So this week was Xerocon time again. It was Sharon’s 4th Xerocon, and Sharon, Jo and Julie went along for the full Xero experience, following a full day of XPAC (Xero Partner Advisory Council) for Sharon the day before Xerocon.
So what’s it all about? You may have noticed that we absolutely love Xero, and Xerocon embodies everything we love. It’s grown from having 200 attendees in 2012 to over 1,300 this year, and has just about outgrown Battersea Evolution, an awesome space. There were also over 60 add-on partners exhibiting – many of which we know very well and there was a key focus on the add-on ecosystem throughout the conference. We were also thrilled to take along two add-on clients of our own: Jon Leighton of neatly.io and Adam Cotton of SATFXOnline, and a third client Kate of The Beeline Company was on hand on Inslightly’s stand to share her experiences of Insightly, Xero and the add-on ecosystem.
Xerocon is packed full of awesome forward thinking accountants, bookkeepers and app developers, and it’s not your average accountancy conference – you can feel the enthusiasm, and it’s like a great big family reunion, meeting up with Xeros we’ve known throughout our journey (including Rod Drury CEO and Gary Turner UK MD) but also add-ons and like-minded accountants.
We also get catered for very well, and I was truly proud to see our clients The Shack Revolution providing Juice Bars at Xerocon.
So you’d expect Xerocon to be packed full of product updates, and this year Xero did not let us down. Not only are they upgrading payroll very shortly to include an employee app and every aspect of managing AutoEnrolment, but there are also lots of cool updates coming which will make work even more streamlined for you, and for us too, so that we can spend more time really helping you grow your businesses, instead of doing the books.
We were also treated to exceptional speakers throughout the 2 days including the very funny Fred MacAulay compering, Sir Ranulph Fiennes OBE, Dave Coplin, Chief Envisioning Officer for Microsoft (our favourite quote from the conference “when the winds of change blow some folks build a wall, while others build a windmill”), Dale Murray CBE and Jonathan MacDonald, of the Thought Expansion Network.
Some of the most forward thinking accountants were also on hand to share their experiences, and Sharon joined Paul Bulpitt, Stephen Paul and Craig Tyrrell on the main stage (55 metres!) for the Future-Proofing your Practice session.
The biggest take away from the conference is that Machine Learning is the future, and we can’t wait to see this tecchnology within Xero.
So enough about the conference – we have exciting news! Not only were we finalists for the 2nd year running in the 100% Xero Award, but Sharon was honoured with a very special award (there is only one other in the UK) Xero’s Most Valued Professional 2016! You can read more about all the Xero award winners here, and we were thrilled that our friends Chaser, Insightly, Fresh Financials and iZettle also won awards!
Gary Turner – MD of Xero UK had this to say about Sharon’s win:
“Sharon’s natural enthusiasm for great client service, together with her use of new technology to enable her clients to maximise their potential is something that we are delighted to recognise with this award. She has also been a highly valuable source of customer insights for us, too, enabling us to tune and improve Xero for the benefit of all our customers.”
This is a great endorsement for our commitment to the cloud ecosystem, and love of Xero, and compliments our 2 other recent awards: the Practice Excellence Awards 2015: Practice Growth of the Year and Winners of the Finance Award 2015: Excellence in Accounting Practices – Herefordshire.