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The US payroll landscape and our vision

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I distinctively remember my first job out of college, the start of my career, the start of my adult life. I had taken a sales representative position at an up-and-coming online payroll company known as PayCycle Inc. (US version).

In those days there was still a large contingency of people who viewed the Internet as a scary black hole where your lifes deepest secrets can be easily exposed. Needless to say, I was a little skeptical as to how in the world I was going to sell anything related to the internet, nevertheless a payroll product.

Turns out that when you have a pretty great product that really can help improve the lives of small businesses owners, it’s more convincing than selling. We were fortunate enough to convince quite a few people and with the success of that product, the landscape of what a payroll product is in the US, began to change.

A payroll market absolutely saturated by the large full service companies now had a chihuahua biting at its ankles. As technology began to bloom so did the DIY payroll solutions. Small business owners previously forced into a price arm wrestling match now had the might to win; they had other options. There was finally an answer to a niche market of small business owners looking to save money on payroll. The market now provided solutions that could fulfill all the payroll needs of a small business but at a quarter of the price. Creating a DIY product that is easy to setup, use, keeps the IRS at bay, and is inexpensive are all major challenges but many companies were still looking to cash in on the new movement.

Fast-forward to 2013 and I find myself embarking on a new adventure but with the same challenge, to alter the landscape of US payroll yet again. This time as a product marketing manager with a few more gray hairs and some great insight on what it takes to deliver a top-notch service. It becomes even more ironic knowing that Xero purchased Paycycle (Australia), a DIY payroll solution designed to fulfill the needs of Australian small businesses. Although the Australian Paycycle has no relation to US PayCycle, both have the same core value of the customer experience being a number one priority.

The backbone of a great payroll product is already there but so is the challenge of localizing it for the US. Xero’s core focus is to revolutionize small business and that is exactly what we intend to do by adding a US payroll feature. Provide an all in one accounting and payroll solution that instantly makes a small business more efficient and productive. Gone are the days of exporting and importing, logging into separate services and double entry. Xero is poised to deliver one solution that will revolutionize the way you run your small business.

Xero has already delivered a revolutionary, customer centric focused accounting and payroll product in Australia. Duplicating this established brand value in the US is no easy feat, especially given all the complexity that US payroll introduces. As we take the initial steps in building a Xero payroll product here in the US, we understand the necessary features required in order to be successful, but the number one thing we understand is that we need to stay focused on our customer and their experience.

Our goal is to develop a simple product, which is easy to setup, easy to use and consistently delights our customer. The difference that separates Xero from the rest of the pack is that we are 100% focused at maintaining that model. We want to build a payroll product that remains simple, and regardless of its growth, keeps that simplicity to continually deliver; yep you guessed it, the best customer experience possible. Beautiful accounting software meets beautiful payroll, an all in one solution that changes the landscape of US payroll yet again.

We’re looking for payroll developers to join our team in San Francisco. If you’d like to help us please get in touch on our careers page.

 

 

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5 comments

Anna
1 March 2013 #

When will the U.S customers expect to see the Payroll feature introduced?

Lynne Taylor
3 March 2013 #

Mark, this is just fabulous! Thanks for the blog post and the perspective from a former “Paycycler” – I have loved and been using the Paycycle app for many years and never miss a chance to tell my clients that they should be using Paycycle instead of ADP or Paychex, which are – IMHO – both more expensive and less user friendly than Paycycle. I was dismayed when Intuit bought the company, but have been hanging on hoping that a product with at least as many great features – and hopefully more! – would come along and be seamlessly integrated with Xero. Since Xero has obviously hit a home run with its beautiful accounting software, I know many of us in the “cloud accounting” community in the USA are anxiously awaiting a beautiful payroll product too. I’m not a programmer but if you need any help, insights or anything else, I’m happy to provide it! :-)

Scott
5 March 2013 #

Any news on when Payroll can be expected / is coming to Xero for existing UK customers or have you forgotten about us and moved across the pond for commercial reasons?

Stuart McLeod
5 March 2013 #

Hi @Anna, no time frames as yet, but we’ll be sure to post here with some more information when we’ve got some more detail to share.

@Lynne, lovely to hear that you’re looking forward to it as much as we are!

And @Scott, no, we’d never forget. At the moment, we rely on our add on partners in all jurisdictions other than Australia, but we’ll be sure to update here when we have some more detail.

Dave Morrison
12 March 2013 #

Love Xero and the iPhone reconciliation is killer. As I sit up late getting corporate taxes together, I stopped for a while as the one missing puzzle piece for me was getting Paycycle into Xero as my monthly summarized journal entires just aren’t cutting it. I just spent about an hour messing around with Paycycle reports (none show all totals), the QuickBooks for Mac exports and our own FileMaker solution that integrates with Xero for perhaps a custom reporter (?) and decided to do one more Google search and found your post … data entry and a calculator for us for now but with a smile!

We’ll be sure to bring by energy drinks and beers next time we’re in San Francisco to keep your team fueled up!!

Very excited and thank you for the announcement. Now back to tax reports …

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