Today was the last day of two fantastic days at Xerocon in London, the annual event for Xero Partners. Over the two days, eight of our staff, from across our three offices, attended the event and it was an opportunity to learn about new developments in Xero, meet Xero Add-on Partners, hear from several thought leaders and network with our peers.
New features in Xero include a really cool new mobile app for seamlessly recording and submitting expense claims into Xero, and a whole new area within Xero dedicated to recording and monitoring Projects, which is something that has been wanted by many of our clients for some time. As well as the advances in the product, the conference also acted as a strong reminder that our business is not just about providing solid financial/tax advice and providing accurate compliance services for clients, but also making sure that we are at the forefront of developments in order to advise clients in ways that they can free up their time from mundane tasks by working smarter not harder using the latest technology.
This year the big topic was artificial intelligence and machine learning. What surprised me most was the examples of how far AI has already been developed by tech companies, but as members of the public we are not even aware of it. Based on what has already been achieved we can expect to see some ground breaking new services over the next few years.
We were warned that as AI develops, businesses will expect much of the repetitive compliance accounting work to be done by a machine and consequently they will expect reduced prices to reflect this. Nevertheless each of the speakers was equally clear, as much of accounting becomes a commoditised service, it will be more important than ever for successful accountants to enhance their people skills. They will need to consolidate their position as trusted advisors and form close working relationships their clients, as this may be the only distinguishing feature between two firms of accountants.
Fortunately, this has been within the firm’s ethos for many years and we have already built strong and lasting relationships with clients. Nevertheless it is not something that we would ever take for granted and will continue to instil in our staff on a daily basis.
If you would like to hear more about the latest exciting developments in Xero please contact one of our specialists firstname.lastname@example.org