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Cass Business School invites Xero to speak

In July, Cass Business School invited me to give a talk to a group of around 150 entrepreneurs. Finance innovation in London has taken something of a battering over the last few years. So it’s now pleasing to see that out of all that mess, it’s recently become a fast growing vibrant centre for great technology startups. Many of these startups have a financial element, and the entrepreneurs I spoke to were there as part of a Finance in the Cloud seminar.

Check out the video of the presentation at Cass Business School:

 

Thanks to Eddie George at the New Finance group for the offer to come along to Cass Business School. Also, thanks to the many people I spoke with afterwards.

The talk closed with a good panel of Q&A. Some of the questions included, where do accountants fit into the new online world, and data sovereignty. Questions were also asked about how to take customer feedback. You can check out a recording of that below.

 

It was a great evening.

 

Read more about Business, Gary Turner

 

6 comments

robbie dellow
9 September 2013 #

thanks for this UK update. Good stuff.
Always useful to hear from the Xero UK, especially since the emphasis of late has (rightly) gone on Aust and now USA, at the expense of UK. Still see UK as a market with huge exciting potential to take marketshare off of the incumbent, Sage.

Gary Turner
9 September 2013 #

Hi Robbie – you’re right insofar as we’ve sequenced our approach to Payroll on a territory by territory basis (building four payrolls in parallel is more complex than a NASA sending a manned mission to Mars) – but actually most of the work we’ve shipped in the last year has been for all territories.

But it’s a good reminder that the beauty of our roadmap is in the eye of the beholder. :)

Most of our UK competitors are deliberately cagey or generously (to themselves) vague about their UK scale, but my insider data suggests there are more UK businesses using Xero than any other cloud accounting vendor in the UK (much bigger than Sage’s cloud endeavours) and I’m pretty confident we’re biggest on revenue also.

But, you’re right a huge opportunity to build even further – so not complacent.

Robbie dellow
10 September 2013 #

Hi Gary – yes, whilst Xero may have the most businesses using its service, when comparing cloud offering to cloud offering, the ‘honeypot’ is in getting the bulk of businesses from legacy systems onto the Xero cloud solution.
So correct – huge opportunity and no complacency in this early stage.
Great progress, Gary, and thanks for the insight.

Gary Turner
10 September 2013 #

Converting legacy customers is only part of it (albeit a prominent and significant part), because there are more UK businesses using nothing than using a product like Sage or Quickbooks. In fact, we’d estimate that of the 5 million entities in the UK (including around 3 million sole proprietorships) fewer than 20% are using a recognised system of record.

Winning is converting the minority of the market that are using a legacy product plus convincing the majority using nothing to start using something.

Good conversation.

Robbie Dellow
10 September 2013 #

So Gary, in that context, where your (or, I guess for any Xero geographic), potential customers can come from three areas :
- from another cloud vendor (prob. more a future scenario)
- from a legacy provider (Sage, Intuit, MYOB, etc)
- from user having no formal accounting system

I understand how the Xero structure around getting accounting firms/book-keepers, associated businesses on board to leverage off, can make headway into the first two categories. But if the majority possibly use none of these channels that Xero is designed to tap, how can headway be effectively gained? I guess it is all about getting the message out there somehow about having such efficient systems will free time, etc, translating to increased rev’s.
All in all, Xero is making great progress and I really believe in the possibility of your goals. Pedal to the metal.

Gary Turner
10 September 2013 #

All three categories actually share the same compliance end-point – the accountant or bookkeeper, indeed in some situations the last category is the easiest – no data conversion, simpler businesses, etc.

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