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Celebrating 10 years of success at NZ’s annual Bookkeepcon

Mel Morris, Partner Community Manager, Xero NZ

Melanie Morris

Nov 10, 2020

Bookkeepcon is the annual conference held by the Institute of Certified NZ Bookkeepers (ICNZB), bringing together the New Zealand bookkeeping community to share ideas, experiences and learn new skills. This year’s conference was particularly special, as we celebrated 10 years of ICNZB. I wanted to give anyone who couldn’t make it just a taste of the inspiring speakers and also to announce our competition winner.

We’ve been on such an incredible journey over the last 10 years, and I am immensely proud of where the bookkeeping institute is today. To give you an idea of how much the profession has grown, when I started at Xero, the NZ Bookkeepers Facebook group had 150 members – we now have over 1,100.

David Bell, Director of Business Growth at Xero, kicked off the conference by acknowledging the incredible job bookkeepers have done to support small business this year. Coining bookkeepers and accountants the ‘fourth emergency service’, he relayed the crucial role they have played in helping their clients survive this year.

David emphasised how proud Xero is to be the founding sponsor of ICNZB. In the early days, Xero was an emerging accounting app and the bookkeeping profession was just getting started. The bookkeeping community has been instrumental to Xero’s growth in New Zealand and around the world. 

A truly inspiring story

William Pike held the audience spellbound with his story of being caught up in a freak natural disaster when Mount Ruapehu erupted in 2007. William was faced with having to accept he wasn’t going to make it, but miraculously woke up in intensive care – missing a leg.

William overcame an incredible mental and physical challenge, and made a resolve to go through rehabilitation to walk again and rebuild his life. His advice was to step outside your comfort zone, set a goal and create an opportunity for yourself. These are his top tips for success:

  1. Be clear on your purpose and vision
  2. Build a strong Whanau (family) and team around you
  3. Never underestimate yourself or your team

This life experience inspired the creation of the William Pike Challenge. Designed to improve resilience and wellbeing, the programme offers school students a challenging experience outside the classroom. William has also written a book, ‘Every Day’s a Good Day’ which tells his story of overcoming adversity. We’re very proud to have William as a Xero customer.

Inland Revenue driving transformation

Naomi Ferguson, Commissioner and Chief Executive at Inland Revenue (IR), spoke proudly about how far ICNZB has come. IR has played an influential role since the beginning, and Naomi acknowledged the important relationship bookkeepers have with the organisation and with small businesses in New Zealand.

Naomi shared insights on IR’s business transformation this year, and the considerable reduction errors they’ve seen in areas like payday filing. Like Xero, IR is embracing augmented intelligence to reduce manual processes – especially in auditing. 

As part of their digital transformation, IR is upgrading from E-File to gateway services (GWS) in April 2021. Xero Tax is ready for this changeover so you don’t experience any interruption to your ability to lodge returns. Watch out for webinars early next year explaining the changes for 2021 returns and GWS.

Inland Revenue’s message to bookkeepers

Naomi’s message to bookkeepers is that IR is here to help anyone who has been affected by the events of this year. She encourages bookkeepers to work with their clients and IR to provide any support they can – from helping with loans, to setting up instalment arrangements. Naomi recommends engaging with IR earlier rather than later if a small business requires help. It’s also a good idea to make sure you register as a bookkeeper with IR to gain the benefits and features of their digital transformation, and to better assist with any impact on your clients.

From humble beginnings to the professional body it is today – with designated authority in IR, and an outstanding conference that brings us together, I’m so proud of how far the institute has come. It has maintained the original vision of providing a space for collaboration, friendship and enabling continuous development as a bookkeeper. 

Announcing Xero’s Bookkeepcon20 competition winner

In celebration of our 10 year anniversary we gave a lucky bookkeeper the opportunity to win $1,000 toward an end of year celebration for them and their best clients. To enter, bookkeepers had to visit the Xero stand and take a fun photo with the props and costumes. 

We were thrilled with the number of entries but we can only have one winner, so congratulations to Zharna and Joel from Monarch Bookkeeping! We hope you and your clients enjoy a much deserved end of year celebration on Xero.

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