I run a technology support business, I am not an accountant or bookkeeper but I am very excited about Xerocon next week. Why?
Getting excited about accounting has never been a major part of my personality so eighteen months ago when I was asked if I would like to go to Xerocon London 2013, I hesitated. Yes, I was very impressed with Xero. I had moved to it from a clunky desktop program in April that year and yes that transfer went very smoothly and yes I now understood my accounts better than ever before, but an Accounting conference, seriously?!
“Please join me, I’d like to know if I’m backing the right horse? I’d like to know more about what you think of Xero from a technical point of view” asked Emma Northcote-Green of Fresh Financials who looks after all the bookkeeping and accounts for my business.
“I also think it will be fun”, Emma said. “Sure,” I said “Iet’s go. You’ve helped me so much in my business, I’d love the opportunity to help you more with yours.” At that point I had no idea how much that decision, was going to transform the future of my business.
“Cloud is the biggest change ever for small business”
For me, the keynote by Xero’s CEO, Rod Dury set the tone for the event.
“Cloud is the biggest change ever for small business”, he claimed and I sat there nodding my head in total agreement. “Online accounting is about connecting. Small businesses connecting to larger businesses, to banks, to governments,” he continued. For me, Xerocon wasn’t an Accounting conference anymore, this was an event about opportunity, connectivity, productivity and transformation. This was ticking all my boxes.
The day continued and my enjoyment grew. I was in a room of people who understood the benefits of the cloud. These people weren’t just accountants and software developers, they were disruptors, transformers, innovators, connectors, enablers, interesting and purposeful people. And now I could see what Emma had seen several months previously when she started using Xero, this was software that could really transform business for the better.
“work used to be a place, now it’s anywhere, anytime”
In the afternoon, Stuart McLean – Xero’s Chief Revenue Officer, argued that “work used to be a place, now it’s anywhere, anytime.” I agreed but thought only if you have the right tools. Having worked at Google, he certainly knew about technology that worked.
As the day went on I was now starting to really appreciate how Xero combined with the right Add-ons could enable you to work anywhere, anytime. And when you are not working, there is no need to worry about losing work, as the technology continues to work without you!
For me this was a lightbulb moment. I started in IT support 24 years ago and the amount of frustrating and expensive problems caused by desktop accounting software makes my head hurt just thinking about it. Xero is the answer. It is the better way of doing it and it is only going to get better and better.
My mind was buzzing about how Xero could really resolve so many IT headaches for so many people. That’s when I decided to change the direction of my business and focus purely on helping people to move to the cloud.
So why am I so excited about going to Xerocon 2015?
- If this event is even half as good as the last it will be so worth it.
- Listening to the insights and advice from Rod Dury, Gary Turner and the Xero team.
- I want to learn more about the Add-ons, the excellent ones we already use (listed below) and the others that I don’t know about yet.
- Hoping there will be some news about a UK Cloud Integrator program.
- Hoping to meet people who have Cyber Essentials on their radar.
- Meeting new people to share ideas and ways of doing things better.
- To have lots of fun!
I met some incredible people at Xerocon 2013 and I remember saying to Emma, “Thank you so much for inviting me. You have so backed the right horse by choosing to become a Xero Partner.”
Since Xerocon 2013, Flying Fox IT and Fresh Financials have collaborated on a lot of cloud integration projects, implementing the best technology for our respective clients, and then providing on-going training and support. Flying Fox IT offers Google Apps for Business, Dropbox for Business, LastPass and other cloud based services, we advise, implement and train businesses with the right cloud solution for their needs. We are then able to have a conversation around the benefits of Xero and then I pass them onto Emma at Fresh Financials.
What Add-ons am I currently using?
At Flying Fox IT we use several excellent and highly recommended Xero-Add-ons:
- Chaser.io for credit control,
- Quotient for quoting
- Receipt Bank for purchase invoice processing.
- Everything is automated, everything is in the cloud and it all just works.
We are always on the look out for more Add-ons and integrations. After seeing first hand how much time WorkflowMax can save a business, this is high on my radar to look at next and their blog is excellent (http://www.workflowmax.com/blog).
“We drink our own champagne!”
Xero Partners are not just their client’s trusted advisors for finance but when they recommend the right technology such as Xero and it’s Add-ons, they can be trusted advisors for all the technology that runs the business. We only recommend solutions if we are using it ourselves in our businesses. Some people refer to that as “eating our own dogfood”, Emma and I prefer to say “We drink our own champagne!”