Trent Innes, Xero Australia’s Managing Director, talks to us about life, software, cloud integration and leadership, chatting through some of the more memorable anecdotes of his career in the software and IT industry…
XU: Can you tell us a little about your background?
TI: Throughout high school and university I worked at KFC. I used to manage shifts in stores and I learnt a lot about managing people and customers in a hot, high pressure environment.
After getting my accounting degree at uni, I went into the chartered world doing auditing but didn’t last very long – I quickly realised it wasn’t for me.
I found my way into a large architecture company as an accountant. They did everything manually – I thought “This is crazy!”, so I convinced them to buy a finance and project management solution
(called SunSystems) and implemented it for them.
That was when my passion for using technology to run a business really started, and I completed my CPA while working there.
Following that, I worked in the UK for the maker of SunSystems in various technical, functional and pre-sales roles. At around this time, Microsoft purchased Great Plains and Navision and I was approached for a role looking after pre-sales for their new range of ERP solutions.
The great thing about those early days was that we were effectively a small business operating independently in a big company.
I spent 8 years at Microsoft and learnt a lot, especially around people management and leadership.
After Microsoft, it was off to Xero and the rest is history.