Global small-business accounting and finance software vendor Xero announced a number of new initiatives, partnerships and upcoming products at its annual user conference this week.
In a keynote at Xerocon — which held live in New Orleans this year after a pause for the COVID pandemic — chief product officer Anna Curzon made several major announcements of interest to Xero partners and their clients, including plans to launch a new inventory solution that will hit the U.S. market first. The thousand-plus attendees were able to apply to be part of the beta test program slated to launch later in the year.
In his keynote, chief growth officer Chris O’Neill announced the availability of Xero Small Business Insights, a quarterly report prepared by research firm Accenture on the U.S. and Canadian business economy that is based on the aggregated and anonymized data from tens of thousands of Xero customers. Also launched with it is a special report “Small business snapshot — United States and Canada,” which provides insights on business performance and the impact inflation is having on U.S. small business. These reports are available without cost at xero.com/xerosbi.
“We are laser-focused on bringing beautiful, simple and seamless experiences to small businesses, accountants and bookkeepers across the United States,” Curzon told attendees. “With our new inventory management and bank reconciliation tools, they can spend less time on their back-office administration and get on with growing their business.”
And a new partnership announced at Xerocon with sales tax compliance software vendor Avalara, aimed at giving accounting firm clients using Xero better workflows in this critical practice area (see our full story).
Also announced and demonstrated by Hamish Cook, vice president of product for the U.S., was the new Hubdoc Bank Statement Extraction tool. This allows accounting firm partners and their clients to import and reconcile bank statement data. This tool currently works with the top four banks in the U.S. and Canada; Xero expects more banks to participate in the future.
Additionally, Curzon detailed improved reporting features for U.S. customers: “Our new reports include updated features that will help accountants and bookkeepers get quick access to answers and streamline their financial analysis. Along with a refreshed design, we continue to deliver increased functionally.” Also announced was a feature that will allow setting reporting preferences such as reporting on a cash basis, to be universally set, making it faster and easier to report on how a business is performing.
And, in a one-on-one interview with Curzon and Cook later in the day, both doubled down on Xero’s commitment to small businesses. “It’s always been small business, and Xero’s intention to make their lives better,” Cook said. “So you know that we are unwavering in our ongoing commitment to small businesses. Small businesses everywhere employ the lion’s share of people. They contribute hugely to GDP. And our founder use to say, if we get this right, that leads to better schools and better hospitals eventually in our communities.”
Curzon made a similar comment in her keynote: “We believe deeply with your conviction, and with your passion and our common interest in improving the lives of small businesses here in North America. There are no limits to what we can collectively enable through the Xero platform. And we have a bold plan for harnessing change and driving innovation and a strong partnership with [accountants] is key to making that vision a reality.”