Xerocon London 2018: Human at Heart

November 22, 2018 Jamie Shulman

Xerocon London

This past year has been extremely exciting for both Hubdoc and Xero. In addition to officially becoming part of the Xero family, we’ve also had the opportunity to connect with Xero partners around the world at Xerocons in Atlanta, Brisbane, and most recently London!

The core theme of every Xerocon this year was, of course, “human at heart”. This theme carried through in many ways at Xerocon Atlanta and Brisbane. Xerocon London was no different.

From the opening dance number that epitomized the connection between humans and technology, it quickly became evident that Xerocon London was not just about Xero’s product development or the future of the accounting industry – it was about people. The “human at heart” theme surfaced at Xerocon London in a few other notable ways.

Putting advisory services into action

85% of small businesses are able to survive past their first five years with the help of an advisor, compared to just 50% if they go at it alone! Xerocon London emphasized the critical role that accountants and bookkeepers – people – play in empowering the small business economy.

Recognizing the importance of the relationship between advisors and small business owners, Xero has worked to provide advisors with the tools they need to offer more robust advisory services. The focus of many of these efforts has been on app advisory. At Xerocon London, this extended to cash flow app advisory with the release of their cash flow playbook.

The conversation at Xerocon London was also heavily focused on compliance (more on that next). As the accounting technology ecosystem evolves to better manage compliance and automate administrative tasks, the area in which advisors can really make a difference is in the level and depth of their advisory services.

Adapting to the future

With Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT right around the corner, Xero introduced Dexter, the Digital Tax Advisor – just one element of their campaign to help promote awareness about the changes MTD will bring to small businesses (with an added human touch!).

As discussed at Xerocon, MTD signifies the beginning of a larger digital shift. The impact of this shift will extend beyond the accounting industry. It’s up to advisors to help their small business clients navigate these changes and prepare for the future – fortunately, this means even more exciting advancements will be made in accounting technology, enabling advisors to build stronger relationships with their clients, their employees, and their peers.

To learn more about how Xero can help you prepare for MTD, read this awesome piece by Anna Curzon, and be sure to check out Xero’s Making Tax Digital hub.

Keeping people first

As Gary Turner remarked in his keynote address, there were over 3,000 people in attendance at Xerocon London – i.e., not robots. In-person events like Xerocon always remind me that automation will continue to enable the accounting industry to thrive upon a foundation of human relationships.

As Hubdoc embarks upon our exciting future with Xero, we can’t wait to help advisors spend less time on administrative tasks and more time helping their small business clients.

Thanks for a wonderful Xerocon – we’re excited to continue to connect with advisors in the UK!

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About the Author

Jamie Shulman

Jamie is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Hubdoc. Prior to Hubdoc, Jamie was the co-founder of Sparkroom, a marketing analytics and lead generation platform for higher education. Previous to that, he was a practicing attorney at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in Palo Alto and Torys LLP in Toronto. He is a graduate of the JD-MBA program at the University of Toronto and has a degree in International Relations from Brown University.

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