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Being connected to the accounting sector

Ben Richmond receiving NZICA Leadership Award

Last month I was humbled to receive the 2013 NZICA Leadership Award for Westpac Outstanding New Member of the Year. This has got me thinking about the huge value Xero places on having accounting professionals and experience within its ranks, whether in sales, customer support or software development, and the importance of being connected to the accounting sector in multiple ways.

Industry disruption is accelerating and for most accounting firms it’s a big change to get their head around and to understand it from an accounting viewpoint. It’s not just the cloud, it’s the march of technology in general and the regulatory and administrative changes that go alongside. Developing an online strategy is critical to help transition your firm and help your clients as the technology impact on every industry accelerates. Like many evolutions that have come before, it’s those most responsive to change who come out on top.

The new financial reporting framework is one example of the big changes facing the accounting sector and we’ll have a blog post in more detail about it soon. For us it’s about communicating what our platform means in terms of how we can help our partners and clients.

Xero builds a true partnership with accountants

There is also industry consolidation and globalization and the changing expectations on the accounting professional. The recent merger of Curtis McLean into Deloitte is an interesting case study recognizing the value each firm brings to the other and how Xero has played a role in this.

I am proud of the true partnership that Xero builds with accountants to help firms proactively respond to the changing industry. I really enjoy working with our accounting partners, from managing our key partner advisory board, to helping firms make an informed decision on what’s the best solution for their practice in the new world.

In a previous career at Telecom I was a board member of the Telecom Foundation. They launched New Zealand’s first zero fees fundraising platform when they purchased www.givealittle.co.nz. This online platform (with Xero as its accounting engine) has revolutionised the way people give to causes that mean the most to them and is another example of the power of taking your business online.

From my background at Telecom I am familiar with the lean methodology, focusing on delivering value to the customer and aligning resources to that end. It’s awesome to see our Xero partners transitioning to an online world and re-gearing their firms to focus on the end customer. Moving to the Xero world helps accountants focus on delivering what the customer values and reduce waste process. The industry has changed so much since when I was originally in public practice, but it shocks me how many firms are yet to even consider a response or begin to change.

Special thanks to White Door Event Photography for the photos on the night – http://www.whitedoor.co.nz

 

 

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2 comments

Michael
4 December 2013 #

Well put Ben. We as a country need to get behind new, industry leading technology to keep ahead of the game and keep our economy going strong. Its services like yours that will help us become a strong economy and a good place to do business. Keep fighting the good fight!

Gayle Buchanan
5 December 2013 #

Congratulations Ben, agree, always an honour to be recognised and after reading the blog – you so deserved it. Nice one

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