Yesterday, Ronan Quirk published a blog on 3 years of Receipt Bank as a Xero add-on. The Receipt Bank Xero story is not a gripping tale of swashbuckling entrepreneurship but of old fashioned hardwork, a genuine partnership and a lot of fun.
It began with Gary Turner, the UK Managing Director of Xero, visiting our central London office in early 2011. My co-founder Michael and I outlined why we thought that a Xero Receipt Bank integration would be a good idea. From the beginning Gary was welcoming. Yes, Xero had a certification process and an open API and yes he would put us in touch with Ronan who would help us through the process. We were impressed... they even had a process for people like us!
We were also impressed that as he left the building while walking down the stairs he tweeted about his meeting with the “Boys” ( I was flattered ) from Receipt Bank. Impressive people these Xeros they can walk down stairs and tweet at the same time..
The initial integration was quickly completed - lots of features that we now take for granted like attaching the image were still to come… but we were in the game. Gradually a few Xero clients found us. Slowly the word spread amongst the Xero partners across the world - Paul from WOW in the UK, Brad at Wise Advice in Auckland and Guy and Lisa at Interactive Accounting in Sydney.
We woke one February morning to discover that we had been nominated for “Emerging Add-on of the Year” at Xerocon NZ. We had no idea that there was a Xerocon in Auckland and we had no idea they handed out awards… Quickly the nomination started to feel like a win. Once you have tasted awards success you want more…
We signed up for Xerocon London. Vend were there as were 300 Xero partners at the ICAEW or the Hogwarts of accountancy as Gary described the building. All the Xeros made us feel welcome Darren, Glen, Nina… in addition, so many new relationships were formed with winning Xero practices such as Stephen at Valued Accountancy, Jessica at Pillow May, Sharon at Kinder Pocock and Simon at SRK Accounting. To cap an amazing day we were honoured to win the award for “Add-on of the Year”. This is getting addictive...
And so began an exhilarating round of roadshows and conferences and forums spreading the word - in the UK, and New Zealand and eventually Australia. 22 locations round Australia… 12 presentations in New Zealand - no problem. We signed up for everything. Lots of air miles, many new friends - it was tiring but really fun. Thanks to the the Xero API team new possibilities regularly emerged which we incorporated as quickly as possible. The numbers of partner and clients started to accelerate - intoxicating..
In February 2013 building on the bridgehead of earlier visits Sophie Hossack, the first Receipt Banker moved from London to Auckland to accelerate the momentum of the relationship with Xero, the Xero partners and their clients in both New Zealand and Australia. In fact if you look on the website you can see who were the “founder” partners that adopted Receipt Bank at the very beginning. We signed up for Xerocon Sydney - perhaps almost 1,000 people. The biggest conference we had ever been to. By now we had enough people working at Receipt Bank that we had an A1 team… Alexis, Michael and Sophie and an A2 team… Ella, Nelson and Frazer. We sent the A1 team to Sydney! It was a joy that the Xerocon community welcomed us with open arms. We celebrated the 3rd Anniversary of founding of the company overlooking Sydney harbour clutching the “Xero Add-on of the Year, Australia” award - it doesn’t get better than this. From there to San Francisco for back-to-back Xerocons - Sophie stayed behind to manage the follow up from Sydney, Michael returned to London. Alexis flew to SF to be joined by Nelson - sort of 2/3rds of an A team! Once again the welcome from the home team Spencer, Peter, Michael and Ian was great. The American partners were enthusiastic. We vowed to return to support their efforts to bring Xero to the USA.
Some years ago we were given some advice - that to build a business of any substance in this modern connected digital world helpfulness and generosity are the cornerstones on which technical expertise must be built.
Over the last 3 years each and everyone of the Xero team, the Xero partners and the broader Xero community including the vibrant Add-ons has provided proof that this was the best advice any new business could receive.
We try every day to follow the example we have been shown - thank you to Rod for shaping the environment. Thank you to Gary for welcoming us in. Thank you to all for allowing us to make a contribution to this distinctive community - you have all been so generous with your help.