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Suits you, sir! The change from corporate to casual

I’ve just joined the Xero UK team as the new marketing communications writer in our UK marketing team. It’s been a mind-boggling few weeks, learning all the new systems, finding my feet and meeting all the great people that make up the UK team.

But one thing that’s really stood out is the dress code at Xero – or to be more exact, the lack of one. It’s definitely been a change from corporate to casual. I’ve come from a big, professional services organisation where ‘business casual’ still means ‘you can take your tie off if you’re feeling really daring’. But at Xero, and in the tech world in general, it’s much more of a jeans and t-shirt kinda vibe – and that’s truly been a breath of fresh air for me.

Steve Ash, Xero marketing communications writer

Wave goodbye to the suit and tie

There was a time when a suit and tie was a prerequisite for doing ‘serious business’ in most industries. If you wanted to create a professional impression, you put on the old ‘whistle and flute’, got suited, booted and attired with your most impressive neck tie and prepared yourself to deliver a very serious handshake.

But times have changed. In the 21st century the monopoly of the suit and tie and the power suit has been well and truly challenged. Some of the world’s biggest companies are in the software and tech sectors. And the relaxed, informal influence of Silicon Valley hasn’t just been limited to how we use technology on a day-to-day basis – it’s also influenced our expectations of what suitable business attire is.

We love the t-shirts!

When I first met Gary Turner, our UK managing director, he was sporting a Xero t-shirt, jeans and jacket – and that’s pretty much the way we roll here. There are no suits, there are no ties. The informality and entrepreneurial spirit of Xero is reflected in the way we dress – and that’s a great way to define our brand in an accountancy industry that can sometimes be a little reluctant to ditch the formal business suit.

To underline this, Gary even joked recently on Twitter that he was wearing a suit to an awards ceremony, only for clients to react in mock horror. ‘But we love the t-shirts!’, they responded. So clearly this laid-back approach is one that resonates with our customers.

Dressing down and loving it

So, do I miss dressing in a formal way? Hell no! The suit still clings on for life in some industries but it was never a look I felt comfortable with. You only have to take a commuter train into the city to realise that the suit is still alive and well in some industries. But there’s a definite shift amongst forward-thinking business to move away from rigid dress codes, and Xero are certainly leading the charge.

We’re increasingly working with C-suite level people and entrepreneurs, of both sexes, taking a more informal, casual approach to their clothing. And a relaxed view towards clothing says as much about a company’s brand as their advertising, marketing and PR does – seeing a successful, ambitious CEO building an empire whilst wearing jeans and t-shirt sends out a very powerful message. Steve Jobs’ jeans and black polo-neck sweater signature look was as instantly recognisable as the Apple logo. And the informality of his clothing told you a lot about the culture in his organisation.

A new wardrobe, a new outlook

So, I think I’ll be clearing out my wardrobe in the near future and consigning the business trousers and plain shirts to the bin. I’m really enjoying being more informal about what I wear to work – and it  definitely feels more ‘me’. I’m no longer working to a template – I can choose to wear whatever I’m comfortable in, and that’s a real bonus in any job.

I might draw the line at wearing a tiger-print onesie to the next meeting, though…

Steve Ash is the marketing communications writer in our UK marketing team. If you’d like to come to work in a t-shirt, why not look at our careers page.

 

 

New Xero Touch on Android for 2014

Xero Touch for Android

It’s here! The all-new version of Xero Touch for Android is available today for download from Google Play. We have completely rebuilt the application – it’s fast, slick, and awesome and we can’t wait for you to try it out.

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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.

 

Re-Leased: Property management software

Re-Leased Xero Add-on
Re-Leased is a cloud-based property management software which is making life easier for property owners and managers across the world.

Re-Leased provides powerful tools to automate and simplify much of the tenant and property management process allowing landlords and managers to spend less time on administration, and more time growing their property portfolio.

Who is it for?

Re-Leased is suitable for two key groups: property managers and property owners. This can include private investors, real estate agents, family trusts, government agencies, syndications, accountants and lawyers.

Re-Leased has been built specifically for commercial and larger residential property companies. Typically, users manage between $1 million and $500 million dollar property portfolios.

How it works with Xero

Re-Leased pushes and pulls all invoices, contacts, tax types, accounts and tracking categories from the Xero API. It can automatically generate rent and property expense invoices and send them to Xero via the API. “Our integration has allowed our users to reduce their administration time by up to three days a month. We are about to hit $500 million dollars of invoices synced in the past 6 months.” – Tom Wallace, Re-Leased Founder & CEO.

Where can you use it?

Re-Leased is 100% cloud based and can be used anywhere, anytime through any browser based device. Being cloud based, Re-Leased enables you to be mobile. They also have iPhone and Android applications in development which are due to be launched this year.

Try Re-Leased today, for free.

Sign up with Re-Leased today and receive a 30 day, no obligations, free trial.
Not sure if Re-Leased is right for you? Schedule a demo with the Re-Leased team to find out more.

 

The HR challenges of a fast-growth business

Anne Allen from Xero accounting softwarePart 1: Energy, engagement and enthusiasm

Xero is growing quickly in the UK. After operating as a start-up with people working from home and carrying out a whole range of activities to grow the business, we’re now an SME in our own right and part of a global organisation with astronomic aspiration and potential.

In common with many new, fast-growing companies there are some big challenges that we face in the HR team. How best to hire the right people? How can we retain our core talent? What are the best HR systems and processes to deliver on our business strategy?

Of the many potential issues and opportunities, keeping our employees engaged is one of the most important.

In the first of an ongoing series exploring these HR challenges, we’re going to look at the problem of keeping the natural energy, engagement and positive culture of a start-up alive as the business grows and takes on new people.

Going on the HR journey together

First off, an admission. I’m new too – I’ve not yet been in the role three months, so this is a journey that the business and I are going on together. I’ve joined Xero UK at an incredibly exciting time in its development. We’re growing fast and, as the UK’s HR Manager, I’m going to be involved in hiring a lot of new ‘Xero Heroes’ over the next few months. It’s a brilliant opportunity, both for me and anyone else who’s recently joined or who is about to join the team.

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Xero TV: all our videos in one easy location

Over the years we’ve built up a great collection of videos – how-to videos, videos covering Xero essentials, and case studies. But the videos were sometimes hard to find, as they were spread all over our website, blog and other places. So we created Xero TV to bring it all together.

Xero TV is (xero.com/tv) a one stop shop for all video content on Xero.com. We now have all our videos in one convenient place that gives you a powerful learning tool at your fingertips, offering engaging video-based learning journeys and exciting updates.

We want it to be the fastest and easiest way for you to access our range of video content.

But we think Xero TV speaks for itself. Check it out and let us know what you think!

 Xero TV on any device

 

Squarespace Commerce: Everything you need to sell online – now with Beautiful Accounting!

Squarespace and XeroSquarespace is an all-in-one website publishing platform featuring a completely integrated commerce solution that makes selling online easy.

The platform provides everything you need to begin selling physical goods, digital goods – or even services right from your custom website. Squarespace’s flexible platform and their commerce integration with Xero are specifically designed to grow with your business needs.

Who is it for?

Squarespace’s commerce offering is for anyone who wants to start selling online. Checkout their awesome website builder here:

How Squarespace works with Xero

The integration allows you to easily connect your Squarespace account with Xero and  automatically sync every component of every incoming order. Setup is quick and easy, and makes use of some of Xero’s latest API enhancements – including syncing of tax rates and configuration of your chart of accounts. Your sales will be automatically mapped to the appropriate place within your Xero account, making it easy to keep track of your revenue, expenses, and tax liabilities with Xero.

Where you can use Squarespace

Squarespace’s website builder works globally, however their commerce tools work only in markets where Stripe’s payment gateway operates. For the time being, the Xero integration is only live in the US. It will roll out soon in the UK, and then Australia once Stripe leaves Beta.

Pricing

Xero integration included with Squarespace’s business package. See current pricing.

A special Squarespace’s offer for Xero customers

You can save 10% off your first Squarespace purchase by using offer code XERO upon checkout.

 

Is mobile tech still a thing?

In this interview with London’s Cloud Channel TV, our UK managing director Gary Turner doesn’t think we need to see mobile as a separate thing – or at least he thinks the distinction between mobile tech and general tech is quickly disappearing.

We’re all used to having mobile at our fingertips. There’s no longer a real difference between being in or out of the office; we can work wherever we are. But the line between mobile smartphone and office-based PC is now almost redundant – all we’re really interested in, as businesses, is having instant access to the data and systems we need to get the job done. And the tech we use adds value purely by making things quicker and more efficient.

So, your choice of device is increasingly irrelevant. What’s important is the software you use, the relationships you have with your clients and the way you work with them.

 

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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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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