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Data & Insights 4 min read

Digital Partner Pages is here: How your peers led the way in 2020

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Jared Baker

Mar 28, 2021

As we explored in our first-ever digital Xero Roadshow, for bookkeepers and accountants, 2020 was a year like no other. From helping small businesses navigate COVID-19 to adapting their own practices in light of the pandemic, Xero partners rose to the challenge – time and again. And whether they were coming to the aid of struggling industries or building crisis-resistant firms, they learned plenty along the way.

To share their stories and the lessons within them, we’ve released our annual Partner Pages – a collection of powerful content from our Xero partner community for our Xero partner community. 

But this time, things look a little different. Following a year of firsts, we’ve reimagined this edition in a new digital format – and I reckon it’s one of our best yet. Now with accompanying videos, you’ll meet the personalities behind the practices as they harness all they’ve learnt in 2020 to share tips, examples and practical advice that will help you build a future-ready practice. 

Over the next three months, we’ll be releasing these insightful stories in stages. We hope you take the time to deep-dive into each piece, absorb what you need, and learn from your community. All to help arm your practice for whatever comes next. 

Part one: Strength in numbers

Family ties: The generations joining forces to reshape their practice

Over four years, father and son team Tony and Damian Lococo have worked together to transform a long-established practice into an agile, forward-thinking firm, while learning about each other in the process.

The duo shares their top tips for fostering intergenerational learning to find the perfect balance between a modern business mindset and old-school values. 

Time for transformation: Lessons from a large-scale change project

As Director and National Head of Business Advisory at RSM Australia, Dace Harris oversaw one of the largest change projects an accounting organisation could ever undertake: the transition of 31 offices to Xero in just over two years (with everything from bushfires to a pandemic to contend with).

From starting with your ‘why’ to establishing feedback loops, Dace unpacks his tips for tackling large-scale change projects head-on. 

Mind matters: Championing mental wellbeing within the advisory world

Rebecca Gadd’s mental health journey led her to form Sprout Business & Wellness Coaching, a Wodonga-based bookkeeping and advisory practice that puts the mental wellbeing of both advisors and small business owners in the spotlight.

Rebecca shares advice on safeguarding your mental wellbeing while supporting clients through challenges – teaching us that a little introspection can go a long way. 

Part two: Unlocking fresh tools and ideas 

Smart Money: Harnessing apps to boost financial literacy

As founder of a bookkeeping practice dedicated to assisting the creative industry, Claire Grimes of Paper Plane is on a mission to demystify the financial side of running a business – with a little help from her favourite apps.

Claire reveals her tactics for helping clients adopt apps to boost their financial literacy, giving them the confidence to make informed decisions backed by the power of their numbers. 

The social network: Harnessing digital marketing to find a new audience 

With the dual aims of expanding its client base beyond its own backyard and providing timely information to business owners during the pandemic, Notch Above Bookkeeping’s investment in digital marketing has seen the firm’s audience and client base grow nationally, according to business development manager, Jac Gallagher.

As a digital marketing pro, Jac shares what it takes to build and deliver a strategic content plan that engages new customers and markets to support business growth.

Pulse check: Aiding an industry in need 

David Dahm, founder of Health and Life has spent the last three decades supporting healthcare professionals to run sustainable, profitable practices. When COVID-19 disrupted the industry, David’s innovative, tech-enabled approach was just what the doctor ordered.

After the year that was, David’s expert advice on how to help clients in struggling industries feel empowered and secure has never been more timely.

Part three: Planning for an all-new future

Life on air: Gaining an audience and influence through podcasting

As directors of CATS Accountants and hosts of the Two Drunk Accountants podcast, Tim Garth and Dan Osborne’s relaxed, humorous approach makes accounting concepts accessible to, and even enjoyable for, small business owners. All the while, they keep servicing their existing clients and reaching new ones in the process.

The pair don’t claim to have all the answers, but they sure know how to build a profile. They explain how to connect with, and grow, your audience through authentic, consistent and lasting content. 

Agent of change: Forging a values-driven practice

Darwin-based advisor Sarah Hyland left the corporate world to create Together Business, an Indigenous-led firm that supports startups, not-for-profits, social enterprises and other purpose-driven businesses that are making a difference in the community.

Sarah offers advice on how to build a values-based practice – combining a healthy dose of lateral thinking with careful planning to attract like-minded clients. 

The year of living courageously: Developing a crisis-responsive practice

In one year, the Gippsland community has battled drought, bushfires and a global pandemic. From helping small business owners navigate grant applications to lending a sympathetic ear to isolated farmers doing it tough, accountant Abe Schuback of Phillipsons has been there for his clients every step of the way – creating a crisis-ready practice in the process. 

Abe shares his learnings from 2020, as well as tips for ensuring your practice is ready to adapt, no matter what’s thrown your way. 

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