Friday, 15 September 2017 16:29

Xero's big bang announcement to a big crowd at Xerocon

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Xero had plenty to tell its professional partners at its annual conference this week.

More than 3000 accountants and bookkeepers attended the Xerocon 2017 conference in Melbourne, leading Xero chief executive and founder Rod Drury (pictured) to exclaim "Holy shit, there are a lot of you!" when he walked out on stage to kick off the event.

The New Zealand-based company has more than one million subscribers worldwide — more than 500,000 in Australia — and has processed transactions totalling more than $1.5 trillion.

As previously reported, Xero used the event to announce a raft of new capabilities (including Xero expenses and Xero projects) and feature updates.

Some of the updates were quietly delivered in the last couple of weeks, some are scheduled for release in the next 90 days, and a few are further ahead.

Xerocon Rod Drury 560

While Xero projects was launched with professional services firms in mind, Xero plans to extend its features to other sectors including the construction industry. As usual, the plan is to provide the basic functionality, leaving developer partners free to create add-ons for those with more complex requirements

A mobile Xero projects app for iOS and Android will be released in the coming weeks or months, according to Xero projects lead Levi Allan, and this will allow on-the-spot time recording.

Smaller but significant changes announced for Xero — some just implemented, others due in the next 90 days, a few somewhat further away — include:

  • Increased granularity of user rights (the introduction of Xero projects and Xero expenses required changes in this area - just because employees can claim expenses or record the time they spend working on a job, there's no reason for them to have access to other parts of the system);
  • The inclusion of a QR code on invoices to make it easier for customers to pay invoices delivered on paper, or when they choose not to use the Pay Now button;
  • The increased use of machine learning, for example to reduce and hopefully eventually eliminate the need for users to manually code transactions to particular accounts;
  • Closer integration with banks to do away with the need to transfer transaction files – instead, payments made in Xero will be pushed to the bank account, but won't actually be made until authorised on the bank's platform; and
  • Xero's implementation of the new simpler BAS is already live, with direct lodgement to be added.

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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