As Xerocon Atlanta inches closer we got in touch with some of our accounting and bookkeeping partners who will be joining us in the Peach State’s capital and talked everything Xerocon and what they’re looking forward to at this year’s event.
Allison Hawkins is Partner at Hawkins & Co. Accounting in Ontario, Canada – winner of Silver Partner of the Year at the 2017 Xero Awards.
Let’s start with a little bit of background on your firm.
We started four years ago. My husband, Julian, is my business partner. We both have our CPA and trained at one of the large firms, but we both have very different strengths. He stayed in public practice and I went out to industry. I was doing internal work with systems and he focused on areas like tax and compliance. We realized starting a practice together was a perfect fit because we offer different services. Then we found Xero.
The timing was perfect in terms of Xero coming along to enable what we wanted to do. We recently hired our tenth employee. Our team is extremely innovative and has tight relationships with our clients. We’re innovative within our team when it comes to both our clients and our own processes.
When and why did you first start using Xero?
We started using it ourselves – we weren’t using it for our clients at first. We didn’t see how we could do their accounting on a day-to-day basis because we hadn’t yet discovered Xero’s ecosystem of app partners. We were definitely looking at setting clients up on Xero. We hadn’t yet comprehended the full outsourced business model at that point.
When I went to Xerocon in Denver – that was the tipping point. It was just so completely eye-opening. I came back and I felt like I finally got it. Going to that Xerocon changed our business model so dramatically. I had the opportunity to talk to other firm owners who were further down the road on their journey to the cloud. Everyone was so happy to share and very forthcoming. The relationships that began at Xerocon Denver, I still have to this day.
How many Xerocons have you been to and what is your favorite thing about it?
Xerocon Atlanta will be my fourth Xerocon. It’s a combination of things that keep me coming back. Who doesn’t love to come and hear inspirational stories about what people are doing and where they are? It’s also getting that strong understanding of Xero’s vision and product and partnerships roadmap so we know what’s coming and can keep them in our back pocket for the future.
I’m all for virtual networking, but it’s different to meet someone and shake their hand. Meeting Xero’s people and app and accounting partners in person means you have a different, more personal level of rapport. Not to mention, Xerocon is a ton of fun.
What are you looking forward to most at this year’s Xerocon?
Jules isn’t coming with me this year. I’m taking one of our team members instead. I’m looking forward to seeing it through her eyes. I’m also looking forward to taking information back to our team and using it to improve service offerings for our clients, and streamline our processes and how we work with clients.
I have been to a bunch of conferences over the past four years. At Xerocon, the conversations that happen there, the attitude, atmosphere, and feeling of openness make it very different to a lot of other events. A lot more sharing goes on at Xerocon, whereas it’s almost a competition of who’s better at other events. We’re growing together and supporting each other, and I feel that when I go to Xerocon.
Product news, in-real-life connections and more – there is a whole world of value to discover at Xerocon. Get your tickets to Xerocon Atlanta today.