I sat down with Sholto Macpherson at Xerocon last week to discuss The Financial Web, the Assurance Dashboard, Continuous Certification and how we plan to help small businesses get access to lending and capital.
In this video we are introducing a number of new concepts:
The Financial Web
The Financial Web is the growing electronic connectivity between small business, accountants and Financial Institutions. If we can make it easier for small business to get capital or funding they will grow. But for banks, the small business market is fragmented, expensive and risky.
Cloud accounting coupled with electronic connectivity aggregates small business, provides almost real time information and reduces transactions costs. As we connect Financial Institutions with small businesses we believe there will be a myriad of opportunities to help grow small business including lending, insurance, factoring, currency services and much more.
Desktop accounting requires a lot of manual intervention. In contrast cloud accounting has secure electronic connections from trusted or secured parties. This includes banks and other Financial Institutions as well as bills and invoices from customers and suppliers. Well designed accounting software includes controls that also assist with integrity. The Assurance Dashboard is a collection of tools that allow an an accountant, bookkeeper or financial advisor to gain confidence in the integrity of financial information as well as a a number of audit tools.
Continuous Certification is a new concept Xero is championing. Not a full audit, Continuous Certification would be a new status of reporting where Accountants are comfortable saying the numbers are accurate to a level that banks are happy with. This is enabled by well designed accounting with good controls, alerts and assurance tools. We’re just at the beginning of this journey and welcome feedback.