From XU Magazine, 
Online News

Connect4 is closing

November 25, 2022

This article originated from the Xero blog. The XU Hub is an independent news and media platform - for Xero users, by Xero users. Any content, imagery and associated links below are directly from Xero and not produced by the XU Hub.
You can find the original post here:

We’re sad to announce that Connect4 will permanently cease to operate from the 23rd December 2022. It’s not a decision that has been taken lightly, but ultimately, the business is no longer sustainable.

We want to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported us over the past three years; customers, investors, partners and so many others across the accounting sphere. Building software is challenging. But it’s been a real joy to work so closely with so many members of the accounting and investment communities and to watch Connect4 actually improve people’s working life.

Important information for current customers

  • When can I use the Connect4 platform until?
    The final day for access will be Thursday 22nd December 2022. After this date, no-one will be able to login to Connect4 the platform.
  • What happens to meeting data?
    We will be offering an export feature that will enable account owners to export all client meeting notes and actions. Please note all data will be permanently deleted after 22nd December.

What will happen to my subscription?
No further Connect4 subscription payments will be taken. If you are on an annual subscription, a prorated refund will be issued before the 23rd December.


What went wrong?

We started our mission to re-think client meetings back in 2020. Accounting firms — the good ones at least — became a whole lot more familiar with their clients during the pandemic and we saw that trend continuing. We could see the transition that many accountants are making towards ‘advisory’ — and the tighter client relationships that are necessitated by that shift. We felt that meetings however could be done better — more efficient and more productive. We wanted to turn meetings into actions.

We spoke with hundreds of firms who were (and still are) desperate to create proper processes for managing their meetings. They wanted to keep clear and accessible notes and be able to easily assign meeting actions. And they wanted to provide guidance for their team as to how to run great meetings — through tools such as agenda templates. There seemed to be a clear appetite for something like Connect4.

But — for us — that has proven to not be enough. We always felt that our meeting management tools needed to be tightly coupled with something else.

Our first bet was with video. Connect4 started out as an ‘all-in-one’ meeting platform; video, agenda and actions, all in one place (or pod)! And many people loved that idea (and many still do). But, video started to become a blocker for growth. There was no way we could build a video platform as good as Zoom, Teams or Google Meet with a tiny development team and limited funds. The aforementioned platforms had raised user expectations significantly. 95% of our support queries ended up being related to video, and we felt there was no value in plowing further resources into technology that was already being done really well by others.

We shifted our attention to working more closely with practice management software. We took the focus away from our native video (emphasizing how we work alongside 3rd-party video tools) and zoned in primarily on Karbon practice management software. We developed a great relationship with Karbon and built a tight integration with the platform (within the constraints of either platform’s capabilities).

Along the way, we developed features such as meeting insights — providing feedback and data about how you could run your meetings better. On paper, the theory was sound. But in reality, our implementation and our meeting workflow became a blocker to using these features well.

Next we saw the potential for ’expert’ meeting guidance. We wanted Connect4 to not only be the place to document your meetings, but a place where you could learn how to run better meetings. We introduced learning pods and worked with software partners like Xero, Capitalise and Ignition to build expert meeting agendas — of which we’ve received some great feedback on.

But we ran out of time.

What’s next for meetings?

We believe that client meeting management — specifically within accounting practices — is still a space for growth. The demand for something is clear, but it’s perhaps not at the top of everyone’s list just yet.

Our bet would be that agendas, meeting notes and actions will slowly form part of practice management software. Or that MS Teams or Zoom will introduce (or acquire) first-class solutions of their own (although they’re perhaps unlikely to tackle the nuances of client meetings). But sadly Connect4 will no longer play a role in this battleground!

Many thanks again to everyone who has supported us on our journey. We wish you and your clients every success!

Over and out.

The Connect4 Team

Why leave it there?

To read up on more Connect4 news

Straight to your inbox

Subscribe to our newsletter for updates as they happen
We hate spam too. We NEVER sell our mailing list.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.