Issue 13

Are Xero and Cloud Integrators on the right track? ‘App’solutely!

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In my last couple of articles we talked about the role Cloud Integrators play in the Australian/NZ market and the value we add to the Xero eco-system. We were also waiting for ‘Xero’ season to start and what they had in store for us at Xerocon Melbourne and in the weeks since, it’s been pretty exciting to see the changes…

The sessions around Cloud Integration at Xerocon Melbourne on Uni Day and Day 1, both focused on how easy Accountants and Bookkeepers have found it to work with Cloud Integrators and how they couldn’t have met their clients needs without this additional support. This was fabulous to hear from the wider community (and not just the feedback we get from our clients!). It was also fabulous to discover that the Xero Eco-system team had grown from 1 to a team of 4 across Australia and NZ, this in itself means Xero still believe in us, it also brings with it new ideas and more importantly industry experience to meet the needs of the Apps and the Cloud Integration partners, which in my view is very exciting!

One of the key themes of Xerocon was how small the world is becoming and how we can provide global support from anywhere, we are now connecting advisors, cloud integrators and Apps that are all focused on helping small business be more efficient, free from paperwork and have the ability to grow business quicker! Times are certainly changing, but is it for the better, App-solutely it is!

Over the last 5 years the conversations around cloud computing have really changed. From the early days where fear of the unknown, loss of control and security were the most frequent barriers, today these barriers are significantly less and those that remain are more about the challenges of choice, connectivity and data flow between solutions.

Accounting firms and Bookkeepers have been at the forefront in adopting cloud solutions. Firstly Xero, and then with the accessibility to solutions such as Receipt Bank and Expensify and with practice management (XPM and others) it has enabled even sole traders to scale and grow their business. The suite of Apps for Accountants and Bookkeepers has been well defined.

The adoption of time saving, flexible solutions is now taking hold in the wider ‘small’ business community. Most small business owners we talk with would like nothing more (apart from winning the lottery), than to find ways to minimise the paperwork, reduce the amount of information they need to remember and never have to process invoices late at night again! (I think there’s an App for that too).

But how can they be sure that they are adopting the right solution for their business. Small business these days have to be flexible and adaptable to survive and they need software that suits that need too. They also need to know that the options they choose will be able to scale and grow with them, or at the very least be the foundation of their business from which to grow!

This challenge is never ending. With over 500 apps in Xero’s eco-system how can any small business (or Accountant or Bookkeeper be across them all?) The answer is that they simply can’t – and that’s why the Cloud Integration channel is such an awesome resource for Accountants and Bookkeepers in which to choose from.

As Cloud Integrators, we specialise in verticals, with particular apps for each business type… Trades, Professional Services or Inventory Management for example. As such we are awesome examples of niche and grow…

So are Cloud Integrators here to stay, App-solutely in fact I believe that over the next 5 years Cloud Integration services will become key elements of Accounting and Bookkeeping firms offering, the next generation of our profession will adapt and change to the changing needs of their small business clients, so until then, Xero and the cloud Integrators are here to help.

If you need to find a Cloud Integrator…

  1. Xero.com at www.xero.com/au/partner-programs/cloud-integrators/directory/
  2. Ask your Xero Account Manager for a recommendation or
  3. Check out your preferred App Directory of Partners
  4. Simply Google Authorised Cloud Integrator

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About the author

Helen Goodman, Management Accountant, Invisible Business Solutions

Helen Goodman FCCA is #notyourordinaryaccountant, with 20 years experience as a management accountant in the corporate world. Helen now runs a successful cloud integration business to identify, implement, train and provide ongoing support to small business looking for cloud solutions. Specialising in Health & Wellness, Family Trades, Professional Services and Inventory Management. Invisible Business Solutions was one of the first Authorised Cloud Intregrators to be recognised by Xero.