The lights have gone down at Xerocon Melbourne, where 3,068 attendees from 19 countries immersed themselves in industry advice and updates across two full days – but the chance to take advantage of these changes has only just begun.
Still soaking it all in? Here’s a quick wrap-up of some of the key themes.
It’s a small world after all
The power of global connectivity lit a spark through Xerocon from the moment CEO Rod Drury stepped on stage for his opening keynote.
“If we want the world to be a better place, we’ve got to get small businesses trading globally,” Drury said. “Xero partners are already working together to create virtual international consulting services. You simply have to work on a global platform nowadays – and that’s an incredibly disruptive thought.”
New Zealand Country Manager Craig Hudson agreed.
“It’s no longer about selling to just your village, town or state,” Hudson said, before breaking down the changes in technology, immigration and travel, cultural convergence, and global platforms that make the world a smaller place. “On global platforms there’s someone just like you, going through what you’re going through, that you can connect with.”
It was this same belief in connectivity and the understanding that Xero could help connect a fragmented small business market to enterprise and government – that inspired the Australian release of Xero Small Business Insights.
“Xero Small Business Insights draws from a large and trusted data set for the benefit of small business,” Australia Managing Director Trent Innes said about the new resource, which uses aggregated and anonymised data to create a monthly snapshot of the sector’s health.
“Behind every small business is a person. And we’re committed to sharing their stories in a way no one else can.”
There’s no product without people
Xero hit some big milestones in the last year, Drury explained, such as surpassing a million subscribers and processing NZ$1.5 trillion worth of transactions.
Now, with a with a wave of new products – such as reimagined functions like Xero expenses, Xero projects and curated Xero HQ apps – we start to move from being accounting back-office software to offering front office support, where we can give yet more time back to business.
“Accountants and bookkeepers are the advisors that the small business sector trusts most,” Drury said. “Business owners look to you for inspiration, for empathy – sometimes just for a shoulder to cry on. Our work is not just about technology, it’s about better facilitating the human touch that you can give to others.”
You never stop learning in the knowledge economy
“There is so much innovation happening now that’s it’s transformational,” Drury said.
But what use is constant innovation and connectivity without the means to continuously reskill ourselves and others?
“This is really important as the knowledge economy, artificial intelligence and machine learning take us forward,” he added.
Xero’s Lifelong Learning Platform answers that need by imparting the skills and knowledge that accounting, bookkeeping, and advisory partners are desperately seeking in new hires.
“It will produce Xero-ready accountants to meet our partners’ demand,” said Chief Partner Officer Anna Curzon.
“We’re investing heavily in the future, both for today and tomorrow. And I can categorically say the best is yet to come,” she added. “There’s never been a better time to be an accountant or a bookkeeper and be the hero of the small business economy.”