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Becoming a financial planning partner

In his keynote at Xerocon Sydney, our Australian Managing Director Chris Ridd announced we’re expanding our partner program in Australia to include financial planners and advisors, and that a Senior Account Manager (me) had been appointed to work with advisors full time.

This new complementary channel – built around using Xero Cashbook for budgeting and money management – has really started to take off and since August more than 250 professional advice firms have applied to become Xero partners. Check out this video of Steve Crawford of Experience Wealth – 100% of their clients use Xero and he talks about the advantages of becoming a financial planning partner.

Why Cashbook?

More than 1500 accountants, bookkeepers and advisors Australia wide attended the financial advisor session of the October Partner Roadshow. Attendees had an opportunity to find out more about our Partner Program; hear success stories from advisors themselves; meet a few relevant Add-on partners; and see Cashbook in action – with a little help from my “typical”, newly married Gen Y couple William and Kate Windsor.

Xero Cashbook is an ideal tool to help advisors classify their clients’ income and expenditure and start conversations around budgeting, cash flow, income and expenditure classification. Using Cashbook, advisors can collaborate with their clients and develop smart money management strategies together, aimed at boosting savings or reducing and consolidating personal and investment debt.

As the channel grows and more advisors begin to use Xero as a collaborative platform for their clients, we expect to see a significant number of new Add-on partners and industry specific integrations to emerge in coming months.

Integrating with Midwinter AdviceOS

In early 2014, Midwinter AdviceOS – a next generation, cloud based CRM, compliance and planning platform for financial advisors – will integrate with Xero. Accurate cash flow information from Xero will flow into AdviceOS prompting the advisor to make more informed decisions and provide higher value services for their client.

“Cashbook aligns client transactions to a Chart of Accounts that can be later overridden or commented on by the client or adviser. This results in accurate client cash flow information coming through to AdviceOS in real time and enhances the quality of the advice,” says Julian Plummer, Managing Director, Midwinter Financial Services.

Now is the time to start the journey

With the accounting and private wealth advice sectors converging, legislative reform creating industry disruption and the demographics of advisors and clients shifting away from baby boomers, there are massive opportunities for partners to innovate and produce compelling service offerings for their advised clients.

If you are interested in becoming a Financial Advice Partner, visit the landing page and apply online. As a Xero partner, advisors can run their own business on Xero for free.

We are running cashbook specific online intro sessions twice a week – and additional training and information sessions will be launching soon.

Firms are invited to become a certified Bronze partner and list on our new financial advisor partner directory.

This is a new channel and we are just getting started.

 

 

Read more about Accountants

 

4 comments

Nick Sinclair
28 November 2013 #

Hi Matthew, great to see this is finally happening for planners. If we are listed under the accountants tab currently but want to be listed under the FP, do we have to choose one or the other?

Geoff M
28 November 2013 #

Hi Matthew

If you are serious about the use of Cashbook for Financial Planners who manage client portfolios, you need to make a version of Cashbook available that has multi-currency at a reasonable price point. Any portfolio that is of any value will most likely have brokerage accounts in different currencies (NZD, USD, AUD) for the receipt of dividends/interest and cash transfers. There are not normally a lot of these transactions but they do need to be reconciled and balanced on a regular basis.

The multi-currency version of Xero is currently targeted at larger businesses that deal in multiple currencies. That is fine, but it is too expensive to be useful for an investment portfolio with a couple of FX accounts.

Please consider a version of cashbook that is multi-currency at the same price or a reasonable premium to the single currency version.

Thanks, Geoff

Matthew Prouse
28 November 2013 #

@Nick. Currently, we are only listing partners under a single category. I know a number of accounting firms offer financial planning services – just like a lot of accounting firms offer book keeping services – but are only listed as Accountants.

Ultimately, its going to be up to the firm to decide if they want to be listed as an Accountant or as a Financial Advisor on our advisor directory when they offer both services.

Happy to discuss with you further if need be. Alternatively, contact your Account Manager.

Matthew Prouse
28 November 2013 #

@Geoff. Thanks for the feedback. This has come up a few times. Have you thought about posting it as a Feature Request on our community page? Link here: https://community.xero.com/business/topic/23/

A number of advisors are using Business Editions with multicurrency support to get this functionality. Alternatively, some advisors are creating multiple cashbooks for a single client (one in AU, one in NZ etc) and then using an addon for consolidated reporting.

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