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Xero Australia commits to growth in the capital

Xero Australia is excited to announce the opening of a new office in Canberra, amid its growing footprint in Australia. The team in Canberra is moving to a larger office space to accommodate the hiring of additional staff, with a number of developer roles opening up in the second half of 2014.Xero Canberra

During a time when many public sector jobs are under threat in the ACT following this year’s Federal Budget, we’re committed to creating employment opportunities in Australia’s capital.

Momentum for Xero is building strongly among small business owners, with the recent announcement that Australia has over 120,000 customers, and staff numbers in Australia now total 144 across five offices.

Check out our photos of Xero Australia’s new Canberra office, and listen to an interview I gave to 2CC radio in Canberra:

 

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Apply for an accounting, economics or finance scholarship

Do you know anyone in the US who is in school – or about to head to school – to get an accounting, economics or finance degree? Could they benefit from a little financial help? If so, make sure to tell them about Xero’s $5,000 accounting, economics or finance scholarship.

Here at Xero, the accounting and financial worlds are obviously a huge part of what we do. What’s more, we know that accounting, economics and finance students go on to play an extremely important role in the small business world. So we’ve decided to award $5,000 to a student who is majoring in one (or more) of these subjects.

Xero is offering a $5,000 accounting, economics or finance scholarship to US university students

Who can apply for Xero’s accounting or finance scholarship?

All legal US residents who are currently enrolled full-time at an accredited university or business school (which must also be in the US). Applicants must be majoring in accounting, economics or finance. There is no age limit and it doesn’t matter what stage of study the student is at (see below for GPA requirements).

What can the scholarship money be used for?

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Xero announces $NZ100 million ARR

We reported a huge milestone for our team today as we hit $NZ100m in Annualized Recurring Revenue (ARR).

What is ARR?

ARR is a key metric for SaaS companies. It is the most recent month’s revenue multiplied by 12. Essentially, if we got no more customers in Xero, we’d bill this amount over the next year.

You can check out the media release here: Xero hits NZ$100m Annualised Revenue

$100 million ARR for Xero

Why is $100 million ARR so important?

When you start a company, $100m of revenue is one of the big milestones you dream of. Very few startups ever get there. $100m is a ‘real’ business. At many industry events we’d hear “we need to create 100 more $100m businesses.” All of our team are thrilled to be one of the very few companies to get there.

Most of the SaaS companies we follow are in the Enterprise space where they sell a smaller number of high value deals using traditional software selling models. You simply can’t do that in the small business market. Xero is a hybrid. A combination of complex business software (like SAP, Salesforce or Workday) coupled with a more consumer market like – high volume sales.

So the significance for achieving $100m quickly is an important validation for our business model and demonstrates Xero is one of very few software companies to have cracked the code of selling into the large, fragmented small business market. What’s also significant is that we have achieved these revenue numbers building a business primarily outside the US domestic market.

To date we have solely focused on customer acquisition to achieve our revenue. We didn’t use a freemium model as we correctly believed that small businesses will pay directly for quality software solutions that improve their business. While we’ve focussed solely on customer acquisition our healthy ecosystem of 300+ add-on partners have successfully leveraged our customer base and channel to build their own successful businesses without massive sales and marketing spend. This confirms our belief that once you have created a relationship through accounting software, there is plenty of opportunity to grow revenue from existing customers by adding new products and services while making life even easier for them. As we complete core accounting we can turn our mind and resources into many additional services to create new revenue opportunities.

There is a massive investment to build these types of businesses and it doesn’t seem that long ago when were excited to get our first 1000 customers. It was only back in 2009 our revenues were just under $1 million. In 2010 we did $3 million. It wasn’t long ago we hit a million a month which was another big day. It’s very gratifying to see that massive multi-year investment beginning to deliver.

The scary thing is it is still so early. We’re thinking five to 10 years out and over the last year have added so much fantastic new talent into the business. We don’t see barriers for us to grow to a billion of revenue over time.

A huge thank you to our team who have worked tirelessly for seven years. Thank you to our partners and customers. We know we still have so much to do but with your support we are able to keep investing.

Our most exciting work is yet to come.

 

Resolved – recent intermittent issues with Xero

Now resolved – intermittent connection issues with Xero, 9am UTC

A limited subset of customers may have experienced intermittent connection issues with Xero services over the last five hours.

We have addressed the problems and all services are fully available again.

Our initial investigation indicates that maintenance completed earlier today caused some of our servers to have intermittent connection issues which have now been resolved.

We apologize for any inconvenience that this may have caused.

 

Peak beard: does creative equal hirsute?

When I joined Xero I wrote a short blog about what it’s like wearing a Xero t-shirt to work. It was a blog about how people look, the assumptions people make based on our appearance and the impact that our clothes have in the business world.

But how we look isn’t just defined by our clothes. If you’re a man and, like me, you have a beard, you’re also sending out a certain subconscious message about who you are. Men who wouldn’t have been seen dead with facial hair five years ago are now sporting beards that wouldn’t look out of place on an Edwardian sea captain, or a 19th century Wild West gold prospector. And nowhere is this more true than in the creative industries.

Are the beard’s days numbered?

So have we reached ‘peak beard’? Plenty of columnists have been saying so. In fact, a team from the University of New South Wales in Sydney even published research into the attraction (or not) of men with beards. But if you walk down Leather Lane around the corner from our Farringdon office, you’ll see plenty of beard action still happening on the streets of London – especially amongst the creative community. In fact, the coffee shops of Farringdon, Clerkenwell and Shoreditch are heaving with bearded creatives (and even the occasional moustache).

Inkling – why creatives love Xero

So does creative equal hirsute? Our latest case study video highlights how creative marketing agency, Inkling, use Xero to manage their business. And you’ll see that the beard is definitely still being rocked here in the UK.

Inkling recommends Xero for small business accounting from Xero on Vimeo.

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Farming in the Cloud debuts at Fieldays 2014

We debuted our new Farming in the Cloud online accounting and farm management solution with key farming solution partner Figured, at Fieldays 2014 in Mystery Creek. We’re already halfway through our first foray into the biggest event on the New Zealand rural calendar, and although we’ve been travelling around the country talking with the rural sector for a while now, we’ve been overwhelmed at the interest and engagement from the farming community.

Feedback from New Zealand farmers and rural businesses who serve the farming industry has been fantastic, and there is genuine excitement at the end-to-end cloud eco-system that we’ve created with our partners for the rural community, and the impact that the Rural Broadband Initiative will have for rural businesses around the country.

Farming in the Cloud stall at Fieldays 2014 We’re loud and proud at Fieldays and to top it all off, Xero last night won the award for best premiere feature site. A fantastic achievement from the team  especially with some trying weather conditions during set up. Looking forward to the next two days!

A few of the highlights have included: Prime Minister John Key takes Farming in the Cloud online tour with Ben Richmond, Xero Rural Strategy Lead, during his walkabout at Fieldays 2014 today. Continue reading ›

 

Outstanding Contribution to Technology winner Rod Drury

We’re proud to announce that Rod Drury was honoured for Outstanding Contribution to Technology in NZ at last night’s CIO Awards.Xero CEO wins Outstanding Contribution to Technology

Introducing the award, Graeme Riley — NZ Managing Director for SAP — said that Rod is is one of New Zealand’s leading CEO’s and business entrepreneurs.

From all of us here at Xero, we’d like to say congratulations!

To read more about the evening and the reasons why Rod was honoured with the award, check out this article by The National Business Review:

CIO Awards 2014: Rod Drury honoured for Outstanding Contribution to Technology in NZ

 

 

Xero Practice Manager released

Today we released Xero Practice Manager, our online practice management solution, delivering job, time and invoice management to accountants and bookkeepers.

This release is the culmination of months of effort by our product development team and is a strong demonstration of our investment in our partner community. Xero Practice Manager is currently available at no software license cost to members of the Xero Partner Program who have Silver status or above.

Over the past few weeks we have previewed several of the key features of this release, but today marks the general availability of the solution. For a complete overview, take a look at the video below.

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Company Tax Return in Practice Manager

Xero Practice Manager - Company Tax ReturnWe’re almost there!

As we get closer to our next Tax release we thought it was time to go into the new features in more detail and give you guys a little sneak peek so you know what to expect.

Our next instalment welcomes our first version of Company Tax Returns which gives you the ability to create Company Tax Returns for 2013 and 2014 and lodge them to the Australian Tax Office.

The attractive new interface, designed in heavy collaboration with our partners, results in a clean and easy to use experience. You’ll also have the benefit of real time auditing, which means your Company Tax Return will be checked for errors before you attempt to file, saving you time and the hassle of rework.

Worksheets and Schedules you’ll see with this release include:

  • Non Individual Payment Summary schedule
  • Capital Gains worksheet and schedule
  • Losses schedule
  • Dividends and Interest schedule
  • Franking account balance worksheet
  • Capital Allowances (UCA, LVP, SBE) worksheet

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Positioning fixed assets to your clients – in Xero it’s easy

Fixed assets come up regularly as an area of uncertainty when we’re talking to businesses. So we’ve put together a brand new webinar for UK accountants and bookkeepers that want to get their clients up to speed. It explains all the ins and outs of fixed assets and guides you through how to deal with them in Xero.

I caught up with our resident education and training expert, Ashley Driver, to get the lowdown on what fixed assets are, in accounting terms, and the benefits of a better understanding of how to account for them.

Ashley Driver, Xero

Ashley Driver presenting at Accountex 2014

So over to Ashley to explain what fixed assets are…

How would you describe fixed assets to a client?

“Fixed assets in a business are essentially anything that’s owned by that entity that’s of worth and is retained over a period of time. So that could mean motor vehicles, land, buildings or machinery etc. – basically, anything that isn’t likely to be sold or converted to cash quickly.”

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