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Bringing together our South African accounting community

Colin Timmis

Jun 3, 2022

What an amazing few days for team Xero in South Africa. We brought our Roadshow event back last week in Cape Town and Johannesburg. I loved seeing all the positive reactions from the 2,000+ accountants, bookkeepers, banks, apps and other industry partners.

We’ve all missed being together in person, so it was great to see our community and hear from some inspirational guest speakers. We also had some of the country’s leading apps exhibit and share more on how they are supporting the industry.  

Here are a few takeaways from my keynote and some of our guest speakers:

Xero’s commitment to driving the industry forward

While there have certainly been tough times for small businesses and accountants over the past two years, many have grown their business. We’re seeing momentum and adoption of our tools amongst small businesses and their advisors as they embrace the changes happening in the industry. 

Now is the time to look at where opportunity lies for small businesses and accountants, and what happens after the pandemic disruption. When we look at where the economy is right now, we have a long way to go, but there is a sense of optimism to move forward.

At Xero, we believe in a world where small businesses are encouraged to participate in a collaborative environment that’s set up for their benefit. We want to help foster an economy where advisors and other stakeholders are more connected digitally, bringing together banks with accountants, with SARS, alternative lenders, and tools that provide access to new markets. That’s the opportunity – to build an environment where data is more easily shared, that will enable more small businesses, their advisors and communities to benefit. 

Xero Country Manager Colin Timmis on stage
 South Africa Country Manager Colin Timmis shares Xero’s commitment

We looked to the future with John Sanei

Futurist John Senai
John Sanei shares key insights with Roadshow attendees

John Sanei, author and leading ‘futures strategist’ spoke to us about what he called ‘transformotion’, the period we’re in now as we move towards an uncertain future at a rapid pace. This is causing us to feel emotions of anxiety, sadness and frustration.

John explained the cycles and paradigm shifts that humanity goes through which enable us to evolve, and to challenge ourselves to do things differently. Research suggests these cycles happen approximately every eighty years and that right now we’re in a post-crisis period that is influencing us to change and grow. 

These cycles of humanity are showing us that we’ve become too attached to certainty. It’s time to reignite our curiosity and awaken our imagination. John explained that the new skill that we should all be focusing on going forward, is intuition. We need to move from a world of what we know, to a world where we are constantly learning and experimenting. We need to shift our mindset from seeing problems, to seeing opportunities. 

Life lessons from Saray Khumalo

Saray Khumalo on stage

Saray Khumalo shares her inspirational story

Saray Khumalo, award winning mountaineer and Guinness world record holder, shared her story about breaking boundaries.

“It doesn’t matter who you are, everyone has the ability to stand on top of the world.”

She believes we’re all uniquely extraordinary, and we all have a purpose. Saray started mountain climbing with the intention of raising money for children in her home township. These children were used to their heroes not looking or sounding like them, and she wanted to change that, and bring hope to these young people.

It took four4 attempts for Saray to summit Everest, and what kept Saray going was her purpose and what is most important to her – bringing hope to children. She spoke of a few lessons she learned on her journeys. The first is to celebrate small wins, but never become complacent. The second was about the importance of leadership in uncertain times and building trust with people. Saray conquered Everest by going in focused on her plan, taking advantage of a unique opportunity, and staying true to her purpose. 

It was so special to hear from these amazing speakers, and to connect in person with our community. I hope everyone who attended the Roadshow feels inspired to move forward with optimism and purpose. 

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