From today, our US customers will be able to apply to receive their banking data directly from City National Bank into Xero. Xero has a number of direct relationships with financial institutions, particularly in New Zealand and Australia, and City National Bank will be the first US bank to offer direct feed support to Xero in this way.
Direct feeds offer greater certainty around the time of data arrival, can have richer transactional information and may provide a more consistent experience for customers who are experiencing duplicate or missing transactions with other banks.
How does an accounting practice attract creative clients? By being creative itself.
When Nick Lawrence, CEO of NWN Blue Squared, isn’t working with creative clients or managing NWN’s marketing team, he can usually be found relaxing with an assortment of musicians, bands and rock managers or DJing a set in clubs around the world. Not necessarily what you would expect of an accounting practice CEO, but that’s what attracts creative clients to NWN – the unexpected. And UnXpected just happens to be the theme of the NWN Blue Squared/Xero client event held recently in London.
But let’s start at the beginning…
We introduced you to NWN Blue Squared in Growing your practice through marketing – a global perspective as one of our Xero partners who is using the Xero Co-operative Advertising fund to help implement their marketing campaign aimed at growing their client base.
Over the last few months Nick, with help from Nina Michell, UK Marketing Manager for Xero, has been working to develop an out-of-the-ordinary client event “promoting both the NWN and Xero brands and proving that not all accountants are dull and boring”. Nick took time out of his event preparations to talk to us about their process.
Technology is changing the face of accountancy and NWN needs to connect effectively with clients and other business partners. “We want to raise the profile of the NWN brand as specialists in accountancy and business advice for the creative industries,” says Nick. “And we want to show our human side, which is why our objectives fit so well with those of Xero.”
Creatives form a significant part of NWN’s customer base and is a big part of their strategy for growth. NWN organises their customers’ business lives while they get on playing music, writing books, making films and generally being creative. So an ordinary client event like a seminar or round of golf probably wouldn’t create buzz in this sector, but a music gig would! Enter UnXpected.
“We had a number of ideas, some of them really ambitious. We decided we’d keep it relatively simple but make sure there was plenty of fun. We have some pretty powerful contacts in the creative industries, so it made sense to use them,” explained Nick.
And use them they did. All the performers are NWN clients and Xero users and they agreed to perform without hesitation. The venue was chosen to reflect both the event and the NWN brand. And another client, Cass Productions made the video below and filmed the gig.
Most weeks at Xero are pretty big, but last week was particularly huge, as we announced a chain of significant UK milestones at our second Xerocon conference in London.
- 12 months after our inaugural Xerocon conference in London we welcomed almost 500 attendees. This included 22 Add-on Partners to a landmark two-day event staged at the historic 18th century Brewery in London.
- We announced that we’d reached 30,000 paying UK customers, a straight doubling up from the 15,000 we announced the year before. We now have more than 1,200 UK accountants and bookkeepers as partners.
- We published the results of a cloud adoption survey which showed that online accounting was quickly approaching a tipping point in the UK.
- After Xerocon, we were covered in a number of mainstream press publications as the breakout challenger to Sage’s incumbency in the UK. In fact, a staggering £200 million has fallen from Sage’s market cap since our Xerocon conference in London, so impressed were members of the press and analyst community who attended a dedicated briefing on Tuesday.
- On Wednesday we opened our second office location in the UK, smack bang in the heart of central London.
It was fitting that all the fireworks we set off last week happened at Xerocon in London. It served as a great launchpad for our new physical presence in the city after establishing our initial UK operational base 30 minutes outside London in the highly functional but oddly-named Milton Keynes – just 18 short months ago.
As a city, London is remarkable for many, many things.
It’s an overcast morning in London and everyone’s grabbing their lanyards and coffee ready for Xerocon UK 2013!
23 September 00:00 GMT
We are currently experiencing performance issues with Australian Payroll. This is affecting all payroll users and will be causing slowness and occasional freezes.
Our operations and development teams are working on a resolution and we have identified a likely cause. We do not have a ETA for resolution at this point. We will update again in 30 minutes.
We apologize for the inconvenience this is causing.
UPDATE (Monday 23rd Sep, 00:53 GMT) The Payroll team has identified the cause of the Payroll issues and are currently working on a fix. At this stage we do not have an ETA for rolling out the fix but we will update again within 60 minutes with our progress.
UPDATE (Monday 23rd Sep, 01:46 GMT) We have released an update that fixes the performance issues with Australian Payroll. Thank you for your patience while we resolved the problem.
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After the Xerocon USA 2013 wrap-up, we had 2 more great events with Partners – the Gala Awards Dinner and an exclusive eye-in-the sky viewing of the 1st America’s Cup yacht race.
Gala Awards Dinner
To celebrate the support and achievement of some outstanding Xero Partners during the 18 months we’ve been going in the US, we hosted a gala dinner and presented awards. The evening was held in the very unique and stunning Waka Maori on the Emirates Team New Zealand base.
Xerocon US 2013 Award Winners:
The winners of this years awards have shown leadership in both the accounting industry as well as will cloud technology. We are humbled to be a part of such a forward-looking community of advisors and technology leaders. A big thanks to the Awards Committee who helped us choose the winners: Greg LaFollette, Jason Blumer, Joe Woodard, Jim Bourke, Damien Greathead and Michelle Golden.
What a fantastic couple of days at our first US Xerocon! Great to host over 400 partners and Xero fans in San Francisco and share our story, vision and what’s coming up in the product, partner program and Xero ecosystem. Xerocon USA 2013 was the biggest Xerocon debut for a region yet so we’re feeling pretty excited for the future here.
Jamie, President US Operations kicked things off and set the scene for the great partnerships we’re building with accountants, bookkeepers and add-on partners on our journey into the future of accounting.
First up, Rod talked about the space we’re in, the small business market and the huge part our Partners, trusted advisors for small business owners play in this market. Technology plays a main role in the lives of small business owners – mobile technology, social technology and small business are all mixed in – it changes how they do business, their opportunities and their expectations. Rod shared the Xero journey, the frustration felt by himself and co-founder Hamish using desktop software … “there’s got to be a better way!” So they set about building something that would work and that’s become our vision – connecting small businesses and their financial advisors and building that connection to be successful and fun! If the right things are recorded, measured and improved then businesses can become more productive. We’re not just building software and shoving it on shelves, we’re building connections.
The first US Xerocon has just kicked off here in San Francisco. It’s our biggest debut for a region ever with over 400 accounting professionals and Xero Partners attending! Welcome everyone to Xerocon USA!
Ahead of us we have 2 days of accounting conference. This includes a deep dive into Xero, what it does now and new features coming, and a look into the future of accounting. There are lots of extra-curricular activities like networking, Xero certification, America’s Cup events and a gala dinner. At the dinner we’ll hand out the first Xero Awards in the US to celebrate great partners on board with Xero so far.
If you’re on Twitter, follow along with the hash tag #xerocon or check out this Twitter wall on Strea.ma. We’ll be uploading photos throughout the next 2 days into our Xerocon US 2013 album on Flickr.
We’ll post a debrief of the conference tomorrow.
UPDATE (30 Sept, 2013) – the new calculator was released to sales invoices, bills and spend/receive money grids
While still actively working on some of our bigger projects (in particular, improved reporting and purchase orders) we’ve just sneaked in a brand new feature we’ve been working on. We’re calling it the inbuilt calculator because, well, it’s a calculator and it’s built-in. It helps you enter data using simple formula rather than having to pull out your pocket calculator. Also nice to be able to make progress on another top ten Community feature request.
It’s not been introduced everywhere yet though – we wanted to get your feedback first. So head on over to the Manual Journals screen to give it a test drive. Note this is only available for users with the Adviser (previously known as Financial Adviser) role.
Here’s how it works.
Enter a formula into either the Debit or Credit column,
tab (or click) away and voila, the result appears.
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You wanted it – you got it. ASB will be delivering credit card feeds directly to New Zealand businesses using Xero from the 11th of September.
ASB and Xero announced a strategic alliance earlier this year and we’re beginning to see that partnership bear fruit. Credit card feeds will be the first deliverable from our work together and heralds a few other initiatives that are on the way.