I must say, I love keynotes. They have the innate ability to get you excited for. It’s great to see an accounting software company being able to compete on this level with the likes of other IT businesses. Even more impressive is the rate that they are improving, accelerating and communicating with their partners.what’s coming in your profession and layout the plan for the roadmap ahead. It’s a company’s chance to woo and awe the crowd and reward the faithful for their business to date.
Surrounded by the beautiful Auckland harbourfront, showing off super yachts, (America’s cup winners included), the newly established Viaducts Events Centre was home to XeroCon 2012 (NZ) and what a great event.
Attending my 2nd Xero conference, I’m still a novice, so here’s my recap of what happened on the day:
Andrew Tokeley (product manager – Xero) talked of drag and drop report pack assembly and customisation of financial reports and templates for your clients and their annual reports, with a smooth and easy to use interface. In addition, you will now have the ability to upload custom docs (spreadsheets/text) into the reporting pack for making each report unique with external data as needed.
Craig Walker (CTO) flew in from San Francisco Xero HQ to deliver a new feature that has been plaguing small businesses using Xero for months. The ability to issue remittance advices. If that wasn’t enough, he also demonstrated an online invoicing engine that will make it’s way into the Xero suite in a similar way that Harvest and Freshbooks have theirs. To top it off statements got an upgrade and every invoice will now carry any outstanding balance remaining for the customer in question.
Rod Drury (CEO) with his usual swagger, spoke about the company’s global aspirations and recent capital raising from the existing key investors in Xero (Craig Winkler, Peter Thiel and the board) and their very recent purchase of Workflow Max, a workflow and business management tool (typically used by accountants) as part of their continuing growth strategy. Xero now has some ~180 employees around the world with more to join the ranks.
The latest update on paying business customers (excluding ledger accounts) is 60,000 and Rod made it quite clear. The goal is firmly planted at 1,000,000 Small business customers globally.
Sara Goepel (Product Manager – Xero Personal, community & xero practice manager) . Sara’s speech consisted of a series of screenshots explaining the new features coming to 3 of xero’s products. Sara’s one of my favourite speakers, sarah always clearly covers a large amount of content, in a small time and keeps you interested. That’s tough to do.
Given the amount of content, here’s a few ‘key’ notes:
- Xero Personal is finally bringing on bank feeds (goal being within the next 3 months)
- Xero Practice Manager – You can now have multi practice admin and will be bringing a tighter integration with Workflow Max as you may have guessed.
- Xero Community – In addition to awesome help, their will be a move towards offering a comprehensive Xero Community for you to ask answers of.
Testimonial from leading partners in AU & NZ
David Jessep (DJCA) and Trevor Schoenmaekers (Hansens Accountants) took the stage to tell stories about their businesses and how they’ve converted traditional accounting firms to a more “modern practice”. Both of these gentlemen are polished speakers and tell a great story about the change they’ve experienced in the industry.
Break out stream
There were 3 streams in the breakout sessions being run throughout the afternoon designed to help with the key area of interest for accountants, the 3 streams being Transform | Modernise | Educate .
I was fortunate enough late last year to be asked to present in the Modernise stream focusing on how Interactive Accounting runs as a Modern Practice. Rather than bore you all to tears with the developments that have been undertaken and delivered since the company started: