This year’s Australian Xerocon conference in Sydney was also the venue for the global Xero developer conference, breaking another record for attendance with over 300 in the room. Add-on partners and developers from around the world are in town, many of them exhibiting at Xerocon on Thursday and Friday.
It is really humbling to see the amazing following the Xero ecosystem has – we announced over 18,000 developer registrations at the conference, but nothing brings home the vibrancy of the ecosystem more than meeting developers in person who have come from far and wide for developer day and Xerocon. We have attendees from various parts of the US & UK here in Sydney, but the prize for furthest traveller goes to Dublin based Transfermate, a distance of 17,203km!
Chris Ridd – Xero in Australia
“I’m so stoked to be standing here today kicking off Dev Day,”
Chris Ridd, Managing Director, Xero Australia
Chris outlined Xero’s rapid growth in Australia – from 7 staff when he joined the company in 2011 to 161 today – but adds that the company is building sustainable growth. Xero in Australia has facilitated $54 billion in transactions, and processed $1 billion worth of payroll in July alone.
He told add-on partners & developers that Xero remains committed to having an open platform, and is forming great partnerships with developers and with accountants.
Cloud is still the most effective delivery model for software. The company is investing more in the cloud integrator channel – there are currently 27 cloud integrators – because a lot of accountants don’t have the skills to implement some of the Xero add-ons. Small businesses also need to be reassured about the safety and utility of the cloud.
Chris announced that an improved new add-ons directory will allow searching not only by function, but also by industry – news that was met with cheers from some of the developers in the room.
The company has 35 developers in Melbourne alone and has already released the first product developed there. That capability will only grow as Xero builds a facility for developers at the Melbourne head office and hires more developers.
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We’re pleased to announce the general availability of the API for US payroll. This extends the reach of the payroll API to Australia and seven states in the US that covers approximately 40% of the US population.
US Payroll API
The US Payroll API covers the main use cases including employee information, creating and updating timesheets, and processing pay runs. This is the first release of the US Payroll API and there are extra end points that we’ll address in future releases including time off and holidays. Developers will be familiar with the same pattern being used as the other Xero and payroll API endpoints. The same OAuth process is utilised, but with the addition of granular permissions.
When I started at Xero just over three years ago, one of the first Xero Add-ons I assisted with certifying was from a small little UK startup app called Receipt Bank. Well, three years on and Receipt Bank are now the most popular add-on for Xero, and recipients of a number of Xero awards.
As much as I love the original blog post (the cheesy background music on the video!), I thought it might be time to do a quick refresher, and cover some of the less obvious, and new features that Receipt Bank provides:
- More than just receipts. In the UK the term ‘receipts’ covers everything – expense receipts, accounts payable invoices etc, but in other parts of the world, it might not be quite as obvious that Receipt Bank supports receipts on expense claims but also accounts payable invoices and spend money transactions.
- Line item extraction. It was a huge leap forward when Receipt Bank recently announced they can now populate Xero with invoice line item details. Receipt Bank automatically splits line item details for original .pdf files – perfect for purchase invoices that need to be split across different accounts.
- Attachments. Receipt Bank creates attachments on all the documents it can in Xero – receipts, bills (accounts payable invoices) and spend money transactions (bank transactions), so you have a complete audit trail.
- Reimbursable and re-billing expenses. Receipt Bank’s integration with Xero enables you to create both an expense report for staff reimbursements and also a draft sales invoice for oncharged costs.
The most impressive development at Receipt Bank over the past three years however, is the unique way they have worked with Xero accounting and bookkeeping partners. Check out just one story here:
This year’s Apple Worldwide Developer Conference keynote presentation had a distinct developer focus, a stark change from the more consumer marketing focused keynotes of recent years. So much so, that Apple have described it as the most significant developer event since the first iPhone Software Development Kit was released in 2008.
From a software developer point of view, the volume of content in yesterday’s presentation was immense, with lots of surprises. Apple announced iOS 8, and OS X Yosemite, as well as not one, but two new programming languages which will see these platforms into the future. Coupled with a raft of new developer tools and features, these will ultimately help us, as creators of iOS applications, write higher quality, more stable applications, and enable more intimate integration with other applications, and the operating system itself.
The first is the concept of ‘Continuity’ – the idea that all the devices you own should be aware of what you’re doing. If you start composing an email on your iPhone, and you’re near your Mac, you should be able to pick up editing that same email and send it from your Mac with almost no effort, and vice versa. This concept was demonstrated across a variety of common tasks, from making and receiving calls, browsing websites, all the way down to editing photos within applications.
Retail Express is a point of sale system designed for single-store retail businesses and multi-store retail businesses with up to 80 stores. It powers retail businesses who sell items as furniture and homeware, fashion and accessories, recreational goods and all other general retail. The basic rule is, if you sell something (with the exception of food), Retail Express can help. If your business sells online, or would like to, Retail Express can design, build and integrate a custom webstore.
How it works with Xero
A summary of your daily trading activity moves across from Retail Express to Xero as a journal entry. The detail of this activity remains stored in Retail Express and can be accessed at anytime with a number of easy to use reporting functions.
Specifically, the data that transfers from Retail Express to Xero includes:
- Cost of Sales
- Customer Payments
- Purchase Orders
- Stock Adjustments
Why use Retail Express?
It provides you ultimate control and visibility into your retail business operations and empowers you to make informed decisions and see more profitable growth. The Xero add-on integration streamlines your accounting process and makes reconciliation a quick and easy task.
“The best way to discover Retail Express for yourself is to book a guided tour of the platform and you will see why this is a great product for the Retail space, coupled with Xero to streamline the Accounting” – Robert King, Northern Business Consultants
Try it today
Sign up for Retail Express today by visiting their website or phoning them on 1300 732 618
JobReady.RTO is a Student Management System designed to reform your Registered Training Organisation. It provides all the tools to grow and automate your RTO and gives peace of mind around communication, compliance, claiming and reporting.
Who is it for?
JobReady.RTO offers Student Management System solutions for established Registered Training Organisations throughout Australia and New Zealand.
How JobReady.RTO works with Xero
You can now manage your finances and accounts more efficiently with JobReady.RTO through integrating with Xero. Connecting to Xero enables you to update your student accounts, manage funding, track invoices, make payments and revise contact information seamlessly and securely from within JobReady.RTO.
Where you can use JobReady.RTO
Any Registered Training Organisation based in Australia or New Zealand can use JobReady.RTO and it’s Xero integration
Try JobReady.RTO today, for free
At Xero, we’re so committed to innovation that we host a product hackathon every quarter for our San Francisco product teams. These allow ideas from our team to get the chance to move from an idea to working prototypes.
We hold two types of hackathon events in our San Francisco office. Our HackIt events last a few days and are focused on innovative ideas with few rules attached. Our ShipIt events give the team the chance to work on something that they want to improve but it must be delivered, ready for release, after two days. It’s understood that there’s no obligation on Xero to ship any of the projects. However, it’s a way of generating ideas that we can use for planning future work on the products.
The winners of our hackathon last week in San Francisco was the Xero Achievers. They worked on the gamification of payroll using badges and Facebook integration. We also had teams working a new tax engine, automated timesheet check in/out using a mobile app, a new architecture framework, a goal tracking app, a conversion tool, hotkey navigations, and an on-screen calculator. It was a great few days, with lots of passion, collaboration, discussions and of course nerf gun battles.
What is a hackathon?
A hackathon is where there is free rein to work on projects the team think will be useful, innovative or cool. Our events kick off with a traditional hot American breakfast to keep the energy levels high for the day. Then, the fun begins.
Regularly scheduled work takes a back seat while the team build, code and hack away on something that interests them – whether it’s an issue they want to solve, a process they’d love to improve, or something completely random they want to try. They’re encouraged to think outside of the box and they have the chance to collaborate with other team members they may not normally work with.
There’s a few key reasons why we do these events:
Thinking out of the box – gives an opportunity for those radical ideas that would never be prioritized.
Fostering innovation – If there are no constraints then anything is possible.
Enjoying work – Culture is a huge part of working here and these hackathons help to make Xero a great, fun, place to work.
These hackathons embody our company culture of creativity, challenging the norm and having fun whilst we do it. Giving our teams the freedom to work on whatever they want for a couple of days keeps them on their toes and challenges them, both creatively and technically. We believe that being surrounded by innovative ideas helps develop new ones, and pushes us to think outside the box.
Already started thinking about a project you’d work on? If you think you might be a good fit for the Xero team, head on over to our careers page to apply for an open position!
SMS My Debtors sends friendly SMS reminders before an invoice falls due and follows up invoices that remain overdue. Don’t get lost in your customer’s inbox! Research shows that SMS messages convey more urgency, have eight times the response rate and in most cases are read within 90 seconds.
Who is it for?
Businesses looking to reduce their debtor days and in turn increase cash flow.
How it works with Xero
Set and forget! Continue to use Xero as you do now and SMS My Debtors will sync daily and send reminders on overdue invoices. Saving you valuable time and headache.
Where you can use it
It’s available around the world, including Australia, New Zealand US, UK and Canada.
Try out SMS My Debtors for free
You can sign up to try out SMS My Debtors with Xero for free.
TransferMate helps Xero users to save time and money on paying international foreign currency invoices. By integrating directly with Xero, you can select your unpaid foreign currency invoices, view live exchange rates and book those payments. Payments are then instantly posted back to Xero saving you time and money.
Who is it for?
TransferMate is for any business that pays invoices in foreign currencies. You may be an Australian importer paying suppliers in US dollars or a New Zealand retailer paying suppliers in Germany in Euro.
How TransferMate works with Xero
TransferMate connects to your Xero account and searches for your foreign currency invoices. Through TransferMate you can book your foreign currency payments and TransferMate will send the payment details into Xero, marking your Xero invoices as paid, saving you the hassle of double entry.
Traditional banks often overcharge and under deliver on international payments. TransferMate saves customers on average 80 percent on international payments by offering lower wire/bank transfer fees and more competitive exchange rates than traditional banks.
Where you can use TransferMate
TransferMate is available in Australia, New Zealand, the US, the UK, Canada and Europe.
Try TransferMate Today
Graduate recruitment and internships are treated differently in every organization. When you look back anywhere from five to 20 years at the experience encountered by myself and my developer colleagues, you get a lot of different stories. All these stories have similar themes: a sense of being “dumped in the deep end,” not knowing right from wrong, not knowing what to do, and generally missing a mentor are common war stories from “back in our day”.
We’re thrilled to say that Summer of Tech is changing all that, allowing us to provide graduates with a supportive, constructive environment to foray into the amazing world of technology.
Even back in 2007, a fledgling Xero was proud to be part of the Summer of Tech programme (then known as Summer of Code) – a three-month internship programme based on Google’s model of summer internships.
Today Summer of Tech has some impressive statistics, increasingly putting it on par with Xero’s own graduate and careers recruitment as a way to find excellent talent in Wellington’s IT industry. Over the years we have had 19 interns, 11 of which have stayed on in some form of part time or full time employment after their internship.