed, the flexibility for a good quality family life and one that would enable Mari to continue to practise her professional passion - accountancy.
Kevin says, “We wanted to be able to hit the ground running so felt a well-established franchise would work better than building a brand from scratch. When we discovered TaxAssist it had everything we were looking for…. powerful brand resonance, a mature and proven franchise model plus the essential support and network to create a pretty solid business in a short time frame.”
ACCA qualified Accountant and Practitioner, Mari signed the franchise agreement with TaxAssist as the franchisee and the McLoughlins opened the doors of their completely refurbished shop in Amersham, Buckinghamshire in January 2016.
Mari says, “I take care of the number crunching while Kevin takes a bird’s eye view of the business and concentrates on streamlining and improving its many processes including marketing, customer care and the all-important timely filing to HMRC and Companies House for our clients.”
“It’s been genuinely exciting officially launching the shop, and I’m particularly keen to help other small businesses in the locality. It has given us the freedom to enjoy more time together as a family with our three girls and our Rhodesian Ridgeback, Rocky, plus I can indulge my personal passions like running jogging and playing the double bass”
The business has been such a success that the family are able to return to the nature reserve every year to enjoy the wildlife. Kevin’s motto is: Life is short and not a dress rehearsal – get on and make a difference!”
Who ever said accountants were boring was clearly wrong in this case!