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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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Financial Advisors Wealth Enhancers reach Gold status

The momentum we’re seeing in the Financial Advisor space is continuing to grow: Wealth Enhancers is the first Financial Advisor to reach Gold Partner status, with over 100 clients on Xero Cashbook.

Wealth Enhancers pose for a photo after becoming Xero's first Australian Financial Advisor to reach Gold status

Picture L-R:  Finn Kelly, CEO, Wealth Enhancers, Sarah Riegelhuth, Co-Founder, Wealth Enhancers, Trent Innes, National Sales Director, Xero Australia

Here’s the media release on the announcement

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How purchase orders improve small business

If you’re a small business operator, and thought purchase orders were just for large business, check out our video explaining how they could help you too.

 

Powerful business planning with LivePlan

LivePlan is a cloud based solution from Palo Alto Software – veterans in the business planning space. It can help you with everything from pitch creation and business planning to ongoing financial management. By connecting Xero to LivePlan, you can analyze your accounting information in real-time in order to keep your business on track.

Business planning is a great tool for any business. In fact, a Cranfield University study proved that those who write and track their  business plan experience 30% more growth potential than those who don’t engage in planning.

Who is it for?

LivePlan is for both established business owners and entrepreneurs who are just getting their ideas off the ground. Its functionality allows you to:

  • Write a complete business plan
  • Deliver a professional pitch to investors/lenders
  • Monitor your progress and track your growth

Xero Add-on LivePlan

How LivePlan works with Xero

Connect LivePlan with Xero to import your financials into the LivePlan Scoreboard. This integration will allow you to track how your business is doing, in real time, and compare your progress against your forecast.

Where you can use LivePlan

LivePlan works for users in over 172 countries, including the US, the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Try out LivePlan for free

You can sign up to try out LivePlan with Xero for free. Find out how here.

 

Our biggest Xero Roadshow yet!

I’ve been on many road trips in my life, but never one as big as this. The Xero Roadshow for Australia covers 20 cities – from Bendigo, all the way up to Darwin. It has an audience of over 5,000 accountants and bookkeepers in attendance, so it’s no wonder the nerves have kicked in a little!

Xero roadshow audience in Australia

With more and more businesses heading to the cloud, it’s an exciting time to be getting up in front of so many people to chat about cloud technology, market updates and other exciting news from Xero.

Of course, I won’t be the only one speaking. You’ll also get to hear from Xero product, Tax and partner specialists – plus we’ll have 38 exhibitors (across the 20 events), giving you ample opportunity to explore the App ecosystem that is continually evolving. And we encourage you, as always, to ask questions, network and start a dialogue.

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A new breed of accounting firm

Lucy Danon

In my role as Associate Account Manager for Xero UK, I deal with a large number of new Xero Accounting Partners in the early stages of their move to the cloud. In recent months I’ve noticed an interesting trend – more and more of these firms are being run primarily as businesses, not traditional accounting practices.

The subtle difference in many cases is the owner I talk to (or one of the owners) is not necessarily a qualified accountant but instead a business person/entrepreneur looking to take advantage of cloud disruption.

Firms which are built as a partnership between accountants and entrepreneurs are thriving with the entrepreneur driving the business side and the accountant doing what they do best: providing expert advice to clients.

With the direction of the accounting firm no longer driven primarily by someone with a background in doing traditional accounting work (such as annual accounts and tax preparation), the focus moves to marketing and business growth.

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Heads up – a new Xero header

An eagle-eyed tweeter spotted this last week.

Tweet about the Xero header

Oh, the intrigue! Well, I’m pleased to be able to confirm we’re changing the look of the header in Xero – in fact, this will become the standard for Xero including the Practice Studio suite of MyXero, Workpapers and Practice Manager for accountants.

As well as providing a more consistent look and feel across all of Xero’s applications, this change will also make it easier for us to deliver new shared features. A good example of this is the ability to search for an organisation – see below.

The change will be rolled out next Monday and since a few things have moved around a bit, I thought I’d let you know what to expect ahead of time.

Where’s the logout link?

Access to the logout link and to your user profile can be found by clicking on your name at the top right of the screen.

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The rise of Xero’s cloud integrator channel

Lately we’ve seen a new channel start to rise in our ecosystem: cloud integrators. Cloud integrators are specialists who support small business owners as they implement Xero with some of our many Add-on Partners. The result is a perfect cloud solution to run their businesses.

One of the benefits of the cloud is you can piece together the perfect solution for your business using best-in-class or best of breed apps, instead of using one vendor offering a compromised solution trying to be everything to everyone. This means it’s important to get it right up front and if you’re not an expert on what’s available, that’s where a cloud integrator can help.

Productivity Plus

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Crowe Horwath AU offers Xero to 1,000 clients

Crowe Horwath achieves Platinum status

We’ve got some great news to round out the year here in Australia – leading firm Crowe Horwath has reached Platinum status by getting their 1,000th client on Xero. Photo from the day (from left to right): Gavin Fernandes –  Key Accounts Manager, Xero, Greg Emsley – Cloud Sponsor & Group Chief Information Officer, Crowe Horwath and me, Chris Ridd – Managing Director, Xero AU.

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The beautiful alternative to sub-accounts

At Xero we’re always challenging the status quo and thinking about the best way of doing small business accounting from a design perspective. This can occasionally leave those of us who have used other accounting software packages trying to do things “the way we’ve always done it”. Case in point – sub-accounts.

If you’re used to carefully setting up your accounts in a way which clusters similar activities together by account code, or are used to relying on sub-accounts to sort your data for reporting, the simplicity of Xero’s chart of accounts may appear daunting

Xero’s philosophy of being “beautiful” really shines here. Instead of having a bloated and clunky chart full of sub-accounts, Xero has two functions available to all users – report grouping, and tracking.

The video we’ve created takes you through just how simple it really is to get comprehensive reports without sub-accounts.

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