Steve Vamos with Dexter, our digital tax advisor at Xerocon London 2018
It’s been a big week at Xerocon London 2018. We welcomed over 3,000 partners from the UK, Ireland, South Africa and further abroad. We heard from inspirational speakers, including our Xero managing director Gary Turner and chief product and partner officer Anna Curzon. And we finished day one on a high with the 2018 Xero Awards – congratulations to all of the winners!
Above all, I love the incredible energy and engagement of our partners at Xerocon. And the passion we share with them to help small businesses grow. This has been evident at every Xerocon I’ve attended, both before and after I became CEO.
Why I joined Xero
It all started when Rod contacted me back in 2011 to help him find a leader for Xero in Australia. Around the same time, my bookkeeper Tracy Howitt introduced me to Xero to manage my accounts – and I’ve been a Xero customer ever since.
Why is Xero for me? I’ve had a life-long interest in and passion for technology and digital media, and I’ve held senior roles in tech businesses like Microsoft, Apple and IBM. The thing that drew me to Xero was our purpose and people, and our commitment to helping small businesses thrive. Small businesses traditionally have been underserved; and considering they make up 99% of all businesses in the OECD, there’s immense potential to make a real impact.
Getting ready for Making Tax Digital
With Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT landing in the UK in April 2019, we put the spotlight on compliance this Xerocon. Those who attended today may have seen our mascot, Dexter the Digital Tax Advisor doing the rounds. We created Dexter to help small business owners and their advisors become aware and prepare for MTD.
Certainly, as Gary and Anna announced in their keynotes, Xero now provides best in class tools to help get accountants and bookkeepers ready for MTD. As part of this, we announced that Xero has acquired Instafile, a cloud-based accounts preparation and tax filing solution that connects UK accountants, bookkeepers and small businesses to UK compliance bodies (including HMRC).
We’re also accelerating our fintech strategy, announcing five integrations with leading UK fintechs: Tide, Starling, TransferWise, Revolut and Soldo. Our new full-featured Bank Feeds API made all of these integrations possible.
These new feeds mean that small businesses and their advisors can automatically receive insightful data to track foreign exchange payments, manage expenses and uncover deep insights about business’ performance – all at no extra cost and through their Xero dashboard.
Human at Heart
Our incredible guest speakers at Xerocon London each had their own unique take on Xerocon’s “human at heart” theme. Gerd Leonhard, CEO of The Future Agency spoke about the important balance between technology and humanity in today’s connected world. Lucy Adams, CEO of Disruptive HR explained why traditional people practices are outdated, and Ben McBean, an ex-Royal Marine shared his experiences losing two limbs in combat and how this sharpened his drive to embrace life, no matter what. Closing day two we were awed by the incredible story of 11-time world champion and six-time Olympic gold winner Sir Chris Hoy. Chris shared how his love affair with cycling started and taught us how he met his goals.
Thanks to all who came along to Xerocon London 2018. We can’t wait to see you all next year!