Fieldays 2017 will be my first time at the event as Xero’s Country Manager, and I can’t wait! I’m making my way to Waikato from Wellington, and I reckon the loudness of this not-so-subtle Xero vehicle echoes my excitement for attending. It’s a great opportunity for me to pass through some of our biggest rural communities and stop and see our close partners and customers throughout the lower North Island. I’ll be posting updates from the road along the way, and you can check out where I’ll be going here).
When I think of Fieldays, I think of the whole grand picture that this calendar event represents. Our country’s farming industry isn’t just made up of dairy farmers, meat and wool exports. In fact, more than 68,000 small businesses work in the agriculture, forestry, and fishing industries, proving once again that small businesses are what drive our economy in any sector.
It’s vitally important that those companies and entrepreneurs working in the rural space – whether they’re the contractors that fix up and run the farm, or the mum-and-pop operation in town that supplies the services they need – are supported, encouraged, and enabled to thrive.
Working at Xero, I’m a big believer in using cloud technology to make the lives of business owners easier. Xero arrived on the scene four years ago partnered with Figured when we launched our “Farming in the Cloud” initiative. Together, we wanted to use the power of cloud technology to connect the farming team – the banker, accountant, farmer, and farm consultant – and allow them to work closer on the same single ledger through the Xero ecosystem. We’re building on that foundational idea by continuing to work tightly with Figured to deliver great integrated product functionality and simplified user experience. This year at Fieldays, Figured will be previewing their new benchmarking tool, which will allow for localised farm financial benchmarking.
Off the back of that hard work, we’re focused also on how to improve the working lives of small businesses working in agriculture. Xero has developed small business tools to help get the accounts done quickly, so you can spend more time outside than inside staring at a screen. Examples of those can be found in any of the dozens of new features and updates Xero shipped in 2016 that allowed our subscribers to better manage their finances with invoice reminders, cashflow insights, and upgraded app functionality on your mobile, to save time from dealing with the books and free you up to do more of what you love instead.
If you’re interested in how Xero and its partners can help you improve the health and financial management of your business, make sure you come and see us at our stand in the Fieldays pavilion.