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Connect4 creates new online meeting environment for accountancy practitioners

Connect4 rides again as part of Summa Tech

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Nathan Keeley has had a busy winter. As well as finalising the brand for Carpenter Box’s Summa Tech spin-off, he also found time to rescue the online meeting app Connect4.

1st Feb 2023
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The online meeting app Connect4 has been revived by Summa Tech, a new accountancy practice developer led by Carpenter Box cloud accounting partner and 2020 Accounting Excellence Practice Pioneer of the Year Nathan Keeley.

Developed as a means to help accountancy practitioners host and focus advisory meetings with clients, Connect4 was set up by former Fathom UK director Andrew Jordon. The software schedules online video sessions and lets participants create and store agendas, supporting documents, notes and action points for follow-up. The app attracted users from several firms known for their commitment to technology innovation, including Peter Jarman’s PJCO, Tennick & Co and Raffingers.

The Covid pandemic should have been a boon for the start-up, but as Jordon told AccountingWEB, Connect4 suddenly found itself competing with Zoom and Microsoft Teams. During 2021/2, Connect4 focused on partnering with practice management developers such as Karbon, but couldn’t make the strategy work and announced that the app would close down in December.

Enter Keeley, who was in the process of setting up a technology spin-off from Carpenter Box called Summa Tech.

Strategic fit

“I already knew Andrew and the product, which fitted nicely into our strategy for Summa Tech to enhance existing practice management software. It was done very quickly. Because Connect4 had told customers it was closing, there was a short window to migrate them before they found alternative solutions,” said Keeley.

The existing customers were all moved to Summa Tech’s servers during January for no charge. Billing for the app will recommence under the new ownership from 1 February on the same terms as before, he explained.

So far, only one customer has jumped ship and Carpenter Box indicated that it is keen to start using Connect4 alongside the other tools in Summa Tech’s portfolio, Keeley said. These in-house tools created by Carpenter Box include a client onboarding system and document portal, a desk-booking system developed during the pandemic, and an MTD for VAT bridging app.

Who are Summa Tech?

Riding to the rescue of a popular app is a smart way for Summa Tech to attract attention after finalising the new software brand in December. With the support of his fellow partners at Carpenter Box, Keeley has been working for much of last year to set up the offshoot. A well-known face in accounting tech circles, Keeley has done a lot of work at the firm to come up with solutions to plug gaps in its internal technology stack.

“I’d been seeing all the issues Carpenter Box had internally, but when you’re out at conferences, you see that other firms all have the same problems, for example with industrial-strength onboarding and intranets. It made me realise there was a commercial opportunity to take our tools and make them available to other firms,” he said.

“Most mid-size and larger firms have practice management software, but none of them give you everything a firm needs. Moving between them is costly and hard, so our mission is to provide enhancements that can sit alongside different practice management programs. Connect4 by Summa Tech sits nicely in that suite. Whatever practice management you use, these tools will enhance your experience.”

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