Xerocon is an accountants Disneyland

by | Oct 9, 2017 | Blog

Disneyland has its rides, some adrenaline pumping and some family friendly; well Xerocon doesn’t have any of that (yet).

So, what does Xerocon do the same? Well, everything’s thought of down to the finest detail, there’s fireworks, musical performances a plenty, the Xero team are just as approachable as the Disney characters, the Xero stand in the middle is just as iconic as the castle and most importantly there’s the air of something magical around (not just brought about by the host Nigel Mead).

The conferences during the day were well paced and jam packed full of incredible names.

Gary Turner opened the show with his talk on the next five years, packed full of interesting thoughts, but the biggest takeaway from it all was that the people are still the future of business; not what you would expect from the Managing Director of a big tech company and as such provided an even bigger impact.  Gary also revealed that there are now £250k Xero subscribers in the UK making up a little over 20% of the worldwide subscribers.

Author, speaker and advisor Richard Susskind was next to the stage to talk about how technology will further transform the way we work in the future. Richard’s ideas have often received resistance:

“I remember an outrageous claim I made in the mid 1990s,” he said at Xerocon. “That lawyers and clients would communicate dominantly in the future by email. Many said I was bringing the profession into disrepute.”

I left this talk with a lot to consider but the main takeaway was that it is better to embrace these technological advances as they arise instead of shying away from them.

The 2nd session consisted of two more Xero powerhouses with CEO Rod Drury and Chief Partner Office Anna Curzon.

They introduced some of Xero’s newer offerings, looking into Xero Expenses, Xero Ask providing exciting opportunities and improvements for us as accountants and clients alike.

After lunch was a panel discussion talking about Fictionless finance discussing the impact of the next generation financial services solutions on small businesses and advisors.

Rachel Powell (Xero’s Chief People Officer) was next to the main stage to discuss the benefits of building a successful team and how to achieve it with EBITDA but not as we know it.

  • Engagement
  • Belonging
  • Innovation
  • Trust
  • Dream
  • Accomplishment

I was immensely excited for the final session of day 1 (if you’ve read my earlier blog you’ll know why).

Matthew Syed discusses some of his ideas from his book Black Box Thinking, and how we shouldn’t be afraid to fail but where failure does occur, make it as data rich as possible so that we can learn from it in the future. By promoting this growth mindset in the business, it can transform team collaboration, change the workplace environment and unlock the capacity for accelerated growth.

I definitely recommend picking up his book and checking the concepts out in more detail.

The man who kept this day running so smoothly was magician and presenter Nigel Mead, his wit and presentation was fantastic. I will never forget the New Zealand firm called Blue Trixie who served Brad Pitt’s cake making business. #youhadtobethere

The breakout area was full of the essentials, great barista coffee, energy boosting/cleansing shakes, ice creams and the food.  On the inside of the food and drink were the partner stands full of exciting and innovating ideas and links to Xero.  All areas were covered there including pensions, cashflow, expenses, reporting, projections and so on.

It was great to chat to so many app partners and to discuss what they had to offer and how that could benefit some of our clients.  I’m very excited to see how these conversations progress moving forward.

The promotional swag that was on offer from these partners were some of the best I had seen at a conference.  Expend were giving away a cactus with their goody bags, Expensify were giving away t-shirts or water bottles, Float had rubber ducks, Chaser had beer, Re-leased had beer and coffee and the list goes on.  It gives an insight into how creative and cool this community can be as opposed to the stereotypical image.

I’ll update you soon on the host of announcements from day 2 as well as a further in-depth look at some of the talks.


Jamie Eddy, Xero Hero 

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