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Press Release
: : 22 January, 2005


Look for Fiducial to more than double the number of its new franchisees in 2005 compared to the previous year, according to Howard Margolis, the company's director of field support and development.

"We're planning to award about 30 franchises this year," said Margolis who is based at Fiducial's Technical and Administrative Support Center (TASC) in Columbia, MD.

He and his team are also working on finalizing the company's first conversion opportunity where an existing accounting firm would transition from an independent brand to the Fiducial brand name and implement Fiducial systems in order to take their business to the next level.

"When they saw us coming into that market they decided rather than competing with us that they would rather be part of us," he said.

These days Margolis says Fiducial is getting a better quality of prospective franchise candidate as well as a more aggressive one from a marketing standpoint.

"They're younger and have more tenacity to do what it takes to grow a business," he said.

Though franchise hopefuls range from the mid 20s to the late 50s, most are in their 40s and what they bring to Fiducial, Margolis says, "is forward thinking and beliefs" especially in the area of technology.

"They have a better grasp of what technology can do for their business versus franchisees that came into systems when web-based applications were not even developed," he said. "That's very important not just for today but because that's the way we're going. Companies are using applications to communicate with end-users such as clients and vendors. Those who use it now will continue to stay ahead of the competition."

Staying well ahead of the curve

On the surface, Margolis noted that Fiducial's franchise offerings seems pretty vanilla compared to more flashy franchisors who are trying to hit home runs.

"We're more of a singles and doubles hitter," he said. "We're accounting and payroll and tax services. But our services are going to be there for many years."

Where Margolis sees Fiducial well ahead of the curve is in the area of business counseling.

"We have programs such as meaningful monthly contact where we're working with business owners in real time versus traditional accountants/CPAs that provide a backwards looking view of what has been," he said. "We have 12 topics on counseling that we provide on a one-on-one basis and in seminar environments and our traditional mid-year and year-end reviews."

Fiducial is in the process of moving its printed collateral materials to electronic forms so basic brochure information, applications and disclosures will be provided to franchise candidates on CD-ROMs rather than in paper form which will help keep printing costs down.

Overall, Fiducial's franchise system will need little in the way of tweaking aside from updating some information here and there.

"The franchising process may have changed from the 1970s to now but how franchisors award franchises properly and the steps they go through there's no starting evolution to it in the last 35 years," Margolis said.

Still can't beat face-to-face

With his team continually looking for opportunities, Margolis pointed out that while Fiducial has utilized technology to spread its message, the system still needs face-to-face interaction between business advisors and prospective franchisees.

"This needs the human explaining it and how it may benefit the candidate in a live environment, not through sterile electronic means [email] where emphasis is not conveyed well and it's hard to get a true read of what you're being told," he said. "You still need the human voice and all that is gathered through the human voice to move the process forward."

For the 45th Annual International Franchise Association Franchise Convention March 6-9 in Hollywood, FL, Margolis indicated that Fiducial will be keying on potential changes in franchise law or compliance along with attending brand and development seminars.

"We're concentrating on compliance because we have a large franchise organization and it's important for the integrity of the systems to comply with standards for development and growth of the system and branding as we move from multi-branded systems because of our acquisitions," he said.

In business advisors Bob Heine and Tom Schnaidt, Margolis says Fiducial has two of the best. With 40 years of combined experience in the franchise industry, they have spoken to thousands of potential candidates so they are uniquely qualified to determine who's a good fit to fly the Fiducial flag.

"We're not a traditional franchisor," he said. "Franchising is a very small percentage of our overall revenue which allows us to be very selective."

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Fiducial is an international provider of professional business and financial services to small businesses and individuals. Established in Europe in 1970, Fiducial entered the U.S. market in 1999 through a series of strategic acquisitions and now serves clients nationwide through a network of more than 500 company-owned and franchise offices. Privately held with global revenues of more than $1.2 billion, the company is the twelfth largest accounting firm in the world and the nineteenth largest in the country.

For more information about Fiducial, go to:

Stephen Parezo
(410) 910-5826


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