Yesterday Xero had its Annual Shareholder Meeting and today a further investor briefing in Auckland. We made the local news…
All of us at Xero look forward to Annual Meetings. We had great feedback from shareholders who appreciated hearing our board talk about the business. They were impressed by how in touch with the business our board members are.
Our board is Sam Morgan, Craig Winkler, Sam Knowles, Rod Drury, Craig Elliot and Graham Shaw.
A key message was explaining to shareholders that we are just at the beginning of the Xero journey and we will continue to invest to build our team. We believe that all who attended understand the opportunity and why we choose to invest for growth. You can read the full Annual Meeting presentation here: Xero Investor Page
As well as going through progress and strategy we demonstrated our new ‘Files’ features – now in testing – and previewed our new native iOS application for Xero business. We were pleased to hear plenty of oooo’s and ahhh’s when we demoed our new mobile bank reconciliation. It’s coming soon!
Here’s a few pictures to get a feel of the afternoon: Continue reading ›
We are very happy to announce that William Buck is a new Xero partner. We are their accounting solution of choice to their 3,000 small business clients. William Buck is one of the leading mid-tier chartered accounting and advisory firms.
William Buck is an association of independent firms, each trading under the name of William Buck across Australia and New Zealand and with affiliated offices worldwide. This announcement comes on the heels of our recent release about Deloitte.
Our Media Release follows:
We are currently experiencing an issue within our application hosting infrastructure that is affecting a proportion of Xero Customers. Xero’s operations team is working to identify and resolve the cause of the issue an as soon as possible.
We will provide any updates, including expected time for the service to be restored, as soon as we have more information.
UPDATE: (Wednesday 17th July, 8:51pm GMT) – Operations have identified the cause of the partial outage and are working to resolve as soon as possible.
UPDATE: (Wednesday 17th July, 8:59pm GMT) – Operations team have resolved the cause of this partial outage. Our operations team are closely monitoring the situation for the potential of any re-occurrence.
UPDATE (Friday 19th July, 2:35am GMT):
The outage was related to a self-contained component of Xero’s database stack, which while critical for the operation of Xero, the impact was limited to 20% of our customers. We have a resilient database environment with hot standby servers and automatic failover. In this particular instance failover did not occur due to a highly unusual chain of events.
Our investigations have focused on both why the database server became unresponsive, the reason that the resilience did not provide seamless failover when one node became unresponsive, and the time to resolution.
- App server access to the database server became unresponsive due to a momentary interruption to the TCP stack of the database server, where app server connections became queued and eventually overwhelmed the database servers TCP connectivity. There was no impact to the stability of the database engine itself, or customer data loss. We have identified the processes at fault and are undertaking process changes to remove the likelihood of this reoccurring.
- The database itself did not trip an automated failover to the standby database hosts as the availability monitoring determined that the database engine was still operating correctly, all be it inaccessible from our app servers. Xero Operations is continuing to investigate how we better manage automated failover in a similar error state.
- Our monitoring systems failed to detect the failed state of app server connections on the active database node and alert the Operations team automatically. We have identified the reason this particular failure state was not identified as expected and are adapting our monitoring systems to promptly alert our Operations team.
Our operations team continuously analyse the platform and look for ways to improve reliability and performance. We treat any issues seriously and the team are very aware of the impact that system issues have on our customers. While we maintain a very high up-time we will continue to work to eliminate risk wherever possible.
It’s here! Today we have released Xero Personal for iPhone, a completely new free mobile app for subscribers of our Xero Personal product. It’s available for download in the App Store. Xero Personal is the easiest way to keep track of your personal spending habits and savings goals.
Xero Personal for iPhone gives you a picture of your finances on the go. It allows you to see at a glance your progress against your spending and savings goals. You can set up categorisation rules for new transactions, and see transactions across all of your bank accounts, whether you bank with one bank or four.
Today we’ve added a bit more spice to email settings to allow you to control how emails are sent from Xero. This includes both the name that will be displayed in your customer’s inbox – person or organization – and the email address that all replies will be sent to.
The reply-to address can either be the address of the person logged into Xero (useful for smaller organizations). Or it can be any specific email address such as email@example.com – for when there are multiple people sending and you want to centralize replies.
Check out how it works in this short video.
Note that before the release, we used a technique called email impersonation. This meant that it looked like emails were actually coming from the logged in user’s email address even though they were being sent from Xero’s mail servers. This sometimes causes email to be blocked by spam filters as this is a common hacker’s trick. To avoid this, all emails are now being sent from an unmonitored Xero email address but you get to control the display name that your customers will see in their inbox. You control the reply-to address, so your clients will most likely be none the wiser and you can rest easy that all your emails will make it through.
Some other things that got released today include:
Xero sponsors the Young Enterprise Trust (YET), an orgnisation that helps to inspire, educate and transform secondary school students through business enterprise experiences.
For the first time, accounting software leader Xero is proud to be one of the hosts in the annual New Zealand Enterprise in Action weekend. This is an event combining two challenges – the Global Enterprise Challenge (GEC), an online international enterprise skills challenge, and the New Zealand heat of the FedEx/Junior Achievement International Trade Challenge (ITA), which helps students prepare for the future. For the first time, Xero will be actively involved in mentoring New Zealand’s next generation of entrepreneurs.
“The GEC is an international online enterprise skills competition for high school students. It gives students the opportunity to develop their knowledge and experience of enterprise and business, by providing an environment where they can apply skills and improve their understanding in practical ways.”
Last night in Melbourne, Xero’s innovative, integrated payroll product was awarded the Financial iAward in Victoria, which is presented to the most innovative ICT solution offered to the financial industry.
The iAwards honour both companies at the cutting edge of technology innovation as well as leading professionals across the ICT industry. Most importantly, the iAwards recognise the achievements of home-grown Australian innovators.
The key goal of the iAwards is to discover, recognise and reward the ICT innovations that have the potential to, or are already having, a positive impact on the community – at home, in the office and on a global scale. The iAwards also recognise the achievements made and value added by ICT professionals, CIOs and innovators.
Over the last few years, Commonwealth Bank and Suncorp have been the recipients of the National Financial iAward, so taking out the final on August 8 will be no easy task. In true Xero style though, here’s the engine room of Payroll, well about six of them anyway, located in Canberra, fuelling up for another day’s work and celebrating their hard work!
We’re excited to announce that the first Xero For Dummies e-book is available in Australia and will be progressively rolled out to other regions. The print version of this guidebook on Xero’s cloud-based accounting software is available for pre-order and will arrive in Australian and New Zealand book stores from 1 July and in the UK and US soon afterwards.
Xero is easy to use, however we still get numerous requests from customers for a Xero ‘manual’. We know that everyone learns differently and while we offer video tutorials, webinars, comprehensive help, even training partners for personal assistance, some people prefer to reference a printed book.
With more than 250 million books in print and more than 1,800 titles, For Dummies is the most widely recognized and highly regarded reference series in the world. Their educational books are written with a fun, practical approach and I’m sure many of us have read one at some stage. We’re thrilled to to be involved with Xero For Dummies and know it will be a great way for people to learn about Xero and accounting software in the cloud.
You may be interested to learn the story behind the first Dummies book DOS For Dummies which was released in 1991. Wiley recount it as follows:
It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since we released Payroll in Xero in Australia and nearly two years since we sold our little company to Xero. Over 140,000 employees have been paid more than $2.5b with Payroll and these figures continue to climb every day.
We’re always proud of building software that makes the lives of small business owners and accountants easier, and we come to work every day to make sure that still happens. There’s some exciting end-of-year changes that we’ll share with everyone next week that should just save you a few minutes, but they all count! In the meantime we thought it would be interesting to share some moments of note over the last two years or so.
With our sale in 2011, came a new office which housed all 12 Australian employees. It was clear from early on that our software was well down the list of priorities. Turns out that country manager Chris Ridd also needed a drummer for his band! Our own Joe Salvati (now Partner Enablement Team Leader) fitted the bill perfectly. Here’s Chris and Joe jamming out a session in the abandoned server room at the old office!
Payroll has never been a Melbourne only affair, development has always been churned out in Canberra and back then John and David operated from what was known as the “cave”. Our bootstrapped startup shelled out a whopping $500 a month for a dirty little space in the CBD. In fact, the only tiny window in the cave featured security bars, ensuring any sunlight that was trying to invade our development space was averted! Not long after the purchase, HQ afforded us a fantastic office in Canberra that now houses 13 engineers and is bursting at the seams.
Read more about Accountants
We’re proud to present our Annual Report for the 2013 Financial Year (that is to 31 March 2013)
- Our loss was slightly lower than expected at $14.4m – while growing fast we do keep a close eye on costs
- We have substantially grown our team over the year. Building capability for the future. It’s a huge amount of work to double a team.
- Our team is executing very well
- We’re just at the beginning of a massive market shift
If you’re interested in all things Xero I’d urge you to read the Chairmans and CEO report.
Our team is very grateful for the support of our shareholders.
As always, we’d welcome any questions below.