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#xerocon Australia


#xerocon’s are a special day for the Xero Team as it’s a chance to connect with our top partners in an intimate environment and hear where they would like us to focus our development resources. Held in Melbourne at the weekend, this was our first conference for Australian accountants and bookkeepers.

Right from the start we took delegates deep into the strategy behind the business of online accounting.

CEO and co-founder, Rod Drury, spoke about being at ‘the end of the beginning’ – having taken accounting online, connecting advisors to their clients, the door is now open to pursue huge productivity gains that have the potential to move the needle on GDP. Rod then shared insights into the three waves of innovation that will drive the cloud accounting journey and completely change how businesses operate on the inside and how they interact with each other. Delegates were challenged with the premise that in the cloud business software is not a software business. We’ve gone beyond just the debits and credits of accounting and we’re now putting in place the building blocks for the next phase of innovation with benchmarking, online invoicing, group buying, intelligent notifications and much more.

I then outlined the strategy for the Australian market. Five months in, there’s evidence this strategy is bearing fruit with 5 x growth of revenue, an expanding network of top accounting and bookkeeping partners and an annualised doubling of the customer base. Stuart McLeod joined me on stage, from online payroll provider Paycycle, which was recently acquired by Xero. The room erupted in applause when Stuart shared a sneak peek at the screenflow of what Xero Payroll will look like when it’s released in Australia in Q1 next year.

Guest speaker Rob Nixon walked through how accountants run their business in this new age of technology. With his hard hitting and likeably controversial style, Rob walked through the New Growth Equation and uncovered what’s needed to take productivity and practice profits to another level. The image of a burning $1.2M house reflected the amount of money some firms waste every year in unproductive time.

Xero co-founder, Hamish Edwards shared his own story of how he used cloud technology to build capacity into his practice and gave examples of the higher value services he provided clients. For the first time Hamish put a spotlight on the hard numbers and KPI improvements behind cloud accounting. It was this that made his firm Openside an attractive target for Deloitte, who acquired them in February.

Trevor Schoenmaekers from Gold Partner accounting firm Hansens, described first-hand why he made the decision to partner with Xero. Trevor had been ready to call it a day but his move to the cloud and being able to serve his clients in a more connected way, reignited his passion for the profession.

Xero customer Jamie Potter gave an insight into what it’s like to be a client of a Xero accounting or bookkeeping partner. He argued that delegates were doing their clients a disservice by letting them stumble across Xero rather than being the ones to inform them. Jamie won a bet with me he’d get a standing ovation – though he did ask for it.

The Modern Practice team took to the stage and ran through a day in the life of an Australian Modern Practice. They seamlessly brought together in the cloud online marketing by e360, practice management by WorkflowMax, tax by Lodge IT, office tools by Microsoft Office 365 and document management through PracticePoint. Xero Product Specialist Tim Wright then outlined how this suite of solutions will come together for firms who plan to migrate in time for the new financial year.

Xero Product Managers Andrew Tokeley and Sara Goepel concluded the day with impressive demos of upcoming features including practice level report templates, over-payments, pre-payments, discounts, remittance advices, Xero Personal bank feeds and the recently launched iPhone Touch app. These demos are one of the most exciting parts of the xerocon, because delegates really love that we share with them what’s coming up – even if it’s not complete.

That night we had a stunning dinner and awards ceremony to celebrate partners who really have gone the extra mile. Here’s the winners:

Fastest Growing Partner Award: Southern Cross Business Advisers
Xero Knowledge Award: Jill of All Trades
Partner Website Award: Your Accounts Department
Partner of the Year: Guy Pearson of Interactive Accounting (pictured below centre)

As is custom at #xerocon events we partied on into the night with all of our partners and Xero team.

For more pictures of the day check out our Facebook page here.

For our inaugural #xerocon delegates we’d love you to share your thoughts on the event here.

 

Read more about Accountants

 

8 comments

Steph Hinds
4 August 2011 #

What an absolutely awesome conference……Not only did we get the 1st look at some of the new features coming it was also excellent to talk to like minded accountants about where our exciting Industry is headed. And then we get to see Chris Ridd & Joe Salvati rocking it out at the dinner! This conference is a must for everyone. Can’t wait for next year :)

Samantha Smith
4 August 2011 #

Was a brilliant weekend and well worth the travel from Perth!

It was the first conference that I have attended in 6 years for the accounting and bookkeeping industry that I felt inspired and proud of the changes we are making to the industry.

A huge thanks to the Xero team who gave up a lot of their personal time to make those of us from interstate feel welcome even outside of #xerocon.

Bring on #xerocon 2012 – I’ll be back with my paperwork angels this time.

Paul Meissner
4 August 2011 #

What a weekend. Xerocon brought together like minded accountants and showed us the exciting future of the Xero roadmap. Great speakers, great rockers and great times. For a room full of accountants Friday and Saturday nights were actually big parties. It was nice to meet some of the pioneers in our industry and share our experiences.

All accountants should get ready for Xerocon 2012. It will be massive!!

Thanks Xero for a great weekend.

Sue Hirst CFO On-Call
4 August 2011 #

#xerocon confirmed we’re on the right track with Xero (not that we needed any!). Information sharing was fantastic. Xero is changing the world of small business and it’s advisors. So glad we are ‘on the bus’.

Tina Kaye
4 August 2011 #

What a handsome looking team! Thanks all for looking after us for the day.

I must say how much I enjoyed Rob’s idea of bringing accounting to the movie screen ;)

It’s amazing to see new technology and a good product revolutionise an industry. Cheers to the modern business (cos there’s alot of non accountants riding this wave too).

See you next year!

Mike Deam
4 August 2011 #

As a Bookkeeper rather than Accountant I found #xerocon a valuable experience. (My second conference 1 NZ and 1 in Oz). It’s given my business an insight into where we could take it and how Xero is becoming such a key part of where we are going not only from a revenue stream but in terms of running our own business and building the best of business systems for our own use.

I found it valuable having staff along and certainly is paying me dividends already. It was great to make new contacts and renew old ones. Xero is a great community and the conference is just one way this is expressed.

It was an honour to be nominated for an award.. and a total surprise. Gives a little more incentive to go one better next year.

A little more network time would be great and to have had that demo about modern practice a little earlier in the day would have given you an 11 but 10 from 10 is not too bad!!

Xero and their staff never cease to amaze me with their talent! Never realised that Chris had so many varied skills.. I’ll be looking forward to what happens next year.. Thanks to all the Xero Team a great job.

Amelia Savor
4 August 2011 #

#xerocon was an awesome way to spend the weekend and well worth the flight from Brisbane! Innovative, welcoming and warm, this conference was far from boring, and watching the musical skeletons being dragged out of the Xero and Paycycle closets was the icing the cake. Bring on #xerocon 2012!

Gillian Rossouw
5 August 2011 #

This is my third Xero conference and the number of attendees get bigger each year not to mention the content. Another successful #xerocon, Team Xero put on a fabulous conference together with key speakers & visitors coming from all over Australia & NZ. Accountants, Consultants & Bookkeepers had the opportunity to meet and mingle Fri evening at the Crown prior to Sat conf day (what a spot- Marketing Team sure know how to select prime spots ). Thank you Team Xero for our first Australian conference & making this event a success, Fab to see so many partners who took time out to attend. Congrats go to all the nominees & winners – my friends & colleagues who are always there to lend a helping hand. The best kept secret Xero MD Chris Ridd took to the stage to lead his band belting out hot tunes with guest appearance Joe from Paycycle on the drums. Xerocon turned into a Xero rocks event

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