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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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Staying safe when working remotely

Guest blog by Nina Sochon, Managing Director of teleworkhowto.com, Australia

Xero is a great tool for working from anywhere, which is fantastic for business. But you also need to make sure your work health and safety practices are sound.

Australia’s recent Work Health and Safety (WHS) legislation establishes responsibilities for employers regardless of where the work occurs. In several States and both Territories there are now criminal offences, meaning employers are now liable not only for workers compensation but also for civil penalties of up to A$3 million payable to employees who injure themselves at home on the job.

Worksafe has said that working alone can increase the likelihood of some workplace hazards or risks occurring. And when incidents occur, the consequences can be more severe when people work alone.

How to telework safely

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Tips for setting up a small business

Setting up a small business is a big challenge. There’s a whole host of things that need to be considered when you want to get it right. Not least making sure you have all the information you need to be able to make well informed decisions. All that information needs to be up to date and available whenever you need it. It’s key to the success of the business. Having all that information available is one of the ways that you’ll be able to build a great working relationship with your accountant too.

A couple of weeks ago I went to the heart of London’s new tech centre, the Old Street roundabout to meet with small business owner David Abrahamovitch. He founded Shoreditch Grind, an independent coffee and cocktail house that opened two and a half years ago, with the aim of bringing better coffee to Londoners.

Shoreditch Grind London recommends Xero accounting software from Xero on Vimeo.

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Australian Xero Partner markets to not-for-profits

As part of our global marketing case study, Xero Partner ‘Matrix on Board’ has created an inspiring video promoting their services to non-profit organisations throughout Australia.

Using their Alice Springs-based nonprofit client BushMob as a case study, Matrix on Board told the story of how they’ve used Xero to offer a solution that was easy for anyone to use, creates beautiful financial reporting and gives the ability to access support from afar.

Bush Mob Matrix on Board (Xero Partner)

BushMob helps disadvantaged and disaffected Australian youth by taking them to the bush for adventure-based activities, helping them to heal and encouraging them to reconnect with society.

Matrix’s financial management support has helped BushMob enhance its ability to bring positive change to the lives of young people, many of whom struggle with drugs and alcohol.

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Seeing partners thrive

A video from from one of our lovely partners Jeri Murphy.