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Xerocon London: a human, connected world

A 'double shot of inspiration' for accountants and a 'big family reunion' – just some of the ways our customers and partners described Xerocon London on Twitter last week.

With over 3,000 attendees and 56 different education sessions across 2 days, the show was a celebration of a new world of truly connected finance and accounting.

We're proud to be part of this family of innovators, customers and partners who are changing the face of accounting and finance; and we were thrilled to be named App Partner of the Year for the second year running at the show – a testament to the growth of GoCardless for Xero and the amazing support of our customers and partners.

If you weren’t lucky enough to attend, let us run you through our highlights.

Human at heart

While product updates are a big part of Xerocon, Gary Turner, Xero UK MD, revealed the thinking behind the 'Human at Heart' theme, in his keynote:

“Xero’s here to have a positive impact on people’s lives – we’re human at heart. The world is digitising, but the world of work is humanising.”

It’s a theme that resonates with us, too. On Day 2, GoCardless CEO Hiroki took to the stage with Will Farnell of Farnell Clarke to talk about the real, human impact of late payments on small businesses.

As Hiroki said: “Unpaid invoices create a huge amount of uncertainty and stress, and if you look at recent surveys, around 9 out of 10 business owners are worrying about late payments.”

To support our accounting partners in removing those stresses for clients, we announced at the show the launch of the GoCardless Accountants Program.

Will Farnell said: “The Accountants Program fits nicely with what we’re doing already in the market, adding value for our clients. We’re giving people options and being there to support our clients.”

You can find out more about the Accountants Program here.

Steve Vamos, Xero CEO

Connected tax and accounts

Compliance has always been at the core of Xero – but Xero is doubling its efforts to deliver recordkeeping, bookkeeping and accounting that meet the needs of Making Tax Digital (MTD) and the digital future of financial reporting.

As Gary Turner highlighted: “Making Tax Digital is not just about getting new software. It’s the start of a new era. The Xero ecosystem has a responsibility to help with this move from analogue to digital – once it’s done we don’t go back.”

On the theme of compliance, Xero made some key announcements at the show:

  • Tax filing and accounts preparation added – Xero has acquired Instafile to automate tax preparation, bringing accounts preparation and corporation tax filing to the accounting platform for the very first time.

  • Xero is now MTD for VAT-compliant – Xero is officially ready for MTD for VAT, with customers having greater control and visibility of VAT and being connected in real-time to HMRC.

  • ‘Dexter the Digital Tax Advisor’ launched – Xero has worked with HMRC to create Dexter, the friendly face of Making Tax Digital for VAT and the digital future of financial reporting.

Gary Turner, Xero UK MD, meets Dexter The Digital Tax Advisor

Connected banking, payment and finance

Integration with fintech providers is something that Xero is focusing on – as we found out when talking exclusively to Edward Berks, Xero’s EMEA Director, Platform Business:

"It was really exciting to see the dynamic fintech firms that we integrate with at Xerocon. Whether it's Tide, Revolut or GoCardless, it was clear to see just how significant their role is in transforming the lives of small business owners."

With Open Banking driving evermore innovation in fintech, Xero is embracing the connectivity this offers for advisors and their clients:

  • Open API for bank feeds – Xero announced a brand new, full-featured API for bank feeds, so fintech partners can put their own bank feeds into Xero, alongside those offered by big high street banks.

  • More fintech partnerships – including the additional of 5 new UK banks, and evolving payment functionality with GoCardless, Stripe, Soldo and PayPal as payment partners.

And there's plenty more potential here, Edward Berks concluded: "There’s a lot of headroom to expand on this connectivity, particularly in financial services where businesses can capitalise on the advances of Open Banking, and make use of the Xero feeds API."

How are other firms approaching cloud adoption?
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