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Hubdoc was acquired recently, there is a new deeper partnership with Stripe and also a global agreement with PwC. Straight from Tony’s mouth is that we can expect more of these kinds of things to happen. I also found it interesting that PwC was starting to speak like a software.
They announced a deeper partnership with Stripe which entails a new Stripe feed and makes reconciling deposits much easier. They also announced the ability to collect payments through the Stripe terminal assets = liabilities + equity from a phone. Soon to come will be the ability to have customers set up recurring invoices. The app marketplace has been revamped to help small businesses and accountants find the perfect solutions.
The keynotes over the course of the two days illustrate where we’re headed with the Xero product roadmap. I’d like to say a big thanks to all of you that attended and for those who we met with – we really appreciate you making the time to attend. ‘Communities of purpose’ is the theme for Xerocon events this year, and it made its debut in San Diego. The community we are building in the Americas is incredible and the relevance of the theme was palpable in the air. It was great to see people attend from so many different places across the Americas. We had a large contingency from Canada and also welcomed representatives from Mexico, Puerto Rico and Latin America.
Learn the latest from industry thought leaders focused on the future of accounting. Stripe, a global payments processor, helps businesses get paid 15 days faster. Stripe connects natively to Xero allowing for auto-payment of recurring invoices.
These checks can take 24 hours or more and so the bank feed has to decide how to display these pending transactions in the accounting software. We plan to host various virtual and in-person meetups in cities across the Americas.
The new feed adds individual items to the transaction data for any Stripe payment whether via Xero invoice or e-commerce platform. Xero claims that this level of integration is the deepest of all the accounting platforms. Given that Intuit has a payments service that competes with Stripe, it’s clear that the Xero-Stripe partnership has a lot of common ground. We’re on a mission to continue building a product that solves acute challenges faced by accountants and bookkeepers when engaging and managing client relationships. This raise will enable us to continue building a product that solves acute challenges faced by accountants and bookkeepers when engaging and managing client relationships. Xero, the global small business platform and Stripe, a software platform for running an internet business, are working on solutions to make client invoicing more efficient and to offer more insight into business performance. The first two tools being launched under the partnership are the Stripe Feed and Auto Pay.
We have an aggressive plan for memberships and partnerships growth, to provide our members with the best in class tools and resources. We are encouraged by the camaraderie and collaboration in the community; seeing members share referrals, best practices, and troubleshooting issues in real-time. We look forward to working alongside our technology partners as they embrace the opportunity to serve the Latino small business community in the US and across the Americas.
He introduced his keynote with the statistic that 50% of small businesses fold within five years. Comparatively, 85% of small businesses connected to a Xero accountant are still in business after five years. It’s a statistic that we’ve had on our website for about a year now, but in that moment of Steve’s presentation it felt like it finally sunk into me just what we’ve been able to do for our clients. As such attending XEROCon means walking around the booths, interacting with app and developer partners to understand what they can help bring to the table. I’m an entrepreneurial CPA that founded Xen Accounting, a 100% cloud-based accounting firm, in 2013. Following its acquisition in 2018, I started Future Firm to help accountants fast-track the growth of a modern, scalable accounting firm of their own. Xerocon is an excellent forum for not only our partners, but also our investor communities.
This year’s Xerocon felt like it validated all of the process changes and technology adaptations we’ve implemented and helped clients implement throughout the year. There’s still time to embrace cloud technology and I want to help anyone I can adapt, because it’s a change for good. If you’re still faxing documents to the firm, there’s an easier way and we’d love to help. XERO Con is the location where most product updates and launches get announced. Knowing things before they actually are available gives many accountants the edge to be able to deliver a better product to their clients. Attendance at the event also gives early-access to some of these features before they are rolled out to the whole userbase.
Cryptocurrency is still a bit of a wild west, with over 2,000 cryptocurrencies on the market and no consistency in data capture. And we can’t talk about the transformation of accounting without mentioning blockchain, which Mathew May, founder of Acuity, discussed during a breakout session. When 12 people got sick from Romaine lettuce, Walmart removed Romaine lettuce from all its stores, with a cost in the millions. Walmart now requires all suppliers to use an internal blockchain to trace goods. Over my lifetime, accounting has transformed from a paper and pencil, fully manual operation where speed and accuracy with a ten-key was an essential skill.
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This enhanced integration will include the ability to set up recurring invoices in Xero as automatic payments via Stripe. The Stripe transactions will be imported as direct feeds into Xero, eliminating the challenge of reconciling Stripe payments, fees and invoices. With the goal of automation and artificial intelligence in mind, Xero’s platform is built around a single ledger and system record. A code-free accounting future can be a reality when combining these features with the recent acquisition of Hubdoc.
Kanungo explained that we are a part of an exponential era and accountants will be a major part of this shift in change. Accounting will be automated in the future, and the exponential term was used, which focuses on the future of a field when combining technology, platforms, and growth. However, there is no option to manually add a purchase order, account code or client job at the time of purchase. The mobile app in Intuit’s QuickBooks Online, released well before Xero Expenses, lets you assign an expense to the customer at the time of capture then processes the rest of the receipt via machine learning. We have machine learning at work in that it will automatically scan the image and enter information such as tax, price, date, and the name of the supplier.
The new learning portal simplifies the process of getting certified, giving users the ability to stay up to date on the latest product updates and learning content. And with new learning badges, accountants and bookkeepers can market their specializations to prospective clients, from product and app specializations to industry expertise in construction, retail and other industries. My major takeaway that is also relevant to small business owners is focused around digital content marketing and personal brands. It’s natural to become an expert in the field you work in; however, it’s incredibly difficult to make potential clients and customers aware of your expertise.
And where accurate period-end numbers took weeks to compile, to a high-tech, automated operation, with accurate numbers in real time. As Kanungo said, change requires unlearning, and sometimes we need to “drop our tools,” a reference to firefighters who survive sudden changes in a fire by dropping their tools and running. To a firefighter, those tools become a part of their identity and abandoning them feels like leaving behind a part of themselves.
The event was our largest yet in the Americas where we welcomed over 1,000 accounting and bookkeeping partners and exhibitors, along with analysts, xerocon san diego investors and media. Contrast that with the new tech announcements at Xerocon, which included an expansion of the partnership with Stripe.
But the biggest change here is that the Stripe feed, available globally in the next few months, will finally be treated as a bank feed. Users who connect Stripe on online bookkeeping invoices will see a feed set up automatically on their behalf. This is one reason why accountants and bookkeepers are still reconciling against bank statements.
Xero is also collaborating with PwC to allow local PwC firms around the world to provide quick access for their clients to access the Xero platform. Xero has announced a partnership with Stripe to develop new innovations that will help businesses get paid faster, in more ways, and gain more visibility over their business performance. Accounting Today is a leading provider of online business news for the accounting community, offering breaking news, in-depth features, and a host of resources and services. Xero had some fascinating speakers in their lineup such as Shawn Kanungo, Kelly McGonigal, Maysoon Zayid and members of the Xero team. Kelly McGonigal discussed stress management in detail and gave great suggestions on how to combat stress.
Another comment that I found interesting was that he said that the best companies in the world are the ones that are the most vulnerable to disruption, even though they have the best people. One reason is because they get really nostalgic of their model and get caught up in it. These are like the Blockbuster’s and Sears’ of the world, which reminded me that these companies did not evolve fast enough to avoid extinction, something that could certainly happen to many traditional firms out there. Despite the promises of blockchain as an immutable, decentralized and transparent ledger, the main way that accountants encounter blockchain is via clients with cryptocurrency investments.
Author: Emmett Gienapp