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Introducing South Africa’s Xero Awards winners for 2020

Colin Timmis

Mar 3, 2020

Last night we celebrated our accounting and app partners from across South Africa at the annual Xero Awards. Marking the first time we’ve hosted a standalone event for the awards, it was an honour to reward our community of partners for their hard work and dedication. 

Held at the Radisson Red in Cape Town, there were three trophies up for grabs – Emerging Firm of the Year, Partner of the Year and App Partner of the Year. 

I was proud to see so many standout South African accountants, firms and apps included in the list of finalists for this year’s awards. Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and our partners play a vital role in helping them to scale and succeed.

From everyone here, we want to congratulate all our finalists again and introduce our 2020 Xero Award winners:

Emerging Firm of the Year: Doughgetters Accounting

Doughgetters is not just an accounting firm, they are a fully digital accounting business that puts Xero at the heart of everything it does. Willem Haarhoff and his business partner, Murray Barnetson, saw an opportunity to take accountancy in a new direction, making the most of the cloud for businesses in South Africa.

Passionate about driving change across the industry and improving the lives of small businesses. They embody many of our core Xero values. 

As well as driving cloud accounting adoption in small and medium enterprises, they are pioneering some great initiatives to ensure businesses and accountants have the right skills to thrive in the future. Using our Xero Learn platform, they’ve been working with education providers to help shape content. 

Melissa du Plooy from the team said, “The future of South Africa is its entrepreneurs. And we’re there to cheer them on, using platforms like Xero to keep them heading in the right direction.”

Partner of the Year: Nel & Vennote

Based in Upington – around 900km from Cape Town – Nel & Vennote is a family run business. Their impact, reach and growth has been impressive over the last few years. 

Around 70% of Nel & Vennote’s clients are in the farming industry, with the remaining 30% spread out across a variety of industries. One of the greatest challenges facing their clients is that of connectivity.

Integrating Xero triggered a whole new business opportunity for them called Unicorn Cloud Accounting. Supplying their clients with virtual accountants, management reporting and advisory services – it’s helped many local businesses move into the cloud and boost efficiencies. 

Pierre Nel said, “We like technology. That’s one of our big passions. Back in 2009, the practice went paperless. In a small town like Upington, this is almost unheard of.”

App Partner of the Year: Syft Analytics

Syft Analytics is a simple yet powerful reporting app for Xero. It’s helping accountants integrate automation into their businesses. It also helping to deliver more value to their clients by uncovering insights in financial data.

They’ve seen tremendous growth over the past 18 months. Over 1,000 accounting firms and 20,000 businesses globally use Syft for their financial reporting and insights. Their constant innovation has been a big part of this growth. Since initially integrating with Xero in 2018, they’ve added new features including tracking categories and bank transactions. 

Simplicity, ease and time-saving are Syft’s key design principles – things that are really important for us at Xero too. One of their accounting clients said, “Our firm’s been using Syft for almost a year now with great success. Full client management reports, including graphs and so on,  can be run and emailed to clients within five minutes”.

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