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Xero Roadshow 2021: A digital-led renewal

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Jared Baker

Mar 1, 2021

Throughout the turbulence of COVID-19 and all that 2020 brought with it, bookkeepers and accountants have been like small business lifeguards. And that’s no mean feat. The resilience, courage and care that you – our partner community – have shown in the past 12 months is nothing short of inspiring. 

Now, as we dive into 2021, the focus is on building the digital resilience to guide your clients and practice through another year of uncertainty. At our first-ever online Roadshow, we shared the tools, resources and insights to help you do just that. 

The way partners, advisors and small businesses have embraced the cloud and digitisation is already having a positive impact. Each month, data from Xero’s Small Business Insights shows positive signs of small business recovery above pre-pandemic levels. Although we might not be clear of the woods just yet, I’m confident that we’re on track for a strong 2021.

In keeping with that outlook, this year’s Roadshow theme was ‘The road to renewal’ – a reflection on all that we’ve learnt from the events of 2020 and how we can use our knowledge to be better prepared for the future. 

In the spirit of renewal, Roadshow 2021 was reimagined for a changing world as Xero delivered the event virtually for the first time (with Melbourne’s lockdown 3.0 putting our adaptability to the test yet again). Now more than ever, technology is critical to maintaining continuity and connections, and Xero Roadshow was all about mapping our digital road forward. For those of you that missed it, here’s a recap: 

New features we announced

Throughout the past 12 months, we’ve worked hard to renew the features that will help your practice and clients succeed in 2021 – one of which is our conversion tools. 

As announced on day one, I’m chuffed to share that Xero has created a digital solution to what’s historically been an expensive manual conversion process (notice the running theme here?). Now, you’ll be able to convert practice data from SAGE, Reckon and MYOB into Xero’s practice tools, just in time for the next tax season. 

Alongside a simpler conversion process, we’ve also introduced an automation playbook to make routine tasks and workflows more efficient. We’ve automated some key processes to create fast, accurate and up-to-date financials, leaving you with more time to do what you do best.

Listening to your feedback and investing in product development is a big deal here at Xero. And at Roadshow, it was gratifying to deliver the changes we know you’ve wanted to see. Another of which is modifying TPAR (taxable payments annual report) by improving the workflow and user experience, and making it easier to lodge from Xero directly to the ATO.

We’ve also introduced another long-awaited time-saving tool in Payroll Audit History. This enables you to track changes to employee pay rates and ensure these match up with Fair Work guidelines in just a few clicks. Who says compliance has to be headache-inducing? 

Your account managers can’t wait to share all of Xero’s exciting new offers and updates, so be sure to get in touch to find out more.

Make adaptability an asset

For accountants and bookkeepers, 2020 was the year of the small business pivot. As a result, we learnt that transitioning every aspect of your business online is key to adaptability. Moreover, it has benefits beyond being able to wear trackpants to work. This is what Vladka Kazda and Rebecca Gravestock explored in their session, ‘Future-proofing your practice: From marketing to people.’

Supported by the right apps and tools, a digitally-enabled firm can be more connected than ever. Part of the benefit of being a Xero partner is having access to over 800 apps in Xero App Marketplace. The large selection of apps helpserve the niche or general needs of your clients, as well as your own practice (all of which were explored during Appy Friday). 

There are countless stories of how bookkeepers and accountants have cleverly steered small businesses towards their app-match, some of which can be found in this year’s very first digital Partner Pages

Although it may look different, Partner Pages is still packed with the same powerful content, and now, accompanying videos. Keep an eye out over the coming months as these stories are released on our website and social channels. 

Xero Roadshow 2021 wouldn’t have been possible without your feedback, support and – fittingly – adaptability. Thanks again for your inspiring work over what’s been an incredibly taxing (like that?) yet rewarding year.

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