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Marketing your practice – how-to guide

Tarryn Brent and I were thrilled to share tips for marketing your practice with bookkeepers and accountants at Xerocon New Zealand 2014. We talked about what businesses can do to retain clients, win new clients and convert existing clients to Xero. You don’t have to do everything we recommend, but a little goes a long way to ensure your practice is moving and changing with the times.

Read on, for a summary of what we discussed.

Marketing staff members from Xero

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Changes to reporting legislation

Annual reporting in New Zealand will be simpler and less time consuming for small to medium size enterprises (SMEs) when new reporting legislation takes effect on 1 April 2014.

Under the new legislation, SME’s will no longer need to produce statutory accounts in accordance with External Reporting Board (XRB) standards. Although they will have to produce general purpose accounts for management, the IRD and the bank. Since most SMEs really only prepare end of year financial reports for the tax man, the new legislation will allow them to use tax requirements as their minimum reporting threshold.

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Chrometa helps you maximize billable hours

You can now easily create invoices in Xero based off billable time tracked against Chrometa. Chrometa is a tool that allows you to capture hours by automatically tracking the time you spend on your computer and smartphone.

Chrometa passively captures time spent performing computer-based and mobile work. Using keyword-based rules, it automatically assigns time to the appropriate project and rounds up to six or 15 minute increment. The end result is more accurate and complete timesheets with the minimum amount of effort on your part.

Who is it for?

Chrometa is for professionals who need a way to capture time spent on multiple projects and accurately invoice their customers.

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A day in the life of an enablement specialist

Last November we profiled our Partner Enablement team in the UK – we work with our partners to help make the transition to Xero as seamless as possible. And then support them along the way as Xero becomes an integral part of their practice.

This time around, we go into a little more detail around the ongoing support we give to our practice partners. We’re very proud to work for a company that offers this highly technical, bespoke service to Xero partners completely free of charge. So, how do we do it?

Getting to know a partner’s client portfolio

To begin with, we’ll work with a new partner to find the clients who’d benefit most from using Xero. Some businesses will get more from a cloud-based accounting solution than others, so it’s important that we get this right.

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The UK Partner Enablement team

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That’s a wrap on our biggest rollout of roadshows in Australia!

After months of planning and preparation our biggest roadshow ever in Australia has come to a close in sunny Perth.

And what a way to finish with the announcement that we have reached a major milestone in Australia – 100,000 customers! We presented to over 5,500 registered attendees across 20 locations – from regional centers such as Bendigo, Wollongong and Dubbo to Launceston, all the way to the top end, then down to the final destinations of Adelaide and Perth. Sit back and watch the roadshow wrap-up video.

I was blown away by the levels of enthusiasm and energy I witnessed at each event I went to. It was great to see so many partners, bookkeepers and accountants seeing the value in the cloud, showing enthusiasm and embracing what we do – some partners even felt compelled to applaud when we announced certain Xero features such as Tax, which was awesome to see.

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100,000 customers for Xero in Australia!

We’re thrilled to announce that we have reached 100,000 paying customers in Australia today. It’s been an amazing journey since I started at Xero three years ago, and it’s just getting better. To commemorate this milestone and thank our Customers, Partners and wider ecosystem, we made a video.

Check it out:

 

Xero Partner Awards recognise outstanding performance in 2013

Xerocon New Zealand 2014 closed on a high as we celebrated the contribution of some of New Zealand’s leading small business experts at the Xero Partner Awards dinner on Friday evening.

Honoring our partners’ increasing innovation and enthusiasm, we presented nine awards ranging from the Accounting Partner of the Year to the Xero MVP Award, which celebrates the winner’s impact on the accountancy profession in 2013.

These awards are a wonderful opportunity for us to acknowledge our partners for their provision of Xero services and corresponding delivery of high quality marketing.

Congratulations to the winners!

Accounting Partner of the Year 2013

Curtis McLean (now Deloitte Private) –  Wellington

Xerocon Partner Awards

Long standing Xero partner Curtis McLean has been recognised for its contribution to referring new organisations to Xero, and as a thought leader in acquiring and retaining clients.

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Xerocon New Zealand 2014 – Day Two

When I attended my first Xerocon in 2013 after five weeks with Xero, I immediately sensed an air of excitement that resembled what I imagine a revival or a movement would be like. The same feeling arose this year as I watched accountants and bookkeepers flow into the Viaduct Events Centre, ready for what Xerocon New Zealand 2014 would have to offer.

In my keynote this morning, I referred to Simon Sinek’s ‘The Golden Circle’, which talks about how great leaders inspire action. Most organisations know what they do and how they do it, but very few know why. It’s not just about making money, it’s about a purpose and a belief, and that’s what I’ve come to see in Xero. We’ve got a purpose, a cause and a belief in what we do and our partners believe it too.

Amanda Armstrong at Xerocon 2014

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A fireside chat – Xerocon New Zealand 2014

A group of New Zealand’s top media and accounting partners joined Rod Drury, Amanda Armstrong and Stuart McLean for an intimate fireside chat (minus the fire, ‘cos it’s mid-summer in Auckland) at Generator last night, following day one of Xerocon New Zealand 2014.

Xerocon Fireside Chat

Accounting partners Edwin Read from Rightway - an innovative, 100% Xero firm based in Martinborough, and Neil Sinclair from Winstanley Kerridge joined the group for a chinwag, as well as Dr Michael Fraser from NZICA and Russell Jones from ASB.

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Xerocon New Zealand 2014 – Day One

More than 900 accounting, bookkeeping and add-on partners flooded into the Viaduct Events Centre in Auckland this morning for Xerocon New Zealand 2014. The line was long, but we got everyone inside eventually!

Xero minis at Xerocon New Zealand 2014

MC Petra Bagust kicked things off this morning. She was excited, talking about our values – love, beauty, transformation, fun. She described the atmosphere as majestic, magnificent, amazing and life-changing. “This is the kind of conference I want to be involved in!” she said. Same!

Petra Bagust emcees at Xerocon New Zealand 2014

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