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Keytime 'business as usual' says founder

7th May 2015
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It will be “business as usual” for Keytime despite being acquired by IRIS, according to the company’s founder James Cryne.

There were nervous comments from some AccountingWEB members when IRIS’s latest acquisition was announced yesterday, but Cryne is eager to lay the fears to rest.

“Our view is that we’re still an independent company still functioning as Keytime within the IRIS Group and the products we have will continue to be developed and we’ll look into enhancing those products and adding some new products to the portfolio,” said Cryne.

Cryne said that there is no shake-up due for Keytime’s exisiting clients. The company will, however, be looking to offer complementary products such as IRIS OpenSpace to its customers.

“It will give our clients the ability to interact with their own clients via the cloud and integrate that in with our desktop products,” said Cryne.

John Coldicutt, the chief marketing officer of IRIS, also sought to allay the fears of existing Keytime customers.

“Keytime has created something special in the way they work with their customers and their products,” said Coldicutt.

“We’re grown up enough as a business to know that tinkering with that is only going to create risk. We want this part of our business to flourish and grow. We know that doing anything to alienate customers is not going to help us to achieve that.”

Coldicutt batted back the comparison of IRIS’s recent acquisitions to Sage’s growth-by-acquisition strategy of the 1990s.

“We’re not looking to copycat Sage’s strategy,” said Coldicutt. “For us, it’s about making sure that small businesses in the UK are as successful and as organised as possible. As we develop this strategy, every time we look at a capability that the market requires we go through a build, buy or partner discussion – and this time was no different.”

As for the year ahead, Coldicutt said IRIS have no further acquisitions immediately planned – but he “wouldn’t rule anything out for the year ahead”. 

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By Tim Vane
07th May 2015 17:03
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Francois
By Francois Badenhorst
07th May 2015 20:06

Were you...

Were you an user of any of those? Or are you a current Keytime user? 

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Time for change
By Time for change
07th May 2015 21:19

I'm a Keytime (current user) and IRIS (former user).
I can only say "watch this space"!
The comments made, on both sides, seem very stage managed, but they would, wouldn't they?

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Adrian Pearson
By Adrian Pearson
07th May 2015 21:24

Hi

Does anyone know what "capability" (that the market requires) Keytime has that IRIS did not already have?

Adrian

 

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By BigBadWolf
08th May 2015 10:58

One more ...

One more bytes the dust! Sad!

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By carnmores
08th May 2015 13:17

IRIS will probably collapse eventually

it cannot go on buying companies willy nilly to shore up its shrinking  customer base and get away with charging the  prices it does , competition is fierce and nothing is for ever  - M&S  Tesco etc etc , look at new apps like Taxfiler which are IMO streets ahead of their competitors. I was completing a cotax return for a long account period and when I entered that the accounting persiod did not match the tax period , bingo the next return popped up filled in completely , marvellous

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By cmacrae
08th May 2015 14:03

Business as Usual

Hi guys,

I appreciate you have concerns after hearing the news. I can only reassure you that it’s business as usual for everyone here at Keytime.

I’m writing this sat in the same seat, in the same office, with the same team sat around me and James is at his desk still overseeing things.

We've worked hard to build up a reputation for our products and customer service and in time hope to prove that this is still the case.

You can read further comment from James Cryne on the Keytime website, hopefully reassuring you that the Keytime brand lives on and that our main priority is you, the Keytime customers.

Thanks,

Callum

Marketing @ Keytime

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By BigBadWolf
08th May 2015 15:14

As usual for now

cmacrae wrote:

Hi guys,

I appreciate you have concerns after hearing the news. I can only reassure you that it’s business as usual for everyone here at Keytime.

I’m writing this sat in the same seat, in the same office, with the same team sat around me and James is at his desk still overseeing things.

We've worked hard to build up a reputation for our products and customer service and in time hope to prove that this is still the case.

You can read further comment from James Cryne on the Keytime website, hopefully reassuring you that the Keytime brand lives on and that our main priority is you, the Keytime customers.

Thanks,

Callum

Marketing @ Keytime

 

The problem is ... people heard these same sort of things when PTP, Drummohr, Freeway payroll were taken over .... and those promises quickly disappeared!

Experience teaches us to be weary of Iris!

How long before changes are made!!!

 

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By carnmores
08th May 2015 15:07

WE ARE NOT CONVINCED

they tinker with everything they buy after a suitable period of time , dont fool yourself . you've taken the money so run !

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
08th May 2015 16:02

.

@Callum, whilst your current priority until you are sacked or reassigned will be your keytime customers,  your old owners just cashed out, or presumably will do over the next 2-3 years depending on the nature of the deal. 

Your new owners will want to squeeze profits.  This means prices up, cut the cost base (ie sack staff) and throttle hard before too many customers jump.  They want to make a return on their investment after all. 

To suggest otherwise is very naive. Its been going on in software for 30+ years. 

If you think it wont happen to you.........then someone has been talking a lot of crap in your ear.

In time they will want to "transition" the last users to other software, which mean in practice zero development and twist their arms to jump to the main products or go.

 

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By sash100
09th May 2015 16:07

Very well put

ireallyshouldknowthisbut wrote:

@Callum, whilst your current priority until you are sacked or reassigned will be your keytime customers,  your old owners just cashed out, or presumably will do over the next 2-3 years depending on the nature of the deal. 

Your new owners will want to squeeze profits.  This means prices up, cut the cost base (ie sack staff) and throttle hard before too many customers jump.  They want to make a return on their investment after all. 

To suggest otherwise is very naive. Its been going on in software for 30+ years. 

If you think it wont happen to you.........then someone has been talking a lot of crap in your ear.

In time they will want to "transition" the last users to other software, which mean in practice zero development and twist their arms to jump to the main products or go.

 

Everyone knows what will happen.  Of course Keytime will send out the predictable statement like all acquired companies do that everything will stay the same so there is nothing to worry about but of course many have already gone through an  IRIS acquisition before and and have suffered. 

Anyone who is so gullible in believing such rhetoric is being foolish

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bike
By FirstTab
08th May 2015 23:25

.

delete

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By mjshort
10th May 2015 16:49

Alternatives.

I use both Keytime  Accounts Production and Corporation Tax software. What are my alternatives if prices go up/service falls away?

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
11th May 2015 10:00

.

@MJ short, for a small practice we use VT for accounts production (looks horrid, works well once you understand its quirks) and taxfiler for returns is very neat although we are currently on a legacy package elsewhere who are pitching in for large firms now. 

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By raybackler
14th May 2015 12:29

Acquisitions always mean change

"Business as usual" will never happen.  There is no such thing as an acquisition without change.  Sure there will be reassuring noises, but no one outside the top echelons of an acquirer knows what will happen, least of all the former owners and managers of an acquired company.

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