Today, Xero celebrates its third and final Xerocon of 2017. After hugely successful events in London and Melbourne – where the event was acclaimed as the Coachella of accounting – the conference landed in Austin, Texas to a sold out crowd of accountants, bookkeepers and ecosystem partners representing six countries.
Among the huge range of stakeholders mixing on the floor of the event, the hottest topic has proved to be the future of accounting. Questions such as what that future will look like, how we get there, and the impact that will have abounded, not just in the US, but around the world. On day one of Xerocon Austin, Xero CEO, Rod Drury took the stage to share how we’ve gone from an app, to a platform to a global community.
AI will revolutionize the accounting industry
The accounting industry is evolving at rapid speed, driven by Xero’s partners use of sophisticated tools to achieve technological transformation and enable the growth of small businesses and the creation of new jobs on a global level.
This approach has inspired Xero’s incredible growth in the past year. From passing a million subscribers, unveiling our biggest wave of new products, and posting great financial results, it’s been a milestone year for the company.
Rod shared how AI and machine learning offer limitless opportunities to not only continue the evolution of the accounting industry, but completely revolutionize it all over again. The rate of technological innovation will mean the sector is likely to see more innovation in the next two to three years than it has experienced in the past decade.
Xero has already made great strides in achieving this revolution. The company has processed more than 1.5 trillion dollars of transactions, providing the data which, when combined with some of the advanced technology on the market, is able to code with 86.11% accuracy.
This is just the start. As Machine Learning and AI becomes even more advanced it will enable the automation of the more mundane aspects of reconciling transactions, allowing accountants and bookkeepers to spend more time working on things that are truly going to impact their clients.
“The accounting industry is really one of the first industries where AI and machine learning makes a massive difference to people,” Rod said.
Xero’s goal is to create a new era of code-free accounting by building a global accounting engine for advisors and bookkeepers to transition from compliance to being a growth consultant. By reinventing accounting, we’re enabling accountants and bookkeepers help small businesses to grow, succeed, and create jobs.
“Xero has quickly evolved from a standalone app to something that’s rewiring everything,” Rod said. “We’re now moving from the back office to the front office. We’ve gone from an app, to a platform, to a community. A really holistic community out there to help small businesses.”
Building a global community through small business
As technology is incorporated deeper into our lives, our desire for human connection increases. Our knowledge, experience and research has shown that not only are accountants and bookkeepers the most trusted advisors for small businesses, but the human help and support they offer is what clients value most – especially as the world becomes more tribal.
“We need to really focus on building on community,” Rod said. “Small business is becoming a global community. People understand each other if they’re trading with one another.”
Small businesses look to accountants and bookkeepers for inspiration, for purpose and for empathy. As does Xero. The expertise, dedication, and skill demonstrated in Austin and around the world has inspired the company to seize the opportunity provided by new technologies, and ensure the future of accounting lives up to its impressive and illustrious record, said Rod.
“Over the next 10 years, we’re going to have a huge amount of fun”.