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What’s on the horizon for the US and Canada, plus my surreal Xerocon experience

Posted 4 months ago in Xero news by Jamie McDonald
Posted by Jamie McDonald

I’ve been a regular Xerocon attendee since 2014, when Hubdoc, the company I co-founded, became available on the Xero app marketplace. I love everything about it – the community, the atmosphere, the showcase. But this Xerocon had a distinctly different feel to it for me. To have the opportunity to be on the main San Diego stage, as a part of Xero, was a surreal, exhilarating and slightly weird experience!

This year I extended my role as Hubdoc co-CEO to Executive General Manager of Product, Accounting and Global Services. To join a company that is equally committed to extraordinary innovation and is as customer obsessed as Hubdoc is such an exciting next step. Together we can do amazing things, and there’s no greater community to be a part of.

As we continue our journey to build a platform that improves the lives of small businesses and their advisors we’re doubling down on our core and making it smarter, faster, and more powerful. We’re building it on a foundation of machine learning and data to automate manual, administrative tasks so you can focus on what matters – helping your clients achieve success. We’re also launching some really exciting product enhancements in the US and Canada, as well as making some updates that all our customers around the globe will benefit from this year. For or those who missed out, here’s what’s new that I announced today: 

Tax Mapper for US accountants and bookkeepers

US accountants and bookkeepers can look forward to some serious time saving this tax season with the news that we’ll be offering tax mapping in Xero for Schedules C and E, S corp, C corp and Partnerships (tax forms). This feature is a major step in Xero’s journey toward automating the compliance process for advisors and enabling them to run their businesses more efficiently.

Tax Mapper makes annual tax preparation easier for US accountants and bookkeepers by automatically preparing client data from the Xero platform for their preferred tax software in a few clicks.

This is just the beginning of our efforts to support your workflow. We want to make every step of the accounting workflow more seamless, more connected, and more valuable for everyone.

Automatically generate GST/HST tax returns in Canada

A Canadian GST/HST product that allows accountants and bookkeepers to automatically generate GST or HST tax returns with a single click is now in beta, saving hours of time spent manually calculating tax requirements. The new feature brings GST and HST calculations directly into the Xero platform so advisors can manage and audit tax returns quickly. By automating Canadian tax obligations, advisors will be able to work more efficiently, grow their practice and ensure they help small business clients stay on top of their tax obligations from day one. Our aim with Canada GST goes beyond checking a compliance box. We want to streamline the tax process, cut down on the form-filling, and free up more time for client collaboration.

It’s also important to us that we keep up an active conversation with you, our customers, and build the GST product that does what you need it to. The beta has been running for over a month, and we’ve had some great feedback so far. We’re on track to have Canada GST in general release in Q4 of this year – just in time for tax season.

New personalized learning experience in Xero Central helps users globally level up

Xero Central is our all-in-one support portal and it’s now home to Xero’s most comprehensive suite of learning courses and resources, aimed at helping all of Xero’s global subscribers grow their knowledge in the areas most important to them. The revamped learning experience simplifies the process of becoming more confident across the Xero platform and becoming certified. Users always know they are up to date on the latest product updates and learning content.

With our new learning badges, accountants and bookkeepers can market their specializations to prospective clients. We’ve also introduced intelligent search which leverages machine learning and AI to surface up the right content at the right time. The more you engage with the content, the more we’re able to align your experience to what you’re interested in.

We’ve also launched a new hospitality handbook.

Hospitality is one of the most dynamic and fast-paced industries but despite hospitality businesses being among the biggest users of Xero invoicing and payroll* fewer than 50% of them currently connect an app to Xero.

This playbook can change all that. I recommend that check it out here on Xero Central.

These changes are the first of many to come,  helping advisors to upskill and deliver greater value to their clients.

Here’s what else is coming up for Xero Central:

  • There’ll be more and more data connected into the platform, so we’re able to surface up the right learning and content based on your behavior and client portfolio.
  • We’ll further develop Discussions, allowing you to display your certifications and achievements so when you connect to small businesses, they know you know your stuff.
  • Providing the tools to create your own onboarding learning playlists to share with your team and clients.
  • Developing a Partner Experience so you can have a personalized space to put useful content and resources across your team.

Our accounting partners are the true engine room of the small business economy. So as we build the product enhancements above and tackle the challenges ahead, your voice has always been, and always will be, so important. So don’t be surprised to see my name in your inbox for feedback or ideas. This is your chance to shape the future of this incredible community and empower the small business economy.

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