Xerocon 2019 Day one

13 November 2019 Malcolm Pope View all News

Malcolm Pope and five members of our Genus team are in London this week at Xerocon 2019.

Xerocon 2019 - Day 1 Morning

Today marks the first day of the annual trip to London for our team. As always Xerocon moves the bar of what to expect from a conference, not just an accounting conference, upwards.

The day started with a performance combining spoken word, rap and freestyle dancing. This was followed by a magic trick involving The Queen.

The first speaker was Steve Vamos. Xero’s CEO. Steve provided highlights of research which shows that the change seen is only going to get faster and more constant. There’s also an increasing requirement from business owners to look to their accountants for more support. Fortunately, we have been supporting our clients in this way for a number of years and are therefore well placed to help in the future.

This was also linked to the cash flow trends experienced in their research where Steve demonstrated that a lot of things go wrong before a business runs out of cash and accountants have a key part to play in provide insights and accountability around this.

Similar to the rationale behind our Genus team, Steve was passionate around not just the ‘what’ but that businesses need to understand the ‘what, so what and then now what’.

Gary Turner, Xero’s UK MD then took to the stage and started to provide an update on the progress made in the past year. This included their (and our!) part in the 2m MTD filings made so far, the opportunity which will arise in relation to open banking and the sheer volume of product enhancements which we keep on top of through a zealous attitude to ensuring that the team continually improve their knowledge on their software.

Gary also highlighted that Xero maintained its position as the UK’s most popular accounting software for SMEs. There are now well in excess of 536k Businesses on Xero.

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Gary then moved onto themes which we’ve seen before at talks at our manufacturing events where the UK’s productivity gap has increased following the financial crisis. His view was that the human element in this can not be underestimated and that the ‘war for talent’ will increase. We’ve seen this not just in our own business but that many of our clients have experienced the same. However, despite this, we will continue to recruit and retain the very best people we can.

Another element of addressing the productivity puzzle was around the access to capital which businesses require to be sustainable. This is consistent with a number of projects which our Genus and Corporate Finance teams have been working together in order to obtain additional funding for clients.

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Gary then moved onto the impact of late payments for owner managed businesses and the increasing options available for businesses to manage this process more effectively using technology. Again, this is consistent with our work with clients recently.

As an extension of Gary’s talk, Priya Lakhani shared her entrepreneurial story and the importance of using digitisation as an opportunity to revisit the approach of what is being done, rather than replicating manual processes in a digital way.

The remainder of the morning concentrated on updates to the core product. Highlights included improved cash flow reporting, better cash collection, a more streamlined process around payments and an improvement in reporting for small businesses. We’ll investigate these in more detail as and when they are released.

Xerocon 2019 takes place today and tomorrow.  More to follow......

 

 

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