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A screenshot of the Timworks closure email
Timworks

Timworks chat app to shut down in July

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Communication app Timworks has announced it will be closing its doors at the end of July after failing to convince businesses to adopt it as a way to interact with their accounting firm.

21st Jun 2023
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In an email to users seen by AccountingWEB, Timworks co-founders Ben Marcilhacy and Harris Kontogiannis said they would be closing down the app on 26 July 

The email stated that despite interest and engagement from accountancy firms, the tool “never managed to win over” clients. 

“We have realised that despite our best efforts, Timworks did not provide enough value for your clients to adopt Timworks,” continued the email.

High bar for clients to embrace new apps

Launched in 2022 as a messaging tool for accountants to interact with their clients, Timworks’s chat app integrated with the likes of Xero, Dext and Autoentry to provide a more streamlined and secure method of communication.

The app had established a small but growing userbase of accountants, and AccountingWEB members praised the product for its functionality and use case.

However, speaking to AccountingWEB after news of the closure had broken, co-founder Ben Marcilhacy said that it had become clear that clients working with accountants wanted fewer apps, not more, and “the bar was high” for clients to embrace new apps.

Thanking users for their support and trust in the platform, the co-founders stated that the company had put a hold on subscriptions, and users would be able to download their data via the following steps:

  • Log in to the Timworks app (on desktop).
  • Access your profile.
  • Click the "Download Your Data" button.
  • Use your email as your password to open the file

The data available for download will include all information up until 18 June. Should users require more recent data, they can contact Timworks via email. 

Marcilhacy told AccountingWEB that Timworks had been in discussions with several parties about acquiring the chat app’s underlying technology and embedding it into a wider platform to avoid the app overload issues, but the talks did not prove to be successful.

He also added that the company was likely to be back later in the year with a more general product, potentially still in the accounting technology arena.

“There is still a great opportunity for technology to be a massive game-changer for accountants,” he said and thanked the accountants who had tried and trust Timworks for their support.

Economic conditions and app overload

Timworks’ communication app is the latest tool to have fallen by the wayside as economic conditions and app overload start to bite.

Specialist video meeting app Connect4 announced its closure towards the end of last year, before emerging again as part of the Summa Tech toolbox, while bookkeeping app Coconut rolled into GoSimpleTax following the delay to MTD ITSA, and French payments firm Libeo shuttered its UK operations after just a year.

AccountingWEB is also aware of a number of smaller operators in the MTD ITSA software bracket waiting on the decision about whether to include those in the £10,000 to £30,000 income bracket in the scheme before deciding whether to pull the plug on their products.

With job losses announced at the likes of Karbon, Ignition, Xero, and most recently GoCardless in the last year, the accounting tech industry may be in for a further dose of belt-tightening before the end of 2023.

Replies (5)

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Tornado
By Tornado
21st Jun 2023 18:26

"accountants wanted fewer apps, not more"

It's not just Accountants that want fewer apps but just about everybody. This reflects the massive mistake that HMRC have made with MTD thinking that everybody wants to use accounting software but many will not as it is just something else to learn and take up their time for no practical purpose.

Congratulations to those at Timworks who have realised that unfortunately there is no market for their product and have taken the difficult decision to close.

A pity that HMRC cannot be so pragmatic, but they have a bottomless pit of money to draw on.

Thanks (5)
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By Hugo Fair
21st Jun 2023 20:53

Well at least their announcement avoided (just) that Holly Willoughby moment:
"Right, deep breath. Firstly, are you OK? I hope so ..."
But their email sailed dangerously close to that meme ... why can't people tell it like it is and cut to the chase?

I feel for them as individuals, but in the grand game of life (or even just these summer months) who else will notice in an over-crowded but unprofitable market?

To mangle an old saw ... I never heard anyone on their deathbed say:
"Oh if only I had time to play with one more App"!

Thanks (2)
Laurent Guyot
By Laurent Guyot
22nd Jun 2023 09:04

When tech companies such as Timworks or us at Qwil Messenger embark on a journey of disrupting the way firms interact with their clients, it is never about adding "yet another app" or an "extra channel" but with a view of saving time, saving money and making it easy to use by all (without forgetting all security/compliance which just keep coming). The bar is high and the expectations even higher.

At Qwil we benefited from having the whole of St James's Place deploying Qwil to their 2500 practices with a view of not only offering the convenience of a WhatsApp alternative but replacing other channels rather than adding one (often standalone and added during covid time) - this includes email and encrypted email (which no client likes), video (zoom, teams or is it on another?), e-signature, doc portals (what is the password again?) or mobile apps. Not all staff or even clients have adopted Qwil but many have and for those that has been a game changer in the way of transacting, onboarding, sharing documents and that independently from the age. Change takes time.

Even if tools are easy to use (we like to say that if you can use WhatsApp, you can use Qwil) precious minutes and hours are still needed to implement before having the benefit

Wishing the team at Timworks all the best during this period and looking forward to seeing them reappear soon.

Thanks (1)
Replying to Laurent Guyot:
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By Hugo Fair
22nd Jun 2023 14:25

You say you are "Wishing the team at Timworks all the best" ... but interrupt their memorial service to run an advert for your competing product?

Isn't that akin to a vulture addressing his colleague as they tuck in and saying "I remember old Fred .. he was one of the good guys as wildebeests go, and he's gone!"

Thanks (3)
Should Be Working ... not playing with the car
By should_be_working
22nd Jun 2023 10:19

I have to say I hadn't heard of Timworks until today ... but my first reaction was 'oh, another messaging app'.

I have a small but growing proportion of clients who seem happiest communicating via WhatsApp, the rest are the usual email/phone channels. It is difficult to see what niche Timworks was trying to fill.

Thanks (2)