My business, Illumin8, is driven to help other business owners get out of bed every day and devote their time to what they value the most. Our team members are constantly investing ourselves into our client’s businesses to help them achieve the goals that they set.
So, with that total focus, why would I take two days out of this relentless pursuit to sit in a room with 14 other accountants and bookkeepers. That’s two days away from my business, my team, my clients, my family, and my whisky (yep… that’s important too)
Great question, thanks for asking!!!!
For those who know me, know that I am passionate about authenticity, transparency and community. And the biggest and most impactful community that I belong to is my cloud-hugging accounting and bookkeeping buddies!
You see, Xero sees the value of connecting with their community, and as a result has been curating the Xero Partner Advisory Council (XPAC) for a number of years now.
And the 14 other people in this room were no ordinary accountants and bookkeepers. They are the current Xero partners of the year, spread far and wide across our beautiful country, all brought together by one thing: their love for what Xero has provided them in the form of technology, that has given them back richly in the form of time, joy, profit and purpose.
I was fortunate enough to be invited back to be a part of XPAC having spent the last 12 months working with the previous group of amazing people.
So what kind of stuff do we actually do?
No, it’s not a “lets kiss butt and see what we can get out of this time together”. We were lucky enough to have a handful of key people, who lead areas of Xero, to share their story with us. They told us where they’d come from, they shared the good, the bad and the ugly of the present state of their departments, and they shared with delight the impact they hope to be able to make in the future.
Best of all, what they shared didn’t last all that long. Instead, they opened up the conversation for the people around the table to ask questions, provide insights, poke, prod and be all-round inquisitive about what Xero is doing to provide for the accounting and bookkeeping community that we all care about so much.
Some highlights for me were:
- joining in on the Xero-wide team video meeting and not making too much of a fool of myself
- being able to challenge Xero’s thinking – and then seeing the humble responses from those facilitating the conversation.
- asking Trent Innes questions that we’d always wanted to, but never quite had the right floor to do so in
- unpacking how best Xero could remain relevant and connected in the world we play in
- finding out how Xero is looking to stand up for small businesses in the political arena by using the data they have to provide compelling arguments for change that needs to happen
- the camaraderie of connecting with 14 other inspiring business owners and decision makers from all areas of our community and learning things that I could take home and implement within my business immediately
Over the next 12 months, we’ll be gathering together on regular occasions to continue to give feedback to Xero on what we see, as the feet-on-the-ground users, to help them build a product that continues to drive healthy and beautiful businesses Australia-wide.
I would highly encourage you to reach out to you state-based representative if you feel there’s something that needs to be discussed. After all, our role is to be a representative of our wider community, and I’d love nothing less than being able to help bring change that promotes a positive future.
Xero’s Partner Advisory Council (XPAC) consist of a diverse panel of Xero Partners who help drive conversations that will make a difference to Australian Xero Partners and small businesses.
Members of XPAC are bookkeepers or accountants who both challenge and champion the needs of the industry. The XPAC team is a core part of the Xero ecosystem, playing a crucial role as a focus-group of industry experts that can provide real-time, real-life feedback on behalf of the industry and their small business clients.
Applications will open in 2019 for expressions of interest to join XPAC. To learn more about XPAC please contact Amanda Newton, Head of Community – AU via email firstname.lastname@example.org