Last week we went to Xerocon London 2018, a world class online accounting conference. It was a jam-packed two days of world-famous speakers, Xero-integrated apps and partners, and some cocktails thrown in for good measure! In this post, we’ve summed up the main takeaways from Xerocon and everything you need to know about the future of online accounting.
Xero: A New User Experience
At the end of November, the Xero dashboard is changing. If you’re a Xero user, this new menu structure will affect the way you interact with the software. To keep things simple, we’ll do a video demo of how to use the new dashboard in the coming weeks.
Xero is also overhauling their mobile app. With an increasing number of customers using the app, developers are improving its functionality so that the mobile app will have the same capabilities as the online software.
Making Tax Digital
Another important change happening in the UK is Making Tax Digital. As of April 2019, all businesses above the VAT threshold of £85K must keep digital records and use compatible software (such as Xero) to submit VAT returns. For all you need to know about the new initiative, including a list of HMRC compatible accounting software, check out our Making Tax Digital blog post.
Fostering Culture in Business
Our Big Takeaway from Xerocon is the importance of fostering great culture in your organisation. And Xero is a shining example of this. Every ambassador and team member we spoke to was truly passionate about what they’re doing. It’s obvious that they care about their customers and really believe in their product. Xero’s emphasis is on helping small businesses grow and making people’s lives easier with beautiful, intuitive software. And they’ve created a brilliant culture and community around that value proposition. It’s a software solution that’s truly Human at Heart.
At Ashton McGill, we really value the importance of creating a unique culture in our organisation. One that incorporates more than just the numbers stuff. A big part of our ethos is taking a human-centred approach to accounting and finance. That’s why design is such a huge part of our culture—we try to use it to thoughtfully improve everything we do. Using design thinking and research techniques, we’ve created a business that’s tailored to the needs of business owners. And we’ve used our design expertise to reimagine the accounting experience. One that breaks with convention and puts you at the heart of the process.
And another big part of our brand culture is coffee! Our Accounts Intern Alicia recently visited Sweden and immersed herself in Scandinavian culture. Coffee is so embedded in their culture that it’s even reflected in their vocab. Did you know that Swedes have their own verb for the phrase ‘having coffee’? It’s called fika! Fika is more than just boiling the kettle for a quick cup of Kenco. It’s an everyday ritual of slowing down to appreciate the good things in life over a lovely cup of coffee. Whether it’s alone or with friends, the art of fika is finding the time to take a break. And we also believe in the importance of good coffee. Enjoying a great cup of coffee in a nice environment is a little luxury that adds to the overall customer experience. That’s why we’ve taken the time to design an inviting office space which provides the opportunity for working as well as relaxing. We want our office to be a welcoming space for clients to use whenever they like. Somewhere you can drop in whenever suits you, whether you just fancy being in a chilled-out space to catch up with emails or to have a chat over coffee.
Xero Integrated Apps that Pack a Punch
In this connected, digital age, we have an abundance of knowledge at our fingertips. And there’s an ever-growing potential for streamlining your business through intuitive apps which connect to Xero. Speaking to Xero App Partners at Xerocon, we took the time to find out about some great apps which integrate with Xero and provide you with additional value:
- Online banks Tide and Starling integrate with Xero and only take minutes to set up.
- Soldo provide prepaid Mastercards while eliminate the need for expense apps.
- Fluidly is intelligent cashflow management software which offers daily, weekly and monthly predictions of cashflow based on Xero data. No more Excel, no more spreadsheets.
These are just a few of the many apps which connect to Xero. We’ll be creating quick, informative videos around these apps in the coming weeks, chatting about their benefits and the additional value they can provide.
Where Digital and Analogue Collide
All in all, Xerocon was an informative, inspiring and fun couple of days. (Believe it or not, accountants know how to party!) The conference showcased the capabilities of intuitive software to streamline your business and make your life easier, freeing up important time for you to focus on growing your business. But with all this automation, Xero’s MD and co-founder Gary Turner also emphasised the importance of human-to-human connections. In a technology-driven world, having empathy and care for your customers is more important than ever. By designing for humans and putting customers at the heart of the process, business owners need to find the balance between digital and analogue. Automation can make our lives easier in myriad ways, but human interaction is something which no app can ever replace.