Today, we wrapped up Xerocon Sydney, the third and final Xerocon for this year.
Over the last two days we have come together with over 3,000 of our Aussie, Kiwi and Asia-based accounting and bookkeeping partners, app partners and Xeros to get inspired, to learn and most importantly to reunite as a community.
It’s been three years since our last Xerocon in this part of the world and we enjoyed every minute of being together again.
Our shared purpose and partnership
I had the pleasure of opening Xerocon from the main stage talking about the three waves of innovation that are driving Xero’s vision to be the most trusted and insightful small business platform. We started this journey when Xero put accounting in the cloud, we built on this with our investments in apps and services, and now we’re putting in place the foundations to provide trusted insights – and next best actions – to equip our partners to advise small businesses better. We’re constantly working to bring our vision to life, and the partnerships we share with our accountants and bookkeepers is central to us being able to achieve it.
Xero Small Business Insights and charging towards a stronger digital future
It was great to see Joe Lyons, Xero’s Managing Director – APAC, on the Xerocon main stage for the very first time. Joe discussed the current state of small business in Australia and New Zealand and highlighted the key role advisors play in their clients’ digital transformation, before launching part two of our Xero Small Business Insights (XSBI) special report Crunch: Cash flow challenges facing small businesses.
We launched part one, which examined and offered insights into how small businesses can improve their cash flow management, at Xerocon London in July. The follow-up report identifies three early warning indicators that small businesses and their advisors need to be on the lookout for to ensure they stay on top of cash flow management. Joe discussed how embracing digital tools – and the life-changing ease, connections and insights they bring – will help small businesses and their advisors through this period of uncertainty.
Harnessing change to drive innovation
Anna Curzon, Xero’s Chief Product Officer, took to the stage to share Xero’s latest product innovations and updates. These included new tools to simplify people processes with the launch of our Xero Payroll plus Planday beta and new capabilities in the Xero Me app; the unveiling of one of our most highly requested features: payroll history; a new pilot surfacing GST and PAYG in Xero Analytics Plus; new STP transition tools that will help our customers remain compliant; redesigned job manager in Xero Practice Manager; and more enhancements to reporting including a new layout importer tool.
Getting ready for a new kind of customer
Earlier today, our Chief Customer Officer, Rachael Powell, explored what the customer of the future looks like, and how – using Xero – accountants and bookkeepers can set up their practice to meet their clients’ constantly evolving needs.
To address the growing interest from small businesses in operating sustainably, Rachael was thrilled to share more about our new partnership with carbon management expert, and Xero customer, Cogo. The free app helps Xero’s Australian customers understand, measure, and reduce their carbon footprint. It does this by pulling categorised transactional data – such as money spent on electricity, fuel and other every-day business expenses – from Xero, and calculating a carbon footprint. Small businesses can then access tailored advice on how to make easy, positive changes to help reduce their impact.
Partnerships power the Xero platform
Ian Boyd, EGM – Global Partnerships, was joined on stage by Leigh O’Neill, EGM – Financial Services, and Patrick Frigo, Partnerships Director AU/NZ – Ecosystem and App Store, to discuss our partner community, which is the lifeblood of the Xero platform, and how we’re working together with our partners to build for the future.
From day one, Xero was built as an open platform, with a set of open APIs – designed so developers, accountants, bookkeepers and anyone who wanted to could build on top of the ledger – setting the foundation for the strong partnerships we have today. Patrick likened the Xero app ecosystem to Lego, which can be used to build out your capabilities and is customisable to your unique needs. You don’t need to be a computer programmer or tech guru to use them: the recently launched Xero App Store puts the pieces right in your hands. By creating a centralised hub for our app partners with powerful navigation capabilities, our customers are able to create flexible solutions that meet their needs.
Ending on a high note
Xerocon is so much more than what happens on the main stage or at the breakouts. It’s really a celebration of our partner community. We always try to go above and beyond to make Xerocon an incredible experience, so our partners are inspired to connect, learn and, of course, have a lot of fun. Rounding out this year’s Xerocon events in my home town has been particularly special. Sydney is a beautiful city that has always been a hub of innovation and big thinkers.
Thank you to everyone that came to Xerocon – you make this event what it is. I can’t wait to connect again in person in the future!