I’ve recently joined Xero as New Zealand General Manager. It was a couple of years ago, in a previous role at CCH, after I lost two of my key sales team to Xero, that I started to take note of what the company was up to in the New Zealand market.
I’d previously visited Openside Accounting, run by one of the co-founders of Xero, Hamish Edwards, and had seen how they were turning the accounting industry on its head – accounting could be cool and innovative in the way they worked with their clients. Since then I’ve seen the rapid expansion of Xero both locally and globally, and decided I had to be a part of it.
Desktop software was becoming an infrastructure burden for accounting firms as IT providers costs and expertise varied widely. A big outlay on desktop applications was required up front, impacting cash-flow and productivity for quite a few years. Also, I saw modern practices were providing flexible working practices for their employees and this required anytime anywhere approaches to work.
It was clear was that go-ahead firms were already fully embracing the cloud and it was only a matter of time before the majority would. Demographic shifts are also underway with many partners expected to move into consulting roles or part time work over the next 5-8 years. We can anticipate that new tech-savvy decision makers will demand the benefits of cloud software.
After years of working in a large multinational with head office overseas, the opportunity to work for a New Zealand-headquartered business listed on the NZX and ASX was a huge attraction. New Zealand can compete globally and Xero’s rapid growth offshore proves that. It’s an exciting time as incumbents face a decline in their traditional product lines and need to innovate to remain competitive, while companies like Xero have agility and can move to differentiate quickly.
My in-depth accounting industry experience will be invaluable as Xero increases its adoption inside larger accounting firms. The way we take ourselves to market is evolving and I’ll be bringing in my expertise in establishing best-practice sales and go-to-market processes from over 20 years in the accounting industry throughout Asia Pacific.
After a month getting to know Xero I’ve been blown away by the quality of the people, clarity of their thinking and the vision they are delivering to the market.
I am really looking forward to Xerocon 2013 next week and talking to as many Xero accounting and bookkeeping partners as I can. If you haven’t registered yet, we’d love to see you there and there are still last-minute places available – it’s going to be a fantastic event.