Xerocon- what’s it all about?
Xerocon London 2019 provided the ‘all you can eat buffet’ of Apps fluent in Xero cloud based accounting that we have come to expect. The theme this year was a strong focus on ‘communities of purpose’. Like any great buffet – the take away was vast. (I am not referring to sustainable SWAG either.) But let’s not neglect the ‘App’ etiser of Precon.
‘App’etisers arrived in the form of an informative Precon Practice Ignition (PI) training workshop on Tuesday. Partnered with Bridge 3, Clarity, Xavier Analytics and Suite Files it was an info explosion setting the tone for what was to come. Meeting the faces behind the emails and discussing really time client based problems to be solved is so valuable.
Precon Nugget 1): PI/XPM/ moving away from the obvious brilliance of onboarding, proposals, generating workstreams, time capture etc. discussion from speakers headed to the arena of engagement. We totally get this at de garis accounting limited (DGAL).
Precon Nugget 2): Xavier Analytics – providing an overview at practice and client level of key check points and quality of data. Having issues with duplicate contacts? Unreconciled Fixed Asset registers? Inconsistent coding of items? Xavier can heavy lift and sift through your data and return reports of use to practice. Particularly relevant on clients where they do own bookkeeping.
Precon Nugget 3): Clarity brought to life the concept of advisory services and a powerful tool in his words “leveraging technology to unleash super powers”. We are excited about bringing some real Clarity to our clients business numbers to create clear strategic plans to build their ideal businesses.
Precon Nugget 4): “Only do what you can do. Don’t do what someone else can do for you” makes sense-but the curse of a small evolving firm can be all hands to the pump and we can get into habits of doing things we might be better placed to have other skilled sources perform. This is where seeking out apps and really challenging their capability and suitability to clients and our practice comes into its own.
Palate cleanser was served by the talented Antiq’e performing her bold Woman, Woman, Woman recital. How to stun 3000 accountants in the auditorium.
Great strong opening setting the tone. Know who you are, your practice and what you are offering. Then share with your business community. You and your clients will benefit.
Steve Vamos reminding us that our clients running their business can feel isolated resonated. Often, they can feel like they are on a table for 1 at the back of the room. Certainly, most of our time involved with a small start-up is the sounding board more than number cruncher/report, plus of course equipping them with the tools (Xero!) to manage their accounts and set them up for growth.
We need to invite the lone entrepreneur/ diner to the bigger table, surround them with a supportive community, explain the menu on offer and do the heavy lifting/researching for them. We like the sound of Xero driving its evolution to ‘rewire the world of small business making it seamless, simple and smarter’.
Gary Turner offering an insight into his drive and reason for continuing and doing what he does resonated with many. It pays to remind ourselves of the journey of Xero in addition to ourselves and our community and our clients. Reflection whilst you cannot change something- encourages you to review and learn.
Brad Burton’s view of tackling problems you don’t know the answer to – “decide in 24s? or revisit in 24 minutes? No decision? Okay leave for 24hrs- by then it’s probably not worth the worry” received mix reviews. There were motivational nuggets in there – not that our team needed to be more motivated than actually being immersed in all things Xero.
Getting full on info updates-time to walk the walk and revisit the buffet in exhibitor hall. We went with a list of key add ons we wanted to research further, as well as catching up with our favourites that we use already.
We love the idea of the challenger banks disrupting the industry (like Revolut and Transferwise), especially as they are operating in Guernsey and are bringing quick account opening and better functionality to the table.
Document retrieval/storage/invoice housing and data extraction– usual providers were out in force. Receipt Bank and Hubdoc notably pushing the development. Side by side these two offer similar functionality with the focus being on the artificial intelligence and data extraction doing the heavy lifting.
We love Spotlight for all our reporting and budgeting needs, but we still need to use excel for some client reporting, and so we were keen to catch up with Datadear, an excel integration tool.
Of course we look at practice apps too, we don’t just extol the vitues of digitalisation to our clients, but we look to automate and digitalise as much as possible. Favourites being Practice Ignition (could not live without) and Xero Workpapers.
Cash Flow is something we and many of our clients spend a lot of time reviewing, and we love Float and Fluidy which do a lot of the review for us and our clients in a cost effective way. The new Fluidy light offering looks of real interest as we can roll out to all of our clients to use if they need to and will be something we will explore further.
Like any favourite restaurant, we knew the menu, the key staff and who we wanted to see. Armed with the well thought out to do list (thanks Di) the team were ready to tackle the offering Xero had to offer.
The usual key managers/partners were there, hosting and guiding us through the menu on each day. The Xero Family hosted a ridiculously fun filled party. The notable positive shift from prior year being the more collaborative, breakout fun areas to allow networking and conversations you could hear! – thank you again.
On a personal development note, Xerocon reminds we are not one thing: – bookkeeper, accountant, advisor, comfort blanket for clients, number cruncher, financial reporter-we are relevant slices of these depending on client needs. Xero as a product operates in the same way – it does as much as you need it to, and you can plug in multiple add ons as required.
Xero continues to adapt to the cloud accounting market as driven by thought leaders, App developers, accountants, bookkeepers all responding/pre-empting our clients. So will we be at Xerocon London 2020?