Xerocon London is the annual accounting technology conference organized by Xero at the London Excel venue. In many ways, it inspires accountants and bookkeepers into pioneering the change in a new era of cloud solutions for small businesses. Xero often includes a lineup of industry leaders and experts to provide insights into new and innovative ways to grow your accounting practice.
It’s an inspirational conference and given that the accounting industry is in a period of disruption and going through changes in tax and regulation, it provides valuable insights into how to tackle these changes with technology.
A bonus provided by Xerocon is the array of exhibitors which are available. In most cases, they are the cloud-based third-party application partners (apps) along with other organizations such as HRMC, ICAEW, ACCA, and others to name a few.
Being present at the exhibition provides an opportunity to learn about these apps and how they can benefit clients by speaking to their representatives in person. They are also able to provide live demos which help with the journey of transforming your practice into a more digital one as well as providing your clients with helpful app suggestions.
Insights from the Conference
- Machine learning - machine learning is coming and coming fast. Xero has already completed initial testing and can predict the correct general ledger code for a transaction with approximately 90% accuracy (and it gets even better after items are coded once or twice). If you are still coding credit card statements by hand you will be shocked when you see what can be done with technology.
- Xero will soon roll out the UK Tax filing feature through the acquisition of Instafile – software that can file VAT, Payroll, and Corporation tax through Xero.
- Bank feeds which were developed 10 years ago will now be enhanced via the API which will make this feature more seamless to implement for banks and credit card companies.
- In the UK, still, only 20% of small businesses are using cloud accounting – more scope for additional business for accounting firms.
- Security – regularly back-up data securely, educate staff and clients to stay safe online, set up two-step authentication, and protect personal devices. If you suspect that someone may be using your login credentials to gain unauthorized access, you can view the activity history to see the dates and locations of the login. Xero also restricts access to sensitive data if login is unrecognized.
- Product updates – the sales invoice process has been enhanced, this can now be customized at the invoice entry stage, the quantity field can be removed and all changes are saved every 3 seconds.
- Mobile App – it will be possible to create and pay invoices on the go via the app. The app will also allow you to view the profit and loss at a glance and even drill down to the account level
- Tips from High Achieving Accounting firms – culture is important when hiring at accounting firms, choose clients wisely and use a suite of digital apps when running an accounting firm.
- Xero client survey insights – SME definition of success is hiring their first employee, then expanding their business to make more money and increase income. The average small business spends approximately 27 hours a month on accounting and tax. 70% of small businesses would not recommend their accountants and 27% are likely to switch. When asked about what particular service small businesses are not happy with, the common factor was the limited industry knowledge and the lack of proactive support. Finally, for small businesses that currently do not have an advisor, 28% of them want to hire one, 30% prefer to do their accounts and 30% do it themselves because they believe that the service is too costly.
Xerocon was very much an event where Accountants can learn about new products and features to help them become more efficient and ultimately provide a better service to clients. These new features also help with making the tax and regulatory requirements easier to comply with. It would also be highly recommended to take your whole team to the event if you can do so.
Any accountant or bookkeeper, even if not using the Xero platform would benefit greatly from this conference given the industry rapidly changing therefore keeping up to date with the latest developments is crucial.
If you would like to know more about Xero or would like a free consultation, submit your contact details here and one of our consultants will be in touch.
This article is written in general terms and therefore cannot be relied on to cover specific situations; application of the principles set out will depend upon the particular circumstances involved and we recommend that you obtain professional advice before acting or refraining from acting on any of its contents.