Xerocon 18 - An Illumin8-ed Highlight of Xero's Annual Conference

You could expect that after sending a bunch of accountants to Xerocon, an accounting software conference, that they’d come back raving about the latest technology and accounting-y things. And in part, you’d be right...
September 10, 2018
Xero
by
Andrew Van De Beek

Whisky connoisseur. Utah Jazz fanatic. Father of 2. Chief of passion

You could expect that after sending a bunch of accountants to Xerocon, an accounting software conference, that they’d come back raving about the latest technology and accounting-y things. And in part, you’d be right, we saw so much amazing technology, everything from artificial intelligence, to machine learning, to blockchain. We honestly cannot wait to start using all the new things Xero has whipped up. Stay tuned on that.

Yet for the Illumin8 team this year, we were profoundly moved, not just by the tech wizards, but by those who shared their brave stories of asking why. Because it’s in our why, that we find places of improvement. It’s in our why, we find healthy work balance. It’s in our why, that we’re able to bring our best. It’s in our why that you, our clients benefit and thrive the most.

Illumin8 at Xerocon 2018

With all that said, we asked they team what their biggest takeaways and highlights were, read through below. And check out the latest Xero updates. 

Ruled By Work or Work Rules - Kate

Sometimes we let our work rule us. We get lost in our to do list. We lose sight of the horizon and only see a few meters in front of us. And that can become overwhelming and exhausting. Two days of hearing about everything from app solutions to figuring out your why has further boosted my excitement for my job, my clients, and our future. 

Client Love - Sarah

I’ve come away wanting to see our clients really impacted by what I’ve learned. It’s really important to recognise the pain points in your business, like time consuming or frustrating tasks, in order to make business improvements. You might not necessarily know what the solution is, or where to go from there, but knowing what your pain points are allows us to step in. There are heaps of cool apps and tech innovations integrating with Xero that can likely solve these pain points and allow you to recover time to be better spent.

Illmin8 Accountants at Xeroon 2018

The Why & Why Robots? - Katee

I never thought that this ‘fitspo’ and sports fanatic would be engaged by artificial intelligence, machine learning, and blockchain technologies. Who am I? While it can seem a little scary to think about robots taking over, as humans we need to focus on what we’re good at and embrace the robots bring innovation and freedom in the background.

Having values in life and business become a clear guiding force, they become orientating, and provide direction as we stick to them. I learned that providing and establishing a work life that enables an individual to have time with their top two values will extend their life span, while also enhancing their job satisfaction & efficiency. How good is that?

If we focus on purpose and passion in our daily work/business we can collectively change the lives of millions to be more fulfilled, and profitable. It always comes back to why. There are hundreds of tech solutions and apps to save businesses time & money, but if we don’t understand the why behind implementing them, we stray from our purpose and simply create more workload to service the robots that are banging heads.

Human Focused - Andrew

The theme of the conference was ‘human'. I loved how they were able to connect aspects of technology, mindset, storytelling and others to show that the key component within all of them is the person.

Gill Hicks, a survivor of London bombings spoke powerfully on the the topic, people are everything

Go1 - This is an interesting training and development platform tool that syncs in with Xero to allow for better learning solutions for others.

Xero has added a few simple things to make reconciling easier - including automatic reconciling of bank rules! C’mon!

Finding The Balance - Michael

Sharon McClafferty’s presentation on work/life balance was a standout. The need to constantly reevaluate what you do, how you do it and if that is helping or hindering your ability to achieve your life goals. Leading off that, creating a more efficient workplace through the use of tech and robust processes to shorten your work days or work weeks.

People, Platforms & Purpose - Shane

Xerocon never fails to bring together some of the coolest people in the industry to discuss anything from new SAAS, software as a service, products to what little they added to their checklists that saved their butts.

Xero keeps pushing itself as the centre of the small business financial web ecosystem. What does that mean for us? More add-ons. More data collaboration. More automation possibilities.

Xero has again pushed us to think about what drives us outside the workplace, and to make sure that what we do for work supports who we are, and makes us happy.

New features and updates announced at Xerocon include:

  • Automatic reconciling of bank rules
  • Run balance amounts for reports that were previously unable
  • The files required​ ​feature​ is​ ​a new, more efficient way for advisors to identify and collect client documents in one place, taking the guesswork out of tax preparation and cutting down time spent chasing information.
  • A new, more intuitive invoicing experience, ​tapping into machine learning insights for each business, making it easier to invoice customers and speed up time to pay.
  • Xero email-to-bills​,​ ​a popular machine learning feature for Xero bills​, is being expanded to extract and automatically populate details from any email PDF bill into Xero, saving businesses hours each month on data entry.
  • The Xero app marketplace is now more powerful, ​with a new way for advisors to get curated app recommendations for their clients, and showcase their expertise in technology integrations to prospective clients.
  • Powerful Xero Projects integration ​which enables users to share timesheet information across both features, saving time and ensuring a single source of truth.

In Summary

We’re excited for next year. And we are SO excited to take all that we’ve learned this year, implement it, and continue to see our clients’ businesses go from strength to strength. 

Xero
September 10, 2018
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