Xerocon Live Blog
We’ll be posting throughout the day from the Viaduct Events Centre in Auckland New Zealand.
Check back at 9.00am NZST for live coverage from the Xerocon keynote #xerocon.
9.37am CEO Rod Drury keynote
“This is about real people, things that they play with everyday. We make things a whole lot easier.”
9.50am Introducing some of the Xero board members
Big investment in the last year into accountant side features as it makes sense in the Cloud. Client and accountant software should be seamlessly connected. The client pays-not the advisor.
Xero is moving from being a software vendor to being a partner.
Many practices have out of date hardware which is not helping them to to move to the Modern Practice model.
Partners need a ‘common desktop’ so all of their document and file management works together. Many do-it-yourself solutions require more time in the long run.
10.10am Practice management
Announcement of the new practice management offer with the acqusition of Workflow max. Free practice management for partners who add 20 clients – that caused a ripple of excitement. I think I heard a ‘woo hoo’ or three.
10.23am Andrew Tokeley takes the stage to talk about the Xero Roadmap
You can call him ‘Tokes’.
“Even my 83 year old grandmother calls me Tokes so don’t feel weird.”
Report packs give complete control, new features such as notes can be drag and dropped to make life a lot easier.
You can now take Word or Excel tables and drop them into report fields. Lots of claps from the floor.
10:44am What’s in store for 2012 – report packs
Custom report fields e.g. banker, overdraft size, solicitor.
Automating schedule for Current Accounts and Loans.
Report code updates.
Purchase orders, quotes, stock lite and setup and conversion tools.
“We are not doing a full stock management system.”
10.49am Next up, it’s Craig Walker
30,000 + downloads Xero Touch from app store.
Craig tells us “what he got up to over the Christmas break.” … Address verification.
Data shows businesses dealing with the same businesses across the ecosystem.
Developing the Xero-to-Xero user features. Online invoices create online statements and help businesses get paid faster.
Users also get remittance advice (big cheer).
11:05 am Sara Goepel
The new Xero business community will be coming out on the 13 February. Businesses can help each other and work together.
Online training and a training dashboard for partner edition. Online training modules mean that businesses can keep track of their requirements.
You should see bank feeds in Xero personal in the next two to four months.
Back from the break. Getting ready to hear Hon Craig Foss speak.
“It is fantastic to be in room full of accountants. It’s not often you say that.”
Lots of concerns about the global economy around the world. It is a great time to be doing business in New Zealand. We are a trading nation and the world wants the stuff that Xero is making.
We need people with clever ideas and big visions.
We need exporters and investors who can see a new, innovative, start-up company and make it grow.
The huge investment in fibre adds lots of new opportunities for New Zealand businesses.
12.10pm Trevor Schoenmaekers, Hansens Accountants
GST is the biggest nightmare for his practice.
Trying to send things to India to save costs didn’t work and client’s didn’t like it. Trying to do reporting was taking too long and there was no time to spend with clients.
Switched to Xero in June 2010.
“Their (Xero’s) support to me was something I had never, ever, ever experienced before. One push of the button turned off $30,000 worth of fees to MYOB”.
Show of hands for the Rob Nixon group people in the room? A few here.
Major culture change was required as accountants in the business became more responsible for their clients. Increased transparency was hard for some to change habits. The business models have changed inside the practice.
Hired a marketing person fulltime to use new tools such as Twitter and Facebook to connect with customers. Staff turnover has basically stopped by creating fun and focusing everyone on clearly defined targets. Clients are encouraged to pay bills on time with prizes such as weekends away.
12.40pm David Jessep, DJCA
David invested heavily in his business and then the Christchurch earthquake hit. He was in a bar called the Twisted Hop having a beer at the time. The whole building was demolished.
Up in running after three days with some cheap laptops and products such as Google Docs and Smart Payroll.
“The Cloud enables two businesses that are passionate about different things to connect and work together.”
“We’ve made lots of mistakes but we learned lots. It was hard in 2011 but we still doubled in size.”
1.00pm Lunchtime. (I’ll plug-in and be back soon for the afternoon workstreams).
In the meantime, you might get some food tweets on Twitter #xerocon.
1.56pm Hamish Edwards - Profiting as a connected practice
“Who went to university four years to learn how to do tax returns?”
A lot of accountants have a lot to offer business because they run their own business.
Labour is expensive and junior accountants are getting paid more.
Love the bookkeeper. “If you annoy one of your client’s staff they will go with their staff not you.”
2.19pm The Single Ledger
The same accounting system used by the accounting and the client.
The same accounting system is used for all clients.
2.35 pm Live Demos
Annual financial statements can be built anywhere. Very fast and easy to do.
March 20 is the target release date. Data is imported live from Xero into the workpaper.
The one-stop shop workpaper approach enables queries to be captured and shared online, in real-time.
2.56pm Gavin George
WorkflowMax and now Xero’s newest employee as WorkflowMax country manager for New Zealand demos value-based billing and looking at improving job throughput and practice efficiencies.
3.10pm Hamish Edwards back into it
It’s not about time. What is the average fee per client?
Guy Pearson from Interactive Accounting presenting his journey to the Modern Practice. Aiming to go global with his practice enabled with Cloud tools such as Mailchimp, WuFu, Google, LodgeIT and Eventbrite.
A few questions from the floor from some of today’s speakers.
We’re wrapping up now for a bit so we can all go and get beautiful for the gala dinner and awards ceremony at 7,30pm tonight at the Viaduct Events Centre in Auckland. Keep an eye on our Twitter feed at #xerocon for winners of the New Zealand Xero Partner Awards for 2012. Thanks for all your comments and pictures. Great to see everyone had such a fun and informative day.