Xerocon 2019 – How Might You Benefit?

As many of our clients will be aware, Mark and I have been living it up at Xerocon 2019, a magnificent 3 day event designed to bring together the leading minds in the industry with a passion for all things Xero. Our time there has given us a valuable opportunity to speak to numerous add-on partners, other accountancy professionals and Xero representatives, allowing us to discuss the latest developments, best practice and exciting opportunities for MJH Accountants and our clients.

We attended lectures held by Gary Turner (the Co-founder and Managing Director at Xero UK, responsible for Xero’s business operations across Europe) and Brad Burton (the UK’s #1 Motivational Business Speaker). We also listened to astronaut and best-selling author Tim Peake’s fascinating tale of his time on the International Space Station.

Astronaut Tim Peake on his time aboard the International Space Station.

Of course, such a large scale event wouldn’t be complete with only intellectual nourishment. Fortunately Xerocon had many others in the form of entertainment, food and drinks to keep us sustained and break up the day. Throughout the event Xero plied us with copious quantities of coffee, food (and alcohol), not to mention the Xerocon party which saw an indoor carousel, helter skelter, dodgems, live bands and various freshly prepared food stalls. ExCeL Arena, in Canning Town, London, is a large complex, with a feeling similar to being inside an airport. The large scale arenas booked by Xero were more than large enough for the exhibitions, auditorium and indoor amusement park!

James and Mark on the Carousel in front on the live band.

Take a closer look below at what happened during our time there and find out what exciting new opportunities we will be bringing to our clients…

Numero – an MJH service

Many of you may already be aware of our Numero bookkeeping service currently used by our clients, which was rolled out in March 2019. After our fruitful visit to Xero and exposure to the latest advancements, MJH is pleased to announce plans to reinvent our Numero service into an all encompassing financial services and advisory package. It is clear from our visit to Xerocon that accountants at the forefront of the industry are driving the shift towards cloud accounting for their clients, enabling them to access the many benefits that come with it. Businesses on Xero in particular have the unique advantage of being able to link with the most advanced software available, allowing businesses to automate the recording of bills more accurately and faster than before. In turn, the efficiencies gained through this feature, as well as open banking, will allow Xero users to have up to date reliable financial information at their fingertips which we at MJH can transform into timely advisory information for you and your business.

Advances in management information

MJH are proud to have been at the forefront of the industry, having been with Xero right from the start. By having close links to the industry, and ensuring we are capitalising on the latest advancements we are now able to provide our clients with close to real time management information, along with (drum roll please) CASH FLOW FORECASTS integrated with Xero.

Only 5% of accountants have made the move to “Advisory” from simply compliance and it is clear that the industry will be more heavily focused on advisory in the future. MJH Accountants will be ahead of most accountants in this respect and will be improving our management accountancy service to include KPIs and various business metrics to help businesses track relevant performance measures, giving them unique insight into their business.

Mark getting the low down on Spotlight for our management accounts clients.

Whilst services like these have been available in the past, the data behind the reports has historically been poor, simplified and untimely and for many accountants this will remain the case for some time. We can appreciate that our clients are competing in business and we encourage them to take advantage of the latest advances in the industry by staying ahead of the competition. To do this keep an eye out for our advisory packages soon to be released as part of our Numero service.

Advances in automation

As previously mentioned, the advancements in automation have seen huge efficiencies in the way of importing bills, with all our cloud accounting clients having been given access to Receipt Bank, many of you should be familiar with these. Fortunately, this is only going to improve over time with advancements in artificial intelligence. We are currently in the process of reviewing a number of apps (including Receipt Bank) to decide which to roll out as part of Numero.

The winner has yet to be decided, but I will say that we are testing highly impressive software that is able to capture line by line information of bills in mere seconds! It’s not hard to see the value of this to businesses as an incredible time saving technology. Our clients in particular, will be some of the earliest businesses in the UK to adopt this technology once we roll out our chosen software.

Meeting the software engineers behind EzzyBills.

Advances in finance

Increasingly, many of our clients have expressed an interest in a greater level of advice regarding their performance, with particular focus of cash flows and advice on what to do when they have cash flow issues. At MJH, we are currently looking into various finance providers to partner with, many of whom we met at Xerocon. This means that our clients will not only be able to predict their cash flows 3 – 12 months into the future, but will also be able to seek our help in securing finance should they require it as part of our Numero service.

We hope to unveil the details in full when we release our Numero service, but it is likely we will be able to help facilitate loans for our clients up to £250,000. Also, loans of up to £15,000 would only require a 5 MINUTE application and a decision IN SECONDS.

Key product update from Xero

Bill Payments

As a pleasant surprise to Xero users, Xero will soon be releasing a bill payment feature. This exciting feature will be similar to the current batch payment feature, but will soon be able to actually pay the bills as well from your chosen bank account!

By partnering with TransferWise, Xero will be able to post the batch payment AND instruct TransferWise to pay all your suppliers in one lump some to make your life easier. You simply need to transfer one lump sum to your TransferWise account and even this may become automated in the future.

The feature will require a TransferWise account which will be simple enough to set up through Xero and will also require users to ensure bank account information is stored on Xero for their suppliers. The feature should be very promising and should have the added benefit of encouraging businesses to keep a closer eye on the creditors on Xero, an element often overlooked.

During our visit to Xerocon, MJH has signed up to the Beta version of the feature, so MJH clients could be some of the first to adopt this excellent feature.

For more information, please visit the Xero blog here.

In summary

We had a fantastic time at Xerocon and are thoroughly looking forward to returning next year.

The insight into the industry has been invaluable and we are eager to bring the latest advancements to our valued clients, so please keep a look out for our Numero package to be released soon. Believe me, you are not going to want to miss it.

As always, if you have any questions at all please let us know.

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