Xerocon in the back garden of Receipt Bank’s founding headquarters is always a big deal. And as 2018 shapes up to be the year of possibility for Xero Partners, this was the place to plot your path forward.
Our team have deep roots in the Xero UK community and our partners and team did not disappoint. Here’s what we learned, and how we’re helping accountants and bookkeepers prepare for the future.Open APIs, Open Future
In the last UK Xerocon before Making Tax Digital (MTD) ushers in a new era of technology for Britain’s tax system, Xero UK MD Gary Turner reminded the 3,000+ attendees and vendors to stay, in his words, “Human at heart.”
On the same day as announcing the full public beta for their MTD system, Gary reminded the audience of their responsibilities.
“We have a responsibility as a collective. If we’re about to move the world of business from analogue to digital, then [accountants and bookkeepers] are the ones who will have to do it,” he explained.
One of the ways Xero is looking to help usher in this new age is with their open Bank API, which gives ecosystem apps the chance to build new solutions based on bank data accessed through Xero.
In the words of Xero Ecosystem GM, “Xero is only as powerful as the information you connect.” Our mission has always been to make it easier for you to get the information you need from your clients, so they can make those valuable connections.
So we were thrilled to introduce Bank Statement Extraction, as well as a sneak peak into our Bank Fetch capability. Combined, these tools will make it easier than ever for clients and accountants to share complete, reliable bank data.
Pushing the Boat Out
Connections also matter on a human level. That’s why we were thrilled to welcome nearly 600 guests onto the floating Sunborn Hotel the night before Xerocon kicked off. Receipt Bank partners and new faces came to eat, drink, learn and dance, hearing from Xero UK MD Gary Turner, Receipt Bank CEO Alexis Prenn, as well as some of our leading practice partners.
Many of our Partners then stayed the night, enjoying a room on the yacht packed with exclusive Receipt Bank swag such as robes and slippers.
So, this evening sums up perfectly why I love #Xerocon. Music, drinks, lots of familiar faces, some great new ones and inspirational talks. @ReceiptBank are already killing it on the #swag and oh, it’s not even started yet! Time to get some kip before it starts proper! pic.twitter.com/xTx5l6UqdL— Jonathan Bareham (@JonathanBareham) November 13, 2018
Guests then rose bright and early for a knowledge sharing breakfast. Across two stages, six of Receipt Bank’s leading partners swapped insights and advice on how to stay ahead in the Xero practice ecosystem.
For Penny Rowden, of Rowdens Accouncancy, which was later named Small Practice of the Year, it comes down to putting your clients first.
“Don’t look at the apps available. Look at your clients. Talk to them, and find out what’s worrying them, what their goals are. That’s how you can find your way around the ecosystem, otherwise it’s just too much technology.”
The Power of Possibility
The question of what to do with the tools available was a common refrain at the conference. How do you make the most of this era of technological abundance?
The Xero ecosystem now includes over 700+ apps for every kind of client. With so many choices, the hard part becomes how to use them to add value for your firm. Xero is now looking to help advisors choose the right apps for them, whether it’s through Xero App Recommendations, or through their new app advisory series.
Our CPO John Connolly brought his own point of view to this issue in his Gold Stage presentation on Day 2.
“The Product Is You: Creating the Future of Your Own Terms” focused on how accountants and bookkeepers can set themselves up for success, no matter what the future brings, by thinking like a product designer.
It all starts with realising that your future is in your hands, and that you can’t wait for anyone to tell you what your purpose is. That’s true whether you’re talking about Xero, HMRC, or even Receipt Bank. Change and evolution isn’t something that you do once. t’s something you must embrace every day. Finally, don’t be afraid of dreaming big.
It all starts with a choice.
“At Receipt Bank, our best partners are the ones who start a relationship with us to push their own limits, to make their own future. Not the ones who buy because they are starting to lose clients to their competitor down the road.
Whether it’s our partners, or your clients, one of those ‘wants’ to be there. One ‘has’ to be there. Choose the people who ‘want’ to be with you. Choose those who have made a ‘choice’”
The truth of these words hit hardest on the night of the Xero awards, and provided an inspiring example of how Receipt Bank partners are leading the way.
Receipt Bank partners won in every category. The full list includes:
- Sole Practitioner of the Year: Avery Martin
- Small Firm of the Year: Rowdens
- Mid-Sized Firm of the Year: Blu Sky
- Large Firm of the Year: Albert Goodman
- 100% Xero Firm: Lewis Ballard
- App Advisor of the Year: BDO UK
- Most Valued Professionals: Cheryl Price and Mark Telford
- Partner of the Year - Ireland: Beyond Accounting
- Emerging Partner - Ireland: RDA Accountants
- Partner of the Year - South Africa: Core Group
- Emerging Partner - South Africa: BVSA
The Orange Experience
As well as leading the way in Xero awards, Receipt Bank partners were also a leading presence in conversations throughout the event. Both Will Farnell, of Farnell Clarke, and Della Hudson, formerly of Hudson Accounting, were there to promote their own books on creating a successful digital practice
We now work with over 25,000 accountants and bookkeepers worldwide. Helping firms achieve their goals is what we do, and there’s no better way to do it than face to face with remarkable accountants and bookkeepers.
Every Xerocon brings something different, but we always leave energised about the future, thanks to our amazing partners.
- 250+ professionals demoed our market leading software at the Receipt Bank booth
- 550+ accountants and bookkeepers stopped by the Receipt Bank Yacht Party
- 120+ Partners staying the night at the Sunborn Hotel and swapping tips over breakfast
- 50 Receipt Bank team members from around the world bringing global expertise to the UK Xero community
- 11 Receipt Bank Partner Firms sweeping the Xero Awards