This year we were excited to welcome more than 3,000 accountants, bookkeepers and app partners at Xerocon London 2019.
The energy was palpable with so much to see and learn across ExCeL. From inspiring talks to a ton of innovative product updates – including improvements to Hubdoc and Xero Tax, the ability to pay bills directly out of Xero with TransferWise, and so much more.
We kicked off with inspirational keynotes from Xero CEO Steve Vamos who revealed this year’s theme, and Xero Managing Director for UK and EMEA, Gary Turner, who told us of his family’s small business story and shared with us his purpose – to stand up for small businesses.
Here’s what they had to say…
Communities of purpose
From cloud adoption to AI learning and government regulations, there’s so much change happening in the industry and this is where sticking together counts most.
Communities of purpose was the theme of this year’s Xerocon London and it was one that underpins everything we do.
“Our community is at the forefront of change going on in the accounting and bookkeeping industry. And that’s important, because in times of uncertainty we can feel a lack of control. The only way I know we can get through this is to connect and care for others facing similar challenges,” said Steve.
Achieving results with data
We spoke with more than 1,500 small business owners to understand what they look for in an accountant or bookkeeper.
And the results revealed that they want their advisor to work collaboratively with them and provide insights behind the numbers.
That’s why we’re working hard to give our partners access to invaluable insight.
“At Xero, we’re working on providing you with the information and tools to deliver timely and accurate insights to your customers to help them be more successful.
“By insights, we mean access to accurate data to gain a deeper understanding of what is going on in your clients’ business,” said Steve.
Reducing our impact on the environment
Here at Xero, we’re committed to taking responsibility for our social and environmental impact.
Steve announced our plan to reduce our impact on the environment by offsetting 100% of Xero’s carbon emissions.
“Our aim is to reduce our impact across all areas of the business for the year to 31 March 2019 and beyond,” stated Steve.
This initiative will be called Net Zero @ Xero and it’ll form part of our social and environmental impact programme dedicated to making Xero a fast-growing but sustainable business.
Standing up for small businesses
We were fortunate enough to hear from Gary who shared his personal story that led to the closing of his family’s business at the age of 17. This experience clearly defined Gary’s purpose:
“I’ve only just realised how much that has impacted me and where my passion comes from,” said Gary.
Standing up for small businesses, their families and the entrepreneurs that are struggling to keep things going is what drives us at Xero – and what connects us with our partners.
Standing on stage, Gary summed this up: “I have to tell you I’ve never felt more at home than standing in front of you today in a room full of people who align around that same honourable purpose.”
State of the nation
We also heard about some of the challenges you and your clients are facing. “It’s an interesting time in the UK – notwithstanding Brexit and the uncertainty that brings to the small business community,” said Gary.
There’s also a lot happening from a regulatory perspective: HMRC rolled out Making Tax Digital for VAT this year and Open Banking started to make its first steps.
These challenges aren’t restricted to the UK, says Gary. “We opened up shop in South Africa and they share the same passion for learning… but South Africa also has challenges.”
Regardless of these challenges, we see there’s an equal amount of optimism for what technology can do and how it can help small businesses around the world.