Giving accountants and bookkeepers an even bigger voice

We want to give accountants and bookkeepers even better representation in XeroAs a fast-growing business, we’re always looking for new talent, from developers and designers to people with an uncanny ability with technology, numbers and relationship-building. We’ve recently posted two exciting new roles that have been getting quite a bit of attention:

Head of Accounting

Head of Bookkeeping

A number of enquiries have come in, as well as questions from partners wanting to know more about what we’re up to. So, I’d like to share some thoughts and background with you.

The term ‘disruption’ comes up a fair bit in our industry. While it could be deemed an ‘overused buzzword’, I don’t think too many people involved in accounting would deny that disruption is precisely what cloud technology has brought to the table. Our belief is that this is a positive change with the scope for many benefits to the industry. We are also realists, however, and understand that new technology, and change in itself, can be challenging for some to embrace, and we want to do everything we can to help.

Several practitioners and journalists who follow this industry have not been shy in sharing their views, some provocative, on disruption and, notably, Xero’s responsibility in stepping up to the plate as a new industry leader (see some links below). As proponents of the cloud and this new model of working, we have to keep our eyes and ears open to feedback and commentary and, most importantly, we have to be proactive and take action to make sure that we stay focused on driving this progression and giving people the tools they need to succeed.

Since humble beginnings, Xero in Australia has experienced phenomenal growth. We now have over 120,000 customers here and over 5,500 accounting and bookkeeping partners who actively promote Xero to their SME clients. This success has its own unique challenges and brings with it an expectation for us to continue to fulfil a leadership role in the industry. We are most definitely up for that and know that it takes resources and the hiring of great talent to do this. And that’s a key reason why we are investing in two key leadership roles within Xero Australia.

We’ve proudly welcomed many accountants and bookkeeping practitioners into our 150+ strong team in Australia. It’s time now to dial this up even more and take it to the next level, which is why we’ve decided to appoint two very important leadership roles into the Xero Australia team: Head of Accounting and Head of Bookkeeping.  Both of these crucial roles will report directly to me, reflecting the importance that we have placed on these appointments.

These roles are all about understanding and leading the industry. We seek candidates who are passionate about the plight of their peer accountants and bookkeepers. Ideally, these roles will be filled by someone who has worked in the industry as a practitioner; who has been on the journey to the cloud and act as spokesperson and ambassador for their fellow accountants and bookkeepers. Successful candidates will provide a clear vision as to where Xero is going and provide direction to our partners that now look to Xero to lead the way in the industry.

Importantly, these roles will also act as a pipeline back into Xero to influence product, investments and our strategic direction and help steer our innovation so that we continue to evolve with the interests of partners in mind. To make this happen, we’re keen to offer these roles on a part-time basis (three days per week) so that successful candidates can remain in practice or business and stay hands-on and connected to what it takes to prosper in this ever-changing industry.

So, if you think you have what it takes to be our Head of Accounting or Head of Bookkeeping at Xero, we would love to hear from you. Head to our careers page and scroll down to Business Services for more details.

Our door is always open to fostering discussion and discourse about the industry, and we look forward to doing so at a number of sessions at Xerocon.

Further reading:

What is the future of bookkeeping? – Chirag  Ahuja

Sydney Roadshow delivers a challenge for Xero – James Solomons

Will bookkeepers survive the cloud? – Wayne Schmidt

 

11 Comments

Wayne Schmidt
July 7, 2014 at 5:28 pm

Thanks Chris for the mention in the blog.

Here’s a recording of my recent summit on the future of bookkeeping.

https://vimeo.com/92712404

Heather Smith
July 7, 2014 at 5:54 pm

The first of the further reading links to an article written by Chirag Ahuja not Sholto Macpherson, though Mr Macpherson does write extensively on this subject.

Marina Holmes
July 7, 2014 at 6:12 pm

Now updated, thanks Heather!

Bob Harper
July 7, 2014 at 9:43 pm

Very interesting.

There are two choices for bookkeepers and accountants – use Xero to become more efficient at what they do, or to become more effective.

More efficient is just doing the same thing quicker and will less cost to the customer. My view is that most accountants are/will pursue this strategy. And, consequently there will be less need for accountants.

Accountants who choose to change their business model and become effective can use Xero has the platform. That is what we are doing.

There is a market for efficient accountants (low cost) and effective ones (high value). I just prefer the later.

Gayle Buchanan
July 7, 2014 at 7:15 am

Great news (especially for the bookies) Chris

Richard Harvey
July 7, 2014 at 7:44 pm

You have given a good insight and a clear picture of why bookkeeping are important for Small Business. Professional bookkeepers take care of everything as per rules and regulations and more important is that things are done timely as you have very rightly said.

Charles Klvana
August 8, 2014 at 4:09 pm

Position based in Melbourne or Sydney? Oh bugger! 😛
Oh well, I look forward to interacting with the new head of Bookkeeping!
What’s the Xero Partner Advisory Council (XPAC) program?

Ben Chiverton
August 8, 2014 at 2:38 pm

What I would like to know is how do you evangelize a tax product that STILL has not been released? You are leaving accountants trying to change to Practice Manager (Still mostly WorkFlow Max) in the lurch!

Chris Ridd
August 8, 2014 at 11:58 am

@Ben we get a lot of feedback about our online tax platform from accountants that want Xero to have this delivered… yesterday. We feel the pressure and appreciate the demand that is out there, so we are highly motivated. If it was easy and we could do it faster… let me tell you, we’d have it done by now.

If you’ve been following the Xero tax journey in Australia since Xerocon 2012 when I announced our intent to build it, hopefully you will appreciate the scope and complexity of what we are trying to build. We have a team of 30+ developers in Melbourne, many of whom are focused on this and we actually have released some components already to market.

We’ve delivered TFN Dec, BAS lodgement and Company Returns. We never said we’d deliver tax in a “big-bang” style release because you only get one shot at doing this right. We always said we’d deliver in stages in order to mitigate risk and also build credibility with the market. We have a solid roadmap to get to a full tax platform over the months ahead.

Hopefully you can make it to Xerocon where we will be providing an update on where we are at and what is just around the corner.

Hector Coney
August 8, 2014 at 4:21 pm

You gave a very good insight on Xero’s ideals. Also, you provided an excellent way of telling businesses the importance of accounting and bookkeeping. I applaud Xero’s progress and how it continues to deliver good services.

________________
Bookkeeping Service
Bookkeeping Service Adelaide

Acton Accounting
March 3, 2015 at 1:57 am

Great article! Thanks for sharing helpful info about accountants and bookkeepers.

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