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Timworks client chat app used for payment authorisation
Timworks

Timworks launches mobile chat app for accountants

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Visitors to Xerocon will get the first opportunity to see a new chat app from Timworks designed to help accountants work more effectively with their clients.

14th Jul 2022
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While some people might think there are already too many chat apps to choose from, specialist developer Timworks is bringing out a messaging tool for accountants to communicate with their clients.

“Chat is less cumbersome than email, which is only opened about 20% of the time,” said Timworks’ co-founder and CEO Ben Marcilhacy. “We’re trying to create a consumer-type experience, but without the data protection drawbacks of apps like WhatsApp.”

Timworks evolved from an app the company originally developed for restaurants and hospitality businesses. Accountants working with those businesses liked the app and made the company aware of the potential for adapting it to work with all types of client.

“A typical small restaurant handles 200-250 documents a month. Their accountants are constantly chasing bills, credit notes and the like. Timworks is designed for immediate situations where you need things to happen, but don’t need to set up a meeting in real life or on video,” said Marcilhacy.

Part of the workflow

Timworks integrates with Xero to become part of the workflow and to help accountants accelerate their processes and deliver a better service. It also links to data capture apps from Dext, AutoEntry and datamolino. In time, the integrations will extend to other apps such as QuickBooks Online and Sage, he added.

Timworks will record what was discussed and what was agreed with clients to give advisers an audit trail. “If a message is opened and not logged, where is the record kept? This is a new line of communcations for accountants. Where advisers have those daily and weekly interactions, it creates more value for the client,” said Marcilhacy. “Give Timworks to your client base and then they have a direct line to you. You can set up different channels for payroll, VAT or to deliver management accounts.”

The app developer is currently working on a new “broadcast” feature that will let the accountant send group alerts, such as end of tax year instructions, or create bulk messages for particular clients. “We envisage them using it to send PAYE reminders on the 25th of the month or as part of a chat-driven data collection service during P11D and self assessment seasons,” said Marcilhacy. “There are multiple options like that.”

The chat app also has a forward slash command option to start particular tasks or functions. Entering “/zoom”, for example, will invoke setting up a Zoom meeting with the client.

Setup service

As part of the setup service, the Timworks team imports contact details for all the firms’ clients. Details such as company registration and VAT numbers and filing deadlines are stored so the client can refer back to the app to find them – reducing the need for irritating “what’s my VAT number?” queries – and the information can be used to configure the workflows the client will need.

Timworks can be tested out with up to three clients for free, with subscriptions starting at £5/month per client for up to 50 clients, £4/month per client for up to 100 clients. And £3/month for 100–200 clients. Rates for larger client bases are more flexible.

Replies (2)

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By Paul Crowley
20th Jul 2022 12:58

Emails are free

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By Hugo Fair
20th Jul 2022 20:04

"While some people might think there are already too many chat apps to choose from"
... well you said it, I'm merely agreeing!

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