Over a decade ago, Xero acquired the WorkflowMax (WFM) product to build out Xero’s practice tool offering globally, and ultimately help us to create a more seamless experience for accountants and bookkeepers to run their practice in the cloud.
We followed with the launch of Xero Practice Manager (XPM), bringing to fruition the early vision we had for the WorkflowMax product. This resulted in two products – WorkflowMax and Xero Practice Manager – both of which needed their own investments and focus, but provided us flexibility to develop both products independent of each other.
Fast forward to today, and we have a clear focus on our Xero Practice Manager strategy, however when we look to the future of WorkflowMax, the current product experience needs significant investment to meet the evolving expectations of our customers.
Why we’re retiring WorkflowMax
After much consideration Xero has decided to retire WorkflowMax on 26 June 2024. This means that from this date, the product will no longer be available. And, from today, no new WorkflowMax trials will be able to be started. As much as we’d love to focus all our efforts on WorkflowMax, and add all the new features and functionality our customers are seeking, the reality is we can’t do everything and sometimes we need to make difficult decisions like this as we prioritise our efforts as a business to help us meet customer expectations.
This isn’t a decision that has been made lightly, nor does it have any reflection on how much the product has been used over the years.
A future solution
Instead of us simply retiring the product next year, we explored a number of options for our customers when considering the future of WorkflowMax.
I’m pleased to share that BlueRock, a tech-led business advisory firm, has commenced plans to offer a product with similar functionality to Xero’s WorkflowMax. BlueRock intends to make its solution available to customers in early 2024 as an alternate job management solution for them. BlueRock is a long-time WorkflowMax partner, having implemented customers on WorkflowMax over the past 8 years. As part of the brand acquisition, BlueRock will take over the WorkflowMax name, to be known as WorkflowMax by BlueRock.
It will be entirely up to existing customers to choose the right solution that meets their needs, and existing WorkflowMax customers will not automatically be migrated to the new WorkflowMax product. BlueRock intends to develop a conversion tool to help support the transition of existing WorkflowMax subscribers, should they choose to go to WorkflowMax by BlueRock. Xero will have an ongoing revenue share arrangement with BlueRock in connection with WorkflowMax by BlueRock.
Once released, WorkflowMax by BlueRock will be available in the Xero App Store, alongside other solutions that may suit your future needs. For more information visit this page.
No impact to XPM
Our decision on WorkflowMax has no impact on Xero Practice Manager. You can read more about our plans to create a more integrated practice experience.
What do WorkflowMax customers need to do?
We hope that by letting you know well in advance before we retire the WorkflowMax product, it will allow you the time you need to consider your next step that suits your specific needs – whether that be WorkflowMax by BlueRock or another solution.
We’re committed to maintaining the current experience for existing customers up until the date of retirement of the product on 26 June 2024. While this was a difficult decision to make, it was made lighter knowing BlueRock has commenced plans to offer a solution with similar functionality to Xero’s WorkflowMax. To keep up-to-date with the latest information, including details about BlueRock, visit this page.
Although the products have been separated, what is the impact of this decision and your other plans on Xero Practice Manager (XPM)
Hi Steven, thank you for your comment. There is no impact to XPM as a result of this decision. We recently rolled out some updates to Job Manager in XPM and have plans currently underway to create a more integrated practice experience.
Why wouldn’t you just sell it, for cheap or for nothing, to someone to continue?
Hi Sam, thanks for your comment. We explored a number of options for our customers when considering the future of WorkflowMax. BlueRock is taking over the WorkflowMax brand and we hope this provides a future option for customers, should they decide this is right for them. You can learn more here.
Wow. This is the second time Xero has done this to me. First time was retiring the personal accounting solution they used to have. This is hard to hear. We’ve built our business systems around Workflow max, leverage it’s API, integrated it with other systems (in many cases manually with our own development work). Along the way we even had to rebuild significant parts of the API because Xero changed the authorisation system etc. Hmm, probably wouldn’t have invested that time if we’d known the product may have been retired. I cannot believe Xero feel this is acceptable. Can accept that they aren’t willing to put time and effort into building more into the product but at least keep it running or give customers the source code so they can stand it up themselves. Brutal.
I am really blown away – we have spent so much time and energy into aligning our systems etc to WFM. I agree with Rich this is really brutal. We opted for WFM in the beginning because it seemed solid; being owned by Xero.
Hi Herman, thanks for your feedback – we’ll pass this onto the team.
I agree with Herman, we have spent a lot of time implementing this solution and adjusting our business paractices to suit. It works well for us and the thought of having to start over is most disappointing. Perhaps Quickbooks have an option. Very disappointing.
Thanks for the communication and for putting alternative arrangements in place. My initial reaction is, if we decide not to adapt new WorkflowMax, is there anyway of accessing historical data say for auditing terms. Sometimes the tax people like to follow jobs through the system rather than just relying on final invoices etc and also we may well want to check back on previous jobs.
If we do decide to adopt the new version of WfM, will historical data be automatically retained?
Finally, will the pricing structure be in line with where we are now with WfM?
Hi Malcombe, thanks for your comment. We’d suggest you export your historical data using the export tool in case you want to refer to it in the future. For information on exporting your data, please check out this webpage. For any information about BlueRock’s future solution, we suggest you check out their website.
We use both WFM and Xero in concert – will the BlueRock version still auto export to Xero? If not we’ll be having to look for a work flow system AND a new cloud accounting system.
Hi Dave, WorkflowMax by BlueRock intends to offer a product which integrates with Xero in a similar way to the current WorkflowMax product. BlueRock’s intention is to also have it ready for go-live and conversion.